New hotel review website trumpsTripAdvisor, hires its own reporters

Although it's been lurking online since March of last year, the website Oyster Hotel Reviews has seized this moment to alert the world that it has arrived. The timing is surely not accidental: Travel review website TripAdvisor.com, a rival, is battling bad press about deficiencies in its system.

Oyster gives hotel guidance, too, except there, readers don't enter the primary reviews. That's taken care of by a team of writers, mostly journalists, recruited by the site and sent to each hotel without announcing they were staying there. They take photos of the properties (about 50,000 "undoctored" images are online now) and expose the pros and cons ("nearly a million words" so far, say the site's administrators).