Michelin Guide 2.0: Less Red Book Covers Involved

How does an over one-century-old restaurant rating publication translate to the digital era? It lets diners not on Michelin's payroll do most of the work.

Taking a Yelp-ian approach to user-generated content, the recently-revamped ViaMichelin site offers a forum for cuisine discussion, real-time traffic updates, interactive maps, Microsoft-powered satellite images, digital trip planners and mobile phone accessibility, all free.

Back in 1900, the original Michelin guide was also free in an effort to promote tourism; only in 1920 did the red books start costing you. ViaMichelin again demonstrates the value of free information, but so far, the site is pretty ugly and slim on content, even if three-million users are registered, as German weekly magazine Spiegel reports. This isn't au revoir to Michelin's red-covered books. In fact, Michelin thinks print revenue will increase with the added interactive web feature.

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