RailWisdom, A Crowdsourced Platform By The People For The People By RailYatri

Review of RailWisdom, a platform that crowdsources all our train travel insights or rail wisdom into one place, travelers can take advantage of the collective intelligence about a place or a train or a train route in India.

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Is there a retiring room facility in this station? Do take the back exit on platform 1 to reach the state transport auto stand. Is there an ATM close to the station? Where can I get the best grub? Any interesting facts about this train? All of us have a train travel question to ask and a piece of wisdom to share along with it. Often, we’ve wished to know more about certain new trains, routes and stations.

In an attempt to address this issue, RailYatri – the startup that runs TrainEnquiry and RailRadar – has now launched RailWisdom, a platform that crowdsources all our train travel insights or rail wisdom into one place.

A traveler can take advantage of the collective intelligence about a place or a train or a train route in India. Wisdom are shown on an interactive map where travelers can simply log on to the portal and search for the stations or trains of their interest to see what other travelers are saying.

Using RailWisdom

Using the portal is quite easy. To see the Wisdom which has been added for a particular train, select that train by searching by its name or train number, through the ‘Add Wisdom box on the right hand side. As you soon as you select the train from the list of trains pulled up, the route of the train will be plotted on the map. Click on the “start station” of the train, to see the Wisdom added for it.

Similarly, if you want to access the Wisdom associated to a particular station, choose the ‘Station’ radio button and proceed with searching for the right station using name or station code from the list that will be populated. As you soon as you select the station, the map will automatically zoom to the location of the station. Clicking on the icon will open a new pop-up window on the map with all the Wisdom about that station.

Here, I have searched for Wisdom associated with the Pune Junction station in the Nagpur-Pune Superfast. The portal has thrown up 20 insightful Wisdom pieces for Pune Junction.

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The popup with all the Wisdom for a particular station or train has options to ‘like’ or ‘send message’ through Facebook. One can also reply to a particular Wisdom in case if you find it factually wrong or would like to add to it.

In case you want to add your own Wisdom, get the station or the train in the same manner and add your Wisdom in the provided text box. Limit it to about 10-15 words or about 180 characters. You can also select the optional category tags (food, amenities, transport, must visit, be warned, etc.) that might relate to the Wisdom you are adding. Lastly, you need a Facebook login to submit your Wisdom.

Once submitted, your Wisdom will go through an approval process where it will be reviewed for applicability, appropriateness and editorial correctness. If found useful, you will receive a post on your Facebook wall. Unfortunately, I could not add any wisdom, as the portal demands a Facebook login as of now.

Beside each element is the helpful Wisdom FAQ. It is suggested to go through this extensive Q&A to get a good hang of RailWisdom!

RailWisdom buzz on social

Launched on Independence Day on the RailYatri Facebook page, with the spirit of ‘By the People. For the People’, the wall soon shared a video explaining the benefits of RailWisdom.

The wall has been inviting its 145K+ fans to discover or add more wisdom by sharing visual updates of the Wisdom already added. The Twitter page has also been actively sharing Wisdom added on the portal.

Crowdsourcing the collective wisdom

With a majority of the Indian population spending most of their travel time in trains across the country, this comes across as a unique, democratic move by RailYatri. The best part of this crowdsourced initiative is that it is moderated and does not leave space for inane or self-promoting content in the name of Wisdom. However, going further, ‘Promoted Wisdom’ could be a revenue source for RailWisdom!

RailWisdom has a simple map interface with fast search options. Besides simplicity in its design, the execution is smooth and offers ‘shareability’ of Wisdom with its Facebook like and send features. I, however, would have preferred the portal to enable Twitter login too.

The Facebook wall updates claim to have 5000 Wisdom, which is a decent number to begin with. Manish Rathi, Founder of RailYatri, in an interview for YourStory had explained that his team had run a private beta on the product and claimed to have substantial information on 500 major stations. That means 5000 Wisdom, 500 stations and room for thousands more to be added, which will be possible if the portal is made available to travellers on the go.

A cool initiative that would find immense traction when available as mobile apps, RailWisdom caters to the innate human desire to share wisdom gained through personal experiences.