On a recent holiday we booked the two hotels we stayed in at least partly due to their high ranking on TripAdvisor. What was interesting is that both displayed an award they had got from TripAdvisor very prominently in the lobby.
Personally I love TripAdvisor and learn so much about new places. Not everyone is convinced, for example Duncan Bannatyne wasn’t very happy with the site in the past.
I’ve now written around 70 reviews for various places to visit, restaurants, hotels etc. The thing that most shocked me is how many times some of my reviews have been read (TripAdvisor sent me the info). My 5th ranked review, for example, has been seen nearly 200 times, which would have surprised me enough, but my 1st ranked review, which has been seen by far the most, has been seen more than 2000 times!
Personally I think that the TripAdvisor model is only going to continue to grow in popularity.