TripAdvisor founder Steve Kaufer wants you to leave the guidebook on the shelf. His site is launching a new interactive section that allows users to contribute to an up-to-the-minute online guide - sort of a Wikipedia for travel.

“What we’ve done is added the ability for multiple people to collaborate and write anything on our site,” Kaufer said. The information can be printed and packed, replacing a bulky book, he said.

TripAdvisor, based in Needham, has made a business of consolidating opinions about places. But the new online guides take things a step further. Instead of just rating and reviewing hotels, restaurants and attractions, users will be able to write articles about the cities in which they live or go to visit.

The wiki software allows users to instantly edit and update information, providing a near real-time picture of places unmatched by guidebooks, TripAdvisor says. And it will be quicker to respond to changes, such as the devastation of a hurricane, Kaufer said.

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