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November 16, 2005

They Walk On The Left, Too

One of the things I've committed myself to, is to be more cognizant of the world around me. I've grown to understand, it's not about me, but rather everyone else that has their own particular reality of things.

I'm in London right now on business, I've been in the UK probably a dozen times or so over the years, some for extended periods of time, rarely taking the time to enjoy or see the sights or observe the culture. Typically I have blinders on and just get accomplished what I had intended to accomplish and get back to the states. This time isn't different except for the fact I did take some time and "notice" the environment around me. A few observations;

- They (Londoners) not only drive on the left side of the road, they walk on the left side of a sidewalk. I started cracking up as I noticed I walk on the right side of a sidewalk (as most Americans do) and pass on the right. I found myself "swimming up stream".

- They (Londoners) walk everywhere, even more than you would walk in NY. That's why they are all thin. It's either that or the food.

- The train system is amazing, no revelation there, but I did notice that you could actually understand what the automated attendant was saying when you came upon the next stop on the train or tube. Try understanding what station you're coming upon in NY. Yo!

- They (Londoners) talk a lot and it always sounds cool. Maybe it's the accent, but I noticed their command of the English language. Every word means something. Smashing!

- There aren't ANY garbage cans around for obvious reasons, BUT there isn't any garbage on the ground. hmmmm.

In the words of my brother in law Mark, of the infamous Bottini brothers,  "welcome to my world". Those words ring true when you get out of your own little world.

November 16, 2005 in Travel, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 12, 2005

Why RSS Works - St Barts

I spent some time this week with a very large on-line travel company talking about RSS. They're developing their RSS strategy and asked us to talk with them given the topic and applications are so broad within the travel industry. During the conversation, we started talking about specific use cases. I shared a recent experience I had in planning a vacation to the Caribbean, St Barts. I had heard a lot about St Barts via some friends and via Conde Naste magazine, but I'm pretty skeptical when it comes to information about travel destinations given I'm a bit particular to when it comes to vacation spots. I let them know that I went to Google and got a lot of information from web sites with "canned photos" and stories published by their PR people as to how great each hotel, restaurants, etc was. Of course most of the content was the establishments trying to sell themselves. I then went to a couple of chat rooms and bulletin boards which I found useless - again, most run by companies trying to sell you something. I then told them how I just simply set up a search feed (NewsGator Smart Feed) for the key work St Barts and was continually updated from people blogging about St Barts - people sharing their personal experiences, likes, dislikes, etc. Real information from real people, hmmmm. Through NewsGator I was able to review posts (article)from months ago as well as be updated as soon as a new post came in. Bingo, all the information I wanted, from real people, at my finger tips - the good, bad, and ugly. Pretty easy from there. Needless to say, the travel company we were talking to instantly got it. Sure, they're going to try to sell you something, but by personalizing the experience, it puts the power into your hands, not the hands of 3 star hotels trying to market themselves as something they're not. Of course this is just a small example of the power of RSS. BTW, if you're looking for a first class experience on St Barts, the Eden Rock at St Barts is the way to go!

November 12, 2005 in Business, Travel, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack