I’m rushing home these days to watch a nature show coming by our window. As the sun is starting to set, the crows are all en mass flying east to…. wherever they go. Hundreds of them. We’re on the 28th floor and we’re facing what city planners call a “viewing corridor”, it’s like there is a canyon going through the city. Therefore, it’s also a crow corridor and we’re exactly at their cruising altitude. A little bit of nature in the city, it’s a cool thing to watch.
Joel came back from vacation and made the observation that every tourist he saw is carrying around a guide. A Lonely Planet of some sorts. And not just backpackers, but everybody. I’ve observed the same in my travels and I do the same thing. The reality is that the far majority of travel decisions are made in the moment. It’s raining, let’s go to a museum, where is my Lonely Planet? I’m hungry, I’m in a strange city, let’s ask somebody where we can get some decent vegetarian food. You can plan a lot online before you go, but in reality you don’t even scratch the surface of the decisions that still have to be made. That’s part of the fun of traveling.
The perception that technology changes the basic tasks people need to complete is rarely true. Only the tools change. And in the case of travel, it’s the way people access information. The first revolution was during the pre-trip planning phase. Travel agent offices are out, booking online is in. Libraries, calling 1-800 numbers and picking up brochures are out, the internet is in. Asking your neighbour about his vacation is out, tripadvisor is in. With the internet also came an access of information, creating a better informed traveler, feeling more confident to travel independent and make her own travel arrangements.
The next revolution will be during the holiday experience. Information on the internet is becoming accessible anytime, any place, anywhere to everybody through mobile devices. No more Lonely Planet, no more brochure racks, no more asking the concierge or a cab driver. I’m finally be able to find a decent vegetarian restaurant.
I found an email in my inbox with the following content:
ADVANCED PAGE-TURNING TECHNOLOGY. You have to be kidding me. Why do people keep thinking that putting a print brochure up online is a good idea? It’s always a bad idea, unless it’s intended use is to print it out on paper. The failure of all print-mirroring applications as a way to serve up content online was not depended the fact that there was no animated “page turning”. And it’s also not depended on download speed, there are plenty of reasons why serving content online in PDF form (or a gloried versions) is a bad idea.