Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

You cant go too far without hitting an expert sounding off on content and content marketing. Everyone and his uncle…

But not much said on what goes into content. Of course there is stuff to be found on story telling, but not tied tightly with content creation.

To clarify the point, many of travel and touristy content is at best a package of excitement experienced personally by the traveler like the cliche kid-in-a-candy-shop, but not necessarily worrying about taking the audience along vicariously. This is where story-telling gets in. But to tell a story, one must discover them first during travel, bringing altogether another dimension of excitement to travel!

A case in point is this short photo-post: Animation In Stone!

Posted just after returning from a sight-seeing trip to Egypt and Jordan, its impact could be to make one dig up a little more of history or may be to look henceforth at stonework wherever a little differently or even lure one to consider a trip to the place.

A small side story: The local tour operator, owned by some globally well-known names, did not take it up along with a few other posts for promoting his tours, when offered free for his use. Not even an acknowledgement! Of course the content may need to be improved upon with more drama and history injected and made a part of a larger canvas.

In conclusion, need to create content is widely accepted, but making it readable and actionable is something else.


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Tom Fisfburne, a career marketer, a coach and a consultant has a lot of interesting things to say on his subject. Excerpted from his blog post here.


Rafat Ali of Skift described how travel brands market to customers as “hate-selling”:

“Delta’s lowest fare seats comes with tons of restrictions, and its ecommerce team thought it would be a great idea to hate-sell it,  implying: “Here’s is what you don’t get, you cheap shit!” Passive-aggressive selling at its best. Or worst.”


The post attracted an interesting comment from a reader seeing nothing wrong though…:

Steve Willson says

I’m actually pleased to see that Delta is explicitly laying out what you DON’T get if you book their lowest price fares. We so often see news reports and travel site posts after the fact with folks complaining that they didn’t know that they might not get seated with their companion, or that they didn’t get a meal. Those of us who travel a lot understand the lunacy of “modern” air travel, but those who are infrequent travellers may still be stuck in the romantic era. So maybe we just need to frame the conversation a bit differently…

“At Delta we look forward to having you onboard, but here are a few reminders before you complete your ticket purchase…”

Maybe I’m jaded, but I go for transparency whenever possible:)




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orlando-shooting-pulse-nightclub-01 justjared com

I have always thought guys in US are unbelievably innocent  and  naive (CIA…excepted).

Where’s the proof, you may ask. Here I submit for your consideration:

I take you to the unfortunate incident of mindless violence and the regrettable loss of innocent lives – shooting at Orlando couple of days ago. The country is shocked and stunned.

For a moment, I turn away from the grief at ground-zero and elsewhere to speculate on the post-incident political fallout.

If the guys here had only learnt the ropes at the knees of the wily-guily grand-dads (neta’s) of Indian politics:

The Democrats in the first hour of the aftermath would have rushed to the media denouncing it as a diabolical move plotted and executed by the Republicans to muster sympathy and support for their proposed ban on immigration. For their part, the Republicans would claim they are on the verge of making public proof enough to show the assailant was a card-holding Democrat.

And the law-enforcers would draw bipartisan fire for not capturing the assailant alive to uncover the truth.

Ending the speculation here and getting back to the real, strangely none of these has happened at least when I read the first media reports.

Don’t know for sure if they have subsequently warmed up to the opportunities presented by this tragedy to score over their rivals, getting their cues from their Indian counterparts unsurpassed in demagogy and ‘statecraft’.

I rest my case.

You agree, never mind their century-or-two old institutions, they still have some catching up to do with us in the lead?




Image from justjared.com

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Friends and relatives have been asking me how I am I doing. Well, if truth be told, it’s a dog’s life for most part without the collar or the leash – food served on time, napping on comfy bed, long walks under a balmy sky, a loving family, kidding with kids when they are in good humor, no trespassers to shoo away…Must pack up before I get ‘trained’ 🙂

The kids here are so straight and precise. I still have to unravel the nature of the ‘sauce’ they feed on. ‘I don’t know’ is often the answer when they really don’t. Kids back home are rarely short of a response, be it about black holes or the lost city of Atlantis. We in the orient – or, should I say in India – in all our lives comfortably cohabit with vagueness and ambiguity. What to speak of 50 shades of grey, even 500 of them don’t faze us. Don’t know if this is a virtue or a vice and how it shapes us in life.

Yesterday, off chance, when I looked out there was a huge fire-truck standing across the street and two officers trying to operate a water hydrant. There was no clanging of the bells or flashing crown lights. A tame scene with no crowd. And the officers seemed to be in no particular pressure. Intriguing until it was explained to me: it was nothing but a routine check held during peace time on the hydrants if they worked as intended.

The house next door, recently changed hands, had at the entrance rose plants in full bloom – more roses than leaves, palm-sized. A rank amateur, I still love taking snaps of flowers and trees – birds are too fleeting for me. Long ago I gave up on coaxing plants in pots after infamously killing countless specimens that looked so full of promise in the shop window. I was told by those in the know it was either heat of the sun, too much water, too little of nutrients or my thumb was not green – plain and simple. In this course came the eureka moment when I realized it is much less bother to admire a thing of beauty as a passer-by than own it, opening up much wider vistas in life. Am a lot happier looking at your multi-million dollar homes, master’s paintings, antique jewelry, haute couture dresses…or anyone else’s. At one stroke, life is a leisurely walk, quite liberating, not anything like the averred field for racing rodents.

Going back to neighbor’s impetuous roses:

asiatrvl com

This time I was not sure if it was okay to freeze them digitally, aware of the danger of it being construed as trespassing or invasion of privacy or whatever other laws in force. Emboldened by the sight of uncollected mails and news papers lying outside the main door, right or wrong, the deed was committed with great nervousness. Over the family dinner I mentioned it in passing. I was informed it was a normal and the easiest thing to spruce up the frontage of a on-sale property with off-the-shelf flowering plants! Whoever said commerce is dull and devoid of creativity?

More to follow:-)


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Mornings and evenings, I walk along a small canal that runs behind the house.


Plants, bushes, shrubs irrepressible with colorful flowers that, unfortunately for me, remain unnamed,

Trees that have grown to a perfect shape of a bulb (is that because of trimming?),

Ducks and turtles lazily waddling in the waters fearing no predators,

Quaint foot-bridges cinching the canal like a girl’s waist band,

And occasional raucous call of a bird with proud plumage punctuating the silences,

Even the languid waters in no hurry to flow…


Well, I’m no wordsmith to carry on, but you get the picture?


I haven’t tired myself out yet amateurishly snapping at these. For want of a cable, yet to check on a larger screen if I got them like I had wanted to. These are moments when the eyes of the mind run far ahead of the eyes in the head and the lens in the camera.


On the trail men and women, young and old, pass me walking or jogging, some pushing carts with babies, some with their pets on leash, occasionally a kid cycling. And when they do, a friendly nod is exchanged – a gesture that makes one feel connected with the rest of humanity at least for a moment. And just the thing for many of us socially awkward. No words are called for. At the most, ‘Good Morning’ or ‘Nice weather, eh?’. Of course I also get a share of them who are lost to here and now with ears plugged into music or whatever.


It brings to my mind an incident that happened years ago in HP’s office in Hong Kong. Coming from different countries of far-east, we were undergoing training on various HP systems. One day during the break a colleague of mine, a man of fewest words, on his way to the loo came upon a trainee from Taiwan making his way out after finishing his business. Feeling compelled, like many of us, to make some inane remark, he greeted the trainee with: ‘Coming from the loo?’ The trainee breaking his stride thought for several moments, his face betraying the inner struggle he was passing through, before responding: ‘May be’.


A couple of days ago I saw an elderly looking man walking along with his eyes on the waters and carrying a scoop-net. This was despite the brusque injunctions prominently displayed against fishing in the waters of the canal. The man had a mellowed face that would easily break into a smile if occasion demands. I could not envision him to be an offender flagrantly carrying the scoop like it was his state flag, in a largely law-abiding society. Then, with evil satisfaction, I said to myself: ‘So what if it is US? People are people anywhere.’ Until I saw this man getting closer and scooping out a stray soda can bobbing in the waters.


So much for smart-reading the world.


(More to come 😦 )


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Impressions From US

WISISWYG: What I See Is What You Get:-)

Fort-Worth-International-Airport-in-Dallas-Texas Layoverguide com
It was a long 17-hour flight that I was half-way turning into a mummy.

I was visiting this country after a lapse of 10 years, prepared to see a changed scene. But this was something else…at the airport.

At the immigration, I was steeling myself to face those hurly-burly guys ready to shake the small change out of hidden trouser pockets. If you ever wanted to empathize with creatures facing a spray of Flit , this is exactly the place you go, without the option of scurrying to unseen underside of some furniture or equipment. Instead here was a friendly soft-spoken officer who stopped just short of welcoming me. Perhaps it was an off-day for the regulars? Or is it a genuine soul change? I wouldn’t know.

Passing through the customs, again, was easier than saying ‘Hi’.

May be these wily firangees are playing to an agenda <This is what happens to your head when you read books of ‘Freakanomics’ kind like I did recently>.

Consider this: Assume every day 100 flights leave Indian skies, each carrying about 200 passengers heading for this country. That is 20,000 heads a day. At a minimum, let us say, they carry $500 per-capita to spend in US. Makes it $10 m a day or $3 b+ a year. No small change and this is spent at the bottom of the economic pyramid – mostly at the retail outlets. All without one bead of sweat.

Makes sense? The other day, someone said if you ever want to understand a phenomenon, follow the money trail – in most cases, this works. But like most of you, I’m not given to such cold calculative thinking. I was, honestly, welcome, I would like to think – plain and simple.




Source: Image from http://www.layoverguide.com

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