The Perfect Flight

Our next flight..... In three hours.

I travel with a good head. Be it underground or overground, I always aim to have a smile on my face. There are many things in life that will get us down throughout our years, but travelling with fellow members of our species should not be one of them.

A modern day miracle, travel. The Globe, this planet of ours, Earth, is as wide as it is tall and at first, seems gargantuan to understand.

Driven by the endless curiosity of what is a core component of the human condition slowly, the world has shrunk. Lands of far away with their mystic tales of food, wine and weather are now at the beck and call to anyone who may have the time and the inclination. The Earth, is open.

So why would it be, deep within this modern day miracle, that you would find miserable men (or women)? Why? I am yet to understand. I dare to think that I will never understand. For I, above all else, enjoy travel.

With a smile on my face, I face the world. With a smile on my face, the world faces me and, it is with this sentence I declare my love for The Perfect Flight.

Flying home from the US of A after a week of riding horseback across mountains, knowing you have over six hundred emails to respond to, discovering that your row of four seats has only one occupant; you. That is the perfect flight.

Spending the entire Summer taking plane journeys, one after the other after the other after the other, each time with new members to your gang. 30 plane rides, each time yearning for the one you love to be with you. Flight 31, she’s there. With you. Next to you. You wake up halfway across the Atlantic and you can’t believe she’s there with you. You sleep and you smile. That is the perfect flight.

Leaving London, walking. At your own pace. Traversing the underground, picking up packages en route. Travelling. Working. Train-ing to the airport. Relaxing. Resting. Focusing. Terminal 5. You arrive. There’s no queue for check-in. The man behind the counter takes your bags, makes a phone call. You smile. Make a joke. Say thank you. Later, when boarding, your pass buzzes. “That’s not good.” I half-joke, the attendant looks at me again “Sometimes it is.” – we wait. He nods, knowingly. “It’s your lucky day” he says, “Enjoy your flight sir”. Checking my ticket my seat number has changed. 17A is now 3G. First class. That is the perfect flight.

Your perfect flight may come in any shape or size, you just need to know where to look.

My advice? Be nice to people.

Say please and say thank you. After all, a wink and a smile can go a very long way.

More iPad thoughts

I’ve been using the iPad for around two months now I guess and, although my thoughts on the device have been percolating since February… I think, at last, some words have finalised themselves in my head;

The iPad is a high-end, luxury disposable device. An oxymoron. Social, yet non-committal.

Social, is the key word here and it’s this, as well as the whole damn anthropology of it all that brings me to our conclusion.

  • The mobile phone; hyper-personal. Unique. Yours.
  • The laptop; still personal, but inclusive. At times, socially unacceptable. Effort.
  • The iPad; social. Open. Socially acceptable.

Flat and, like table top space invaders of old, it just works. Around the home, in the pub or even in the office – the iPad is handed ’round like it’s always just been there.

I like the iPad. It’s a social consumption machine and there really is nothing else like it.



– – – Drawn, written and posted,  from my iPad

About those velvet ropes

A post about Google Wave.

Back at the turn of the year, Peter Kim launched his ‘social media predictions for 2009‘. The paper, downloadable in PDF format, featured forward thinking insights from such social web luminaries as Jason Falls, Charlene Li and one of my favourite players in this space, Chris Brogan.

The predictions themselves make for interesting reading and I would (even now), recommend going back and taking a look if you have the opportunity. To cut to the chase though, it was the thoughts from Mr Brogan that stood out the most for me, mainly around his notion of the ‘velvet-rope social network’.

“I believe we’ll have more focused velvet-rope social networks in 2009 where the tools and the goals match verticals instead of the general commons of Facebook.”

Nicely put. At the time I remember agreeing with the idea, but I wasn’t entirely sure about the execution. Chris himself has returned to the subject a number of times on his own blog (often with examples). However, the reason this particular thought came back to me recently was in large part, thanks to Google Wave.

Google Wave is currently in private beta and the invites only started pouring out into the web just under a fortnight ago. With them came the promise of a new dawn in co-working, a new way of true collaboration on a global scale…  A brand new vision of the future.

Except that so far, based on at least 99% of my own experiences at least, no one has found any real use for it.

Well that is until I realised exactly what it is.


Google Wave is, to my mind at least, one of Brogan’s new velvet roped social networks.

You open your Wave (this is your network) and invite in whoever you like to join you (as long as they are on Wave). This is, of course absolutely by invitation only. One inside you can chat, share and exchange.. basically do anything you would do normally just within the comfort of the Wave.

As Brogan said: “…the tools and the goals match verticals…”

But there’s more.

The answer? They’re both velvet-rope social networks. Why? Allow me to explain.

Not soon after I started thinking about Google Wave, I realised that another service from the big G shares the same commonalities as the velvet-rope social network: Google Reader.

Google Reader is not too dissimilar. The sharing functionality ‘baked in’ to the UI of the RSS service allows me to one-click push the stories that I’m reading out to my buddies on Google Talk (Google’s Instant Messenger service, aka ‘GTalk’). These stories then appear in my contact’s own Greader – sometimes with an added note from me – and that, is my choice.

I like sharing. I also like, occasionally picking and choosing with whom I share.

Is this the way forward?

Maybe. The point is, Google Reader is cool. I like it. I like sharing stories with my friends and I like them sharing with me. It’s closed (to a point) and I know who I’m sharing with.

Google Wave, while being no replacement for email or IM, is actually really quite useful for actually doing some work. Of the 36 ‘waves’ I have going on at the moment; one is for a specific project, a handful of massive group chats – the IM equivalent of an MMORPG (eesh), – and the rest are along the lines of ‘Is this thing on?’, ‘testing’ and my own favourite, ‘is this actually the future?’

It’s closed, for now. If you have an invite, find the people you want to work with and start a new collaborative project.

Treat it right, and you’ll yield results.
Don’t, and you’ll never see the benefit.

Thanks for stopping by.

Additional reading: “What problems does Google Wave solve?” (via Renate Nyborg)

Whatley on Wednesday

Last week I received a Nokia N96 on loan from the those lovely folk at Nokia WOM World.

As I mentioned a couple of days ago:

…whenever I do have something mobile-related to say, I use my platform over on Mobile Industry Review (MIR), formerly – and now incorporating – SMS Text News, to get the message out…

So if Mobile is your thing, or if you’re just curious about Nokia’s new flagship handset, why not jump over and read my thoughts

Your comments are as always, very welcome.

Lots of love,



SpinVox 4 U

This piece first appeared over at the SpinVox Blog in the early hours of this morning. But upon re-reading it this afternoon I figured I’d publish it here too on my VOX as I don’t consider it a just another ad for them but rather a personal recommendation of some of their FREE services.

And anyway, it’s my blog, I’ll post what the hell I like!

As ever, all comments welcome.


SpinVox For You – YES YOU!cross-posted from The SpinVox Blog

That’s right! You! There! Reading this!

So I was chatting away to one of my peers the other day and I happened to mention I worked for SpinVox and their immediate (and rather dismissal) response was:

Oh, that Voicemail thingy?

And I said:

Well… Yeah.. but NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO! As well..

Y’see – Whilst I do agree that one of the killer applications of the SpinVox product is Voicemail… (we’ll come back to this one another time – it really has saved my life on more than one occasion) …there are still SO MANY other ways you can have SpinVox in your life.

Allow me to outline three that I personally use quite regularly…

1) Ok. Let’s start with group text messaging. Know what that is? The ‘one to many’ thing yeah? No? Well look, let me tell you about Blast.

Blast through SpinVox has two cool benefits: First up, (which I think is just damn cool on its own), you can speak a text message. That’s right. SPEAK. A. TEXT. Cool as.
The second benefit is not only can you speak your SMS but you can also set up a predefined list of up to TWENTY recipients. That’s right, Twenty.
That is cool. I honestly had no idea it was that many… (I thought it was like five or something) …I think I’m going to have to review my account definitely.
I only have the numbers of a couple of loved ones in my group at the moment. Maybe I’ll delete them and create a new group of blast buddies: “Pub friends” – yeah, that’ll work. 🙂

2) Next – You’re out and about and you remember – (like me) –

Damn, I must remember to pack that thing for tomorrow

So what do I do? I call my Memo through SpinVox number, leave myself a little reminder message, and then – when I get home – it’s there in my email inbox:

Dude, don’t forget to pack that thing for tomorrow

Cool? Maybe.
Handy? Hell yeah!

Especially if you like to keep notes throughout the day and don’t have time to write anything down.

3) Finally, one of my favourite applications of the SpinVox product: Blog through SpinVox.
Admittedly, something I’m yet to demonstrate on this blog – (we’re currently midway through redesigning the place – I’ll activate voice posting after that goes live) – but I have used it before on my own blog and I’m glad to report it works very well.

You can literally blog from anywhere. Well… anywhere where you can make a phone call anyway… Mount Everest for instance!

Thing is, and this is what makes it a ‘must-have’ instead of a ‘nice to have’:

With Blog through SpinVox the ‘I was’ becomes ‘I am’.

And that, to me, is just SO powerful.

Try it. I dare you.




Early reports say that that ^ reads like a SpinVox ad.