Getting back in touch with the web after a very long holiday

Entering the Washing Machine
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Thunder in Spain
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Carcans Plage
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No updates for a month, although I’m not a really consistent blogger, a month must be a new record. I was on a holiday. Driving, surfing, camping, diving, sleeping, eating, drinking and a lot of reading.

Not a lot of internet and blogs, only some e-mail contact with friends and family using the wifi on my mobile phone. Wifi and laptops are getting more common on campsites. Too bad roaming prices for data are still ridiculous.

Bébel ophalen
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On our way back we picked up a friend. Her parents started a new adventure a couple of years ago. They moved to France to start a bed and breakfast in the wonderful chateau La Villaine (picture above) in the Loire valley. We stayed there for one night and it was great. Her parents are really nice people and make you feel very comfortable. Her mothers cooking alone is worth visiting it.

The web at its best; enabling small business and niche communities
It is great to see how the web changes markets. For ‘the Bed & Breakfast industry’, and more businesses ratings and reviews are the things that create business. Often getting more important than the website of the destination itself.

The chateau advertises using Google Adwords aiming at people who are looking to stay in a chateau in the Loire Valley. Although the prices of Google Ads are rising, for a small and very focussed business it is still the most comparative way of advertising compared to booking with agencies.

Community ratings and reviews are very important. People are looking for the best place to stay and are searching the web for information about it. La Villaine has a great rating on sites like Tripadvisor. And for a reason, guests really enjoyed it.

The vegetarian meme
Bébel ophalen
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On one of the community websites two guests wrote about how the vegetarian dinner at the chateau was the best they ever had. The hosts didn’t know about the review and suddenly a lot of guests turning up told them they are vegetarian. They didn’t understand why suddenly so many guests had become vegetarian, until they told them about the positive online review.

This is what I really like about the web. How it connects people and enables them to exchange experiences and create better real life experiences and sustainable business relations based on quality.

Just an idea
iPhone camera software
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During the holiday I use my Canon EOS a lot for photographing. I can’t share the pictures until I’m back home, because I need a computer for it.

It would be nice if I could use an USB-cable that connects the camera to my iPhone and uses software on the iPhone that turns the iPhone (wifi/gprs/3g) into an upload-dongle to publish the photos on the web (Flickr).

This can’t be that hard to make I guess, since Apple already has a connector to upload photos from your camera to your iPod.

It would also be great software for professional photographers at concerts, sports games and events, because it connects every type of professional camera directly to the web everywhere in the world. Without any hassles.

Any readers with great iPhone-SDK-skills ;)? I think software like this would be worth at least $25,- and can be easily sold through the Apple Appstore. I think there is a serious market for it.

2 replies on “Getting back in touch with the web after a very long holiday”

Hi Wilbert,
where were you surfing?

Agree totally about the web and its profound effect on the B&B – boutique travel industry.
It has made the proliferation of excellent food and accommodation possible in Australia where distances between cities is vast.


Hi MacK, have you experience with searching a B&B in Australia? And how do you find those?

I have only stayed for three times at a B&B, or Chambres de Hautes as they call it often in France. So I’m not really an expert, all the times it was a great experience. I found one through a guy at a kite-surfing spot and the other one was just luck.

A B&B at a grape farm / vineyard near Narbonne (France)
Spraying Plane

And the third one, an old house near the city of Vichy (France)
Het chateau van Graaf Tel

The building or location is often something special and the people are friendly.

For surfing I was on a campsite in Carcans-Plage. The small village is close to Bordeaux.

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