Tag Archives: travel

Speculation about location based status

I saw the infographic below earlier today on Griffin Farley’s blog and it’s been stuck in my head ever since.

It’s new stats about how Twitter and other social media is being used.

The thing that really stands out is the high proportion of location based Facebook statuses and tweets coming from airports.  I think there is an insight here that could be built upon.

Why do people want to tell people they’re at the airport so much?

Is it because they want to show people how important they are, they have to travel for work?

Is it because they are a wee bit (or a big bit) scared of flying and they want to ‘mark’ their tracks in the sand so to speak?

Or is it just that they are bored and want everyone to know they are bored, is it just something to do before they get to where they are going?

I wonder if people are more likely to write their status or tweet about airports when they’re coming home, or when they’re going away?

I wonder what use airlines – or other brands – could do with the answers to these questions.


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My top 5 albums to listen to whilst travelling

I am on a train, reading WG Sebald. His writing never ceases to amaze me:

‘There is something illusionistic and illusory about the relationship of time and space as we experience it in travelling, which is why whenever we come home from elsewhere we never feel quite sure if we really have been abroad.’

Anyway, I recently heard (at a presentation given by @LadyLele) about theta waves. (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theta_rhythm) These aren’t well understood but they are apparently brainwaves you get when you’re not sleeping but zoning out. They’re associated with learning and memory. Daydreaming. They might even help you get good ideas.

I think I get these when I’m in the shower or on a long walk or bike ride, but also on a long train journey. I zone in and out, not really conscious of what I am thinking about, but thinking all the time.

This state is often enhanced by what I am listening to on my iPod at the time, so here are my top 5 theta-wave-enhancing travelling albums.

1. The Orb: U.F. Orb

I first took this album on a long journey when I visited friends in Wales around the time of my 16th birthday. I was delighted to discover that they didn’t do much there except listen to dub, smoke weed and go to parties, and I associate this album with being at parties in barns and squats, sleeping in cars, and being present at the world record attempt for rolling the longest joint of all time.

2. The Happy Mondays: Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches

School trip to the Vendee in 1990 = nearly a whole day in a coach full of 14 year olds singing The Bangles’ ‘Eternal Flame’ and being bus-sick. I had a copy of this on one side of a C90 and The Stone Roses on the other, ran my batteries down rewinding the cassette over and over again. This side of the tape wore out I loved it so much. It was excellent for plotting my revenge on mediocre pop music. (Which was never carried out.)

3. Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavillion

I got this album in the winter of 2009-10 and played it a lot, when I was doing the daily commute from Glasgow to Edinburgh. It was cold and dark all the time and snowy a lot of it, and I was always tired and a bit depressed. This album gave me optimism, made me think of summer. Now it reminds me of winter.

4. Bonnie Prince Billie: The Letting Go

I had a client in Inverness and the regular train journey was beautiful and romantic. And long. Made me wistful. And bored. And a bit train sick.

5. Radiohead: OK Computer

This album was released the summer before I re-started university. Like everyone else, I went crazy for this album and played it non-stop. If you listen to it end to end, it’s like reading a long article about the state of the world except it’s up to you to decide what the key points are.

So, that’s my list. What are your favourite meditative travelling tunes? Or do you prefer to move in silence?

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It’s been a while since I wrote – must do better!  I do have a good excuse though – I have been very busy working on a digital research project for Highlands and Islands Enterprise, which has taken me all over Scotland.  Last week I was even in Orkney for the first time – it’s somewhere I would definitely like to go back when it’s a bit warmer and lighter.

This is the largest audience scoping project I have ever worked on, and it’s a steep learning curve.  I’ve really enjoyed getting my head around what the organisation does and I’m really looking forward to working on developing a clear set of personas.

It’s also meant that I’ve seen a lot of beautiful countryside in autumn (Glencoe yesterday was gorgeous) and got to know Inverness pretty well too (if you need a B&B recommendation, I’m your girl.)

Here’s a picture of clouds I took on my phone on the way back from Thurso a couple of weeks ago.  The clouds were phenomenal.


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