Your Opinion Matters

Internet shopping and reviews have gone hand in hand for some time now. Anyone who is considering spending money online to buy a product or service that they can’t see or try before they commit to it has no doubt done their research in other ways – usually by researching the feedback left by previous users.

EBay, Amazon and Trip Advisor are just three sites that have built their own reputation on encouraging third party reviews and now almost every e-commerce site you can think of will have some kind of review or rating system. We are so used to seeing a star rating system or a comment box that if a site doesn’t allow reviews we wonder why not.

When I shop on-line or off-line, I always check both expert and consumer reviews. Whether for a book, something for the home, or for a larger purchase, such as an automobile or furniture, reviews are essential.  How have other people enjoyed their purchase?  What is the good and the bad?  Ultimately it is your decision, but we want to make these decisions with as many facts as possible.  This has been going on forever, but now, with the world as connected as it is, we have become even more dependent on reviews.  Years ago we would  ask our parents, relatives or friends for their advice.  Today, we not only ask them, but we ask experts and people we do not know for their opinions.  Just the way it is.

Check out the statistics on opinions below:


Thanks to the people at PeopleClam for putting this terrific infographic together.

Tell it like it is.


What, No Chocolate?

The Webman has done a lot of traveling over the years for business and for pleasure.  About 90% of that has been domestic travel so I am hoping to inverse that to 90% international travel in the years ahead.  Time to see the world!

Most of the places that I have stayed have been your very typical hotel chains such as the Marriott, Starwood, Hilton, Hyatt and all the others where we could get points and hopefully cash them in for an upgraded family vacation at a later date.  For those that have done extensive business travel, you know what I am talking about.  Not much join in this but accumulating a few million points – priceless.  Unfortunately even these small benefits are now being taken away by companies.  The last company I worked for actually had their own account for the airline miles that I traveled so that they could benefit with lower fares.  I get it but geez, let the employees get some benefit on this.

I was a very naive traveler when I first took to the airways.  The definition of a family vacation growing up was driving to Orchard Beach in the Bronx.  Out in the morning and back in the late afternoon.  Not that I am complaining as I really enjoyed my times there, but I had no experience with planes, trains or beds that were not my own.  I took my first business trip when I was 22 years old to Chicago.  At the time I was working for  a first class, industry leading beverage company and all travel, even for a peon like me was first class.  So I was picked up in a limo, flew first class to Chicago, was picked up by a limo there and was given the Presidential Suite at the hotel where I was staying.  I had never seen a bathroom with a phone in it before 🙂

Well those days have passed but as a consumer our choices for finding incredible places to stay has improved immeasurably.  AIRNB has created a website whereby you can rent just about any room almost anywhere in the world.  Yes of course there is some risk to this, but why not live a little.

AIRNB connects people who have space to spare with those who are looking for a place to stay. Guests can build real connections with their hosts, gain access to distinctive spaces, and immerse themselves in the culture of their destinations. Whether it’s an urban apartment or countryside castle, AIRNB makes it effortless to showcase your space to an audience of millions, and to find the right space at any price point, anywhere.

And they are growing like a weed.  It booked 4 million nights of accommodation in users’ homes in 2011 — that’s four times the amount of business it had done in the previous four years.  Most of this growth (75% of it) came from outside the U.S. — from Europe, for the most part. London, Paris and Berlin are three of Airbnb’s five biggest hotbeds of listing activity.

Here is a link to a really cool infographic from our friends at Mashable about AIRNB –

I have not used AIRNB myself yet but will when I can.  Let me know what your experience has been by commenting below.

All the best.