HotelBlogs on Twitter

Guillaume Thevenot (pictured above), who hosts the much respected site HotelBlogs, is always on the ball especially when it comes to the internet. This is what he has to say about the future of Twitter. (As usual I think he’s probably spot on):

“I know a large number of people are still wondering what Twitter is for and why so much noise is behind it recently. Anyway, I let you judge for yourself whether Twitter is of good use for you. While I was browsing the Web to find out who is on Twitter, I discovered that the Design Style Online Magazine for Paris hotels Hoosta has a Twitter account and so does the hotel chain Tiara Hotels (2 hotels in France and 2 hotels in Portugal). And what do they do on Twitter? Hoosta asks Tiara Hotels if they can provide some pictures of their new hotel opening soon in Cannes.

Could it be that Twitter will become more efficient than emails for such a request? Looks like it, since Hoosta published a nice article about the hotel 3 days later (note also the quality of pictures and how fast they are displayed on the site…) So getting more and more proficient with Twitter, I have to say I tend to believe we have seen just the beginning of how people could efficiently use this new social media tool.”

I envy his ‘getting more and more proficient’ – I wish I was! Anyway find me on Twitter @livilodge. In a recent Twitter post Guillaume on Twitter @hotelblogs speculated that Twitter may be addictive – you try to stop and can’t! He might well be right about that too. I don’t think Chanters Lodge would have joined Best Of Zambia (at some cost…) on Twitter @thebestofzambia if they hadn’t been so active on Twitter. Certainly Twitter’s played an interesting role in the current political situation in Iran.


Shouldn’t It Be Easier Than This?

The picture’s of that great country singer Charley Pride – for years the only established country music star of colour. The title’s a track from one of his more obscure albums ‘I’m Gonna Love Her On The Radio’ now read on:

Out of the blue I received this e mail from Alex Seguin (whom I did not know):
“I am writing from the USA and will be travelling soon. It is important to me to have an already activated Zain sim before I leave. Could I purchase one from you and have it mailed to me here? Best regards, Alex”

I replied:
“This has to count amongst the strangest requests ever! I’ll see what I can do. Send me your physical address

Alex replied:
“If you are able to find a zain sim, could you insure that the phone number/sim card is activated before you send it? Otherwise, the chip would be useless when I receive it since I won’t be in Zambia to activate it myself. How would be best to pay you?
(and he sent me his address)

Well, we’ve done it, activated it and sent it, hoping it arrives in time. I was going to do it for free, but then I had a brain wave. I decided the best way he could pay me was to find, download and send me a Charley Pride album I’ve been hunting for ages that was stolen from me years’ back and is really hard to get hold of, called “I’m Gonna Love Her On The Radio”. I took a shot in the dark and asked him.

Alex was raised in Texas and knows Charley’s music! He’s already sent me three stunning tracks (including of course ‘Shouldn’t It Be Easier Than This?’) and has found a cassette of the album which he’s put on a CD and sent me. One strange request deserves another, you could say! These tracks will feature on Zambezi Radio 107.5 fm in the near future, probably on Jumbo’s ‘Down Memory Lane’ on a Tuesday night.

The internet? Amazing! I’ve asked him one last thing – how did he find us in the first place…….?
I’ll let you know!


The Best Of Zambia

After months of dithering I’ve decided Chanters Lodge should appear on the Best of Zambia site. They have a good idea, energy and skills and although it will cost I’d rather be in than out.
Here’s what they say about themselves:

“The Best of Zambia presents a rich resource of everything you need for a great Zambian experience. It showcases Zambia and the finest services available in Zambia against a backdrop of enlightening gems of information. It’s for visitors and residents. It’s for individuals, for those in business and for those in development.

Considered to be one of the safest places on earth, Zambia is beautiful, friendly and an increasingly popular choice for an African holiday and adventure travel. Home of the Victoria Falls, locally known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, acknowledged as one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world.

But what you’ll discover in Zambia is more than the mighty Victoria Falls. “If you’re out to experience the ‘real’ Africa, Zambia is that diamond in the rough. The country boasts some of the continent’s best wildlife parks, and shares (with Zimbabwe) some of the region’s major highlights …. if you enjoy a raw edge and an Africa with few tourists, Zambia is the place you’re looking for.” (The Lonely Planet website) Zambia is the dream location for the Africa safari and adventure travel.

There is a lot of information about Zambia on the internet but it is scattered and tends to come from travel agents promoting regular Africa holiday packages and adventure travel. The Best of Zambia is different, giving you the tools to create a tailor made experience for yourself whether you’re a resident, diplomat, Africa holiday maker or business person.

Not just for those looking for an Africa safari.There are four main sections to the site. There’s everything the discerning tourist needs to begin their Africa safari journey. Many also come to Zambia as country representatives and international development workers and the Best of Zambia accommodates their needs too. It also caters for residents (local and from overseas) and local and international investors and businesses.

We believe the internet is a great leveller and Zambia can now compete globally. Our vision is to put Zambia on the map by creating a strong internet presence, successfully promoting Zambia and those operating in Zambia. Our mission is to create the best resource for entrepreneurs and organisations to effectively showcase their services to visitors and residents alike.”

With costs rapidly rising and competition in Livingstone in the lodging industry as robust as ever, the only answer is increased occupancy. Anything that gives us a better chance of achieving this has value – I strongly anticipate that Best of Zambia, though a relatively new project will. Let’s hope I’m right!


Google Wave

This from the BBC:

“Industry experts have given a broadly positive reaction to Google Wave. Still in development, Google Wave is a browser-based tool that mixes e-mail, with Instant Messaging and real-time online collaboration elements. Harry McCracken, of, wrote: “It’s one of the most ambitious services that Google or anyone else has cooked up”. Google Wave is currently only open to developers interested in building applications for the tool.

Google Wave co-creator Lars Rasmussen wrote on the official Google blog: “A wave is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. “In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly.

“It’s concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave.” The technology has been described as e-mail for the 21st Century, a rival to Twitter and to Microsoft’s collaboration software, Sharepoint. Jordan Golson, writer for, said Google had a poor track record of making a business out of any of its products, other than search. “Maybe it will work. Maybe Wave will take over the world. But, with the notable exceptions of Gmail and search ads, Google has a poor track record with product launches. It is really, really good at vanity exercises, though.”

MG Sieglar, a reporter for Techcrunch, said the tool “drips with ambition”. He wrote: “Wave offers a very sleek and easy way to navigate and participate in communication on the web that makes both e-mail and instant messaging look stale.” The announcement of Wave, together with the development of tools like Twitter and Friend Feed, point to the genesis of the real-time web, in which communication, search, collaboration, and the bridge between offline and online blurs into a contemporaneous mix.

Ben Parr, from, who tested a preview of Google Wave, said: “Our initial impression of Google Wave is a very positive one. “It’s already got certain aspects, like navigation, absolutely right. With some great third-party apps and greater customization, Google Wave could actually match its hype.”

More learning from the look of it!

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