Fishing in the Network

fishing in the networkIn 2010, when Facebook had barely reached 400 million followers —compared with 1.2 billion it has today—, I wrote a prediction about the increasing power of this social network and the importance that I anticipated for the future of the hospitality industry. Now we already know how it is. Actually, without Facebook utilities, a tourist accommodation has no chance to exist in the next decade, simply because the tourist market is all digital and connected. Soon, travelers will choose and book their rooms on Facebook. And hotels will know on Facebook who their customers are, how they think and what they really want. Welcome to Planet Earth, welcome to Planet Facebook.

The future of search is social, I hazarded in a short essay about the use of social networks on the Internet and its so-called ‘Facebook effect’.  Could Mark Zuckerberg’s ecosystem dare to unseat Google’s digital culture dominance? Assaulting the algorithms used by the company of goggles, Facebook has come to optimize its search engine which allows displaying in real-time all that we are writing on our timeline. Continue reading

The educated luxury

birdsOmotesando, the chicest street in Tokyo, is changing Louis Vuitton handbags and Chanel coats for Zara dresses and Gap jeans. There, as well as in many other places, bellies increasingly feel the pressure from belts and, so it seems, of luxury; what we understand as excessive luxury, nowadays seems by all means over the top. This consideration is seeping ever deeper into our consciences and some people assert that its effects will not be temporary, but that austerity, or a non-wasteful lifestyle, has no turning back. This is even considering that the acquisition of objects of brands such as Hermès, Louis Vuitton or Armani was a symbolic ritual of the Japanese middle class, an act of initiation of which without it there would be no sense of belonging to the group.

Alas, not. Luxury of this type is no longer sustainable, despite the environmental care these large firms devote to their finest products. During the years of the Great Depression working towards a sustainable consumption of goods and use of services may not have been priority. The whole world settled for cheaper industrial manufacturing and less indulgent with environmental damage, preferably made in China. However, what nowadays is on the post crisis, globalized and digitalized horizon, is a new vital culture imbued with variables so innovative and exciting, such as social responsibility, knowledge of purchase, global information, public involvement of consumed objects, and exaltation of the senses… Luxury, yes, but an educated luxury. Continue reading

Facebook Nation

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Facebook is already the most populated nation in the world. More than 1,550 million people live connected to each other today, exchanging ideas, feelings, languages, aptitudes, products, services, economies…The demographic has been, is and will be a deciding factor in this world’s organization. And it is convenient to reflect and reconsider many clichés before it.

It would be necessary to discern first what we intend as a nation and how we feel as a country. If we adhere to a legal or historic scope, the concept of nation rises in the middle of the XVII century when the Treatise of Westphalia puts an end to the Thirty Years’ War, in 1648. But the maturity of the State nation is not consolidated until the end of the XVIII century, coinciding with the end of the old regime and the fall of the French Revolution, when the first theoretical formulation of the differential event with its adjacent political movements are elaborated. It would be certainly necessary to synthetize here the foretold End of History, by Francis Fukuyama, equidistant  to the renationalization that seems to be observed in certain areas of Europe as a consequence of what Samuel Phillips Huntington defined as the clash of civilizations, especially that of radical Islamism against the West. Continue reading

Domotic Rooms

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Here are the latest technologies for a guest who is no longer surprised by LCD screen or WIFI connection because he is accustomed to using them daily at home. Hubs for iPod, control panels, interactive TV, light sensors, home cinema, smart tiles, and nanotextiles will be part of the equipment and decor of the rooms of the hi-tech hotels that are to come.

Home automation is a reality. It is in our homes and has come to stay. Eighty-five percent of newly built housing incorporates facilities related to this technology, according to the Spanish Association of Domotics (CEDOM). If the real estate sector is already convinced, we can expect that hotels will achieve this same percentage soon. Continue reading

Toying with the idea of non-reception

non-reception-air

Over and over again, the most bitter of all hotel experiences is the moment of arrival. When everything should suggest opening the doors of imagination and hospitality, we usually see something like a wall barring the way to happiness: the reception desk, the final frontier. No way to find the way! The Iron Curtain falls. So, “what can I do?”, wonders any innovative hotelier; perhaps it is the most convenient way to welcome the customers; maybe it is the most useful method to take their ID; surely it is the most practicable place from which to control visitors. Others, owners of small charming hotels, claim that furniture like this helps the communication with the newcomer, and no digital check-in could replace the warmth of human contact. Continue reading

The Future of Advertising on Facebook

pecesIt is a fact that young Mark Zuckerberg is now an authority. To put it another way, and if his name is not sound familiar to some, he is the president of the most populous country on Earth: Facebook. Just for having designed it, his predictions about the world we expect to live in the next few years deserve to be respected. According to this young entrepreneur, some personalized experiences are much more attractive than TV Continue reading