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

Buying Landscape

landscapeHow many enlightened hotels in paradisiacal locations don’t suffer nowadays the consequence of the developing approach previous to the Great Recession? How many hotels haven’t sold views without registering them beforehand in the Property Registry? That competitive advantage of some locations above others, apparently free, always found expression in the graphic splendor of a tourism brochure or a webpage with appealing colors, without any more intrinsic cost than having opened a window towards the mountain or tasking the architect with an infinity pool.

There were those, absorbed in the panorama, who believed in paradise thanks to a heavenly image. But the postcard ended up having a price: the requalification of the terrain on behalf of the current mayor, urged to feed the municipal coffers, if not more personal needs. And all without losing sight of the obstacles in tackling regional decentralization – that is to say, municipal autonomy.

Then, when the neighboring property has been requalified and from the ground an entire urbanization has sprouted with townhouses, is when the business laments ensue. «They have stolen my view», «They have asphyxiated my business», «They have surrounded the hotel with housing developments, asphalt, noise, garbage, and syringes.» Continue reading

You Will Pay the Hotel with your Mobile

iBeacon, the digital beacon that could transform into not delaying the most popular payment system because of its simplicity, range or virtual interconnection between the buyer and the seller. It’s my daily routine in New York. If I don’t get to take the metro, I hail a taxi from the thousands that go up and down on the streets. A soon as I get in, I take out my iPhone and open the apps Uber or Way2Ride, which most cab drivers are affiliated with. As soon as the app starts, two buttons appear: I Need a Taxi, which will help me locate one in case I’m living outside radio range, and I’m in the Taxi, which will mark me as being in a cab already. And that’s it. Once I’ve reached my destination, as the ad suggest on TV’s cab, I open the door, and give the cabbie that took me there a warming bye-bye.

In New York it’s becoming a habit to not pay for taxis, or even some trifle sold in Macy’s stores. Soon it will not be required to pay for travel by subway, or lunch at the restaurant on the corner. By this I mean, it is not paid in cash, or by credit card. The various applications connect to the taxi system, the cashier in the department stores Continue reading

Uber Is a State Problem

Uber4Uber is in luck. The assessment that Bloomberg made in late May that the company is worth $18 billion could have fallen short. Its business could now grow more quickly than anticipated due to the taxi strike in several European cities. If someone thought that it would take time for Uber to gain a foothold in an already saturated market of P2P applications, they could not have chosen a worse time: taxi drivers around the world have joined to publicize Uber.

The taxi collective was already taking time to demonstrate their slyness, but no one can stop the P2P phenomenon, despite what taxi drivers, coach tour operators, hoteliers, travel agents, publishers or musicians insist. That’s not to mention what is coming for merchants, where Amazon is king; the telcos, towards which Google is moving with its balloon satellite connectivity project; the entire industrial sector, which some naively seek to revive in Spain with the rise of 3D printing; physicians, whom will be recycled into health programmers in the face of the development of nanotechnology; and politicians themselves, who not only suffer the from the boredom Continue reading

The Geography of Happiness

Hedonometer measures the happiness

Josep Chías, tourism consultant and professor at the Esade, Barcelona, published his last book, The Business of Happiness (Kindle, Amazon, 2013), just five years before his death. Tourism is an activity that is consumed with a smile (poetry), given that results in an expectation of happiness (economics), argued passionately that behests you his knowledge of marketing.

It is going to be 30 years since I met Chías in tourist planning that led us to the happy slogan of “Asturias, natural paradise” and I will always remember his tenacity in pursuit of psychological and sociological motivations that give sense to the tourism economy: penetrate into the mind of every traveller to know what moves them to travel, why they choose the destination, what is left in it, what you take home and what will be remembered years later about the experience. Continue reading