Hawkes Bay NZ Water trail

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Thoughts on Trip Advisor and other social media platforms

I just did my first review on this multimillion dollar travel platform. Cyclin'Jaipur sent me a nice customer feedback email. I enjoyed the crazy early morning bike ride through the backstreets of Jaipur two weeks ago, so I obliged and wrote one.
Now I'm getting automated responses from TA, encouraging me to write more reviews of landmarks like Hawa Mahal and the Amber Fort, things that, let's face it, any literate person can read about from any quality travel guidebook. I earned 100 points and a "new reviewer" badge on their site for my review. I've learned that more reviews will give me even more badges. Wow. There's even a goal of 10,000 points for me to aspire to. I took a little time to see what actual value these badges might bring, e.g., airline miles, discount programs, special "insider clubs," etc. It looks like there is zero ($0) value here. Wow. This strikes me as disingenuous. I contribute authentic content to a commercial enterprise for nothing.
Lucky for me, none of the people I care about give a rats' about the number of badges I might have on TA. Instead, they know they can read my thoughts on this blog, or simply just ask me. I'm about as authentic as a person can be. I'm expert on very few things, but I pride myself on having a wry sense of humor.
OK, then, here's a trip idea I can pretty much guarantee no one looking at TA would ever dream of doing.
Title: Things You Didn't Even Realize You Expected to See in Jaipur"
These are hand-formed cow dung and straw fuel patties stuck to part of the C17th wall surrounding the old city of Jaipur. They don't stink much because they're sundried and they will be put to good use in cooking stoves by the locals whose homes abut this historic landmark.
Ha ha, Traveling isn't about going to look, it's about coming to see.
Happy New Year, adventure travelers everywhere! The world is an infinitely more interesting place to see if you just keep your perspective.

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