13 July 2007

FINALLY a deal on EU-US Data

OK so it was inevitable but its at least good to know that you (and me) can go to Europe after July 31st after an 11th hour agreement between the US and the EC on the handing over of data for US Homeland Security.


The DoHS is still somewhat in disarray and still have not resolved many of the grand plans they announced but cannot implement post 9/11 but this is a small step.

I have no sympathy for the airlines in this case who are complaining that it will squeeze existing tight profit margins. What do they expect - largesse?

Now we have this deal in place all is at peace between the US and its transatlantic counterparts. So now perhaps we can get on with the business of a full and true open skies and a free market across the pond



Statement of Authenticity - Blog Policy for this site

Every once is a while it is important to understand the perspective and authority of the source. So for the benefit of the loyal readers out there (and even if you are only an occasional reader) - I would like to layout our policy for this blog.

We promise to write only accurate information
We promise to try and separate information from opinion
We promise to try and cite accurately the source material if there is a reference.

That's it.

I am the chief writer for this blog but we do have occasional guest writers. So the opinions expressed are those of T2Impact not of anyone else unless specifically so stated. If we screw up we take full responsibility for it. And if this happens we will print a retraction or correction.

If you ever want to comment - please feel free. If you wish to contact me you can reach me on skype - timothyo or via email: timothyo@t2impact.com

Thanks for reading


Timothy O'Neil-Dunne
Managing Partner
T2Impact Ltd
+1 302 351 6119

12 July 2007

Fragmentation - The importance of Tribal Context

One of the more interesting by-products of the Web Life Style has been the fragmentation of the user communities.

Traditionally we have ascribed physical characteristics when we describe people and users. Definitions by:
Sexual Preference,
Economic Profile
etc etc

Traditional media then tried to ascribe people by their media usage characteristics. What DMA you live in, what daypart you belong in etc etc. Even today we see that the long held view of metrics on the web of page views (heck remember when we measured in hits!!!) has been abandoned by none other than Nielsen.

But this traditional characterization no longer applies. Humans have a wonderful habit of constantly evolving. The rate of change has done nothing but accelerate.

Many people can easily scoff at Social Networking as either a flash in the pan or at worst a fad. However we believe that there has been a fundamental shift in thinking and more importantly in behavior that affects consumption and in particular travel.

The characteristics of the users needs a label. Heck we love labels. But in trying to discover a term that correctly defines what we see - we have had to resort to creating our own. We call this new behavior "Tribal Context"

Tribal because the user communities are coming together in a more fluid set of relationships without pattern, these are tribes rather than hard groups They change constantly. Context is much more important because it is no longer mono-cultural - rather the context is dynamic at all levels: Time, Location, Mood, Whim, etc etc. Capturing this constantly evolving elements has created massive challenges for the advertising and marketing chaps attempting to reach these consumers. Past Behavior is no longer any proxy for current or future behavior.

So no matter what side of the game you are on - a user. consumer, supplier, content source indeed any stakeholder, understanding Tribal Context is essential.

Good luck - I am off to pull my hair out to understand how to make it work for our business and our clients...


11 July 2007

I was REALLY hoping the iPhoney would be a solution

Usable device.

Sadly it tries to be jack of all trade and master of none.

Everything it does it does OK. Some better than others. Everything together makes for a complicated result that will not necessarily provide for a better experience overall.

While I am not a Luddite - I am somewhat peturbed by sheer number of times I am asked (make that told) to learn a new UI/UE. iPhone is probably the worst so far.

OK so I am not a Mac head (I own one) there are 4 iPods in my house. However having worked with the device for a full day - almost full time - I have to concur with Tom Yager's analysis at Infoworld. http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/07/10/28TCiphone_1.html

I was REALLY hoping to reduce my number of devices. But this doesnt quite cut it. Even though I am already an AT&T user. Thanks I will stick to my Blackberry (8700) and the seperate Sony W810 phone. It has superior call quality and is a great MP3 player. I cant wait to get my hands on the W900 series which should do the trick.

Using a single 4GB chip I get as much music as the base iPhone. All for an extra $37. So at this point I am going to pass on the iPhone. They are cute but not that usable



Bidets and Airplanes make a good mix?

I have restrained myself from writing this entry for over 6 months since I first heard that Boeing had put Bidet's on the options list for the 787. Originally I understood it was just for the BBJ version of the aircraft. But no lesser authority than the WSJ: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118411594813562792-search.html?KEYWORDS=bidet&COLLECTION=wsjie/6month
has confirmed that yes this has in fact been ADOPTED by the two Japanese airlines ANA (launch customer) and JAL. It only remains for Virgin (pardon the pun) to adopt this for it to become a standard accoutrement of all operators.

So all manner of concepts spring to mind. So here are just a few potential PA announcements for you to consider:

1. Use in Turbulence - "Please return to your seat and refrain from using the Bidet while the Seatbelt sign is illuminated"
2. Prior to Landing - "Please return your Tray Tables and Seatbacks to their full and upright positions and refrain from leaving the Bidet on during landing
3. After Boarding before take off - " This aircraft is equipped with escape path Bidets please read the pamphlet in your seat back and familiarize your self with this feature.
4. The return of the gender specific announcement - "Male passengers are requested to kindly remove their shoes before using the Bidet and your accurate aim is highly appreciated

we have a series of illustrations to go with this but as this may be viewed by sensitive folks we will refrain from publishing them



Mr O'leary - you do have a point. EC logic failure

While the ever ebullient Mr O'Leary can hardly be described as the most diplomatic of folks, he certainly does have a point over the EC's recent ruling on the moribund EI/FR merger.

The EC has been considerably adroit at avoiding a formal confrontation on the aid issues to "sick" European airlines. Particularly Alitalia and Olympic (whatever it’s called this week). But it goes back further to Sabena, Air France TAP and others. To disallow the valid merger between the two certainly goes totally against the grain of the EC's stated and legislated policies.
As this is a family blog I will not repeat some of the more colorful statements of Mr O’Leary on the subject but you have to admit there is a significant logic disconnect going on here.

I believe the merger was a non-starter due to the Irish Government's blocking shareholding and the Union's opposition. But in the next down turn, this is a dangerous precedent of the EC reacting to member state pressure. However when you are judge, jury and executioner (as is the EC's rights in law) then I guess you can do whatever the heck you like.

Personally I think the Commission has done itself a huge disservice and should be publically flogged.


Will Worldspan exit with a whimper?

The powers that be in the USA have given their tentative approval to Worldspan's "merger" into Galileo. Still subject to the EC approval process which is under review this is likely to drag on for at least another 4 months.

Significant challenges remain - like how do you explain the value without merging the 2 platforms. Sorry guys I just dont buy your logic at the moment. However I am open to hearing a good story.

So the once great Worldspan will likely fade into the sunset rather than go out with a bang.



09 July 2007

You never had it so good - Just ask Delta

There are probably a lot of people out there who have signed up for Delta's weekly email fares notifications. Well at least twice in the last month - they have sent out a spectacular email with... no special airfares.

So one can conclude that either those nice people in the ATLHQ are getting lazy or life is just too good for words. I am actually in the latter camp. For the last year (I keep a log of all the emails I get from each carrier) i have actually had only 5 specials from my home town.

Here is the exact text from their email of today...

Below are your Weekly Fare Specials. All fares require a Saturday departure and return travel on either Monday or Tuesday. Take advantage of these exclusive online offers listed below and earn miles with Delta.
Looks like we're not running any special fares for you this week but maybe you will see a great deal for your family or friends. Take a look and let them know.

Looks like things are good at the moment for the airlines – we all know how miserable it is for the passengers (yes even I had to spend the night on the floor in ATL) ..... But will it last.