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john kamm, ctp

Technically Speaking, 2010 Is Going To Be Awesome! 2010, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? That date sounds tantalizingly like the future. Shouldn’t we be vacationing on Mars? A machine should be reading my thoughts and committing them to digital memory, another machine bringing my bagel and schmear. Rosie, Rosie, wherefore art thou Rosie? Not much to look at but, man, was that robot maid

phones running Google’s Android operating system. The venerable iPhone will face some interesting competition. Notebooks or laptops are replacing conventional desktop computers at home, school and the workplace. They have the power of most conventional desktops with the added benefit of portability. With these machines, the

At this stage I liken Windows 7 to a new puppy. It is cute and full of promise. efficient and the Jetsons loved her. So, we’re not there quite yet, but there are some exciting trends to watch. Netbooks, small computer appliances configured for browsing the Internet and running minimal applications, are getting more alluring. They are perfect for travel or toting around the house if you can’t bear to be away from Facebook for even a moment. Handsets (the device formerly known as a cell phone) are giving netbooks a run for their money as the overhead of the operating system shrinks coupled with must-have applications and the ability to function on a Wi-Fi network. And they still make phone calls! Watch for a spate of smart-

operating system is a key consideration. Apple’s Snow Leopard is a magnificent example of software engineering, but the total cost of the machine with software is often hundreds of dollars more than a similarly equipped machine running Windows. Linux still requires a pioneering geeky aptitude but it is extremely useful for certain applications when security is of utmost importance. I’m forgetting something. Oh, yes, Windows 7. At this stage I liken Windows 7, just released to generally positive reviews, to a new puppy. It is cute and full of promise. Time will tell if it is a Lassie or a Cujo. Two things I know for sure—there is nothing sadder than a dog movie when

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38 December 2009

the canine character doesn’t make it in the end and the next computer most of us buy will be running Windows 7. Stepping up, I will go on the record here to predict that in 2010 someone will actually figure out how to use social media in a profitable business marketing plan. In traditional marketing models the communication is one-way – from the marketer to the consumer. In social media the communication is a conversation; if you start the conversation you better stay in it because it will continue with or without you. Marketers feel they lose control of the message and that makes them fidget. What about ROI, return on investment? Since it costs little or nothing to participate in Facebook or Twitter, there is minimal monetary investment. Better to think of the process in terms of ROE, return on effort. Yet, what metrics can we use to evaluate success or failure? Personally, I believe it is a secret government stimulus plan to find employment for our sons and daughters graduating from college in the next few years. Hire one of them, they get this stuff. They will happily tweet and post and YouTube your sales through the roof. Next year is going to be an exciting ride and we only get to take it once. Don’t be a whiner like George Jetson crying, “Jane, how do you stop this crazy thing?” Best get to it, there’s much to do. John Kamm is CEO of TourTech Systems, Inc., developers of TourTools®, the most popular tour reservations solution in North America. Visit www.tourtools.com for more information.

LeisureGroupTravel.com



On Technology: Technically Speaking, 2010 is Going to be Awesome