How many countries have you been to in the world?

Worldmap in flagsA interesting question was raised at a recent away day at work…

How many countries have you been to?

Of course the best of the group was someone obvious with 50+, although even he can’t take on Graham. But it got me thinking… as I started to list them out, I certainly have travelled maybe much more than most people?

I originally said about 20 and I was close but with some time and a world map, here’s the full list.

    • United Kingdom (not going to divide up England, Wales, Scotland)
    • Ireland
    • France
    • Canada
    • United States
    • Spain
    • Iceland
    • Germany
    • Netherlands
    • Portugal
    • Belgium
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • Denmark
    • Sweden
    • Estonia
    • Turkey
    • Jamaica
    • Japan
    • Mexico
    • Poland
    • Romania
    • Switzerland *
    • Finland *
    • United Arab Emirates (UAE) *

*  is ones where I have passed through a airport for more than a couple hours, so technically yes I have been there but not really. Finland I will make official later this year with a trip to Helsinki.

Its interesting to see the places I’ve not visited like most of the African countries, India, most of Asia and south America.

Google me back if you like…

Coffee at Daphines, Amstel Station

Love this story from Ars Technica, When the restaurant you Googled Googles you back.

The maitre d’ in question, Justin Roller, says he tries to ascertain things like whether a couple is coming to the restaurant for an anniversary, and if so, which anniversary that is. If it’s a birthday, for instance, he wants to wish them “Happy Birthday” when they arrive. He’ll scan for photos of the guests in chef’s whites or posed with wine glasses, which suggest they might be chefs or sommeliers themselves.

It goes deeper: if a particular guest appears to hail from Montana, Roller will try to pair up the table with a server who is from Montana. “Same goes for guests who own jazz clubs, who can be paired with a sommelier that happens to be into jazz,” writes Grub Street.

Ok I can see why people would be freaked out about it. It does remind me when a member of staff in an American dinner, read the full name of my then mother-in-law off her credit card. And then started calling her by her first name. He over stepped the mark…

But on the other hand. If they don’t over step the mark it can be quite nice. FYG use to tweet me quite a bit and the owners use to know quite a bit about me. I didn’t see it as a problem because thats just the kind of person I am. It was kind of nice, although it would have been nicer to know which one of the two owners and 4 possible staff was actually tweeting me.

You will have to take it from me but North Tea Power a coffee shop in the northern quarter. Rocked someones world with a personal message on a sign, from looking at someones twitter stream. Unfortunately the service which wrote it up is no longer, but I can promise you it was pretty epic and well done. Link now lives here. (cheers Martinrue)

Like most things, theres bad use and theres good uses. Those who identify the good ones will win massive loyal fans, those who don’t and try automate stuff will fail and loose out. Cluetrain rules…

Trusted places launches to the public

Trusted places

The venture which I should have got much more involved in has launched to the public.

Trustedplaces.com is open for business!

Yes, our dear friends we are now one letter up; have moved from alpha to beta and have opened up the site so that anyone can join. What a difference a letter makes. You’ll see a new home page, some very useful options for your reviews, favourites and friend’s favourites, quite a few design tweaks, but you’ll also be able to search for places that are near you.

Trusted places is simply a place to put all your favorate places and then tag them for other friends to find. You can write reviews and post pictures too but the most interesting thing is the friends aspect. Yes I'm thinking really long tail stuff here. The trustedplaces team haven't quite made a point of drumming that up yet but its in the pipeline I'm sure. There's also some really other things which are planned which make sense when your not at a computer.

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