Is Social Media Doing Anything For You?

Is Social Media all about true interaction between two parties or is it just “tapping keys”? Should the word “social” be changed in Social Media to either “Digital Media” or “Emedia.”? We have defined Social Media as “Digital communication between multiple individuals or organizations in an effort to further the personal and professional endeavors of each,”
I saw a great article on Social Media written by Al Maag, Chief Communications Officer, Avnet, Inc. In it, he talks about growing up and his belief that most of his friends who became successful achieved their success because of the social skills and the relationships they formed within their group. He and his friends are all convinced that they learned these social traits in their teens, and just by hanging out. He also says he was fortunate not having grown up with the electronic tools people have today. They had to interact with others and learn the value of street smarts. They had to use their relationships and interpersonal skills to help create their futures. They worked and played as a team, won and lost, and experienced life. They worked at being friendly and establishing friends. They learned how to socialize, negotiate, communicate, and read body language. Sizing someone up was an art as well.


UBER at Nice, France Airport

Airport upper left and hotel lower right
Airport upper left and hotel lower right
Taxi research – Research by some local journalists, prompted by the latest episode of violence against minicab drivers last Friday, has produced some interesting results. Research involved taking the same trip three times, from Terminal 1 of the airport to the Meridien Hotel on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice.
Taxi Ramp at Nice Airport
Taxi Ramp at Nice Airport
The first journey was taken in a cab waiting in the official rank outside, so no need to hail. € 35. The second identical journey was in a private hire minivan, known as VTCs in France, summoned by using the app Über, which arrived in 1 min. € 26. The third was a private car summoned by using Über Pop, driven by a Russian national who works as a delivery driver in the morning, and supplements his income by driving in the afternoons. A 15 minute wait and a cost of € 8.
UberNiceMeridienHotel One Of The Top 100

This week we ( were advised that our publication has been added to the “SCM Global 100: Best Supply Chain Blogs in the World” by SupplyChainOpz. It turns out that there are in the neighborhood of 1,500 blogs that focus on the supply chain (who knew?) so we’re honored to know that we are in the top 100 according to their criteria.

One of the writers for is famous American writer Ken Kinlock. In addition, he is owner of Vacation French Riviera which publishes the blog you are looking at. It includes: Penney Vanderbilt, KC Jones, Ancien Hippie  and Crazy Pasta Child..

West Coast Port Strike Could Damage US Economy

While the West Coast port strike may shave one percent off the fourth quarter’s GDP when numbers are revealed February 27, the short-term impacts of the work stoppage are easier to measure. Countless goods, such as fresh fruit ready for shipment to Asia and festive décor to celebrate the Chinese New Year, languished in warehouses, docks and cargo ships at 29 ports on the U.S. West Coast, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. The reason? A nine-month contract dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents 20,000 workers, and their employers, the Pacific Maritime Association.
With the help of Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, who was dispatched to San Francisco by President Barack Obama last week to mediate an agreement, a breakthrough in negotiations ending the protracted labor dispute was reached Friday. Normal operations resumed Saturday evening, although the pace of loading and unloading cargo ships has been painstakingly slow.

Countless vessels overflowing with goods have been languishing offshore of the 29 ports while products waiting to be loaded on those ships clogged warehouses and docks up and down the West Coast. The deal awaits approval of the labor union.
Industry analysts have been quoted as saying the cargo ship congestion caused by the extended work stoppage will take months to clear. Businesses and industries have lost millions as the dispute continued.

Uber and the Future Of Business Travel

 The president of Nice’s taxi drivers, Alain Trapani, and one of his colleagues have been arrested following an assault at Nice airport. They have now been bailed to appear before judges in July after assaulting an Über minivan driver. According to airport police, the minivan driver was assaulted while picking up a customer at the airport, perfectly legally.
The sharing economy is going from boho to white collar, and elbowing its way into your expense reports. Here’s why that actually matters.

There are ways we work today that would have given a last-century HR manager a nervous twitch. There’s employee collaboration, file-sharing, and general chit-chat, over less-than secure cloud services. There’s employee adoption of new third-party services such as Expensify and Yammer that, once they’ve Trojan Horsed their way into a company’s workflow, are impossible to extract. There’s BYOD.

If you think this is a problem, I’m part of the problem.

In addition to, well, all of the above, I’ve repeatedly booked lodgings on Airbnb for business travel. Beyond basic math and logic, I didn’t really think about it: It was less costly than a nice–or even medium-nice–hotel, more central, and more comfortable for me as a working traveler (free WiFi; ample coffee). It just made sense. I’ve hailed for short work travel non-cab car services–Uber, Lyft, and the like–when it was logical to do so. My editors do the same. (Based on the responses we got to a Facebook post inquiring, many of you do the same as well.)

The sharing economy, with all its not-so-business-friendly regulatory hassles and insurance issues, is now just part of the way we travel–both for pleasure and for business. But beginning this week, it’s trying to look a little less bohemian, and a little more business-casual.

This week, both Airbnb and Uber set up booths at a conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center that’s hosted by a massive travel organization, the Global Business Travel Association. If there’s an activity diametrically opposed to the act of “disruptive innovation,” it might be staffing booths 1251 and 2725 for a week at a buttoned-up convention expected to draw 7,000 attendees.

Oddly, this highly corporate booth-sitting is not the most corporate thing both these startups have done this week. They’ve also both announced official partnerships with expense-management software company Concur (which, coincidentally, is right over at booth 1725, and which already has 20,000 corporate clients).

For Uber, it’s part of the Uber for Business campaign it kicked off July 29, which allows business travelers to directly submit Uber trips to a company account, rather than having to expense them. Airbnb did a similar press blitz Monday, launching Business Travel on Airbnb. From the company’s blog:

Nearly 10 percent of Airbnb’s customers travel for business already and we’ve heard from traveler feedback that a dedicated site that caters to business travelers’ needs has been high on their wishlist.

Another sharing-economy company, TaskRabbit, has also tried out the “for business” concept, helping pair temporary workers with companies in need of a quick labor boost.

It makes perfect sense for these super fast-growing companies: The corporate sector absolutely is crucial to the hospitality industry. Hotels in big cities rely on business travel for approximately two-thirds of their revenue. What’s more, business travelers tend to be creatures of habit, becoming repeat visitors to favored haunts. They also spend more than folks traveling on their own dime. All that business travel adds up to $1.21 trillion in annual revenue, according to the GBTA.

Cutting into hotels’ business-travel revenue could mean big profits for Airbnb and its ilk. Corporate travel was only 8 percent of Airbnb’s bookings last year, one of its managers told the Wall Street Journal.

There are obvious hurdles in convincing large corporate clients to bank on a startup that’s faced such regulatory hurdles in the largest city in the United States that it has purchased billboards in public transit brashly proclaiming “New Yorkers agree: Airbnb is great for New York City.” (Because New Yorkers just adore being told what to think.)

It’s smart for these companies to broaden their arsenal for getting into corporate travel. They’ve gone the Trojan Horse way already, sneaking into other startups’ and established companies’ expense reports, and now are entering through the gates, with partnerships with Concur and Salesforce.

Whether this new strategy will actually help these peer-to-peer marketplaces overcome their existing issues with regulators remains an open question. Certainly, they have lobbying strength already, but once their services become indispensible to large companies, they will have a whole host of new, strong-armed allies. (For starters, consider the fact that that more than two-thirds of the biggest companies in America use Concur.)

Corporate and boring? Not exactly. This next few months–in which we’ll learn which companies adopt the sharing economy’s proposition–could determine the future of the hospitality industry as we know it.

Historic Electric Locomotives in Glenmont, NY



S Motor and T Motor at Glenmont, near Albany NY
These historic electric locomotives are stored at an electrical plant in Glenmont near Albany. They belong to the Mohawk & Hudson Chapter of the NRHS.


The original S-1 of 1904. It started off as #6000 and went through several renumberings, the last of which was 100.

This picture was taken in Colonie, New York while the Motor was headed for the American Museum of Electricity

This locomotive was displayed for several years by the M&H Chapter NRHS at the Altamont Fair. It looked the same then.


#278, a T3a built by GE at Erie in 1926 and was the last T-motor to operate. It is the only one left in existence. It was acquired by the Mohawk & Hudson Chapter NRHS in 1980 and restored by members.

It was a star in a movie made in Grand Central in the…

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She Said YES!

Through Open Lens

“It’s a beautiful night, I am looking for something crazy to do. Hey Joanna, I think I wanna marry you.” ( 8:00 PM June 21, 2014 )


F/5.6, 1/125, ISO125

Interesting Fact: Countries such as England, United states, France, and Canada traditionally wear the engagement ring on the left hand. Where as Germany, Russia and India wear the ring on the right hand. ( )

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With help from Penney Vanderbilt