Tag Archives: Twitter:

A personal reflection on flags for #FriFotos

The theme for the photo sharing day on Twitter on Friday 18 November 2011 was Flags. If you look at my Twitter profile you will see that I tend to spend time between three locations. In this piece, I will include photos, including flags from each of these places.
Wales
Welsh flag at Llangollen
Starting with my birthplace. This photo was taken while looking for new angles to take photographs from. The castle on the skyline is Dinas Bran. It was built by the Welsh sometime in the 1260’s but fell to King Edward 1 of England.

Belgium
Belgian flag
Taken while at Fete de la Musique in place des Palais. This photo was used by the Belgian French language Radio and TV broadcaster to illustrate how far Belgium was from forming a government. Belgium went to the polls on 13 June 2010 and didn’t agree on a workable coalition until 11 October this year. The country now holds the world record for the time taken to form a democratically elected government. The article can be found here. You may need to use Google Translate. They did accredit me as the copyright holder but did not link to my Flickr page or give me a link back, but I was humbled to have it included.

France
French flag at Chamonix
Finally a photo of the French Flag from outside the Peloton de Gendarmerie de Haute Montagne (PGHM), Chamonix’s High Moutain Police. They operate a professional mountain rescue service. I end up at Chamonix at some time each winter, even if I don’t always spend the season there. I for one am glad that these brave policemen are there to rescue anyone in distress high in the Alps. The memorial plaque outside is sobering, as it records a the death of at least one policeman each year for nearly all the time it has been in existence.

About John Williams

John Williams looks at travel from a responsible consumer's perspective. He is doesn't accept hosted trips, so don't expect gushing reports of experiences that neither he, you, nor our planet can afford. He, is the first to acknowledge that when it comes to sustainable travel, he has a lot to learn. TravelCrunch is a platform for sharing his learning, but if you have any tips or disagreements feel free to air them in the comments.

Monuments

The theme for today’s #FriFotos on Twitter is ‘Monuments’. So here are some of my photos with the story behind them.
Stonehenge
Stonehenge is the oldest of my monuments for today. Certainly enigmatic, the blue stones originated in the Pembrokeshire, Wales. Massively popular with visitors to the UK. I would advise a visit to Avebury, perhaps woodhenge and some of the other related sites. Stonehenge and Avebury are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Manneken pis, Brussels
This naughty little statue can be found after a short walk from where I am writing this post. Just don’t come to Brussels expecting to be bowled over by this icon. They do however, make an effort to make him interesting by dressing him up in various costumes throughout the year. He can be found very close to grand place another UNESCO site. For aficionados of urinating statues there is also Janneken pis, and Zinneken pis (Chieneken pis) in Brussels.
Arc de Triomphe, Parc Cinquantenaire, Brussels
Leopold II, King of Belgium, employed a Welsh man, HM Stanley of ‘Doctor Livingstone, I presume?” fame, to carve out an private empire in the Congo. Some of the fortune acquired was used to build this Park, triumphal arch and grand avenue into Brussels.
Butte du Lion, Waterloo
Butte du Lion, Waterloo. Means “Lion’s mound” in English. Completely man made it commemorates the Battle of Waterloo. It is built with earth from all over the battlefield. 43m high there are 226 steps to reach the top.
Plougsteert Memorial, Belgium
Staying in Belgium, this memorial is to missing soldiers of World War One. It was originally to have been erected in Lille, but France was overloaded with memorials and the Belgians agreed to have it. My great uncle, who was recorded as missing in the Battle of the Lys, France, in April 1918, has his name inscribed on this monument. My great grandmother never locked her door and left a light on each night hoping he would return.
Freedom Monument, Riga
The Freedom Monument, Riga, Latvia from November 2004. It was a full moon but I failed to get a werewolf to pose in this picture. Pity really it would have improved it.
Riga, Latvia
Another monument in Riga, Latvia. This is one of the few Russian monuments remaining in Riga. It commemorates the uprising against the Russian Czar in 1905. The Railway bridge forms the backdrop.
Nelson, Trafalgar Square, London
As Max Boyce, Welsh comedian and rugby fanatic explained “Nelson was checking to see that his ticket was still in his pocket.”
Marmotte statue, La Toussuire
Finally, that internet legend that is @banff_squirrel is really jealous of his French cousin, who had a monument erected to celebrate his cooking skills. He allegedly saved the lives of many skiers and snowboarders who came in from the pistes, dying of hunger.

About John Williams

John Williams looks at travel from a responsible consumer's perspective. He is doesn't accept hosted trips, so don't expect gushing reports of experiences that neither he, you, nor our planet can afford. He, is the first to acknowledge that when it comes to sustainable travel, he has a lot to learn. TravelCrunch is a platform for sharing his learning, but if you have any tips or disagreements feel free to air them in the comments.

#FriFotos: Mountains

I love mountains! I marvel at the thought of all that rock pushed skywards by the movement of tectonic plates. They cast a spell over me, in any season I am drawn towards them. The theme of this Friday’s #FriFotos on Twitter is “Mountains” of course @EpsteinTravels is fairly flexible with what constitutes a mountain. Butter mountains, mountains of cakes and the like will all be allowed. For me though, when someone mentions mountains, images come into my head, like those displayed on this page. If I’m there I look up to take in their awesome beauty or if I’m not, I start to long to be back among them hiking or snowboarding down them.

Here are some of my favourite mountains:
Nearing the summit, Ben Nevis
Nearing the summit of Ben Nevis, Scotland on a May weekend.
Mont Blanc Massif
Mont Blanc Massif from Verbier, Switzerland
The piste path to le Brevent
Mont Blanc from Brevent, a mountain that I have climbed and also snowboarded from the summit down to Chamonix.
Snowdon mountain, North Wales
Snowdon range, Wales from the Cob in Porthmadog
Le Praz church
The Dru and Aiguille Verte, from Les Praz, Chamonix
North Face of the Eiger, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
North Face of the Eiger, Switzerland, the most challenging climb in Europe. I’ve no intention of attempting that climb though.

About John Williams

John Williams looks at travel from a responsible consumer's perspective. He is doesn't accept hosted trips, so don't expect gushing reports of experiences that neither he, you, nor our planet can afford. He, is the first to acknowledge that when it comes to sustainable travel, he has a lot to learn. TravelCrunch is a platform for sharing his learning, but if you have any tips or disagreements feel free to air them in the comments.

Top 10 Terrible Tweets

Twitter is an excellent tool if used responsibly. I am fairly new to the Twittersphere, but already I am finding some activities very annoying. Here is my Top 10 Terrible Tweets on Twitter.

Spoof Twitter profile
Spoof Twitter profile

10. I am not going to start with Tweets but Profiles. How many times do you read; “I am an expert at SEO, Web2.0, blah, blah, blah. My site is rated No1 on blah , blah , blah”?

Come on who are you trying to kid? If you were that good, you would not be posting tweets with links to your site. If you are that good, then go and spend time with your family and let someone else Tweet for your company!

9.”I am listening to “Your song” on Blah.FM”.

To be honest I don’t care. All you are doing is Tweeting a plug for the online radio station. Now if you were to Tweet  “Listening to: “I fought the Law, by the Clash”.  I am reliving that failed bank raid, I carried out”. Then it might well catch my attention!

8. “Good morning, Thank you and welcome to all my new followers who joined over night”.

I really don’t like this. It comes across only a little better than the auto DM’s sent to new followers. This is just the thing that those operating pyramid follow schemes post everyday.

7. “RT @twitrant New web page: How Twitter can change the world. http;//www.twitrant.com/change_the_world.htm”

ReTweeting masses of Tweets to inflate your number of updates. Unless your followers are likely to be interested in a Tweet, don’t do it. If you can,  say why you liked that the Tweet you are ReTweeting.

6. “ @twitrant New web page: How Twitter can change the world. http;//www.twitrant.com/change_the_world.htm Please Retweet this”.

Asking followers for ReTweets, MrTweets, followfridays, Stumbles. etc. I’m sure I don’t need to explain this. If the Tweets are good, then they will get Re Tweeted and if we think Tweeple or their web sites are worthy of recommendations, we will give them. Its a sure sign of a commercial outfit, when they ask for this.

5. “New web page: How Twitter can change the world. http;//www.twitrant.com/change_the_world.htm”

Twitter streams that are nothing more than an RSS feed of their owners web site. So you joined Twitter, but can’t actually be bothered to Tweet about anything, so instead you add a widget to your site to automatically Tweet your web pages. Sorry, you will have to try harder.

4. “Pandemic of copied news headlines”

Looking up the news sites and posting the latest news headline. There are a few Tweeple that do this every single day. They just get a news headline, make a  TinyURL , then Tweet it. No thinking required.
My browser already has a BBC News Headlines button so I don’t need your Tweeted copy.  Now if you were to give your reaction or feelings to that news maybe I would be interested.

3. “Look how wonderful I am, I have 2000 followers”.

Don’t you realise that all you need to do to get followers is to find out those who will most likely follow you back and follow them? Of course its also bad form to brag.

2. “A quotation on Twitter only needs Control C and Control V – John Williams 2009”.

Excessive use of quotations annoys me and I believe Twitter, as they have suspended accounts for excessive use. Looking up quotations is real easy on the Internet. Unless your quotation describes how you feel at a particular moment or reinforces a point, then don’t Tweet them. A long list of your favourite quotations just wastes bandwidth. Furthermore, as internet servers have quite substantial carbon footprints, they are hastening climate chaos.

1. “Click on the link and you’ll get thousands of followers”.

There are lots of pyramid follow schemes available for Twitter. As I said before all you need to do to get followers is to follow people, who will follow you back. Then you could have thousands are even hundreds of thousands following you. However you could also be following thousands of Tweeple as well. What good is that?

That’s my rant over. Actually, Twitter can be very useful and will only improve as stream filtering produces more relevant Tweets to your likes. Twibes seems like a good start in this direction, with Tweets grouped by like minded people and including up to three keywords. I am hopeful that Twitter will be an even better experience in the future. Which Tweets annoy you on Twitter? Where do you see the future of Twitter?

About John Williams

John Williams looks at travel from a responsible consumer's perspective. He is doesn't accept hosted trips, so don't expect gushing reports of experiences that neither he, you, nor our planet can afford. He, is the first to acknowledge that when it comes to sustainable travel, he has a lot to learn. TravelCrunch is a platform for sharing his learning, but if you have any tips or disagreements feel free to air them in the comments.