Training to be a tourist and producing a blog

I’ve always loved the idea of working on what I want and exercising the way I want at the same time.

So a few weeks ago I started testing out the idea of going for a walk and creating content for my blog on my iPhone using Voice Record Pro.  I wanted to produce more results without doing more work.

My hope was that by doing two really important things at once, those two activities will enhance each other and be better as a result.  That’s the theory anyway.

Fortunately, technology is on my side.  My smartphone can do a lot of things at once.  I am  using it in conjunction with a Fitbit, the Flex 2, which I wear on my left wrist.  I can record my activity in real time and it lets me know my phone is ringing.  These seem like very small functions but for me they are worth the inconvenience of having something on my arm all the time.

I like the fitbit flex because it’s light and reminds me a lot of the sort of bracelets you pick up on your travels around the world, the kind that are made by local villagers or that priests and monks offer with blessings.  So it’s kind of a modern high-tech version of that.

And that brings me to why I’m doing all this exercise—training, in effect, to be a tourist.

I live roughly 1.5 kilometres from a community pool, so my aim is to walk there, swim 300-500 metres and then walk home most days, a level of activity that I would consider fit enough to enjoy traveling and exploring the world.  As a tourist, I’m committed to seeing as much of any place on foot as I can.  And I’m always interested in things that are built locally and have a good story.  I buy and own so little that if I’m going to purchase anything, it better have a pretty good yarn connected to it.

This was my first recorded blog and I didn’t know what the outcome would be.  My plan was to email it to someone from, where I have had good success, get somebody to transcribe it and then I would edit the final release.

I ended up partnering with a friend who is a real editor with skills way beyond what I need to get the job done, and if you are still with me, this is what you have just read. Cheers.


About the photo

Circa 2013, ticking off my bucket list and visiting Egypt with one of my all time favorite travel buddies. I have walked hundreds of miles with this amazing friend of mine, and I even taught her to swim.

Our tour guide asked us if we wanted to do something off the normal itinerary, of course we said yes.

So we met him in Cairo, and sure enough he turns up with his mate and a couple of camels.  Cairo after dark was chaos; there was every type of transport imaginable, including horses, donkeys, motor bikes and camels.

So we rode off on our camels into the Sahara desert moonlight to find a Bedouin tent.  Halfway there, I was drifting off into the magnificence of the scene, the pyramids in the background lit up by the moon, when suddenly things felt kinda weird.

Next thing I am flat on my back on the sand.  The saddle had slipped off the back of my faithful ride and I definitely had a moment of shit this is the end.  I got my wind back and started to breathe.

I figured nothing was broke and knew that I had to get back on the Camel no matter what.  I did, we found the tent, where we smoked Shisha and partied with some locals.  We rode back without incident and now I have a story about falling off a camel in the Sahara Desert.

Web Money from the 90’s


Around this time of year, in Feb 2000, I was doing my best to sell the idea of on-line advertising to anyone who would listen to me.

We were a month into our successful IPO, we had a top 50 Australian website, number 1 in its category, and cashed up bunch of nerds who thought we knew what was going on, and that we knew what we were doing.

Everything was happening so quickly that every strategy seemed necessary to manage as it was happening.

With hindsight, we understand the impact the Internet has had on the world, back then it was happening for the first time and in real time.

One of the ideas we sold our Investors on was the potential of on line advertising for unique content creators.

What made me think of this today was reading an article from #Rueters on #Facebook regarding #Google generating $US22.4 Billion dollars in on line ad revenue for one quarter.

It occurred to me that this is a lot of money for an industry that did not exist for half my life.

On Line advertising, even in the 90’s made sense me.  Do more for less and better.

With my zero experience in the advertising world, I was reading everything i could get my hands on and working with people whom I thought knew more than most.

The smartest people I knew were telling me the strategy of selling banner ads on our highly trafficked website would start making money.

We could produce advertising space on the website visited by by circa 15 thousand investors a day for next nothing.  It was easy to set up and manage, all we needed to do was sell it.  What could go wrong?

What I didn’t think about at the time was all the people who were already making money advertising in older mediums, such as print or broadcasting.

There was a whole economy based around things staying as they were.

Every time I spoke to a business I was learning how they did all their advertising through an agency and the agencies always wanted their cut.

Today we deal in a percentages of a cent if necessary to charge for on line advertising.  Back then there were few tools to work with for the agencies and they were trying to protect their positions.

The bottom line was that it was slow movement to new media, well slow if you are living in a quarter to quarter start up.     So much was  happening so quickly, it made no sense to me that on line ads weren’t being picked up faster.

Because we would rotate adds every 20 seconds if wanted to, we could produce endless inventory.

All the agencies combined couldn’t sell it the way there were trying to do back then.  There had to be a better way.

Today buying on line advertising, particularly via Google or Facebook, and it is pretty straight forward.  It is cheap, compared to what you could buy before online ads, and it is measurable.

So there we were at peak of the tech bubble with a perfect product, offering huge profits, with very few buyers and some commentators calling it all BS.

One thing I was clear about, having no adverts on our website wasn’t a good look.  I asked our banner provider at the time what our options were and they suggested fillers, like Red Cross, Greenpeace, and World Vision.

We ended up selling the company in the same year and I  never got to play out the online ad game.

I did however get to endlessly promote all my favourite socially important institutions for about 12 months to about 50,000 active stock traders, which in hindsight was a great out come.

About the photo.     Circa 10:15am, Dec 22, 1999, the moment I realised we had successfully listed on the ASX.  2 minutes before this picture was the fist time since I started I thought, “what if nobody buys our stock?”     The photo was courtesy of the AFR, who after taking some more conservative photos, I asked if I could get one for myself with my sunglasses on in front of the exchange board.  Guess which one turned up in the paper, which I now think is great.



One of the great things about blogging is choosing what to write and when to publish.

I am currently writing a lot of stuff on a bunch of things.  I am writing at all different times and inspired by various subjects.  Wordpress allows me to save posts as drafts and publish or polish whenever I want.  Very cool.

For my second post I am  going to start a category on social media and write about how I am going to use it to promote my blog.  I picked Facebook first because it is the one I know best and my main social media platform.

People seem to have a strong opinions on Facebook and what it should be used for.  I remember a world before the internet and social media.  I watched and participated in both as they evolved from virtually nothing to what they are today.

Currently there are over one billion people connected on Facebook. That is more than the combined population of USA, Japan, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Russia and Italy.  It is pretty huge.

In the musical chairs game of technology survival, only a few platforms will survive.  Facebook looks likely to be one of them.

I have a personal facebook page that I have used for many years. Over time I have used it more as tool for networking and communicating.

I love that it allows me to customise my news feed so that it only includes news I am interested in and from sources I want. I also love that intertwined with the news are updates from people I care about. I only follow positive people who are up for things in life.

I get that feed on every device and for me it is one of my primary interfaces with the Internet.

Recently I wanted to separate out my personal facebook identity from  my identity as expressed through this blog.  Sounds metaphysical.

What i had to do was create a separate facebook page, which I manage under my personal login. Doing this really got me to understand how the Facebook commercial model works.

Every time I publish a Blog, I will update my facebook page and everyone who liked that page will be notified of new content.

This means I can create a following from people finding this blog via  Facebook.  I have the same thing set up for twitter.  I am still thinking about Linkedin.  Google SEO is a subject for another day.

If you want any hands on advice about setting up your own FB page, I am happy to contribute, however I would say just jump in and give it a go, it is pretty straight forward.

About this picture

This is a picture I took of a  mural from Venice beach in California.

I discovered it by exploring Venice with a good friend of mine who I connected with on Facebook while I was in Cali.  I love street art and it has a facebook link in the bottom corner.

Although I have never met Mario the Artist from Venice Beach.  I do follow him on Facebook.  Click here to visit Mario from Venice