Riffing Seth Godin: Soapboxes + Microphones

I read an interesting blog today by marketer Seth Godin. He wrote about creative differences, and exposing yourself to diversity. But in his “the soapbox and the city”  blog, he wrote a line that resonated with me. (See http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2012/09/the-soapbox-and-the-city.html, and sign up for Seth’s blog – he has some interesting things to say.)

Seth wrote, “Everyone deserves their own soapbox. The web has handed everyone a microphone and said, “here, speak up.” But everyone doesn’t deserve their own audience. That’s something that’s earned. ”

It made me think of all the online rating agencies out there for hotels and holidays, and even a blog I’d written previously on the subject. https://lushlife.ca/2010/06/only-a-spider-trusts-the-web/

Just because your Aunt Martha has the microphone (aka a computer with web access), it doesn’t mean she deserves her own audience.  Aunt Martha hasn’t earned the audience.  So why is it that travelers flock to her, and others like her, by trusting her word/ review/ ratings? Why do strangers invest thousands of hard-earned travel dollars based on whether Aunt Martha had a good time at a particular hotel?

The online rating agencies have given Aunt Martha a microphone… but she only deserves the soapbox. She hasn’t earned the audience. Of course, soapboxes are sometimes good.  Voices in the wilderness sometimes speak the truth.  And… I’m essentially using a soapbox now, with this blog…. but …

Here’s the difference between me and Aunt Martha. I have credibility. I have training. I have experience. I have access and connections and resources. I am affiliated with the largest independent travel agency in Canada. (Vision 2000 has been selling travel to Canadians for over 50 years.) And I am backed up by TICO.

If you rely on your effort, luck, and the advice of amateurs to book your vacation, you’re sticking yourself with needles. Or asking Aunt Martha to stick you with them. (ouch!)

Your vacation dollars and hours are precious commodities.

It’s a simple fact that I have knowledge, experience and resources that your Aunt Martha does not.

Travel is my chosen career. It’s not my hobby.

Pick your soapbox carefully!

Deal with professionals when you book your holiday.

Maximize your “return on life.”