In my last post, I talked about how Facebook and Google have different – and competing – visions of the web. Google is all about data. They scoop up as much data as they can in order to drive the most relevant search findings to your desktop. As you may have noticed, they are kind of successful at this. Facebook is no slouch when it comes to data, but they envision a “humanized web” where friends, peers, colleagues and family members deliver answers and recommendations to such everyday questions as “How do I redeem myself for recently forgetting my sister’s (very important milestone) birthday, and buy her a bottle of great French champagne during her visit to Paris?”
Putting the Question to The Google
Where to begin? Yes, I did go out to my network, but not Facebook this time. I simply asked my friend and colleague Jeff Schraeder of Baltimore (he travels to Paris several times a year) if he had any suggestions. Jeff was on the road and tried to help, but his connections were sketchy and I didn’t have too much time. So I went onto the Google and typed, “Wine Shop, Paris”. And up came Chowhound with the following post: “I’ve heard good things about La Derniere Goutte at 6 rue de Bourbon le Chateau in the 6th. It’s owned by an American selling French wines to the French! They do tastings.”
La Derniere Goutte
I opened up Skype, called the wine shop and next thing I knew I was talking to Patty Lurie. “I’d recommend the (follow the link for amazing story) Jacques Sellose,” said she, to which I said, “done deal.” I read out my American Express number. I then sent a text to my sister. “Call Patty at La Derniere Goutte, it’s a wine shop. She has something for you.” A day later, there stood Patty being photographed by my very happy sister via her iPhone. (“Patty is awesome. Wish we met her at the beginning!” said one text message.)
When I woke up this morning, I reached for my BlackBerry. I had about six text messages from my sister along with pictures. There they all were, on a sun splashed Paris day, sipping a perfectly chilled champagne. “Thank you, thank you. This was very special.”
All thanks to Google, Skype, the iPhone and Patty Lurie. We have our networks – online and offline – we have Facebook and Google and Twitter and whatever else is coming next. And then there is family. New technologies have their advocates and their detractors, and each side has their own case to make, but it’s hard to argue with tools that let you deliver a special moment to someone you love who happens to be two continents away and to do it in under 5 minutes.
Patty’s number at the wine shop is 01 43 29 11 62 ; the address is La Derniere 6 Bourbon le Chateau 75006 Paris.
Happy belated birthday, sister.