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Money chatter and travel tips

Money chatter and travel tips
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First Published: Tue, Dec 08 2009. 07 17 PM IST

Photoimaging: Raajan / Mint
Photoimaging: Raajan / Mint
Updated: Tue, Dec 08 2009. 07 17 PM IST
My online browsing pattern is very different from what I do on weekdays and on weekends. During the week, I tend to browse sites that keep me up-to-date with financial information and give other business-related news. It changes on weekends,
Photoimaging: Raajan / Mint
though. These are days when I visit sites that are more general in nature. And yes, these two days are reserved for logging into social networking sites as well.
Money
Bloomberg.com is my first choice. I first browse through the business news, check indices and then commodity futures. It’s fast, well laid-out, reliable and provides insightful coverage of news.
Money.cnn.com is another business site that I use for US-focused data. The site also has interesting feature stories on finance and technology. It is more engaging as it has a different slant towards news.
News
• For general news I access Cnn.com when I’m in India. When travelling abroad, I tend to access Economictimes.com and Timesofindia.com.
Travel
• When I am planning a holiday, I spend a considerable amount of time online researching potential destinations. Lonely Planet is the generic website where I search for destinations. Also Trip Advisor. When I’ve made up my mind about the country I want to go to, I research on the country-specific website. The best country-specific websites that I’ve come across so far are that of Scottish Tourism and Japan Tourism. Their best feature is the wealth of visual information they provide. This allows you to know exactly what your vacation is going to look like. Also, these websites are very well tooled. The Scottish website, for example, has a special interest section which has options ranging from hiking to castles, giving information in detail but in a simple format.
Shopping
• The usual eBay and Amazon for electronics, books, golf equipment and sometimes fashion accessories. I also purchase my airline tickets online. For travel in the US, I think Orbitz.com is the best. It gives you deals of around 40 airlines at your fingertips.
• For travelling in India, I use Yatra.com
Social networking sites
• The maximum time I spend on Facebook is 2 hours a week. And whatever time I do spend, I spend it either uploading photographs of my holidays or going through my friends’ albums. I think this is a better way of keeping yourself updated about your friends’ lives than sitting and commenting on their insignificant status messages.
• Itunes apps. I have a whole bunch of apps on my iPhone. They’re mostly games such as poker and other apps such as Ultimate Thesaurus, Currency Converter, etc. My favourite one is vflashlight (a virtual flashlight that I find extremely handy in poorly lit restaurants).
Business
• QuickBook—it’s easy accounting and the best feature is that you can access company information from anywhere in the world. Salesforce—all the information about every single customer is available on your fingertips. SharePoint—all company documents are stored in SharePoint. It’s a cheaper and cost-efficient substitute for an intranet, and is ideal for small companies.
Hobbies
• I’m very passionate about photography and golf. To keep myself updated with the latest trends and news in these areas, I frequent Nikon.com and Sports.yahoo.com
Sanjay Soni is managing director, Logix Microsystems Ltd, a software products company.
As told to Blessy Augustine
blessy.a@livemint.com
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First Published: Tue, Dec 08 2009. 07 17 PM IST