Magazine

point of view

PT on the Net, Canada and Maurice Anderson

h, the Internet. Can't live with it, can't live without it. Our little company wouldn't exist if we couldn't move files at the speed of light over coax and glass, and, yes, even radio waves. The Internet is also a giant archive of information. Want to know anything, you simply "Google" it and there you are: 100K entries about insects in your grass or how to purchase a front door.
So, PT has decided to begin to focus more on our web site and the Internet. Throughout this issue you will find articles on different aspects of www.parkingtoday.com and how it can help you in your life as a person who feeds his or her family through the parking industry.
My focus, however, has been a web log, or blog. These online diaries have been in the news lately, having been credited with the demise of CBS news anchor Dan Rather and, more recently, taking on the L.A. Times and its coverage of North Korea.
I just read an article that said 7% of regular Internet users have blogs. Most are personal. Our web master, Suda, has one where she keeps her notes concerning upcoming work she needs to do for her customers. Suda's blog isn't public, but PT's -- parkingblog -- is.
I am the primary supplier of material for parkingblog, but there is a place for you to agree or disagree or expand on my thoughts. I update it every day, so drop by and check out what I have to say. Mostly, I carry on about parking, but sometimes I talk about something interesting that happened. For instance:
Shoah -- Ever notice that you go your entire life and never see a certain word in print, but then when you first see it, you then see it again the next day, and probably again the next. These are usually obscure words not in the mainstream.
For instance - I ran across the word Shoah in a book I am reading that has a tangential connection to the Holocaust. Shoah is the Hebrew word Jews use for Holocaust. Its original meaning, according to Webster, is catastrophe. When Jews speak to each other about the Holocaust, it's the Shoah.
Sure enough, this morning, in an article in the Wall Street Journal, there it is again, for the second time. In this case, it is used in an article about the German Chancellor giving a speech in Israel. I wonder where it will pop up next.
By the time you read this, I will have written about 30 entries and probably gotten myself into a lot of trouble. Those of you on our e-mail list will have received notice of the parkingblog and may have started to read it.
Remember, it changes every day. Just log on to www.parkingtoday.com and click on "parking blog" (in the left hand column). Feel free to comment. I'm tough, I can take it.
Note: I checked parkingblog's internet traffic on March 23 and we have been averaging 400 visits a day since we announced the blog. Not too shabby for only two weeks. Of course, the news about Central's proposed sale may have had something to do with the interest.
My travels last month took me to Toronto and another Canadian cluster of parking companies. I was fortunate enough to be welcomed to the offices of Zeag, Sirit, Mint, CPE/APE, WPS and Tannery Creek.
The highlight of the trip was an afternoon with Maurice Anderson, head of the Toronto Parking Authority. He was able to make time for me in between meetings with the City Council. Maurice is an interesting person - he comes across as a good administrator and politician, but he is also a technocrat. Many of the parking innovations you take for granted got their start at the Toronto Parking Authority under his leadership.
He can also go on the record and off the record so fast that your humble reporter finally just put down his quill and enjoyed the great parking history he tells. Take a look at the interview/article on Maurice elsewhere in this month's PT.
Oh yes, thanks to my Canadian friends, I was able to get to play in some snow. What a gas. Check the picture nearby. I was able to see firsthand just how snow affects surface lots. There simply aren't as many spaces available in the winter as in the summer -- well, at least not in the Snow Belt.
I will be reporting and blogging in April from Birmingham, England, and the Parkex/Traffex Parking Exhibition. It's the largest event of its type in the UK, and overwhelms anything we have here in the US.
And a quick clarification: Last month, in the article on Validations, we quoted Tom Carter at the Toledo Ticket Co. as saying that the peel-off validations are eight times more expensive than traditional validations. Tom called to say that although the higher price might be preferable to a company's bottom line, the fact is that they are only twice as expensive as the "lick and stick" stamps. Sorry, Tom, our error.
See you next month.

Article Abstract from April, 2005




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