May 06, 2009

The Szekeres Chronicles: Cheap Flights

Follow-up to Google Trends from The Missing N

A while ago, a wrote a post about Google Trends and the economic crisis. It's too complicated to paraphrase. Go read it. Now.


Done? Good. Now, somewhere in that post, I wrote the following:

"Cheap flights" (mentioned earlier) has been steadily decreasing since 2004, because people have had less money to go on holidays I presume [...]

In response to the above quote, a kind soul named Tom Szekeres (have a look at his blog) wrote a mail to me, which contained some interesting facts and links to various sites and blogs (I'll come back to what exactly he wrote). As I started exploring what he had sent me, I got dragged further out into the web of information that lies available on the Internet, and before long, I was drowning in fascinating material on Web Analytics, an area I hitherto had no idea existed.

Also, I had an idea for an awesome blog post. In my head, it looked like this:

Idea for An Awsome Blog Post

Needless to say, I knew not where to start. I now realise that it is going to be impossible to cram all of the above into a single blog post, and then expect people to read it. So I have decided to split it into smaller chunks. To be consistent, and to please Vincent, the non-existent faithful reader who stalks my blog and reads every single post, I shall name this series The Szekeres Chronicles.

As an introduction, let me explain to you what Tom Szekeres does. Somewhere on the Internet, there exists a good-natured site, Cheap Flights, whose purpose is to compare flight prices on different sites, thus helping you find non-expensive airplane tickets, without asking you anything in return but to be its friend. Unfortunately, some people haven't heard of it. This is where Tom enters the picture. Like a benignant eagle, he soars above the Net in search of anyone willing accept Cheap Flights as a travel companion. Anyone mentioning or searching for "cheap flights" (or other variations) enters his Big Blue Book of Statistics and Analytics, and from there, Tom presumably goes on to find ways to spread the word about Cheap Flights.

Alright, he does it in a more professional manner than the way I've depicted it above. But the point is that he knew better than me why searching for "cheap flights" on Google has gradually become less and less popular, which is why his mail was a gem of insight to me. I will reveal the reason for this in the next post in this series. I fear that I have already reached the limit of the attention span of the average blogger.

In the meantime, why not have a look at this surprisingly amusing About Us page?

- 3 comments by 0 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Sue

    I’ve just downloaded Google Earth onto my laptop and I was amazed to see you can get the impression of flying over the ground. I think the other thing you’re talking about is all to do with networks and each network has a hub, it’s something you will find all over the place, sometimes in unexpected places.

    07 May 2009, 00:01

  2. Sue

    What lots of people thought of as some sort of urban myth now turns out to be a complete science of it’s own. The man who was commenting, who I think was one of the men to discover this completely new science said that the first girlfriend he had when he was at college faced him with something which really made him think because while he was extremely keen on her she seemed to be pushing him away and when he cooled it she seemed to be trying to pull him closer and he realsied that he wanted to make an equation out of this situation (He laughingly pointed out at this stage that this particular outlook of his might have been why the realtionship never worked out) which he did actually go ahead and do. I asked a friend of mine who is himself a mathematician if he had ever tried to make an equation out of a relationship that he was having and he said “No, never”, from the way he answered the inference was that he couldn’t be bothered or maybe he just though it was futile. I was quite amused by the man who did go ahead and write the equation because the way he expalined it was as if he couldn’t help himself, he felt compelled to think of one. It was a very interseting programe actually, although as a new science “networks and Hubs” didn’t seem very convincing, not exactly an exact science.

    16 May 2009, 22:49

  3. Sue

    What I forgot to mention is that it’s the “six steps of separation” idea which has often been thought of as an urban myth but has been found by a group of physicists to be a complete science in itself. Nobody is ever more than six steps away from anyone in the world.

    19 May 2009, 06:58

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