E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

On My Way to Budapest

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Well, no, not yet. I am not gone just yet. But I will be. Pretty much like I mentioned last week Friday, over the next few weeks, there are a number of different places that I will be visiting both attending conference events or presenting myself at some of them. And that world tour is actually going to get going next week Monday, where I will be travelling to Budapest, Hungary. The purpose of the trip is to actually attend an IBM Global Business Services Learning and Knowledge University event where I will be presenting and sharing with everyone attending the conference what my worldwide team is actually doing around the subject of Community Building, Knowledge Sharing, Collaboration and Social Computing in order to help spread the message about what we do with an audience coming from all over Europe.

Yes, that is right, the conference is meant to be just for IBM Global Business Services (GBS) employees and will get started on Tuesday afternoon till Thursday afternoon. I guess that I will probably not have much free time since I am scheduled to present every single day during the event. Four times in total. But we shall see.

What is clear though thus far is the fact that I will be spending Monday doing most of the travelling. Tuesday, Wednesday and till Thursday afternoon I will be at the conference and the rest of the time till Monday morning, when I get back home, I will be doing some more sightseeing. That is right, Thursday afternoon, Friday, Saturday and Sunday I will be enjoying Budapest, a beautiful city (I have been told) that I have never been to and which I am really looking forward to, actually.

I know there are lots and lots of things to check out and places to visit. So I guess that is going to keep me busy for a while, however, if any of you have been there already and want to recommend places that I should check out before leaving the city, feel free to append a comment over here or contact me offline. Or, even better, if you are going to be there around that time from the 19th till the 26th and would want to get together for a drink or two do let me know as well.

I am not sure what the Internet connection(s) may be like over there, so I am not sure if I would be able to create different weblog entries along the way, but if I get a connection I am sure I would be able to find a few minutes to share what my experiences have been over there thus far. We shall see how things go. Oh, and tomorrow I will be weblogging about one particular social computing offering that I have finally given in to, due to some peer pressure (Yes, you know who you are!), and which I am hoping to take it for a spin while I am there in Budapest. Guess which one is going to be ? … More later …

0 votes

6 comments

  1. Hmm… as someone who’d really need to look into social networking, especially for a region that has but a single online resource for that ( which is iwiw.hu , lately bought, overregulated and promoted by T-Com / T-Online, well, whatever, Deutsche Telecom >:-P ) I’d so want to hear what you have to say about all this. And not only the social part, but some advice as well, for it’s a bit frustrating falling on the floor between two chairs ( or four 😉 when it comes to getting yourself or your business or band or whatever known for the online communities ( at least here ). There are still too few people using the Net in this country, perhaps.

    As for one I was part of lots of online communities before, and can almost touch the walls where the possibilities end. ( Take our current project for example. Offline networking brought it all together with experts and enthusiasts to finally do something on our own, yet these foundations come to a halt when adapting them online. There’re no bridges in between. Except money. Btw, if you don’t know where to stay, test it for us please 😉

    … Oh well, you mentioned you’d have some time off and was wondering what to see, I’d recommend not visiting downtown at all, but you probably are through with that already. Instead go to Gödör club at Deák tér for a good time, and come down to Merlin ( Budapest, Gerlóczy u. 4., pretty much downtown ) tomorrow ( the 22nd. ) There’re going to be a lot of good bands, and a good atmosphere. Go and listen to Santa Diver 😉

    The girl with the violin is a genius.

    Bye for now,
    Agnes

  2. Hi Agnes! Thanks ever so much for the incredibly valuable feedback comments and for dropping by! Welcome to elsua! I must say that during the last few days that I have been in here I have actually been quite surprised about the lower quality in providing robust and reliable broadband connections. Most of the ones I have tried thus far have been rather flaky at times and at others, impossible to connect to them. Rather frustrating and I can imagine that you would be going through something similar.

    Regarding the usage of social networks I think that is actually that would be applying not only to Hungary, but to several other European countries, where the broadband penetration may not have been that intensive as in other countries and as such it would be much more difficult to implement. I suspect that now that Hungary is part of the EU that penetration of the broadband Internet connections would start to grow up further tremendously over the next few months and as a result people would want to start exploring some of the different social networks already existing out there, and why not?, venture into the creation of some local ones. Yes, I know it is a painful process, but I am sure there would be other folks having the same issues in other countries. So, perhaps a bit of patience from our side and see how things develop further.

    Regarding the Web link you have shared above it is a real pity that I got to read through it a bit late, because if I would have known about it way before coming over to Budapest I would have given it a try since it looks quite impressive and with some very suggestions. So next time that I get to come over here I will surely be checking it out and, hopefully, I would be able to find something interesting. Thanks again for the hat-tip!

    Yes, I have been out and about all over the place and although I know that I have got lots of places to check out still I am not sure I would be having much time to check some of those, because the weather over the last couple of days has been rather awful. Wet, cloudy, rainy and cold! However, I have already taken down the different suggestions that you have mentioned above and will have a look and see if I can fit them in, if the weather permits, that is.

    I did try to head over to Merlin, but since that was also the time when I was just done with the conference event that I was attended I found out, when I got there, that I was a bit too late to listed to Santa Diver, so I guess that will be for another time as well, although I do appreciate your tips and further information details as it will help me get a better overview of what this lovely city has got to offer and what I would need to check out the next time I get over here.

    Till then, thanks again for the feedback and for taking the time to send those great comments. Excellent stuff!

  3. Dear Luis,

    after reading your comments on the broadband connections you made me realise that we’ve become so numb waiting for the big boom to happen that I sometimes forget that it’s an issue. We’re talking about a country which got its first entry-level ISDN offers not so long ago, and only because its western neighbours had a lot of modems to spare while switching to DSL! Wow. And you know what… even the well informed couldn’t do nothing! For if there’s no broadband at an affordable price, then… there’s just no broadband at all, and regardless of us knowing the reasons, we still can’t use the net as we’d like to.

    But… whatever 😉

    Funny thing to see how offline communities try and try to get themselves known with the hungarian net being something like a novelty. A little extra that if you love making sites, or have some friends who do, you can use to promote your… offline activities. ( There are way too few exceptions, sadly. )

    Hmm… yes, I think it may be the prices. The prices involved in having a proper Internet connection. An entry level ADSL offer is somewhere… uh… $20-30 a month. I know because we keep switching all the time when we get bored with that flakiness you mentioned 😉 And if I want to use the web to my liking, well… then it quckly gets to $50-$70, which may not be much elsewhere, but… we’re in Hungary!

    Oh well, whining aside, It’s a shame you missed the band but at least you now know where the place is. And it’s not like such happenings are rare, we’re just approaching the Budapest Fringe Festival, then the Spring Festival and then there are lots of things to do in the summer like the Sziget, Volt festival… really this city has reinvented itself as the capital for festivals. So, make sure you get streetwise if dropping by Budapest again… there’re lots of pamphlets and free handout books on each of them, even in English.

    Until then… take care!

    Agnes

  4. Hi Agnes! Thanks a lot for the valuable feedback comments! Yes, I know exactly what you mean and pretty much I am guessing that the way you have described it is, in most cases, the same way that broadband penetrated in most countries. Far too fast and without much control going on, which means that plenty of companies are just making big bucks at that expense. If not check out with some of your Spanish friends and they would tell you what the situation is like over here. In short, let me summarise it with a single sentence for you: one of the most expensive broadband connections in the whole of Europe! Yes, totally unexpected but quite accurate. While in most countries you would be paying a fairly small amount here in Spain it is way higher than in any of the others. Go figure! And broadband has been happening for a good number of years over here already! To make things worse…

    As I said, I can imagine that the situation may not have improved much yet in Hungary, I hope it does, but let me assure you that it is not the only country where the price for broadband is rather expensive. There are other countries, too! Spain being one of them, for instance! (Up to not long ago, I was actually paying about 100€ for a 2MB ADSL connection! Yes, 100€!!! You see, it is not just Hungary 😉 )

    Thanks much for those hat-tips on things to do in Budapest. I may not have made it to such special event last time, but I certainly had a great time overall, and I know that I will definitely be back! No doubt! There is just so much to experience and so much to see that a few days is just not enough. And I bet that with a bit of nicer weather there are even many more things to do and places to check. Yes, I got to visit quite a few of them, but I have an aftertaste that I have missed quite a few others! So I am already looking forward to the next time I will be getting there. Perhaps we could get together for a drink or two at that lovely place with some really good music! Look forward to that!

    Thanks again for the feedback!

Leave a Reply to Agnes Huszar Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *