The online suggestion box

John Gushue
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It’s been a while since I’ve seen an actual suggestion box at a local business, but I’m sure they’re still out there.

You know the deal: you have an idea of how something could be done better, you write it on a slip of paper, and you pop it into the box provided. Some might come from customers, but more likely they’ll come from the shop floor itself.

Whether anything actually happens is another matter, but my optimistic side assumes that it never hurts to put a good idea on the table.

The first site in this week’s web tour updates the suggestion box, but with a digital twist.

The Internet Wish List

I first saw this newly launched site last week, and I instantly liked it, and can see its appeal and potential. It’s basically a board where people can post short requests — some practical, some, um, out of this universe — for apps, sites and software they’d like to see.

One, for instance, would like an app to aggregate theme-specific content and send it to their Kindle; another would like an add-on for the location-aware network Foursquare that would help calculate the appropriate split on a shared cab.

Some are just entertaining.

“I’d like a real-life equivalent of command-F, as in ‘Find’ my keys, wallet, phone, pen, etc.”

I think the site could be terrific for allowing creativity and free thinking, and also for making a bridge between consumers (and what they want) and developers and producers (and what they’re able or willing to offer.)

You may also want to follow the Internet Wish List’s Twitter feed at @itl.

Elsewhere this week

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador

The organization that represents tourism operators has a new online look, and it’s charming.

The new Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador site is clean and colourful, and builds on the branding the province has been using to help lure visitors.

I also like the sense of humour in its nods to the weather, without shying away from what could be seen as a marketing pitfall. “A sight to see. Or not: No matter the weather, you’ll remember the scenery.”

The HNL site is largely dedicated to the interests of its members, but visitors are obviously made to feel welcome, too. It goes to show they take the hospitality bit seriously.

Map game

With Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and other countries in the news over the last while, here’s a game about relevant geography.

Granted, it’s not a laugh riot, but it’s easy to play. You’ll be asked to identify nations in northern Africa, the Middle East and Eurasia; if you’re like me, you’ll find it humbling.

Black and White

Colour photography has been something that many of us have known through all our lives, but black and white still has its thrills, and its devotees, too. This Tumblr page collects wonderful pictures that remind us how much can be achieved with shading, tone, contrast and subject matter.

Far from being limiting, black and white can be illuminating.

Word Strips

Here’s a word game to have handy for when you have a minute of downtime — it’s perfect for a coffee break or while you’re chilling on the couch. You have four columns of letters; your brief is to slide the columns up and down until a word forms horizontally, and before the clock runs out. Stressed enough? Choose the “relaxed” mode for a less-tense alternative.


Planning a vacation can be time-consuming, but also exhilarating. For me, the fun part is at the beginning, when all of the options are wide open. Wanderfly is for the curious traveller. You start by identifying how much you want to spend and when you might want to fly, and (but not necessarily) where you want to go.

While I get the sense that promoted airlines and hotels may benefit from search results, this is a great site for stoking the imagination.

John Gushue is an online editor with CBC News in St. John’s. Twitter: @johngushue.

Empire Avenue: (e)Gushue.

Organizations: Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador hnl.caThe organization, CBC News

Geographic location: Libya, Tunisia, Egypt Northern Africa Middle East

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