February 01, 2007

Siteseeing 4

http://www.thebathroomdiaries.com/

With the social web and web 2.0 and other such buzzwords, everyone’s a reviewer. What’s even more interesting is what gets reviewed. In the rush to win eyeballs and participation, new sites find increasingly esoteric areas to specialise in. This site, for instance, seeks to make, erm, a splash in a very special niche area. It is a wealth of information on a matter that concerns us all: when you gotta go, where do you go? Or rather, in different cultures, that could change to how do you go? So, what you have here is a Bathroom Search that gives you ratings of toilets from Antarctica to Zimbabwe, complete with celebrity sightings (like Bill Clinton at the Maurya Sheraton in Delhi!) and a set of delightful travel essays about loo experiences, all of it user-generated. Which means you can go add to the list. Its wireless section helps you find potties on your cellphone; but through a subscriber service, alas, and US-based, so, um, no go for me. It even has its very own award, the Golden Plunger (the winners are truly awesome, though the site seems to have ceased announcing the award the last few years). Verily I say unto thee, this is the Number One—or Two—resource on the web.

Published in Outlook Traveller, February 2007.

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