The buzz around the productivity sphere is the recent Associated Press poll which shows 1 in 5 bringing their laptop along on vacation.
Besides using that laptop to offload digital photos from the camera or watch a DVD or two, we do quite a bit of communicating on that vacation laptop.
1 in 5 of those who bring their laptop stay connected to work somehow. They check email, check work messages, work. And a whole bunch of course check our personal messages.
I fully expect that if you factor in the number of people who check their email from a shared computer (Internet cafe, library, etc.) while on vacation, that the number of people somehow in touch with their home base is a lot higher.
What I read in those statistics is a marketing opportunity.
Before, people were "away". They're at a different place, maybe a different country. Most marketing messages they're exposed to don't pertain to them at all.
But with people staying connected even when away, we suddenly have a chance to talk to them about very relevant products and services. Correlated with the popular vacation times, you're able to talk someone when they're at their most relaxed. Conversely it also might mean there are times when a certain product or service can better not be brought to mind…
From a PPC point of view things are interesting as well. On a shared computer people are likely to be less inclined to sign into personalized services such as iGoogle. But on their own laptop? That's different. And what can a company like Google learn from that? From the IP that is suddenly located elsewhere? From the decline in searches, the different type of queries the user all of a sudden performs? How can it help them better target AdWords?