Online Insights on FIVEaa Sunday February 7 2010

February 7, 2010

This fortnight in Online Insights we discover a territorial wine lover (is there any other kind), a twitter event that should raise a titter or two, a bit of nostalgia from shopping centres of yesteryear, check in for the disease of the week.

Twandup10, huh?

Firstly, I won’t be reviewing the Adelaide Fringe for the first time in a decade because I will be busy travelling about with my Web 2.0 workshops for small business. So, I am a little out of the loop this year on what’s hot and what’s not, however, my replacement, George Inglis will be the man to follow. If he gets his fingers to a keyboard, we have even agreed to cross post his reviews on my site where most of my past reviews are published.

Share photos on twitter with TwitpicBut one show that has caught my attention is a social media experiment called Twandup10. Interpreted, that means Stand Up Comedy on Twitter in 2010. The deal is simple, from 8pm til 8.30pm on Monday, February 22, 2010, (Central Australian Summer Time) a number of twingetwits (Fringe Twits) will perform standup style tweet comedy. It will be a free, online event, perfectly timed to fill the quietest night on the Fringe calendar, Monday night.

If you want to compete as a comic and deliver one funny line per minute for 30 minutes, you need to “follow” @charlierobinson on Twitter and then send a direct message to her. if you want to heckle, you just need to make sure you use #twandup10 in your message, along with the twitter ID of the comic you are heckling. For example, if their ID is funnyman you would put @funnyman in your tweet as well.

To qualify on the night for the title of best comic, you will need to have maintained your delivery frequency and responded to two hecklers.

If you can’t wait for Feb 22, you can always follow a comedian on Twitter like John Cleese, for example.

To follow Twandup10 before, during and after the event, just go to and search for #twandup10 or follow this link to search for related Twandup10 posts on Twitter or visit Charlie’s blog about the event.

Lonely Grape

Shane Barker is a man on a mission. I met him at a few of my web2.0 and online marketing workshops as he was piecing together a plan of action for launching his own wine blog/website/phenomenon. And it is here.

What I like about Shane’s approach is that he has narrowed his focus to become the authority on wine from McLaren Vale. He has gone through every single winery and been blogging and vlogging (posting video blog entries) his wine tasting notes.

He might not be as flamboyant as some of the other web wine superstars, but his approach gives due focus to the wine itself, the winery it came from, and the region. If they knight people in McLaren Vale, surely the winemakers should be sending in their nominations because he is building a nice footprint for the locals who just happen to be custodians of some terrific vineyard territory.

Shane has most recently been working through the wines of D’Arenburg and there is one of his tasting videos here on the blog.

His tasting notes make for an interesting read if you are in to wine, as much for their honesty and frankness as for their superlatives. Here is an example:

2008 The Wild Pixie Shiraz Roussanne ($A29) – The nose was “heavy” in a complex sort of way sure there is the usual shiraz fruit here but there is another layer of complexity here.  I found it difficult to describe – maybe tar meets meat in a pleasant sort of way.  The palate is plums all the way to a lifted cedar oak fine tannin finish.  This wine has structure but needs time to bring all the flavours – either by decanting and a long breathe or leave it in the bottle for a few years.  I do not recommend this food match often but give it a go with a plate of strong flavoured cheeses (like a Woodside Cheese Wrights Edith goats milk that is ash rolled), some cured meats and a big stick of fresh bread (like what I normally pick up at the Willunga Farmers Market).

One last thing I particularly like about the site is the inclusion of a cellar door map using Google Maps, so that you can plot and plan your tasting visits, if you want to follow in Shane’s footsteps.

So, if you are looking to explore some wines of McLaren Vale – the region just south of Adelaide here in South Australia, you will enjoy the company of the Lonely Grape.

Disease of the week

This blog got my blood boiling! Well, not the blog itself, but the story. Let me explain. This blog is excellent. It is being written by James Byrne and and Thomas Tu, a couple of Adelaide-based PhD students in the Discipline of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Adelaide. They proclaim they get way too excited about diseases but I am happy they do because it has given us the Disease Of The Week blog.

Each week they highlight a disease, give background to it and relate the latest scientific thinking about it in terms laypeople can understand. And, of course, they show gory pictures to illustrate their points – I prefer to view their site with images TURNED OFF!!!

The featured disease this week is Crohn’s Disease and the simplest way to give you a taste of their style is to share with you their introduction:

Your body goes to great lengths to protect you from the outside world. From your subconscious hinting that jumping a motorcycle over the Grand Canyon might be a bad idea all the way down to killing pathogens before they have a chance to harm you, your health and safety is pretty much a full time job. Occasionally the body gets a bit caught up in fighting the enemy and we get a little collateral damage. Crohn’s Disease is when your gut takes one for the team.

Something else worth noting is their coverage of issues relating to medicine as they arise. One case in point is coverage of The Lancet retracting a paper from 1998 by Andrew Wakefield who had claimed there was a link between autism and the MMR vaccine. THERE IS NO LINK. I love what the guys have to say about this, namely “This is a very important issue as Wakefield and Co. kick started the anti-vaccination movement that has now seen childhood vaccination drop substantially. Despite many subsequent studies highlighting the inaccuracy of Wakefield’s work we are now in a position where long dead or controlled disease, such as polio for crying out loud, are re-gaining a foot hold in the community.”

Sadly, as they point out, this retraction will do little to stop misguided parents stopping their children from being immunised putting their kids and the rest of us at risk of diseases that should be LONG GONE.

Thanks James and Thomas. If you want to read their work and immunise yourself against ignorance of diseases, visit their Disease of the week blog.

Pictures of Adelaide from the 1970s

I don’t usually just link to a picture gallery but this is an exception. Doing research for a project I came across a set of photos on Flickr called The Seventies Retail Experience and it just took me right back to the days when Marion Shopping Centre was brand new and had those gaudy but intriguing, oversized and over-elaborate light fittings dangling over the escalators. You can see the picture here on the blog.

Marion in its glory days, tee hee

Some memories and photos include”

  • Marion Shopping Centre in 1974 (pictured)
  • The John Martin’s Christmas Pageant 1974
  • The John Martin’s Gift Shop in 1974, which scored a comment you don’t read every day – “Oh, love it. Dig the cool fringed butterfly paper light shade above her head!”
  • The Coles New World cafeteria with the note that it had a distinctive aroma.
  • And Sunbeam mowers complete with young, female models pushing them.

The man responsible for this collection calls himself Glen H, and is described in his profile as a “middle aged gay man with an un-natural taste in odd cars and old advertising images. Frightening recipes also attract me! I work on dirty mechanical things, and smell faintly of diesel.” Not sure what recipes are frightening but I am sure glad Glen dug up these wonderful photos from Australia’s and Adelaide’s glorious past.