Online Insights with Steve Davis on FIVEaa, Sunday, April 05, 2009

April 5, 2009

Flickr Vision

Regular listeners will know I am a fan of Flickr – the online photo sharing site. Well now I have found a new way to enjoy it. It is called Flickr Vision and it is such a simple but mesmerising concept.

When you visit the site, your screen is filled by a map of the world and right before your eyes, every few seconds, a photo pops up over a country, as a Flickr member uploads another new photo. You basically get to watch photos being loaded to Flickr from a geographical perspective.

It is simply fascinating. Not much else to say, other than, enjoy.

However, if you are more voyeuristic, you can switch at the bottom of the page over Twitter Vision. This works the same way but instead of photos appearing over the globe, tweets appear. It is a reminder that no matter how far apart we all ove and how diverse our various cultures are, we all share similar traits when using a tool like Twitter. We vent, we praise, we share, we make plans.

I guess you could say these two sites are the closest we get to playing god – other than working in one of a spy agency’s eavesdropping centres.

Visit the sites for a unique view of the world, in fact, it is the ultimate in Online Insights! Twittervision and Flickrvision.

Qwoff wine blog

I cannot believe this site has not been caught on my radar earlier. Qwoff is a website for an online wine merchant however its blog is absolutely engaging, if you are a wine lover, and its reviews are all contributed by members (it is free to join). This means the site can offer a ‘voice of the crowd” review for many wines – even wines the store does not

At the time of writing, there are stories about:

  • A new wine with chocolate essence from New Zealand
  • Penfolds’ plans to produce a sparkling wine in Champagne so that we can see “Austrlain” champagne on our shelves once again
  • A review of the movie, Bottle Shock – a wine-based movie just like Sideways years ago.
  • And stories from Canberra about plans to create a minimum price for wine to dissuade people from binge drinking.

This is a great site, very informative, and the “selling” is tastefully handled. Full marks. Visit qwoff and start sharing your wine views.

Drug Free

This is a well designed website with some fascinating information aimed at helping parents understand their teenagers in the hope that they can then help disarm the drugs issue.

A lot of the material is based on helping parents understand teenage development in the context of brain development. According to the site’s resources, better brain imaging technology in recent years has revealed more information about how our brain develops and that we don’t reach full brain maturity until about 25.

It suggests that the parts of the brain exerting most influence during these teen years are related to risk taking, motivation and emotion.

You do need to sign up to gain access to the material, but that process is free.

You can find out more at

Heaps Good

Heaps Good is a marketing initiative to push “South Australia” as a place to live in and visit. According to the blurb, “We reckon South Australia has heaps of good bits in it. The bad thing is, not everyone knows about them. So, in May this site will change into the Heaps Good website, a place where local South Aussies get to say which cafes, clubs, restaurants, beaches etc they reckon are better than good. So if you’re a local you can share your inside info, as well as finding out about a heap of good stuff you never knew was there.”

The idea is sound but why the stilted, pseudo-cool language?

Here’s my question: who uses language like “heaps good” in 2009? For all I know there is a huge counter culture out there full of young people talking in naive-cool lingo and advertising execs who feign that style when they run campaigns like this. Oh, and FM announcers and former FM announcers! It just sounds so “try hard” as well as positioning SA as the “dumbed down” state.

SA Great is involved in this somehow and a friend who pointed this out to me made mention of it being a “youth oriented” campaign. So I guess all this try-to-be-cool language is part of that. It always is the case when “adults” try to talk at “kids level”. It is reminiscent of my younger days in church circles in the 1970s and 1980s when a well-meaning leader would suddenly feel an urge to create a church service to attract the “young ones” so they played the music for the hymns/songs on guitar instead of the church organ. And, later, they even developed chorus songs instead of hymns. It was so underwhelming. I hope that this fantastic state of ours, South Australia, does not get dented by this similarly underwhelming effort.

You can visit South Australia’s “hip” website at Heaps Good.