DRINKING MATE: Josh Callinan and Karl Stefanovic are part of a record breaking effort tomorrow. If there was ever any doubt that this would be the first truly digital, online and social media dominated Olympics, then surely this will put it to rest.
On Wednesday evening London time, or early Thursday morning (4.30am) in the land of postcode 2320, a large group of Australians will be congregating at a pub in the south-west town of Clapham Common in an effort to break a world record.
A thousand specially made uniforms will be given out as a committed core of travellers from Down Under attempt to make the Guinness Book of Records by having the most people wearing the same full team kit.
Organisers, the Commonwealth Bank, expect to run out of threads and have already warned punters to get there early to avoid missing out.
But all of this was made possible on the world wide web using the medium everybody loves to hate and hates to love – Facebook.
The event was created on July 11 and less than two weeks on it has spread like wildfire, not only in the virtual realm, but throughout London.
So much so that a builder from country Tasmania I sat next to on the plane told me about the state of play mid-flight, somewhere between a stop over at airport Itchy One Foot and our final port of call in Gatwick.
I was fascinated by the concept and when I arrived at the Balham bed and breakfast where I am staying, I was excited to tell my London-based friends about the quirky event and the prospect of attending.
Sure enough they were already on top of it and every Aussie I have run into since has been talking about it.
I mean, the event actually made the local press as well, earning some column space in the Wandsworth Guardian, but I suppose the point I’m trying to get at is this – the speed at which things can be borne from, promoted and eventuated using the powerful tool of Facebook is simply mind boggling.
Replacing word of mouth would be impossible, probably too difficult too even match, but this kind of forum certainly helps to plant the seed and kick start proceedings like never before.
Anyway, at the very least a group of Maitland-ites will end up at the Windmill on the common and drink a few beers, score a free sausage sizzle and, fingers crossed, will end up on national television (Channel 9 will be there with the Today Show for live coverage).
And I’m sure everybody back home, if they miss Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson in the morning and don’t get a chance to read the Wandsworth Guardian at some stage, will read, see, hear, tag and share about it online, more than likely on Facebook.
Meanwhile, life doesn’t get much better than watching England lose Test cricket to South Africa by more than an innings on home turf.
And to top it all off at The Oval on Monday, I drank their beer, spoke to their women and soaked up their
rare summer sun rays and no one suspected a thing about my internal satisfaction about the Poms being beaten.
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