It all started with a simple Facebook post and link on my personal profile, which was noticed by one of my friends. I’d just heard about Oprah’s announcement on her first show for her 25th and final year about “The Ultimate Australian Adventure“, and was intrigued on a variety of levels.

To be honest I haven’t really “worked” Facebook as much as others, being more selective about the friends I have on there, preferring to keep at least that part of my online presence more private. I opened those doors recently only to continue developing the online relationships I’d created in 140 character bursts via Twitter, my preferred social media tool. Besides, I Administer quite a few business pages for clients and have my own VIP Virtual Solutions and Socialmediarite, so it’s not like I wasn’t already using Facebook frequently. However, in comparison to my Twitter obsession (there’s no denying that anymore!), on Facebook I’d consciously stayed away from the whole “social” aspect, keeping it more conservative. That is, until now!

Anyhoo, Toney Fitzgerald (whom I call “The Instigator”!) contacted me suggesting I create a new Facebook community page around this event which I named appropriately “Oprah House In Australia“. I could already feel the buzz swelling and even though I’m not an Oprah fanatic by any means, I’m certainly a fan of her achievements and the endless positivity this unique female role model can and does create around the world.

Also, we here in Australia really don’t have anything close to an Oprah equivalent, or a true understanding of the phenomenon she’s become which I also find interesting. That’s no doubt due to the cultural and social differences between us and the USA, but it doesn’t mean we can’t all join together now in celebrating with the lucky 300 who won a chance for an extraordinary experience in our “lucky country”.

After inviting my friends, I thought about what exactly did Toney and I hope to achieve with the page. And what stood out in my mind was, not only highlighting the trip-to-be and the wonderful things Oprah does for others, but showcasing our country and it’s people, places and culture to as many as possible. Another important reason was Toney and I just love helping and connecting people, and if possible, creating opportunities. Over the past 2.5 years I’ve fortunately experienced the many benefits of social media myself, seeing how powerful it can be firsthand.

Within the first 48 hours the vibe was so crazy I couldn’t sleep! It was like nothing I’d ever experienced online before, totally infectious and I’m sure just a small taste of the frenzy ahead. It also resulted in:

2 press articles: 1 in an Australian national paper, and another featuring a member in her local newspaper with a personal offer to Oprah to experience true aussie hospitality at her place, and

– 1 TV appearance by Toney on Channel 10’s exclusive Oprah Interview (in full) with reporter Angela Bishop. See if you can spot him (in glasses) giving her a wave and a “g’day!”

To date, there are over 650 people who have joined creating lots of activity, conversations, learning and even connecting with each other. In the past few days, we’ve also been joined by 2 of the actual Oprah premier audience members who became Ultimate Adventure ticket winners! Both keen to share their experiences and journey, and hopefully connect with other winners on our page before they arrive Down Under in December.

This is what I term the real “Oprah Effect”, which isn’t based on how much revenue she can generate for any one person, business or product, but what her influence can really achieve person to person, world-wide. This social, emotional and spiritual currency is far more valuable and worthwhile in my opinion.

So, if you want to be a part of what I term “O’s pOsitive pOsse”, please pop over to our page, join by clicking “like” and why not introduce yourself on our Wall? Everyday there’ll be posts with O info, the latest ticket information, links, fun trivia, facts etc and any pictures, videos, or comments you have regarding Oprah or Australiana are more than welcome! And, in the tradition of Ms O herself, why not “pay it forward” and invite your friends and family too?

Toney and I hope to meet you there!

Free Smileys & Emoticons at Clip Art

UPDATE: Seems our page is the place online for Ultimate Adventure ticket winners to gather! Since my post we’ve had another 2 join us, making it 4, and all are very excited at the prospect of getting to know eachother before their trip Down Under!


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