Unearthing, the book launch speech by Charlie [extract]


Thank you Ian Berry for your inspiration,
Chris Dix, Winemaker, for your lubrication,
Vito for your hospitality,
and my guests for your most dedicated support,
at this, the launch for my book, Unearthing.

Let me tell you a story.

In 2005 I wrote a paper for a University in QLD. It was called the South Australian Common Knowledge Community (yes, you can google it). I then presented this paper at their conference and it got published in their encyclopaedia. At the time I was pretty hot-shit. Or so I thought.

The paper explained the disconnect between local websites trying to make people connect, with the reality being, they didn’t. Remember, this was circa early 2005. People were (and I believe still are), very local in their thinking. By 2006 this changed. Facebook (or social media) arrived.

[insert] Now, due to employment changes – my hot-shit status was now no more. I was working as a Communications Consultant for a very conservative energy / engineering firm and I had no-where to test my online theories. But we have ways. It’s good to use a bit of creative thinking. So, the unearthing began…

Bring out your dead reds was created initially as a facebook group (in 2007) and it was an overnight success. It was then launched in April 2008. The experiment had begun. However, writing a paper about the experience wasn’t going to happen this time. So, I wrote a book. The book is basically a big case study… the journey we have taken, how we have used social media; from facebook, to twitter, blogging, and youtube, to linkedin, and skype.

Does everyone remember skyping Steve Davis in from Katherine Northern Territory? With his yellow ducky?

I purposely have not encouraged traditional media to the journey, because this wouldn’t have been a social media experiment if I did. Right? Well we have been lucky enough to appear in Adelaide Matters, have our photos appear in Adelaide’s (and Geraldton’s) social pages, and had articles written in the now discontinued print newspaper, the Independent Weekly.

It has been a successful journey. And we will continue to unearth.

Of course the book is also a history of our wine group – and that has been a unique journey on its own. When I started out, I probably had more front than David Jones, but dabbling in the social scene of Adelaide was new to me. I was a bit of a babe in the woods. After a talking to by Kazzy (Karen Foster) after Wake Two, a team of us planned a better event format and we looked for more suitable sponsors. I felt like I started to get it right by Wake 6, in 2010. Yes…. it took me that long! In reality, it took me only a matter of minutes after posting a tweet (via twitter) to be contacted by Tom to secure my next venue, which ended up being THE HWY. It’s this Highway event that created the turning point for the group. The social media was working, sponsors were approaching, venues were great, and partnerships were forming. I had created a business using social media.

In the book, I have only really talked about our wakes up to number eight – the one we held at Channel 7. So, there is room to write a second book. It’s an enjoyable subject. Is it not? I’m sure the world of social media will continue to give me things to test and I don’t think my wine group members will let me slow down… My passion has been my ability to celebrate life – my own, the bottles and the members. Each event we have raised money, now for the Heart Foundation. I was honoured to be named a Champion this year for the Challenge. I say, in everything we do, we should consider how we can “give back”.

It is truly my privilege to have met some beautiful people in this journey. It has opened doors for me where nothing else might have. Everybody I know loves to talk about the group – they love the concept, the idea, it doesn’t stop. It’s wonderful. I enjoy it. And along the journey we have unearthed a keen group of standout volunteers. They have been dedicated, loyal and strong.

Bruce is not only a loyal longtime friend, he is my rock. He brings an element of surprise and humour to every event.


Jim, my wine judge, made the now famous quote “what if we don’t unearth anymore dead ones?” I have continued to enjoy proving him wrong.


Steve provides an experienced and expert hand at every event.


And Martin, my corker, who, through his own connections has helped the group go national. Our first interstate event was held in Geraldton, which is his family home town. We have now held two events there – with the second raising over $4000 for the local Rotary club.

So many stories. So little time.

I encourage you to read the book (which means you have to buy it first!). And be warned – I have missed some stories (wouldn’t you after a big night?), and I have got a few wrong (ditto previous comment) – but this is my first attempt at writing a book. Be kind. In closing, I would like to thank my niece Sally for making my black and white words spring to life under her design and influence. We sat down in the early stages and crafted a book structure to combine a wine group history with a social media journey and I think we got it right. The book is a tribute to her personal style and flair and she makes me exceptionally proud.

This book is my pride and joy.


4 thoughts on “Unearthing, the book launch speech by Charlie [extract]

  1. Hi Charlie,

    It’s been fun following the progress of Dead Reds from a distance. I’m glad to see it has worked out so well. Congratulations on “Unearthing” and I expect to hear soon that you are working on Book #2.

    All the best from Ottawa, Canada

  2. Thank you Don… it would be a joy to one day host a DeadReds Wake in Ottawa!! The journet has been good and bad – lots of learnings, experiences and memories. I wouldn’t change any of it. The book has given me the purpose I needed to keep it going 🙂

    So, yes. Book two is being unearthed xxx

  3. Pingback: Unearthing, the book launch speech by Charlie [extract] (via Let’s Engage Socially) | CharlieRobinson Says

  4. Pingback: Unearthing, the book launch speech by Charlie [extract] (via Let’s Engage Socially) | Unearthing

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