The guys are still having some problems with Skype though maybe some of it is related to Don hitting the permanent mute button.
Don prepared for his colonoscopy with the Suprep innards-cleansing purple sponge kit. He couldn’t stomach the diarrhea inducing preparation and Ben thought he could have achieved the same effect with some of Lee-Ann Jaykus’ fecal-harvested norovirus. But Don longs for a magic pill instead of eating poop (or drinking Suprep).
The discussion then turned to the inter-relations between food safety, social networking and the Internet. Don explained that the Internet was an interconnected series of tubes invented by Al Gore. This surprised Ben. Don then briefly detoured by reminiscing about the dinner he and Kristin had with Merlin Mann at the House of Prime Rib while on a trip to San Francisco, where the WWDC Apple nerds overlapped with the ASM micro nerds. This led to the story how Dan Benjamin asked Don to talk some food safety sense into Andy Ihnatko and Dave Nanian. This inspires Don to proclaim himself food safety consultant to the Apple nerds, truly a golden god.
Bill Marler retweeted a reference to Don’s post on barfblog about hand-washing which received some criticism from a be-sandeled curmudgeon for lack of credit. Maybe he could use The Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator which (essentially) made Don an overnight Internet semi-celebrity thanks to a re-tweet by Merlin Mann.
When Ben (finally) got a word in he thought it was important to contribute to the food safety conversation on the Internet and for food professionals to know what is being talked about. Ben’s biggest challenge is finding the best way to engage with all the various social media outlets. Ben believes that people are only trusted if others can see they are real – such as Bill Marler as compared to USDA live tweet session about food safety “Ask Karen.”
While Ben and Doug’s twitter feeds are clearly food safety related, Don felt that his own was more random, such as asking Jesse Thorn for a link to the audio file for Jesse’s classic interview with Dick Dale. Don also uses Twitter as an outlet for his frustrations with a life in academe, but he was also curious about trying to socially engage random strangers reporting vomiting, diarrhea and food poisoning. Ben monitors some of these terms with TweetDeck, though he may switch to Hibari. Ben also pitched Lee-Ann on the idea of a team of graduate students engaging with those who are already reading and talking about foodborne illnesses and outbreaks as part of the NoroCore project.
Don recounted his recent appearance on Dr. Radio, a satellite radio show hosted by nutritionist Samantha Heller. He gave the podcast a plug, though the causal link with the growth in the FST podcast listenership is unknown. Don did note that about 40% of blog traffic was thanks to links from barfblog. The guys were grateful to those who had left reviews, including Mike Batz, who struggles with multiple twitter personalities.
While Don knew that the guys from Car Talk were retiring, he found out from Jesse Thorn about a post written by Ira Glass about what public radio shows should do with the slot and the response to it. The success of Car Talk reminded Don of John Gruber and Merlin Mann’s South by Southwest Interactive 2009 talk about building a blog to be proud of. All you need is Obsession + Topic + Voice, something the guys are striving to perfect.
Another opportunity for a podcast plug will be Don’s IAFP webinar on “Making the Most of Your IAFP Annual Meeting: Tips for Students and First-Timers” Tuesday, 10 July 2012, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM (Central Time). Ben recalled FST Episode 0 (on StoryCorps) and their first IAFP meeting experiences. The guys then talked about what they do and don’t do at conferences. This includes leaving sessions if they are bored.
Finally, the discussion turned to music and Ben shared that wishes he was food safety’s Neil Young. Don agreed that Neil Young’s Americana was amazing, but that he hasn’t quite got into Sloan, like Ben and Merlin.