So-Med. It sounded like some sort of medical society or group but that didn't make any sense in the context of the story. A quick google showed it's actually a Moroccan-based conglomerate, a hotel chain in the Mediterranean and also a dynamic and growing brand of top quality self-adhesive products.

Then the penny dropped; it was an abbreviation for the term "social media". It not only sounded distinctly awkward and uncomfortable emanating from the vocal chords of a distinguished news reader with impeccable diction, but also disturbingly contrived, not to mention horrid on the ear.

I don't know where this abbreviation came from and I don't care, it just didn't sound right. Nevertheless it's part of the evolution of truncation, where everything from sport to news is trimmed to its essence and delivered in bite-sized morsels. I'm not lamenting this, in fact I'm an exponent of word economy, for example. However, some things are best left unsullied.

Social Media, or So-Med, at The Country is run by a cast of too many. It's officially the domain of on-line Editor Hanoi Jane, although host Jamie Mackay has fashioned a vice-like grip over the Twittersphere.


He's commandeered that platform with the zeal of a Gestapo officer and has made it abundantly clear that he's the only one allowed to tweet under The Country name. I'm allowed one fortnightly tweet to reveal the results of the latest Global Dairy Trade Event and Hanoi is begrudgingly permitted show-content only Tweets.

The reason for this zealous defending of the Twitter handle is because he snobbishly views it as a class above the common So-Med platform, Facebook. In Jamie's eyes Facebook is the domain of unemployed minorities and Labour voters, while Twitter is a bastion of centre-right common sense and the odd bit of John Key porn; in other words, heavenly.

And that's not to mention the inherent wit of those on Twitter - you simply don't that kind of intellectual witticism among low-brow Facebook users.

It made me wonder how the Mackay's of yesteryear would pontificate their thoughts and opinions to the masses in those pre So-Med times. Really, talk-back radio and letters to the editor were the old forms of social media and before that it was the pub or over the fence.

We've always done it and I still occasionally listen to talk-back and read the odd letter. In fact, there was one letter that caught my eye in the Otago Daily Times earlier this week that restored my faith in the ironic and ultimately doomed nature of human-kind.

Hands-down the best day/night in Dunedin is the Craft Beer and Food Festival at Forsyth Barr Stadium. After three years of fine-tuning it's turned into the premiere day on the Dunners calendar and we're all set to go once again on November 12th.

Which brings me to the letter penned by an M.J. Howell from Lawrence (an hour south of Dunedin). Mr Howell announces he won't be attending the event this year, neither will his brother or friends from Invercargill. But why M.J. Howell?! Tell us why you won't be coming this year! I don't think I could abide it if you didn't at least make an appearance!
Thankfully, he explains it's because of the loud music that he says dominates the event.

He believes the organisers have lost the plot and you can't communicate anymore. All Mr Howell wants to do is enjoy a few brews and discuss the merits of them in a civilised manner, wot, wot!

Fair enough, we're all entitled to our opinion. Can I suggest you maybe turn your hearing aid up mate, or down, or stay at home or? No, I won't - that's rude. But I will say "typical". There's always someone... just when you find something that's almost perfect some old gimmer comes along and wants to ruin it.

I guess that's why we have forums like letters to the editor, talkback, Facebook and Twitter. Mercifully twitter only has 140 characters for you to use, not whole paragraphs and columns.

Maybe Mackay is onto something? I should send a Tweet!... if only I were allowed...