A British charity fundraiser won the "best job in the world" Wednesday -- caretaker of an Australian tropical island -- after an innovative marketing campaign that highlighted the power of social media.
Ben Southall, 34, was picked from 16 finalists in a highly publicised contest by Tourism Queensland which attracted nearly 34,700 video entries from almost 200 countries and surpassed all expectations in promoting tourism in the Australian state.
The job description? Explore the islands of the Great Barrier Reef for six months and report back to Tourism Queensland and the world via blogs, a photo diary, video updates and interviews.
Also, if you feel like it, feed the fish, collect the mail and clean the pool -- and earn A$150,000 ($110,000) for your efforts.
But the people who are really excited and happy are the people from the Australian Tourist Board who thought up the whole stunt. For that salary of $100,000 or so plus the cost of a website they've had front page coverage, several times, in most of the newspapers around the world.
It's a fabulous, absolutely stunning, leverage of a very small budget for a very big payoff.