…a very responsible blog…catavino.net…[it's] refreshing to see such professionalism.
Robert M. Parker Jr.

Hey Wine Bloggers, Wanna Publish Something in Print?

Twitter has become the new wine chat room. What makes this so nice is that in Twitter we can link to whatever we want to, and no one complains about spam. Well maybe Gary V‘s random spurts of love (did I just say that?) do from time to time feel spammy, but that’s besides the point.

This past week, conversations and debates have raged on from what wine jargon do we like/dislike to whether or not we should publish a book/mag. While I found the debate on wine jargon to be useful and fun (give me your definition of “bramble), it’s the other debate that I really must address right now. In December, during the Winecast Unfiltered podcast, I asked if people knew about the online, and now offline, magazine JPG. The basic premise of JPG is that by users voting on favorite photos, the magazine JPG is populated with the newest and most interesting photos found on the web. Each month, there are 3 new one-word themes that people submit photos to. After the votes are casted, the winners are included in the next issue of the print magazine.

The best part of this is the simplicity, ease of use, and how it allows professionals and more often non-professionals to finally see themselves in print.

Working together I think we can apply this system to the Wine blogging world too. Personally, I’ve felt for quite some time that the reason wine blogs are not taken seriously is that they are not in print. There is something about the ability to hold an object in one’s hands that somehow makes it more real and lends it an air of importance. I recently talked with Tim of Winecast.net, where we both agreed that the process to make this magazine would neither be simple nor fast, but if chip away at it little by little, it could be done.

So here are some ideas/thoughts/considerations – Please leave in the comments your ideas, thoughts and suggestions.

First the Goals

  • To develop an creme de la creme wine blogging community/site with strict requirements to have content accepted for publication.
  • To publish within the year a “Journal(s)” compiled from original content based on a per issue theme, available for purchase through online, and possibly, offline retail channels
  • To raise the overall profile of wine bloggers in the non web based wine geek world

Here’s what I see as the first steps to creating this.

  1. Find a name - I suggested to Tim to use the Wineblogger.info domain, but I think Tim was right this needs to be a unique item that will only showcase the best of the best, and therefore needs its own identity. We need a name that will be used only for this project. I know Tim registered “Vinomag”, though I think we need more suggestions.
  2. Build a site – First things first, before we start producing content in print, I think we need a site to develop the idea and to run some online trial themes. I think before we produce any kind of print product, we should use the wonderful world of web 2.0 to our advantage.
  3. Form a Editorial Board – This idea is thanks to DrDebs, and basically means that we need to have a Editorial Board that rotates members at some predefined interval. To start, this board would draft the entry requirements/methods, and after we start publishing, they would have the final say on what is printed and what is not printed. Since our goal is to raise awareness of wine blogs as a whole, we need to make sure the level of writing is at the highest level possible.

I hope that this site/project will be something that everyone can contribute to. My thoughts are that current board members will be required to participate in the monthly/quarterly/otherwise theme. At the same time, someone who is new to blogging can have the opportunity to submit articles to the themes with the chance of being selected for the final publication. The only requirement I do feel is important is that bloggers who contribute will have to have had at least 1+ years of blogging under their belt and be posting on a regular schedule. This will help narrow the field down to those who are serious. After that, it will come down to quality of writing.

At this point, this is a very rough sketch, as promised in the past weeks twitter chat. I hope that we can develop this idea and mold it into something that everyone can agree to and that will help wine blogs to achieve a higher level of recognition.

Thoughts, questions, criticisms…have at it…Tim anything to add?

Ryan Opaz

  • RichardA

    I will have some more specific suggestions on the actual mechanics and such of this idea but first wanted to address a more general issue at the foundation of this idea. Ryan stated: "Personally, I’ve felt for quite some time that the reason wine blogs are not taken seriously is that they are not in print." I do not believe that is the primary reason why wine blogs may not be taken seriously. I think the reasons are more complex and that the situation has been changing. Wine blogs are relatively new and most new things take time before they gain more widespread acceptance and credibility. I believe we are already seeing more acceptance of wine blogs as credible sources. Some wineries acknowledge the impact of wine blogs on their sales. Publicists are contacting wine blogs, knowing that such blogs increase positive publicity for their clients. Samples are routinely sent our to wine bloggers. Things are changing in a positive way and they should continue to change over time. Look at how the established print media is also moving toward wine blogs. Despite having their magazines, they still see a need for wine blogs. This lends credibility to wine blogs in general and should make the general public more accepting of the credibility of wine blogs. Being in print does not necessarily equate to being taken seriously. With all of the print on demand/self-publishing options available, anyone can publish something. I know that most mainstream publishers have given little credibility to self-published books. There are a few exceptions, but in general they are not looked on as holding much weight. I don't think that our publishing a wine magazine/journal will automatically grant us any more credibility. I think the reasons why blogs may not always be taken as seriously has more to do with questions over credentials than not being in print. This would involve questions such as: What is your experience with wine? Do you have any certificates/degrees? How long have you been involved in wine? Why should anyone read your blog? What do you bring to the table? All of us would have different answers to these questions. All of these same questions would also be applicable whether one writes an article in a magazine or a blog. I certain am not against working towards a published magazine or such, but I just don't think it will automatically grant any of us credibility. And I don't think the main reason wine blogs may not be taken seriously is primarily the fact we are not print.

  • Ryan

    Good point, though your note on credentials is not something I agree with because many of our best wine writers, only credentials are that people subscribe to their magazine. Robert Parker being a great one. His resume would read, "starting wrting about wine, tasted a lot". ANyways, what I want to say is that I do not mean to suggest that we'll be taken seriously if we publish, just that it might add a nice sheen to our image, and it could, help to draw in some people who are not so "web-centric". Either way, what we are doing right now but writing every day and doing it well, is what will lead to our rise in power, this mag/book/journal is only some nice eye candy, and could be fun!

  • RichardA

    Some questions: 1. So this is really two projects, a wine blogger communal website as well as a print product? 2. Would the print product just be copies of articles from the communal website? Or would it contain only original articles not on the communal site? Or some combination, and by what percentages? 3. What constitutes the "non web based wine geek world?" Is that the target audience? If not, who is the target audience? What are the demongraphics of that audience? I think it is an important peliminary step to identify the target audience. 4. What will be the focus of the communal website and print product? What type of articles will be considered acceptable? Will it contain wine reviews or just articles about the world of wine? How would the focus be different from existing wine magazines/newsletters?

  • RichardA

    I agree there are exceptions, such as Robert Parker, yet I have also seen where some bloggers have been criticized for a lack of "proper credentials." I do agree with you that "…it might add a nice sheen to our image, and it could, help to draw in some people who are not so “web-centric.” and that "…this mag/book/journal is only some nice eye candy, and could be fun!" It is a good idea though I just think we need to put it in persepective, which I think you certainly did in your response to me. It certainly would not hurt us and could potentially help.

  • Ryan

    We'll get to all of you questions soon…but one thing I do need to mention. I've been called a "hack" before and I'm sure I'll be called one again. I have 10yrs experience in the wine world and a small amount of training at a Sommelier school. I think these credentials are pretty good, but often the idea that I use these to blog is seen as something other than professional…Strange…Anyways back to the post: 1)Yes and no one feeds the other look at the JPG example 2)Original articles based on general themes – Some photos, maybe some reviews too, who knows 3)Good question – I'll let others decide/contribute ideas 4)Look at <a href="http://www.jpgmag.com “>http://www.jpgmag.com see what they do, you get an idea from there. But in the end it's about collating ideas with different takes on those ideas. As to what will be acceptable, good writing, as determined by the future editorial board. Maybe it should have reviews, maybe just articles, maybe both…a Blogger Wine review journal coudl be interesting too…hmmmm…Lastly it would be different because we'd work to make it different…

  • Ryan

    We'll get to all of you questions soon…but one thing I do need to mention. I've been called a "hack" before and I'm sure I'll be called one again. I have 10yrs experience in the wine world and a small amount of training at a Sommelier school. I think these credentials are pretty good, but often the idea that I use these to blog is seen as something other than professional…Strange…Anyways back to the post: 1)Yes and no one feeds the other look at the JPG example 2)Original articles based on general themes – Some photos, maybe some reviews too, who knows 3)Good question – I'll let others decide/contribute ideas 4)Look at <a href="http://www.jpgmag.com “>http://www.jpgmag.com see what they do, you get an idea from there. But in the end it's about collating ideas with different takes on those ideas. As to what will be acceptable, good writing, as determined by the future editorial board. Maybe it should have reviews, maybe just articles, maybe both…a Blogger Wine review journal coudl be interesting too…hmmmm…Lastly it would be different because we'd work to make it different…

  • Ryan

    We'll get to all of you questions soon…but one thing I do need to mention. I've been called a "hack" before and I'm sure I'll be called one again. I have 10yrs experience in the wine world and a small amount of training at a Sommelier school. I think these credentials are pretty good, but often the idea that I use these to blog is seen as something other than professional…Strange…Anyways back to the post: 1)Yes and no one feeds the other look at the JPG example 2)Original articles based on general themes – Some photos, maybe some reviews too, who knows 3)Good question – I'll let others decide/contribute ideas 4)Look at <a href="http://www.jpgmag.com “>http://www.jpgmag.com see what they do, you get an idea from there. But in the end it's about collating ideas with different takes on those ideas. As to what will be acceptable, good writing, as determined by the future editorial board. Maybe it should have reviews, maybe just articles, maybe both…a Blogger Wine review journal coudl be interesting too…hmmmm…Lastly it would be different because we'd work to make it different…

  • Ryan

    We'll get to all of you questions soon…but one thing I do need to mention. I've been called a "hack" before and I'm sure I'll be called one again. I have 10yrs experience in the wine world and a small amount of training at a Sommelier school. I think these credentials are pretty good, but often the idea that I use these to blog is seen as something other than professional…Strange…Anyways back to the post: 1)Yes and no one feeds the other look at the JPG example 2)Original articles based on general themes – Some photos, maybe some reviews too, who knows 3)Good question – I'll let others decide/contribute ideas 4)Look at <a href="http://www.jpgmag.com “>http://www.jpgmag.com see what they do, you get an idea from there. But in the end it's about collating ideas with different takes on those ideas. As to what will be acceptable, good writing, as determined by the future editorial board. Maybe it should have reviews, maybe just articles, maybe both…a Blogger Wine review journal coudl be interesting too…hmmmm…Lastly it would be different because we'd work to make it different…

  • Andrew

    twitter is just sooo geeky! This mag idea has to appeal to the casual internet user and will take some time to take off. It's worth persuing, I think, if only as a vehicle to raise the profile of the writers blogs.

  • http://www.passionatefoodie.blogspot.com RichardA

    I will have some more specific suggestions on the actual mechanics and such of this idea but first wanted to address a more general issue at the foundation of this idea.

    Ryan stated: “Personally, I’ve felt for quite some time that the reason wine blogs are not taken seriously is that they are not in print.”

    I do not believe that is the primary reason why wine blogs may not be taken seriously. I think the reasons are more complex and that the situation has been changing.

    Wine blogs are relatively new and most new things take time before they gain more widespread acceptance and credibility. I believe we are already seeing more acceptance of wine blogs as credible sources. Some wineries acknowledge the impact of wine blogs on their sales. Publicists are contacting wine blogs, knowing that such blogs increase positive publicity for their clients. Samples are routinely sent our to wine bloggers. Things are changing in a positive way and they should continue to change over time.

    Look at how the established print media is also moving toward wine blogs. Despite having their magazines, they still see a need for wine blogs. This lends credibility to wine blogs in general and should make the general public more accepting of the credibility of wine blogs.

    Being in print does not necessarily equate to being taken seriously. With all of the print on demand/self-publishing options available, anyone can publish something. I know that most mainstream publishers have given little credibility to self-published books. There are a few exceptions, but in general they are not looked on as holding much weight. I don’t think that our publishing a wine magazine/journal will automatically grant us any more credibility.

    I think the reasons why blogs may not always be taken as seriously has more to do with questions over credentials than not being in print. This would involve questions such as: What is your experience with wine? Do you have any certificates/degrees? How long have you been involved in wine? Why should anyone read your blog? What do you bring to the table? All of us would have different answers to these questions. All of these same questions would also be applicable whether one writes an article in a magazine or a blog.

    I certain am not against working towards a published magazine or such, but I just don’t think it will automatically grant any of us credibility. And I don’t think the main reason wine blogs may not be taken seriously is primarily the fact we are not print.

  • http://www.obiscoito.com Ryan

    Good point, though your note on credentials is not something I agree with because many of our best wine writers, only credentials are that people subscribe to their magazine. Robert Parker being a great one. His resume would read, “starting wrting about wine, tasted a lot”.

    ANyways, what I want to say is that I do not mean to suggest that we’ll be taken seriously if we publish, just that it might add a nice sheen to our image, and it could, help to draw in some people who are not so “web-centric”.

    Either way, what we are doing right now but writing every day and doing it well, is what will lead to our rise in power, this mag/book/journal is only some nice eye candy, and could be fun!

  • http://www.passionatefoodie.blogspot.com RichardA

    Some questions:

    1. So this is really two projects, a wine blogger communal website as well as a print product?

    2. Would the print product just be copies of articles from the communal website? Or would it contain only original articles not on the communal site? Or some combination, and by what percentages?

    3. What constitutes the “non web based wine geek world?” Is that the target audience? If not, who is the target audience? What are the demongraphics of that audience? I think it is an important peliminary step to identify the target audience.

    4. What will be the focus of the communal website and print product? What type of articles will be considered acceptable? Will it contain wine reviews or just articles about the world of wine? How would the focus be different from existing wine magazines/newsletters?

  • http://www.passionatefoodie.blogspot.com RichardA

    I agree there are exceptions, such as Robert Parker, yet I have also seen where some bloggers have been criticized for a lack of “proper credentials.”

    I do agree with you that “…it might add a nice sheen to our image, and it could, help to draw in some people who are not so “web-centric.” and that “…this mag/book/journal is only some nice eye candy, and could be fun!”

    It is a good idea though I just think we need to put it in persepective, which I think you certainly did in your response to me. It certainly would not hurt us and could potentially help.

  • http://www.obiscoito.com Ryan

    We’ll get to all of you questions soon…but one thing I do need to mention. I’ve been called a “hack” before and I’m sure I’ll be called one again. I have 10yrs experience in the wine world and a small amount of training at a Sommelier school. I think these credentials are pretty good, but often the idea that I use these to blog is seen as something other than professional…Strange…Anyways back to the post:

    1)Yes and no one feeds the other look at the JPG example
    2)Original articles based on general themes – Some photos, maybe some reviews too, who knows
    3)Good question – I’ll let others decide/contribute ideas
    4)Look at http://www.jpgmag.com see what they do, you get an idea from there. But in the end it’s about collating ideas with different takes on those ideas. As to what will be acceptable, good writing, as determined by the future editorial board. Maybe it should have reviews, maybe just articles, maybe both…a Blogger Wine review journal coudl be interesting too…hmmmm…Lastly it would be different because we’d work to make it different…

  • http://www.spittoon.biz Andrew

    twitter is just sooo geeky! This mag idea has to appeal to the casual internet user and will take some time to take off. It’s worth persuing, I think, if only as a vehicle to raise the profile of the writers blogs.

  • Jeff

    Ryan, I have a much more –positive–substantive thoughts on this to follow later today, but in the meantime I hope your reference to "hack" above isn't related to anything I've written as I did note in a post in the fall about the alleged hour requirements to be an expert. Let it, likewise, be known that I'm a hack, as well. Jeff

  • Jill

    I love the idea of doing an internet-based publication (at least as a testing ground for print…though print isn't very eco-friendly, is it?). The one thing I fear: I'm a blogger, but I'm a retailer. Would I automatically be disqualified from participation due to my commercial background? Or is there someway to integrate industry folks (retailers, wineries, etc.) without blurring the editorial/advertising lines? I would hate to have to sit on the sidelines on this one, but I could see this as a logistical necessity once standards are articulated. Just figured I should raise this early on. Jill

  • Andrew

    I dont have a problem with commercial operations being involved. The punter has to know where to buy the wines recommended from and the best way to appreciate the processes involved in their making is from a producer for eg. So as long as the relationship is up front I cant see a problem. Traditional print media interviews wine makers and producers. The blog format allows a more direct approach. Perhaps any producer supplied content could be moderated/tempered by an independent review of the wines involved from another writer?

  • http://www.goodgrape.com Jeff

    Ryan,

    I have a much more –positive–substantive thoughts on this to follow later today, but in the meantime I hope your reference to “hack” above isn’t related to anything I’ve written as I did note in a post in the fall about the alleged hour requirements to be an expert. Let it, likewise, be known that I’m a hack, as well.

    Jeff

  • http://domaine547.com Jill

    I love the idea of doing an internet-based publication (at least as a testing ground for print…though print isn’t very eco-friendly, is it?).

    The one thing I fear: I’m a blogger, but I’m a retailer. Would I automatically be disqualified from participation due to my commercial background? Or is there someway to integrate industry folks (retailers, wineries, etc.) without blurring the editorial/advertising lines? I would hate to have to sit on the sidelines on this one, but I could see this as a logistical necessity once standards are articulated.

    Just figured I should raise this early on.

    Jill

  • Becky

    Ryan, I think it's an interesting idea to pursue (even though I'm disqualified :)). One difference I see between JPG Mag and the usual wine blog fodder is that they are specializing in images which aren't like wine blog topics in that they don't get beaten to death within 2 weeks of first hitting the internet. They're more timeless. I'm sure your Editorial panel could find some timeless themes for this project as well–photography comes to mind, wine travel pieces, reviews, etc. As for credentials, etc I think Richard has a point… Also, if I may play devil's advocate, another point that was made in the Winecast Unfiltered was that one of the advantages bloggers have over print media is the immediacy of the medium which you'd loose in this kind of format.

  • 1WineDude

    I think that RichardA makes several good points. I also think that the idea, in general, is an intriguing one. It needs some work. Some thoughts / words of caution – I don't mean any of these negatively, I offer them in what I feel are the best interests of things to seriously consider for this endeavor: 1) The printed world of journalism is very different from that of on-line blogging. Printed media from disparate sources requires a) a common voice/tone of the publication (with just enough room for originality among the various contributors), b) a well-defined target audience, c) perceived value over-&amp;-above what could be gathered and collected by the target audience from free sources. 2) Hence the need for some sort of editorial board. However, there could be an (undeserved) air of elitism generated by this among the wine-blogging community, depending on how the content is judged and selected. 3) I agree with RichardA's statements about printed media NOT contributing significantly to a lack of respect for wine blogging. Blogging, and wine blogging in particular, is subject to a) lack of editorial control over quality of published content, b) misconception (or total lack) of established and easily-understood credibility on the subject matter (which, for wine consumers, is even worse in the case of wine than in many other areas), and c) popularity of the subject matter. Wine books are in high demand. Wine mags are not. If we were blogging about life improvement or personal finance, we'd probably be singing a different tune altogether. I would personally proffer any of these as more significant contributors than lack of printed media.

  • http://www.spittoon.biz Andrew

    I dont have a problem with commercial operations being involved. The punter has to know where to buy the wines recommended from and the best way to appreciate the processes involved in their making is from a producer for eg. So as long as the relationship is up front I cant see a problem.

    Traditional print media interviews wine makers and producers. The blog format allows a more direct approach.

    Perhaps any producer supplied content could be moderated/tempered by an independent review of the wines involved from another writer?

  • http://smellslikegrape.blogspot.com Becky

    Ryan, I think it’s an interesting idea to pursue (even though I’m disqualified :)). One difference I see between JPG Mag and the usual wine blog fodder is that they are specializing in images which aren’t like wine blog topics in that they don’t get beaten to death within 2 weeks of first hitting the internet. They’re more timeless. I’m sure your Editorial panel could find some timeless themes for this project as well–photography comes to mind, wine travel pieces, reviews, etc.
    As for credentials, etc I think Richard has a point… Also, if I may play devil’s advocate, another point that was made in the Winecast Unfiltered was that one of the advantages bloggers have over print media is the immediacy of the medium which you’d loose in this kind of format.

  • http://1winedude.blogspot.com 1WineDude

    I think that RichardA makes several good points.

    I also think that the idea, in general, is an intriguing one. It needs some work.

    Some thoughts / words of caution – I don’t mean any of these negatively, I offer them in what I feel are the best interests of things to seriously consider for this endeavor:

    1) The printed world of journalism is very different from that of on-line blogging. Printed media from disparate sources requires a) a common voice/tone of the publication (with just enough room for originality among the various contributors), b) a well-defined target audience, c) perceived value over-&-above what could be gathered and collected by the target audience from free sources.

    2) Hence the need for some sort of editorial board. However, there could be an (undeserved) air of elitism generated by this among the wine-blogging community, depending on how the content is judged and selected.

    3) I agree with RichardA’s statements about printed media NOT contributing significantly to a lack of respect for wine blogging. Blogging, and wine blogging in particular, is subject to a) lack of editorial control over quality of published content, b) misconception (or total lack) of established and easily-understood credibility on the subject matter (which, for wine consumers, is even worse in the case of wine than in many other areas), and c) popularity of the subject matter. Wine books are in high demand. Wine mags are not. If we were blogging about life improvement or personal finance, we’d probably be singing a different tune altogether. I would personally proffer any of these as more significant contributors than lack of printed media.

  • Justin

    It is an interesting idea, Ryan, and certainly one with some genuine merit. My first thought beyond the difficulties in deciding what the content would be (and what general theme it would follow…reviews…education…commentary…who is the intended audience?) is how would it be distributed? I see the JPG offers paid subscriptions through the website but does it get any bricks &amp; mortar distribution? Even if limited only to online paid subscriptions, managing that alone would be a substantial undertaking.

  • http://grapelesstraveled.blogspot.com Justin

    It is an interesting idea, Ryan, and certainly one with some genuine merit. My first thought beyond the difficulties in deciding what the content would be (and what general theme it would follow…reviews…education…commentary…who is the intended audience?) is how would it be distributed? I see the JPG offers paid subscriptions through the website but does it get any bricks & mortar distribution? Even if limited only to online paid subscriptions, managing that alone would be a substantial undertaking.

  • Ryan

    Becky – I think that your points are good, but the idea I'm thinking of is to take on topics that are more timeless, and to allow our writing to shine. A chance to do something a bit different. 1Winedude – I agree with the eliteism issue, but I would look to make this a situation where we have a magazine/book/review that is the best of the best. Kinda like the Wine Blog Awards. As to your third point if wine books are in Demand, and not wine mags are not, maybe we should publish a book or two. Justin – Your right and the amount of work to do a full scale publication would be daunting, but what I would like to see is people building an idea with web 2.0 ideas like LULU.com first and then if the demand is there, looking to different ideas/ methods. Jill – I thnk we can find a way to get retailers and industry types into this, just a matter of disclosure and discussion as to how we do it. Lot's to think about. One thing though I would love to hear comments from possible readers of a such a book, not just people who want to be published in it! Any non-bloggers have an opinion about what they would like to buy?

  • http://www.obiscoito.com Ryan

    Becky – I think that your points are good, but the idea I’m thinking of is to take on topics that are more timeless, and to allow our writing to shine. A chance to do something a bit different.

    1Winedude – I agree with the eliteism issue, but I would look to make this a situation where we have a magazine/book/review that is the best of the best. Kinda like the Wine Blog Awards. As to your third point if wine books are in Demand, and not wine mags are not, maybe we should publish a book or two.

    Justin – Your right and the amount of work to do a full scale publication would be daunting, but what I would like to see is people building an idea with web 2.0 ideas like LULU.com first and then if the demand is there, looking to different ideas/ methods.

    Jill – I thnk we can find a way to get retailers and industry types into this, just a matter of disclosure and discussion as to how we do it.

    Lot’s to think about. One thing though I would love to hear comments from possible readers of a such a book, not just people who want to be published in it! Any non-bloggers have an opinion about what they would like to buy?

  • Jeff

    Ryan, I think you're on to something here. Though, I think taking more of a book/lulu.com approach might be the way to go as opposed to baselining against Jpg If you look at a couple of the recent essay-driven wine books that have come out ("Wine &amp; Philosophy" and "Questions of Taste" for example) I think collating a book around essays from bloggers that is governed by an editorial board with topic oversight is very doable. In fact, I think there's an audience for it, as well. But, I think topics need to be curated and I think some professional editing assistance from elance.com or elsewhere is probably required. When you think about it, there aren't too many bloggers doing long pieces. The other notion is to potentially tie this to some sort of philanthropic effort i.e. all proceeds benefit something or somebody. That gets around the annoying issue of profit and work for hire, etc. Overall, I'm not sure if you're going to get much validation from wine blog readers. I think more than anything this is one of those shots in the dark you have to take based on instinct. I like it. Good, progressive thinking! Jeff

  • http://www.goodgrape.com Jeff

    Ryan,

    I think you’re on to something here. Though, I think taking more of a book/lulu.com approach might be the way to go as opposed to baselining against Jpg

    If you look at a couple of the recent essay-driven wine books that have come out (“Wine & Philosophy” and “Questions of Taste” for example) I think collating a book around essays from bloggers that is governed by an editorial board with topic oversight is very doable. In fact, I think there’s an audience for it, as well.

    But, I think topics need to be curated and I think some professional editing assistance from elance.com or elsewhere is probably required. When you think about it, there aren’t too many bloggers doing long pieces.

    The other notion is to potentially tie this to some sort of philanthropic effort i.e. all proceeds benefit something or somebody. That gets around the annoying issue of profit and work for hire, etc.

    Overall, I’m not sure if you’re going to get much validation from wine blog readers. I think more than anything this is one of those shots in the dark you have to take based on instinct.

    I like it. Good, progressive thinking!

    Jeff

  • Bill

    Ryan, As a "non-blogger", but avid reader of Catavino, I applaud your desire to put something like this together. It is obvious by the previous comments that there is a passionate group of wine bloggers out there with good ideas. As a reader, the articles that are of most interest to me are "wine lifestyle" oriented. I don't simply want to read tasting notes about wine. I want something deeper than that. You have provided posts that touch on the lifestyle and I think those are the best. You are so lucky to live immersed in a major wine producing country. I enjoy the stories about your experiences and want more. Like Gab's post on the visit to the cava producer. It's evocative and takes me away from Minnesota to a wine dream world. I love going to that dream world. Oh, and if you can make me laugh, even better! What I don't want is the Parker experience, which basically consists of very dry , dare I say antiseptic, notes about this wine and that. BORING!!!!! Thanks for asking me to provide feedback.

  • Bill

    Ryan,

    As a “non-blogger”, but avid reader of Catavino, I applaud your desire to put something like this together. It is obvious by the previous comments that there is a passionate group of wine bloggers out there with good ideas.

    As a reader, the articles that are of most interest to me are “wine lifestyle” oriented. I don’t simply want to read tasting notes about wine. I want something deeper than that. You have provided posts that touch on the lifestyle and I think those are the best. You are so lucky to live immersed in a major wine producing country. I enjoy the stories about your experiences and want more. Like Gab’s post on the visit to the cava producer. It’s evocative and takes me away from Minnesota to a wine dream world. I love going to that dream world. Oh, and if you can make me laugh, even better!

    What I don’t want is the Parker experience, which basically consists of very dry , dare I say antiseptic, notes about this wine and that. BORING!!!!! Thanks for asking me to provide feedback.

  • Ryan

    Thanks Bill for your insight, anything we do do is going to need that personal touch since that is what I think draws people to blogging., I agree lifestyle pieces make sense…and the avoidance of dry antiseptic notes….

  • http://www.obiscoito.com Ryan

    Thanks Bill for your insight, anything we do do is going to need that personal touch since that is what I think draws people to blogging., I agree lifestyle pieces make sense…and the avoidance of dry antiseptic notes….

  • Dr. Debs

    Sorry to be chiming in so late–beginning of the semester. I think this idea is well worth pursuing, even though there are a lot of (excellent) questions that need resolving. I think I agree that having something to hold is not necessarily the big thing–and I suspect that some kind of quality control/vetting is. My suspicion is that if wine bloggers really put an effort into writing something longer than a blog post and of magazine quality they could do it–and that the resulting publication would in fact be better than any of the wine mags currently around in terms of diversity of opinion, regional coverage, etc. And though it might be seen as elitist, I feel strongly that selectivity is key–with all the disappointment that that might cause, etc.

  • http://goodwineunder20.blogspot.com Dr. Debs

    Sorry to be chiming in so late–beginning of the semester. I think this idea is well worth pursuing, even though there are a lot of (excellent) questions that need resolving. I think I agree that having something to hold is not necessarily the big thing–and I suspect that some kind of quality control/vetting is. My suspicion is that if wine bloggers really put an effort into writing something longer than a blog post and of magazine quality they could do it–and that the resulting publication would in fact be better than any of the wine mags currently around in terms of diversity of opinion, regional coverage, etc. And though it might be seen as elitist, I feel strongly that selectivity is key–with all the disappointment that that might cause, etc.