Catavino keeps you current not only with the remarkable wine developments in Spain and Portugal, two of the most dynamic wine producers on the planet, but you'll learn about food trends, new dishes and restaurants and the ancient and modern cultures on the Iberian Peninsula. And you may not notice it, but Catavino also happens to be one of smoothest designed websites you'll have the pleasure of visiting.
Doug Frost MS/MW http://dougfrost.com

Wine Bloggers Unite? or at least Discuss!

Wine Blogger

Wine blogging has become, for many of us, a central part of our lives. Each week, we try to post interesting information that goes beyond a simple tasting note, delving into a unique idea, history or current news tidbit. Being by default, a little inbred at its core, we find ourselves sharing ideas, reposting information, and commenting about what everyone else has already commented on someplace else. We cannibalize the Decanter news feed, and at times, each other too. Over the past 3 years, we’ve grown considerably from when we had only a few lone voices to today, where we have people commenting from around the globe. We even have our own wine event(and website), thanks to Lenn of LENNDEVOURS. Life has gotten pretty cozy especially when we see some of us getting mentions in newspapers and magazines. Some of us are even feeling that we might actually be making a difference in the wine world as a whole.

But are we?

I want to ask a couple of questions. First off, Gary Vaynerchuck is a person I’ve come to respect greatly and doing something completely different. He’s reaching the non-mainstream wine geek. From his site, you can see a wide range of listeners, both newbies to wine and people firmly entrenched in the middle of the wine world. He’s become so influential that I’ve actually heard of his reviews effecting wine sales.

Grape Radio with its money, slick studio and celebrity interviews, seems to have attracted another group of listeners, neither of which are all “geeks” or in the biz. They seemed to have hit on something influential and are doing it right. Although, because they never rate or recommend specific wines, I’m curious if the wine industry will ever listen?

Tom Wark claims 20,000 thirsty eyeballs are listening to him, but if we consider the focus of his articles, I wonder if the majority of those eyeballs wouldn’t be found in the sockets of someone in the wine industry, not necessarily an average wine drinker. Tom, what have your surveys told you?

I assume that you, Alder, have more readers coming from a wider audience base. Do you feel like your “changing the wine world”? Are non-wine geeks paying attention?

Andy from Spittoon, are you seeing your projects draw in new faces? How’s Britain’s take on wine blogging?

Although we have gained significant ground over the past few years, what I’m not hearing is whether wine blogs are directly effecting sales, stirring controversy(outside the web), or bringing more wine drinkers to the table. Animal labels and better quality 10$ wines are making a difference in sales, but are we as wine bloggers? It seems to me that mainstream wine media still looks at us as a bunch of amateurs, not worth worrying about. Is there a way to make a bigger impact? Can we create a more powerful voice?

I don’t know. The one area I directly see our impact is in Google search results. We are starting to take over and control an incredibly powerful search engine, when the search is wine related. By posting everyday, we build content influencing search results for common wine terms to lead people directly back to us. That’s pretty cool in my opinion. I know every time we write about another obscure and unknown Spanish or Portuguese winery, Catavino shows on the 1st page of search results.

Unfortunately, explaining what a wine blogger is to both Spaniards and Portuguese is really difficult. Everyday, I’m having to explain what I am, what I do, and why it matters. Slowly it’s starting to sink in, but it’s a slow process. So rather than sit on our hind legs and do nothing, I’ve decided to change this, but I need your help.

Let’s start a Google Bomb! I just created www.WineBlogger.info where I plan to host one page, keeping it simple. The page contains a definition of a wine blogger created by both Gabriella and I, but now we need your help.

First, in the comments below, let us know what needs to be added/removed from the definition. All ideas will be considered. Then, in a week or two, we’ll put up a list of definitions for everyone to choose from. The winner will be placed on the site for all of us to ogle. After that, I need everyone to start linking to the site with the anchor text “wine blogger”. I will not host ads on the site, only adding pages as the definition is translated into as many languages as possible. Below the definition, I will start a list of every wine blogger who sends us a link. If we can make WineBlogger.info number one in Google then all the links will gain a little juice, I hope.

We’ve also created a logo and a shirt available in our CafePress store to help with hosting costs. I ask that anyone else with a logo they want to add to offer it up. Also let us know what you think of the one we created.

You can join our Facebook group to talk about wine blogging in general, bring up issues or offer some new ideas. Maybe this facebook thing is not so bad afterall?

I’m not sure this will do much, but I hope that at the very least it can provide a basis for how we define ourselves, whether we need it or not. Plus, I have to say that it’s been great being a part of the wine blogging community. The hardest and most regrettable part is that as we grow, it becomes more difficult to read everyone’s content. I only hope that I begin to see more “offlines” spring up and with time more of us no longer remain face to face strangers.(jealous I was not at Family Winemakers! sounds like it was fun)

Can’t wait to hear what you think!

Cheers,

Ryan Opaz

BTW I’ve only added a random selection of wine blogs to the site. Please be patient, I’ll get a few more up soon, and accept requests as well. I think my list or active bloggers is in the 30′s though I know there are a LOT more….thanks

  • RichardA

    I do think that wine bloggers are gaining more influence in the world, and will likely gain even more influence over time. I noticed at least one winery which listed wine bloggers as the #2 influence on their wine sales. Wine & Spirits recently listed their 5 top wine blogs, which included Dr. Deb's Good Wine Under $20. So the big wine media is at least giving credit to wine blogs. I was recently contacted by a major US publisher who wanted to provide me some review copies of new books for possible review on my blog. That indicates to me at least one major company sees blogs as persuasive to their sales. And I doubt they are alone. Is there a way to make a bigger impact? Can we create a more powerful voice? I am sure that we can. But deciding what exactly to do may be more difficult. And deciding what other bloggers will accept may be more difficult. I am certainly willing to try the blogger definition idea, so please add my URL. I do think the Blogroller idea I have mentioned on a couple msg boards might be beneficial to wine bloggers as well. I do know that the food blogroller I am on has generated a lot of traffic to my site. And I assume the same occurs for all on the blogroller. It would certainly be easy to create a wine blogroller, and might help everyone on that blogroller can more traffic.

  • RichardA

    My definition proposed changes: Wine Blog · ger [wahyn blog-er]: noun – a person who frequently publishes, sometimes even daily, an online journal about wine and related topics. Content may cover a variety of different topics including wine reviews, news, opinion essays, and much more. It typically displayed in a chronological order. Located anywhere in the world the Internet reaches, they are prone to be cheerful, happy and rather fond of drinking fermented grape juice.

  • Tom Wark

    I think Richard nailed my only objection: being daily. Tom…

  • Samuel

    Nice post, thanks for charing!

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

    I do think that wine bloggers are gaining more influence in the world, and will likely gain even more influence over time. I noticed at least one winery which listed wine bloggers as the #2 influence on their wine sales. Wine & Spirits recently listed their 5 top wine blogs, which included Dr. Deb’s Good Wine Under $20. So the big wine media is at least giving credit to wine blogs. I was recently contacted by a major US publisher who wanted to provide me some review copies of new books for possible review on my blog. That indicates to me at least one major company sees blogs as persuasive to their sales. And I doubt they are alone.

    Is there a way to make a bigger impact? Can we create a more powerful voice? I am sure that we can. But deciding what exactly to do may be more difficult. And deciding what other bloggers will accept may be more difficult.

    I am certainly willing to try the blogger definition idea, so please add my URL.

    I do think the Blogroller idea I have mentioned on a couple msg boards might be beneficial to wine bloggers as well. I do know that the food blogroller I am on has generated a lot of traffic to my site. And I assume the same occurs for all on the blogroller. It would certainly be easy to create a wine blogroller, and might help everyone on that blogroller can more traffic.

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

    My definition proposed changes:

    Wine Blog · ger [wahyn blog-er]: noun – a person who frequently publishes, sometimes even daily, an online journal about wine and related topics. Content may cover a variety of different topics including wine reviews, news, opinion essays, and much more. It typically displayed in a chronological order. Located anywhere in the world the Internet reaches, they are prone to be cheerful, happy and rather fond of drinking fermented grape juice.

  • http://flavorofspain.com Samuel

    Nice post, thanks for charing!

  • Tom Wark

    I think Richard nailed my only objection: being daily.

    Tom…

  • Ryan

    Thanks Richard for the new def…If we get more than 5 proposals we'll vote on the one everyone likes and the winner will get a shirt! Tom-Good point, should say "Struggle to post daily!" ;)

  • Michelle

    Ryan: I do think we are making a difference, although explaining it to folks like my dad is a little complicated. My blog is rather regionally focused (it's always good to have a niche). Every week I get a few emails from folks who are thanking me for introducing them to this, that, or the other. I appreciate that from my readers and it makes me feel like I'm not just doing this for my own amusement and better understanding, which is why it started. It's nice. I like your definition, but Tom and Richard are right. Daily is a little rough. I know that I tend to miss Saturday – Monday each week. I never mean to miss Mondays … This is a fun idea, and useful, I think, as is the Facebook Group. Cheers, and thanks …

  • Jay Selman

    I think you underestimate our reach into the wine industry. When I say industry, I am talking about the wineries themselves. We have many listeners in that group. Distributors and importers I do not get a feeling we are as well known. Jay

  • http://www.catavino.net Ryan

    Thanks Richard for the new def…If we get more than 5 proposals we’ll vote on the one everyone likes and the winner will get a shirt!
    Tom-Good point, should say “Struggle to post daily!” ;)

  • Ryan

    I responded to Jay's comment by email and we ended up with a nice back and forth, that I ask him if I could republish. Below is the exchange…let me know what you think…

    Great to hear Jay! I'm happy to hear wineries are listening, but do you think that people new to wine make up a big part of your listeners, or are they mainly already wine converts? -Ryan ——– Now that is a question! I am convinced the majority are in the former group. Take a look at the comments on our site. The majority make a reference that they are just starting their wine journey. BTW, this touches on a point that I think many seem to miss. Just because a person is new to wine, it does not mean they are not interested in wine geeky stuff. The very fact that the person is using a blog/podcast/etc indicates that they may have a geeky streak to them. It you are geeky in one are, you are probably geeky in others. I did not mention that the reason we have been able to score some celebrity interviews is because there is good word of mouth within the industry. Trust me, they check us out before they get involved. They call their winemaker buddies and ask. -Jay ———– Great point on the geekiness! Maybe the ones we're attracting right now are the tech geeks(or psuedo geeks) who are interested in the world of wine. I just look at my friends and family, all professionals, and they really haven't fullyembraced the Web2.0 ideas, that my friends who lean towards geek have. I guess this next year or two will be a big coming out of sorts… -Ryan Opaz ———- Lack of wine knowledge does not translate to level of interest in (or ability to understand) the world of wine. Here is something else to consider. Magazine and newspaper revenues are down. Even radio is finding it hard to compete. For those that have teenagers, how much time do they spend reading magazines or newspapers? Are they tuned into the radio or are they listening to their iPod? The answer to those questions will tell us where is the power to influence the market located. -Jay

  • Gabriella

    Somehow I knew that the word "daily" might cause a stir. I put in there because it appears to define us, but does it? What I find interesting is that a blog doesn't necessarily have rules regarding time of publication like print media does. I'm curious how to define time for a blog because many of us go for stints when we post two articles a day or nothing for days. The word "journal" is really curious term, because to me, it implies that like a physical journal there is an anticipation of a daily entry, and if you don't enter one, somehow you've let your readers down. The word also indicates something very intimate and personal, not necessarily professional. Finally, notice a big gap in our definition? We never chatted about type of media. From our definition, I would assume written, not video or podcasts. We also don't mention the interactivity of a blog through comments. Thoughts?

  • Michelle

    Perhaps "a person who publishes a "daily" online journal about wine." might instead be "a person who publishes online content on a regular basis" or some such wording. Online content embraces all sorts of new media.

  • Gabriella

    Well said Michelle! So if we're all in agreement with Michelle's definition of time, how or do we tackle "journal", media and interactivity.

  • http://www.wine-girl.net Michelle

    Ryan:
    I do think we are making a difference, although explaining it to folks like my dad is a little complicated. My blog is rather regionally focused (it’s always good to have a niche). Every week I get a few emails from folks who are thanking me for introducing them to this, that, or the other. I appreciate that from my readers and it makes me feel like I’m not just doing this for my own amusement and better understanding, which is why it started. It’s nice.

    I like your definition, but Tom and Richard are right. Daily is a little rough. I know that I tend to miss Saturday – Monday each week. I never mean to miss Mondays …

    This is a fun idea, and useful, I think, as is the Facebook Group.

    Cheers, and thanks …

  • http://www.graperadio.com Jay Selman

    I think you underestimate our reach into the wine industry. When I say industry, I am talking about the wineries themselves. We have many listeners in that group. Distributors and importers I do not get a feeling we are as well known.

    Jay

  • http://www.catavino.net Ryan

    I responded to Jay’s comment by email and we ended up with a nice back and forth, that I ask him if I could republish. Below is the exchange…let me know what you think…

    Great to hear Jay! I’m happy to hear wineries are listening, but do you think that people new to wine make up a big part of your listeners, or are they mainly already wine converts?
    -Ryan
    ——–
    Now that is a question! I am convinced the majority are in the former group. Take a look at the comments on our site. The majority make a reference that they are just starting their wine journey. BTW, this touches on a point that I think many seem to miss. Just because a person is new to wine, it does not mean they are not interested in wine geeky stuff. The very fact that the person is using a blog/podcast/etc indicates that they may have a geeky streak to them. It you are geeky in one are, you are probably geeky in others.

    I did not mention that the reason we have been able to score some celebrity interviews is because there is good word of mouth within the industry. Trust me, they check us out before they get involved. They call their winemaker buddies and ask.
    -Jay
    ———–
    Great point on the geekiness! Maybe the ones we’re attracting right now are the tech geeks(or psuedo geeks) who are interested in the world of wine. I just look at my friends and family, all professionals, and they really haven’t fullyembraced the Web2.0 ideas, that my friends who lean towards geek have.

    I guess this next year or two will be a big coming out of sorts…
    -Ryan Opaz
    ———-
    Lack of wine knowledge does not translate to level of interest in (or ability to understand) the world of wine. Here is something else to consider. Magazine and newspaper revenues are down. Even radio is finding it hard to compete. For those that have teenagers, how much time do they spend reading magazines or newspapers? Are they tuned into the radio or are they listening to their iPod? The answer to those questions will tell us where is the power to influence the market located.
    -Jay

  • http://www.catavino.net Gabriella

    Somehow I knew that the word “daily” might cause a stir. I put in there because it appears to define us, but does it? What I find interesting is that a blog doesn’t necessarily have rules regarding time of publication like print media does. I’m curious how to define time for a blog because many of us go for stints when we post two articles a day or nothing for days.

    The word “journal” is really curious term, because to me, it implies that like a physical journal there is an anticipation of a daily entry, and if you don’t enter one, somehow you’ve let your readers down. The word also indicates something very intimate and personal, not necessarily professional.

    Finally, notice a big gap in our definition? We never chatted about type of media. From our definition, I would assume written, not video or podcasts. We also don’t mention the interactivity of a blog through comments.

    Thoughts?

  • http://www.wine-girl.net Michelle

    Perhaps “a person who publishes a “daily” online journal about wine.” might instead be

    “a person who publishes online content on a regular basis” or some such wording. Online content embraces all sorts of new media.

  • http://www.catavino.net Gabriella

    Well said Michelle! So if we’re all in agreement with Michelle’s definition of time, how or do we tackle “journal”, media and interactivity.

  • Nico

    hey Ryan, cool post and site in general. Thanks for creating the "wine blogger" group and apparel and definition site and I humbly request my addition to the wine blogroll there. I also like the use of "regular basis" instead of "daily" in the definition. With wine blogs in general, I am finding that we are slowly affecting a minute subset of wine consumers (likely the geekier ones – see WLTV as an example), and to truly "change the wine world" we need to reach out to the producers and distributors. On one WLTV episode, I saw that a winery had written Mr. Vaynerchuk to explain their response to his criticism of their wine and how they agreed in some aspects and how they were going to make some changes. Great example, IMHO. Our impact won't be strong immediately, but with consistency and longevity, we (with all future bloggers included) can be a great authority and resource of varying opinions. -Nico

  • Garry Clark

    Regarding the timing thing, Im with RichardA and Michelle. Unfortunately many people start blogging and then lose interest or focus or just lack the time and the commitment to continue and their posts slow then stop. Regarding the medium of the content, these days the written word has almost become superceded by verbal content and visual media – think of the various podcasts and vlogs that are around – Winecast, Winelibrary.tv to name two of the more dominant ones. Whilst many blogs do attract interaction through comments, the sheer deluge of spam that comes through comments has forced many to enable their various filtering methods and Captchas to try and reduce the false posting. I have read of a number of "offline" gatherings where folks have gotten together at a neutral venue to share their love of wine and or food, though I have yet to be able to attend such an offline the whole idea of what is essentially a bunch of strangers with a common interest getting together and making new friends is surely something good. By turning to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, the level of interaction can be raised, but Im curious as to how practical it will be, or will it descend into childish "poke-me" fights and value-less interaction. In our community of wine-bloggers, I suppose our biggest interaction is the monthly Wine Blog Wednesday, which I look forward to avidly each month, trying to find ever new and exciting wines to blog about. If Im honest, I started my blog as a form of therapy, a way of clearing my mind of things that were happening at work and as a tool to help me remember some of the experiences that had occured and the wines that I was coming across in that role. In much the same way as you might take notes during a lecture. I never imagined that I would have people reading my blog across the world, interested in what was happening to me and the wines that I was serving. Ive enjoyed it immensely, and though there have been a few dry spells, I hope that I will continue blogging into the future and that our community will grow and find new and exciting ways to interact and share our passion. Sorry if this is a bit long winded, Im not really sure Ive Ive answered the question, but what the hell.

  • Carol

    I agree that "regular basis" would work better than "daily." I do try to queue up posts for the weekend, but occasionally I miss a Sunday or two. I'm relatively new to "official" wine blogger status (I kind of just fell into it, honestly); previously I just rambled on about wines on my personal blog. I think this is a great idea and look forward to this project developing into something great!

  • http://tv.tintorecords.com Nico

    hey Ryan, cool post and site in general. Thanks for creating the “wine blogger” group and apparel and definition site and I humbly request my addition to the wine blogroll there.

    I also like the use of “regular basis” instead of “daily” in the definition.

    With wine blogs in general, I am finding that we are slowly affecting a minute subset of wine consumers (likely the geekier ones – see WLTV as an example), and to truly “change the wine world” we need to reach out to the producers and distributors. On one WLTV episode, I saw that a winery had written Mr. Vaynerchuk to explain their response to his criticism of their wine and how they agreed in some aspects and how they were going to make some changes. Great example, IMHO.

    Our impact won’t be strong immediately, but with consistency and longevity, we (with all future bloggers included) can be a great authority and resource of varying opinions.

    -Nico

  • http://grazzac.blogspot.com Garry Clark

    Regarding the timing thing, Im with RichardA and Michelle. Unfortunately many people start blogging and then lose interest or focus or just lack the time and the commitment to continue and their posts slow then stop.

    Regarding the medium of the content, these days the written word has almost become superceded by verbal content and visual media – think of the various podcasts and vlogs that are around – Winecast, Winelibrary.tv to name two of the more dominant ones.

    Whilst many blogs do attract interaction through comments, the sheer deluge of spam that comes through comments has forced many to enable their various filtering methods and Captchas to try and reduce the false posting. I have read of a number of “offline” gatherings where folks have gotten together at a neutral venue to share their love of wine and or food, though I have yet to be able to attend such an offline the whole idea of what is essentially a bunch of strangers with a common interest getting together and making new friends is surely something good. By turning to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, the level of interaction can be raised, but Im curious as to how practical it will be, or will it descend into childish “poke-me” fights and value-less interaction. In our community of wine-bloggers, I suppose our biggest interaction is the monthly Wine Blog Wednesday, which I look forward to avidly each month, trying to find ever new and exciting wines to blog about.

    If Im honest, I started my blog as a form of therapy, a way of clearing my mind of things that were happening at work and as a tool to help me remember some of the experiences that had occured and the wines that I was coming across in that role. In much the same way as you might take notes during a lecture. I never imagined that I would have people reading my blog across the world, interested in what was happening to me and the wines that I was serving. Ive enjoyed it immensely, and though there have been a few dry spells, I hope that I will continue blogging into the future and that our community will grow and find new and exciting ways to interact and share our passion.

    Sorry if this is a bit long winded, Im not really sure Ive Ive answered the question, but what the hell.

  • RichardA

    Following up on Gary's comments about the offline wine gatherings, I run an offline wine group through Meetup.com. Anyone can create a group, generally categorized by interest, and then organize events for the members. There are meetup groups all around the US. My own group, the North Shore Winers, has over 130 members, though the most I have had at any one event is 25-30. We go to local free tastings, wine classes, wine dinners and wineries. I organize about 2 events a month. It is a great way to meet new people who enjoy wine. Interestingly enough, the group is about 75% women, which seems the norm for Meetup groups.

  • Gabriella

    Question for you Richard: When you say that about 75% of people in Meetup groups are women, are you referring to Meetup Groups in general, in wine, or just in your group?

  • RichardA

    Hi Gabriella. 75% are women in my wine Meetup group. Plus, most of the other Meetup groups, in all different interest groups, are about 75% women as well.

  • Carol

    I agree that “regular basis” would work better than “daily.” I do try to queue up posts for the weekend, but occasionally I miss a Sunday or two. I’m relatively new to “official” wine blogger status (I kind of just fell into it, honestly); previously I just rambled on about wines on my personal blog. I think this is a great idea and look forward to this project developing into something great!

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

    Following up on Gary’s comments about the offline wine gatherings, I run an offline wine group through Meetup.com. Anyone can create a group, generally categorized by interest, and then organize events for the members. There are meetup groups all around the US. My own group, the North Shore Winers, has over 130 members, though the most I have had at any one event is 25-30. We go to local free tastings, wine classes, wine dinners and wineries. I organize about 2 events a month. It is a great way to meet new people who enjoy wine. Interestingly enough, the group is about 75% women, which seems the norm for Meetup groups.

  • http://www.catavino.net Gabriella

    Question for you Richard: When you say that about 75% of people in Meetup groups are women, are you referring to Meetup Groups in general, in wine, or just in your group?

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

    Hi Gabriella.
    75% are women in my wine Meetup group. Plus, most of the other Meetup groups, in all different interest groups, are about 75% women as well.

  • Ryan

    Wow thanks everyone for the feed back and comments. I think we'll try to put some of the suggestions together to get the defintion more, well, defined! Then resubmitt it. So far the Facebook group is growing fast and Joel Vincent is looking at an easy way to include a calender in the group page so that we can arrange some meet ups. Also any wine blogger can now get added to the map at WineBlogAtlas.com just go there and fill out the form that's linked to at the bottom of the page. IN about a month we hope to offer some cool features for all that at listed. Please let's keep the discussion going. I would really like to see in the next year a voice of "the wine blogger" that could be used to promote all of us in someway.

  • Ryan

    Here's the form, sorry about that, it's on the "contribute" page: <a href="http://www.wineblogatlas.com/form.html “>http://www.wineblogatlas.com/form.html

  • Ryan

    Here's the form, sorry about that, it's on the "contribute" page: <a href="http://www.wineblogatlas.com/form.html “>http://www.wineblogatlas.com/form.html

  • Ryan

    Here's the form, sorry about that, it's on the "contribute" page: <a href="http://www.wineblogatlas.com/form.html “>http://www.wineblogatlas.com/form.html

  • http://www.catavino.net Ryan

    Wow thanks everyone for the feed back and comments. I think we’ll try to put some of the suggestions together to get the defintion more, well, defined! Then resubmitt it. So far the Facebook group is growing fast and Joel Vincent is looking at an easy way to include a calender in the group page so that we can arrange some meet ups.

    Also any wine blogger can now get added to the map at WineBlogAtlas.com just go there and fill out the form that’s linked to at the bottom of the page. IN about a month we hope to offer some cool features for all that at listed.

    Please let’s keep the discussion going. I would really like to see in the next year a voice of “the wine blogger” that could be used to promote all of us in someway.

  • RichardA

    I don't see a link to the form on the WinwBlogAtlas page.

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

    I don’t see a link to the form on the WinwBlogAtlas page.

  • http://www.catavino.net Ryan

    Here’s the form, sorry about that, it’s on the “contribute” page:

  • Andrew

    I love the way individual wine blogs have condensed into a 'community'. I agree that frequently is better than daily – I seldom manage daily now – and I do think that written, verbal and visual media should be included. WBW is one of the mature blog events – and long may it live – but I notice a change in those who participate in events in general over the years. (I post events to Is My Blog Burning so see things come and go) The old school, the first bloggers, once they have found their niche/audience seldom participate in 'events' anymore. (I am thinking of the larger foodie blogs group rather than specifically wine). New bloggers tend to participate. I remember when I first started how isolated it felt but participating in events gave a sense of belonging. And I'm the same – I really cant find the time to participate even in WBW sometimes. Maybe the wine bloggers community is smaller and stronger than the more general food bloggers – which might explain why Ryan is condensing us still further into a united 'voice'. There is a difference in wine blogging to food blogging – people eat from the day they are born and thus know (or should know) a lot of what they write about. Wine is different. The knowledge comes with experience and a huge number of people never get that knowledge. Which is where wine bloggers come in – it is here that more knowledgable people impart their opinions. In the UK though there are maybe four or five wine blogs. Pitiful I think for a nation that prides itself on being the centre of the wine world. We are different (to eventually answer the question!) in that the UK has little home wine industry of note. We have many of the worlds top tasters, wine writers and journalists though but the national papers hold great sway. Bloggers do not. At the moment blogs are still looked down upon as little more than 'journals', with reference to wine blogs, little more than 'i drank this today' type of affairs and obviously showing little background knowledge. Many wine blogs in the world are like this, but the ones I follow in the UK are distinctive and informative and passionate. I don't know what readership figures the other UK wine bloggers receive but mine continues to grow, slowly, month by month. There is a future for wine bloggers – maybe WBW can advance this – but in the UK at the moment it is a very small niche. Rather than end on a down-beat note, interestingly, I am receiving more and more attention from vineyards and PR people; mostly though from the US… Europeans are lacking in their attention to the UK wine blogs…

  • http://www.spittoon.biz Andrew

    I love the way individual wine blogs have condensed into a ‘community’. I agree that frequently is better than daily – I seldom manage daily now – and I do think that written, verbal and visual media should be included.

    WBW is one of the mature blog events – and long may it live – but I notice a change in those who participate in events in general over the years. (I post events to Is My Blog Burning so see things come and go) The old school, the first bloggers, once they have found their niche/audience seldom participate in ‘events’ anymore. (I am thinking of the larger foodie blogs group rather than specifically wine). New bloggers tend to participate. I remember when I first started how isolated it felt but participating in events gave a sense of belonging. And I’m the same – I really cant find the time to participate even in WBW sometimes. Maybe the wine bloggers community is smaller and stronger than the more general food bloggers – which might explain why Ryan is condensing us still further into a united ‘voice’.

    There is a difference in wine blogging to food blogging – people eat from the day they are born and thus know (or should know) a lot of what they write about. Wine is different. The knowledge comes with experience and a huge number of people never get that knowledge. Which is where wine bloggers come in – it is here that more knowledgable people impart their opinions.

    In the UK though there are maybe four or five wine blogs. Pitiful I think for a nation that prides itself on being the centre of the wine world. We are different (to eventually answer the question!) in that the UK has little home wine industry of note. We have many of the worlds top tasters, wine writers and journalists though but the national papers hold great sway.

    Bloggers do not.

    At the moment blogs are still looked down upon as little more than ‘journals’, with reference to wine blogs, little more than ‘i drank this today’ type of affairs and obviously showing little background knowledge. Many wine blogs in the world are like this, but the ones I follow in the UK are distinctive and informative and passionate. I don’t know what readership figures the other UK wine bloggers receive but mine continues to grow, slowly, month by month.

    There is a future for wine bloggers – maybe WBW can advance this – but in the UK at the moment it is a very small niche.

    Rather than end on a down-beat note, interestingly, I am receiving more and more attention from vineyards and PR people; mostly though from the US… Europeans are lacking in their attention to the UK wine blogs…

  • Robert

    Great discussion. Love it! I think the definition you offer is a great start, although I'm not sure quite how "happy" we all are really (should this be part of the actal definition?) I think bloggers have a role to play, but maybe less directly than you are suggesting. A journalist, with access to existing audiences of readers programmed to respond to their suggestions, such as those of key magazines and newspapers, is very different from a blogger who in general is trying to build a small community of like-minded readers and, hopefully, contributors. I would suggest that there are two important things missing here: 1. Blogging is SUPPOSED to be interactive; whether readers respond or not, they can. Well written blogs tend to engender loyalty and, through that, a discussion. Well written articles might make people think, but they do not have the chance to disuss. 2. Blogging's effect will be felt not just in the ability of one or more to influence sales, but the cumulative opportunity they offer for more people to feel comfortable exploring wines. It is much harder to measure of course, but I think this is important and it could have an effect on total sales. My own blog tries to explore the "Wine Conversation" (or lack of it) happening around the world but mainly in the UK. I look forward to seeing how this develops and contributing what I can. I already feel a blog post coming on … !

  • Ryan

    Andy thank's for chiming in with your thoughts. A quick question for you, when you were in Spain judging, how did people react to the fact that you are part of the blogging community? Robert – I hope we're happy, but I see your point. I do hope though that we can all be happy in the end. Blogs are interactive and without this we are really nothing special. It drives me nuts when I see a blogger with comments turned off! As far as influencing sales, we maybe in a non-directional way. Like you say raising awareness about wine in general. But how does this affect wineries who might want to pay attention to us? Can they really expect that accessing the blogging community is a good marketing strategy? Another post is on the way…

  • Robert

    At the risk of pre-empting your post, my view is: Yes, but it is not enough to target one or two blogs as you might do with the traditional press. The point is you have to find a way to reach a number of bloggers who collectively can create the buzz the winery is looking for. That means offering them something they want to bother talking about – not just a good wine, but a good story that is easy to tell and each can interpret in their own way (matching with food, value for money, wine tourism, regional, etc.) One way to get that story out, in turn, is for them to set up their own blogs.

  • http://wineculture.blogspot.com Robert

    Great discussion. Love it!

    I think the definition you offer is a great start, although I’m not sure quite how “happy” we all are really (should this be part of the actal definition?)

    I think bloggers have a role to play, but maybe less directly than you are suggesting. A journalist, with access to existing audiences of readers programmed to respond to their suggestions, such as those of key magazines and newspapers, is very different from a blogger who in general is trying to build a small community of like-minded readers and, hopefully, contributors.

    I would suggest that there are two important things missing here:

    1. Blogging is SUPPOSED to be interactive; whether readers respond or not, they can. Well written blogs tend to engender loyalty and, through that, a discussion. Well written articles might make people think, but they do not have the chance to disuss.

    2. Blogging’s effect will be felt not just in the ability of one or more to influence sales, but the cumulative opportunity they offer for more people to feel comfortable exploring wines. It is much harder to measure of course, but I think this is important and it could have an effect on total sales. My own blog tries to explore the “Wine Conversation” (or lack of it) happening around the world but mainly in the UK.

    I look forward to seeing how this develops and contributing what I can. I already feel a blog post coming on … !

  • http://www.catavino.net Ryan

    Andy thank’s for chiming in with your thoughts. A quick question for you, when you were in Spain judging, how did people react to the fact that you are part of the blogging community?

    Robert – I hope we’re happy, but I see your point. I do hope though that we can all be happy in the end. Blogs are interactive and without this we are really nothing special. It drives me nuts when I see a blogger with comments turned off!
    As far as influencing sales, we maybe in a non-directional way. Like you say raising awareness about wine in general. But how does this affect wineries who might want to pay attention to us? Can they really expect that accessing the blogging community is a good marketing strategy?

    Another post is on the way…

  • http://wineculture.blogspot.com Robert

    At the risk of pre-empting your post, my view is:

    Yes, but it is not enough to target one or two blogs as you might do with the traditional press. The point is you have to find a way to reach a number of bloggers who collectively can create the buzz the winery is looking for. That means offering them something they want to bother talking about – not just a good wine, but a good story that is easy to tell and each can interpret in their own way (matching with food, value for money, wine tourism, regional, etc.)

    One way to get that story out, in turn, is for them to set up their own blogs.

  • Andrew

    the fact that I was a member of the Circle of Wine Writers was of much more interest than who or where I actually wrote. I gave up in the end and just said I wrote on the internet…

  • http://www.spittoon.biz Andrew

    the fact that I was a member of the Circle of Wine Writers was of much more interest than who or where I actually wrote. I gave up in the end and just said I wrote on the internet…

  • Sobre Vino

    Ryan, Ten en cuenta el efecto de una "bomba Google" a raíz de los recientes cambios en los algoritmos de búsqueda de Google. Please consider the "google bombing" impact as a result of the recent changes in Google's search policies. Yours sincerely, Sobre Vino.

  • http://todovino.blogspot.com Sobre Vino

    Ryan,

    Ten en cuenta el efecto de una “bomba Google” a raíz de los recientes cambios en los algoritmos de búsqueda de Google.

    Please consider the “google bombing” impact as a result of the recent changes in Google’s search policies.

    Yours sincerely,

    Sobre Vino.

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