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Archive for the ‘curious’ Category

web20logoSo much of the Web 2.0 Expo conversation about Social Media will be obvious to blog readers.  But what is so interesting  and invaluable for long term adoption is that multiple sciences are brought here in this conference to bear out what we have instinctively found: that online/Social Media and Social Networking offers us tremendous value.  Social Media brings us value to our every day lives on a personal level, for example, connecting with our friends on facebook.  Social Media offers us a deep value by connecting us with our families through share sites like flicker or 12Seconds.tv.  And Social Networking offers us immeasurable value professionally and intellectually whether through sites like LinkedIn, Dopplr or blogs that bring like-minded people together for conversation, debate, travel or inspiration.

Seth Godin has famously having dubbed these collectives or groups of people tribes.

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It is fascinating to watch giant corporations like Ford level their full array of resources, people, funding, third party consulting and enough legal freedom to pursue a social media program.  They seem to be doing everything right, even when they make mistakes…because they’ll need the grassroots groundswell of support to survive the current organizational and financial fiasco their industry is going through;  however, I am left with the question that is always a bottom line for any business…”Is the product really that good?”  I know, I know, forgive me!  The Mustang is a classic…and Ford = American business success…perhaps.  But only if they can deliver on all cylinders (I couldn’t resist)…product, conversation, community, service.

Social Media and its place in business is still in its infancy.  But you  are all early adopters and therefore building the structure, creating the atmosphere and guidelines and therefore the climate within which this space develops and thrives.  Another relevant, interesting session was specifically dedicated to the sociology and metrics of “the conversation” called Beyond Buzz: On Measuring a Conversation.  More on that in follow-up.

There is also the  session talking more about the people than anything else:  It’s the People, Stupid, hosted by Debs Schultz and Brian Oberkirch.  They talk about human interaction as being at the very core of this technology and online medium.  While it can be so easy to forget while you are posted at your keyboard that your communication goal is to reach another person, the people who can remember that you are connecting with real people with real needs, feelings, quirkiness, passions and so on…those people will succeed the most in this space.

There will be much more in follow up and conversation I hope.  I’m about at my word limit for a single summary.  But because I’d like to leave you with a smile…enjoy the LolCats…and please post your comments and thoughts.

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I don’t know where it came from, but I am compelled to write in praise of our sense of smell.  Since my first pregnancy, my sensitivity to odors has increased exponentially (and that was a LONG time ago).  Of course in the wine industry, we often start enjoying the wine via olfaction…mmmmmm.  There nothing like a great nose on the wine.

wine_tasting_graphicSome interesting things about our sense of smell:  According to wikipedia, it is our accessory olfactory system (as opposed to the main olfactory system) that smells the fluid-phase chemicals.  How that gets translated in our brain is the stimulus, instead of going to the cortex, goes to the amygdala and hypothalamus.  The amygdala, you may remember from high school or college bio, primarily processes memory and emotional reactions.  The hypothalamus controls hunger, thirst, anger, fear, sleep cycles, some hormones, etc.

You know the moment when you smell a great wine or an amazing dish cooking either at home or in a restaurant there are some magnificent automatic responses:  I instantly smile, without even thinking about it.  But I know I am about to eat or drink whatever has reached out and stimulated my sense of smell.  Wow.  Sometimes I salivate in anticipation, and I can’t help be feel elevated, even bouyant.  Ok, obvious, but still homage-worthy.

  • Dogs, according to wikipedia, for example, have about 100 times more receptors for smell per centimeter than do humans.
  • In women, the olfaction sense is strongest around ovulation.
  • “As of yet, there is no theory that explains olfactory perception completely.” (wikipedia)

That fascinates me…something that seems as simple as our sense of smell, science can’t figure out!  And I love that the parts of the brain that translates the nose of a wine taps into our emotional and our base needs.  That, at least seems to make perfect sense! Then you add time and context to all the variables and we bascially have more wine to taste, smell and enjoy than we have time in which to do it.  That’s another reason I can go back to some of my favorite bottles of wine or sparkling over and over again.  It could be the person I’m with, or maybe a regular day that has brought me to another great bottle of wine.  It will feel, smell and taste a little differently every time.

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I love an idea that can go viral.

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Or maybe it already is viral and people will now just write about it…more.  Comparative wine tastings:  The sales reps at Hahn, in particular one extremely forward thinking, brilliant and sassy New Yorker/Aussie, Shannon Marshall, (twitter @perthgirl) rep is motivating groups in the beverage industry in NYC to gather …perhaps quarterly…to “start a quarterly comparative tasting (blind?) where we have some of our wines against our competitive set…and get as many people involved in respective regions?  i.e.a group of NY distributor sales people and I meet at a lounge and taste the wines, write a few words of comment…and post our results.”  

wineglassesOther wineries on twitter connected with the bloggers’ during Hahn’s tasting Forum and said, ” Hey, I want to do that too!”.  Winery folks that were there said, “I’ll host one!” (Twisted Oak, Michel Schlumberger, and others).  And other participants, bloggers and winemakers are talking about bringing bloggers and consumers together for tastings.  Informative, educational, access to the wine maker, wine bloggers, and most importantly, a blast of an experience that heightens our experience of wine and each other.  Said beautifully on the Kilted Blog: “...the best part is – you actually bring the “social” in social media.  At the end of the day, its all fine and dandy to excel in social media in the online sense – but what really matters, down at the core of it, is being social with real human beings.

And how cool would it be to taste a flight of wines with a group of wineophiles, winemakers, vineyard managers, wine bloggers and your friends?  That, my friends, would be CRAZY fun, and there’s  so much to learn and enjoy.  Really, these people have a gift, a passion and lucky us, they want to share!  The content, the conversation, the wine experience…you don’t often get that confluence of visceral, intellectual and social high all in one event.

Photos provided courtesy of Chris Butts: The Kilted Blog.

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