The Wine World is not quite all in on the 2.0 part of social networking, connecting and the blogosphere. But soon, they will be. No, I don’t have a date for when that will happen. I have heard respected wine industry professionals suggest that when it comes to online technology, the wine industry is anywhere from 2 years to 10 years behind the rest of businesses. So we watch and learn what the tech pioneers do in this space as we position ourselves to engage and develop the community for the wine world 2.0.
Technology and communication online are not the slam dunk tools or obvious replacements for anything in our industry, yet. I frequently forget, (operating in this space for hours a day) that many people are only answering e-mail and maybe making purchases online and that’s it …so far. And this time lag (between industry scouts and the general public) is what gives us an opportunity to define best practices, connections and modus operandi. Meanwhile, I have been suggesting wineries take advantage of the bloggosphere, the talent and passion of the people writing here and listen and learn from them. I believe there is a valuable exchange between the wineries and bloggers for the benefit of consumers; Brian Solis articulates why this may be applied to the wine industry here: “Monologue has given way to dialog. Social media has created a new layer of influencers. It is the understanding of the role people play in the process of not only reading and disseminating information, but also how they in turn, share and also create content for others to participate. This, and only this, allows us to truly grasp the future of communications.”
So what might that look like? I think it looks like bridging the connection between wineries and the average consumer, personalizing the wine experience, including MORE people in the conversations we have. I think that bloggers can help wineries do that so that a majority of the wine drinking public have that bottle of wine every night, share wine by bringing it to their friends’ or neighbors’ homes for dinner and talk about the experience that brings us together. We want them to think of wine as a primary part of their dining experience, not an afterthought. I think that means engaging them. I think bloggers do that. Whatever your style or content preferences, wine bloggers offer a variety of humor, entertainment, education, information, reviews, opinions, etc.
That’s why I think starting with conversations with bloggers, listening, and looking for ways beyond old media to reach out to the consumers is of tremendous value to wineries, consumers and the bloggosphere. It’s not as great a leap as some make it out to be. It is happening in business and across industries now, as reported by Guy Kawasaki in the Razorfish Report, posted on the OWC page by Joel Vincent.
Heck, even beyond the savvy wineries with blogs, web sites, and twitter accounts who are listening (or engaging their community), including Twisted Oak, Michel Schlumberger, Sacre Bleu, St. Supery, the most exciting thing I find from these wineries is that there are people who care behind the technology. And let’s not forget, that more than anything, whatever the technology, social media, i-phones, BlackBerries, or whatever comes along, it is about connecting …authentically.
Web 2.0 photo from my flickr photostream.
Additional photos courtesy of Dan Wharmby.