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Archive for the ‘San Francisco’ Category

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Great crowd, fantastic wines, cool mix up of technology and of course…this very social event: that was the basic recipe for Thursday’s Wine 2.0 Tasting.  The tweet-stream of the evening played high above the crowd.  Video screens and projectors with various content were in every row.  But I think my favorite part has to be the bloggers lounge.  Here, Wine 2.0 is working to set aside space for food & wine bloggers to do what they do right there at the event.  Of course no one wants to spend a whole tasting attached to their keyboard when there is wine to enjoy…but the possibility of connecting a few readers with the bloggers experience in real time, maybe some photos and a couple quick wine reviews, sounds like a great blend of technology and  current, relevant stuff.  My next hope is that consumers at the tasting have enough exposure to the bloggers at the event and have the opportunity to connect with the wine bloggers and their content.

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The greatest value I see in creating a space for the bloggers at these events, in addition to acknowledging their passion and contribution to the wine loving world, is to connect them with consumers and fellow trade to increase exposure and readership.  I think the next easy step is to include links to the attending bloggers’ web sites. Their content continues to be entertaining, interesting, educational and valuable to wine consumers…and did I mention wine blogs are free?  They can help cover wines attendees weren’t able to get to or couldn’t remember.  Their coverage of the event seems to me to be an obvious way to reconnect with the wine tasting experience, the wineries and the wine bloggers who were there.

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There are always more wine blogs to check out.  My blog roll to the right here is continually getting longer and their content keeps getting better.  There is so much variety that I’m sure you’ll find one to suit your taste.  Check out a wine blog now.

Cheers.

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I like the combination of Educational Sessions for the Wine Trade, paired with Trade and/or consumer tastings the way ZAP and Wine 2.0 programmed over the last few days.   These smaller opportunities to connect and learn from other successful wineries or wine businesses is both valuable for guiding and directing our business as well as helpful and refereshing for the obvious networking opportunities.

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Thanks to Smoke & Anitra Wallin, Abdi Humphries, and the rest of the Wine 2.0 company, I was honored to moderate a Social Media in  Marketing panel for ZAP.  Along side Joel Vincent (of Open Wine Consortium, Wine Bloggers Conference and now VinTank) and Lesley Russell (VP of Sales & Marketing DTC at St. Supery), we chatted with attendees, outlining social media practices, especially in the wine industry including visibility, ROI and authenticity online.

Two other sessions at ZAP/Wine 2.0 talked first about Compliance Issues with tools, strategies and solutions to address wine industry challenges.  The final session was led by Lesley Berglund presenting, frankly fascinating findings from a study Benchmarking Direct to Consumer/Wine Club practices.  The study  illuminated statistics outlining the best practices that the most successful wine club practitioners exercise.  It is this kind of analytical study, sharing and strategic collaboration that makes great consumer experiences wherever they happen.  Dry for most, perhaps, but I am pretty excited about conversations and learning more about new, improved and best practices across the wine industry.

And the best part?  After the focus and exchange on best practices, we all connect and share the fruits of all the labor.  Either way, isn’t that what it is all about?  I’ll be sharing the follow up information on the DTC Benchmarking Practices and Compliance links here as well when I receive them.

wineglassesWine 2.0 panel photo courtesy of Smoke Wallin.

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Have you ever seen the Blue Angels perform their Flying Stunt Show? It’s an awesome, as in awe inspiring, sight. My kids and I watched from a friend’s rooftop on Van Ness in San Francisco. The jets flew so low over us a couple times that we could read the numbers on the tail of the aircraft. My kids cowered from the boom. The building vibrated. And I couldn’t help but catch my breath thinking about their brilliance, grace and strength.

It was a strange feeling. I’m what you might call a Peace Freak. In the 1980’s, I registered Green to help get them listed as a new political party. I attended rallies against The Gulf War in the 90’s. Since I had children, I find it even harder to imagine sending our young people to war. In 2003 I collaborated with theatre companies in the Napa Valley to present a reading of Lysistrata along with theatres all across the world in protest of our launching war in the Middle East.

But as I stood there on the roof in the sunshine in San Francisco watching the Blue Angels whoosh by me with a vibrating boom above a picturesque sailboat-dotted-bay, I was proud, in awe, and hopeful. On the heels of the last few weeks’ economic and political news, we’ve watched our country descend into the worst economic turmoil in our lifetime. Politically, divisive and hateful speech has become common at some rallies; stirring a frightening and toxic force among our citizens. Watching the Blue Angels reminded me of our potential, our better selves. This seems ironic to me since they are also part of our military and as I said before, I’d prefer peace, in a big way.

So here they were in our fair city, people gathering to be together to watch this spectacular display of artistry and science and skill. It’s one of those moments you remember forever. Maybe the Blue Angels in context within the rest of the political and economic muck and despair was jarring. Maybe it is a time when their artistry, science and skill can be especially appreciated. And maybe coming together with everything aligned under an amazing display of strength, grace and leadership is what we need more of right now. I’ll be looking for it, imitating it and finding it.

Lt Gretchen Doane & LCDR Mark Lambert, photographs above are Blue Angels Officers.

I looked into the history of the Blue Angels a little since they stirred my curiosity.

A few facts:

  1. The Blue Angels first performed in 1946
  2. There are no safety or alternate pilots because, “The teamwork required for the high speed, low-altitude flying in the tight Blue Angel formation takes hundreds of hours to develop. A substitute pilot would not have enough time in the formation to do this safely.”
  3. The average age of a Blue Angels pilot is 33 years old.
  4. The F/A-18 can reach speeds just under Mach 2, almost twice the speed of sound or about 1,400 mph. The maximum rate of climb of the F/A-18 is 30,000 feet per minute.
  5. The jets bear the official colors for the U.S. Navy.

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