Archive for the ‘tech’ Category

SMicons2Now that social media in wine and hospitality seems mainstream, facebook fan pages are de rigeur, and the twitter, flickr, fb, digg, etc. logos are plastered everywhere, there’s something significant missing in the translation of the message on connecting.  Referring back to the cocktail party analogy, would you host a party and not be there?  Invite guests to your home to connect and entertain them and leave everything up to a catering staff for interacting with your guests?


I sure hope you answered no to both questions.  If you did, why on earth would you launch a social media program and issue automatic direct messages to your guests?  Why would you post generic, monthly or weekly messages (imagine a PA system a la high school) announcing, shouting at people something they didn’t ask you about?  Do you understand the concept of real conversation?  If I come to your home, I’m excited to see YOU…and if you have the butler answer the door, the bartender entertain me and the cook tell me loads of information, guess what…I’m probably not coming back.  Nor will I tell my friends anything positive about that experience.


Maybe you’re mislead by the cold, technological tool in front of you…your laptop (i-phone, Storm, whatever).  What you must not forget is that there are real, flesh and blood, passionate people on the other end who love wine, hospitality, their friends, family, travel, SCUBA, or whatever FAR more than they love your bottom line.  While technology extends our reach by several orders of magnitude greater than we can imagine, you cannot lose your sensitivity, your listening skills, your inter-personal talents in the hopes of automating connection.  Businesses hoping to increase their business without getting involved, asking questions, caring and listening are doomed to fail, and fail on a large scale in public.

Our friend @winebratsf is right.  And she is doing businesses a service by letting them know what she wants and why she’s there.  Many people I know just “unfollow” a business that gets impersonal, automated or uninteresting.  If you can’t make the personal investment in the relationships, you are in the wrong place.  Give more than you get.  Provide value.  Care.  Share.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading.  Cheers!


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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.


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.


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.


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The hosts (Rachel Maddow, Keith Olberman, Don Lemon, Larry King, Anderson Cooper…) talk about twitter and facebook on cable news shows.  Politicians, internet businesses and even businesses like Whole Foods are on twitter…but many of my friends still say “twit-what” ?  They know what facebook is…but don’t have a profile.  Or if they do, they attend to it maybe once a week or less.  Many have yet to find their social niche on the ning platform  Can you believe many wine folks are now early adopters thanks to Open Wine Consortium, Wine 2.0 and almost 30 more social networks dedicated to wine!!??  Granted most of those participants are in the wine industry or wine blogging world or tech. Heck, the internet, and all of these online social tools, are credited with helping to elect President Obama!  So Social Media is almost mainstream…but not quite.


So what or who am I waiting for?

I guess I’m waiting for folks like my aunt or my mom to be on twitter or facebook or any social network (even AARP has a social site…and of course they should!).  Or even some of my closest friends in their 30’s n 40’s who have no idea about the online world beyond e-mail and shopping.  I’m waiting for them to get connected.  I have faith though:  they all chucked their answering machines in favor of voice mail.  And they all have cell phones; they even text.  So not being the most patient person in the world, I it is only a matter of time.

Then what?

Well, I’m curious and eager for the information and connection that twitter, ning and the blogosphere bring to the conversations.  Perhaps I’m already primed because I’m a news junkie: world, tech, wine, entertainment, travel and politics…gimme news!  And when those folks are connected, I can’t wait to see how the marketplace inserts itself into the conversation.  We’ve already seen them blocked, booted or blasted for spamming their messages into conversations.  It’s like being at a cocktail party and walking up to people chatting (say they are chatting about a back yard bbq with their friends and family) and you start shouting “Hey I have this great deal on Office Copier Machines!  Get it right now!  Go Here to buy it!”.  Don’t you think people would just look at you like you were crazy?!  So I’m curious to find out how the next leap in social media evolution will look…will it be so gradual that we won’t notice?  I kinda doubt it.  Will it make the coolness of twitter, the blogosphere and online conncting evaporate?  I sure hope not.


Whatever it will be, my hope is that the social media tools enhance connecting both online and in real life (IRL); that it will be a hub of information, authenticity and buzz about what’s happening right now, where can we go next and who can we find to engage!

Funny, I just got a phone call from the brother of the president of my company asking me about groups on twitter and facebook…maybe we’re closer to mainstream than when I started this post!

Images courtesy of Google images.

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This press release is from the ZAP/Wine 2.0 Tasting.


Wine 2.0, the innovator in social networking and events in the wine industry (www.winetwo.com) and ZAP, Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (an organization of Zinfandel wineries and Zinfandel consumer enthusiasts, http://www.zinworld.org and http://www.zinfandel.org), invites you to participate in “Winery Best Practices,” an education session on January 30, 2009 at Ft. Mason in San Francisco and the “Bloggers’ Lounge” at the tasting on January 31, also at Ft. Mason.

The seminar has three sessions:
1. Winery eCommerce: 12:00-12:45 pm – A panel moderated by Jeff Carroll of ShipCompliant on best practices and new tools for e-commerce success in 2009.

2. Winery Social Networking: 1:00-1:45 pm – A panel moderated by Lisa De Bruin of Hahn Family Winery with lessons on best practices for social networking in the year ahead.

3. Building a Great Consumer Direct Organization: 2:00-2:45 pm – A presentation by Lesley Berglund of WISE Academy on best practices in direct-to-consumer programs with lessons learned from industry research covering the past 18 months.


Sessions will run for 45 minutes each (with a 15 minute break between sessions) starting at 12 noon on January 30 in the Building “D” Theater at Ft. Mason. Up to 300 winery professionals are expected to attend. 40% of ticketing proceeds go towards ZAP’s Education Programs.


When: January 30-31
Sessions: First session kicks off at 12:00 pm January 30th
Bloggers Circle: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm January 31st
Where: Fort Mason Center Bldg. D San Francisco, CA 94123
Ticket Price: Each Session, $35 (can be purchased individually)

All inclusive, $90 (almost 15% savings)

Order Tickets: www.winetwo.eventbrite.com

Wine 2.0 and ZAP are also sponsoring the first “Bloggers’ Lounge” at the ZAP Tasting on January 31, in conjunction with Wine 2.0 Cornerstone Sponsor Hahn Family Winery. The Bloggers’ Lounge is a living room style Wi-Fi lounge for online writers to sample wines from the several hundred Zinfandel wineries participating at ZAP’s annual event. Bloggers will be able to create and upload real-time tasting notes for their blogging and twittering readership. There will be two Bloggers’ Lounges, one each at the far end of the piers in the Herbst and Festival Pavilions, beginning at 10:00 am and extending through 5:00 pm.

To participate in the Bloggers Lounge, e-mail your RSVP with contact information to abdi@winetwo.com.

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A quick review www.hulu.com

A 12Seconds Wine Review Video

And, a question from the Bedroom…

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