Depends on your purpose. Though I am hooked, what can hyper-connectivity do to add value to my life and, indeed, to the lives of mainstream America (and beyond) without making us a bunch of glow-y faced screen junkies? There’s no formula…at least I couldn’t work by one, but I find myself missing twitter, the web and my 12Seconds if I’m gone from it for more that 2 days. (ok, 2 hours!) And one basic rule I try to have is to be with the person in front of me…first. So I try not to answer my cell phone, tweet relentlessly, and browse online or through my Storm while having lunch with someone. Am I always successful…no. I am a notorious time-stacker/multi-tasker. But being with the person in front of me is important. In fact, that moment may be WHY social media is so valuable…to create MORE of those moments together, in person!
That’s me pictured twittering with my tweeples on New Year’s Eve. I may have sent a dozen tweets or less focusing on my San Francisco bar & grill crawl, and my amazing, sassy friend Cortney. But I was also missing sharing the New Year moment with all the tweeters I’ve developed a connection with over the past months. The people in the twitterverse have become my friends, business associates, information gatherers, readers, and general resource for all things tech, wine, life.
The enthusiasm, freshness and candor with which they communicate is, well, refreshing! So while we struggle with ROI, metrics, and the new world of online connectivity, what are we trading off? Are the interpersonal moments sacrificed? Is our culture heading further into short-attention-span-affliction? And will all depth in connection be lost?
It is another point to balance as we continue to seek the work-life balance, let’s add to that the online-offline balance.
Do you have rules about your connectivity? If you live by your phone/PDA as I do, have you noticed a decrease in quality when you hang out with your friends and family as they split their focus between you and their device? I always think it rude that another restaurant patron will let their cell ring on end in the restaurant…I don’t really want to hear whatever their ringtone of the month happens to be! I especially don’t want to hear 1/2 (or any) of their conversation. Does anyone else worry about tech ettiquette?
Photo courtesy of Cortney’s i-phone, Jan 31, 2008.
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Posted in blogging, California wine, Hahn estates, online community, online marketing, WBC, web 2.0, Wine 2.0, Wine Bloggers Conference, tagged Blogger access, Blogger Certification, Bloggers Lounge on January 13, 2009|
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Conversation among wine industryprofessionals, marketing strategists and wine bloggers this week includes talking about some kind of Wine Blogger Certification, or a standard that ends up with a Seal of Approval in order to quickly and easily provide bloggers access to events, wineries, industry programming and so on. I can see why some business people might seek such a …label, but I wonder about a simplified structure and I have many questions about how, why, wherefore.
The very counter-culture nature of blogging defies this kind of labeling and classification. The bloggoshpere is the untamed frontier and an exciting place to find opinions, stories and recommendations. I have certainly heard people post that “some bloggers just want free (stuff) wine”. But as I have spent some time reading wine blogs and actually spent time with the wine bloggers themselves, it is not an easy (usually unpaid) job to wine blog. Any level of credibility or readership is hard earned and maintained by a level of quality, personality and humor.
I have been a regular advocate for blogger access to the wine industry in the same way we grant access to traditional media and press. Wine bloggers have an outreach that can potentially go deeper and beyond traditional print media…at least in the wine industry. Just recently Hahn Estates hosted the first Bloggers Tasting Forum and ZAP will have a sponsored Bloggers Lounge offering bloggers free access to the 2 day event. So far, these beginnings have suggested tremendous success in blogger/wine industry relationship building. The expectation is that this access will directly benefit not just bloggers and wineries, but the consumers. With greater access to information, recommendations and outreach, we aim to convert more people into wine lovers everywhere.
So, how would you classify bloggers? They are a complex and various group of wineophiles from all over the world. The current count is over 1,000 wine blogs and growing. How would you define which ones get credentials for the wine events and which ones don’t?
- By Readership?
- Quality of writing?
- Their own level of wine education?
And what if the wine blogger…a really great one…isn’t interested in the credential? Most of the wine bloggers I have met are stunningly smart and busy with day jobs, families, hobbies and fully packed lives. And as I have said before, they do their wine blog strictly for the passion of it. The Wine Bloggosphere is better off because of them. I would hate to see them squeezed out by beaucracy or obstacles that have less to do with a passion for wine and more to do with sorting that helps marketers achieve ROI.
What are your thoughts?
Graphic courtesy of Google Images.
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Posted in blogging, California wine, diving, Huffington Post, imagination, inspiration, life, lifestyle, online community, web 2.0, web20expony, tagged Arianna Huffington, Tim O'Reilly, video, web 2.0 on December 12, 2008|
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“There are journalists and there are bloggers. There are doctors and there are faith healers.” So said Jeff Cox moderating at the first Green Wine Summit yesterday in Santa Rosa, California during one of the breakout sessions. Here’s my disclosure: I’m not a doctor, a faith healer or a journalist. But I am fascinated by the current debate and passion stirred up between the old media, aka traditional journalists and bloggers. Wine bloggers in particular are wrestling with sorting their own guidelines, policy and formula we hope in an effort to uphold integrity in their writing. And while some do work to maintain high journalistic standards in their blogs, many are passionate wineophiles, novice-experts, who offer their posts for whom ever is interested without claims of journalistic superiority nor breach of integrity. They’re just writing stories, opinions, and reviews connecting with people who enjoy a similar interest.
Is there a threat to old media journalists that provokes them to sneer or denigrate bloggers? If you are measuring readership, perhaps so. I’m not sure how you qualify as a “real journalist”. Is it required to have a journalism degree? From which college or university? What if you never used that degree, became a teacher and now you blog? Are you a “real journalist” then? What if you don’t have the degree but have been working for a newspaper or magazine all your life, writing or editing? Are you a “real journalist” then?
Most (wine) bloggers don’t suggest they are journalists. We, their readers, hope and expect that they will aim for accuracy, honesty, integrity and full disclosure. But even “real journalists” have fallen short on more than one occasion. We also hope they will inform or entertain, lead us to great wine or make us laugh. Perhaps their value comes from the variety of material available from the blogs; but also from getting to know that voice, their tone and tendencies, their preferences and passions. The likes of classic, extraordinary journalists like Walter Cronkite and Andy Rooney have captured their audiences in no small part by revealing much of themselves in their reporting and writing. Who they are came through along with the information they were sharing. That makes me think even more that blogging is about connecting; connecting with people you share something with that maybe you don’t even know. With so many differences that separate and divide us, I find it a treat to connect with smart, passionate, talented bloggers who offer their experiences in wry or poignant, frank or even silly on-line content in their blog.
There is a great deal more debate to have regarding the sorting, classifying and clarifying of bloggers policies, integrity, qualifications, etc. The massive quantity of content on-line requires that users become better filters. Bloggers will have to take it upon themselves to produce quality content with full disclosure and integrity with whatever voice, interpretation, independence or style they choose.. There is no certification process or Hippocratic oath for bloggers (oh wait, I don’t think there is one for journalists either). Access to the internet has become a great equalizer giving many a voice, and readers, they never had before. And ultimately readership may determine the success of any (wine) blog. But, there are many who would write their blog even if no one were reading them. This may beg the question, “Why?”. Because they can.
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