Posts Tagged ‘social media’


Yesterday, the wine industry’s most curious and innovative gathered at Cuvee in Napa to hear VinTank, discuss the strategy, approach, and methodology of their study of social media and the blogosphere.  This report was created to help wine companies sort the relevant from the noise online and focus on developing an e-strategy.  VinTank is the latest start-up that says, “At VinTank we understand the key questions and help industry leaders formulate winning strategies.”  With co-founders Paul Mabray, Joel Vincent, Eric Hsu and Patrick Angeles, VinTank is positioning itself to evaluate and chart the currently flooded waters of social media in the wine industry in an attempt to make sense of this strange new online world.  Sorting relevance, influence and impact appear to be their primary focus.


The conversation/presentation at Cuvee shared a basic outline without giving too much away.  The study (expected later this month) aims to cover the broadest reach of social networks (for wine) and wine bloggers with detailed attention to the math behind their traffic, their influence, their relevance and how these cyber-space tools can help sell more wine, increase value or add to wine commerce/communication in some way.  I have to admit, as the expanse of wine in social media spills beyond my reach, I’d be happy to read multiple evaluations and reports offering me a snap shot of relevant, demographic specific direction.  I do this for a living for Hahn Estates, and I still don’t have time to get to them all.


Finally, the best part was the Napa Tweet Up that was augmented to the post VinTank presentation.  The conversation continued and everyone from bloggers to winery GMs, from Bank executives to Wine Tech start-up founders was able to connect and consider the possibilities for our industry.  There was indeed a buzz as people from more than a couple different generations and multiple disciplines crossed paths to learn about each other’s work, whether it was tweeting on a daily basis or running a winery from top to bottom.  It was technology and the common passion for wine that brought everyone together.


Photos courtesy of my BlackBerry Storm.


Read Full Post »


Every commercial for travel, wine, restaurants, tourism, etc. all end up being about lifestyle, hospitality and the extraordinary lengths to which the hosts will go to take care of you during your stay with them.  Once you have the essentials met, a comfortable bed, room essentials (iron, mini fridge, mini bar, toiletries, wifi, i-home …) it becomes a matter of not just making your stay comfortable, but extraordinary.  To me, this includes anticipating your needs, going the extra mile, and a kind of unassuming kindness that’s subtle and authentic.  If you’re heading to New York that place exists in mid-town Manhattan.  That place is the Roger Smith Hotel.


The bar & restaurant, Lily’s, looks like an avant garde art gallery and feels like that artist’s family room.  The bartender Paul (see smiling bartender, Paul, pictured below) makes you feel like most great bartenders and hair dressers…you can tell him anything and he’ll not only have humor, compassion and words of wisdom, he’ll know exactly what cocktail to make for you.  I couldn’t get enough of the house plum infused gin and tonics he made for me.  Brunch on both days were delightful twists on traditional fare:  I had granola crusted french toast one day, vegetable frittata with fingerling potatoes the next …I’m not admitting to any morning cocktails.


The weekend I was there also happened to be the start of Social Media week in New York:  A set of meet ups, openings, releases and social media focused gatherings that includes Twestival NYC and the regular Social Media Breakfasts at…you guessed, The Roger Smith Hotel.  So on Sunday, Mr. Hospitality (see Brian Simpson pictured at top) hosted a Tweet Up (#tweetuprsh)…and since @ChrisBrogan was also staying at the RSH for the week, we amassed an impressive gathering that went for over 12 hours including a raucous, impromptu Grammy watching party to close out the evening.  Some attendees include: @coffeewithian (going for 100 hugs by Feb 14 and documenting them all on twitter via i-phone), @sukifuller (completing her MBA), @emilyspearl, @rachelreuben, @nexeus (NYC DJ, U-Streamer), @robbin_g (East Coast wine goddess), @hvwinegiddess (managing the Hudson Valley Wine Competition this spring), @chazfrench (winner best T-Shirt at the meet up…ask him),  @davekerpen (ZBuzz Marketing), @sandraschubert, @robblatt, @nadiapayan, @daveyarmon, @chrisbrogan, @bsimi, and me…@winedivergirl.  Though there were 20+ tweeters there, if I missed you, please let me know and I’ll add you right into this list!

cbroganrshAn additional set of concierge services from RSH pointing me to fabulous shopping, restaurants, great bars and transportation back to the airport  made my weekend overflow with something beyond satisfaction.  New Yorkers are the friendliest f*cking city people ever (RSH and beyond).  While I was in NYC for an Art Opening at the Walter Wickiser Gallery, my time there was jam packed from end to end with the best of what New York could offer me in a 3 day weekend with only 10 hours sleep total.  I made the most of it.  Now it’s your turn.

Photos from my Blackberry Storm

P.S.  I didn’t even get to Henry, the RSH mascot (see below left…)  That will be it’s own post altogether!

Yamile, Chief Restaurant man at Lily’s…demonstrating hospitality pictured below right.

For the best photographic pictorial : visit @BSimi ‘s Flicker page.



Read Full Post »

So how does it feel to be studied?  I have to say, Wine Bloggers, you certainly are a fascinating bunch of movers and shakers.  Vintank issued a survey to research particular data points on wine bloggers just last week.   Joel Vincent calls you BPI’s or influencers as perhaps both your readers and your friends, family and immediate community look to you on which wines to buy.  I’ve called you alpha consumers, the kind of studious winos that search out the hot new or the tried and true tasty value selling right now.  And since you’ve been paying attention over the last few weeks, you know that the Fermentation Blog Awards were open for nominations until February 8.  Mr. Wark was on WineBiz Radio talking about the categories, selection process and so on as he also explained why additional categories don’t exist…finite resources.  Fair enough.  And don’t forget Ms. Tracy Rickman’s pending study, her dissertation en route to earning her PhD., a study on Wine Bloggers, credibility, integrity, readership, authenticity.

As traditional print media continues to fold, suffer lay-offs and generally disintegrate (perhaps phoenix like?), the wine industry looks toward more creative outlets for their story, their PR and communication with the wine loving world…the spotlight has transferred to you, wine bloggers.  Hey, you even get oddly polarizing posts debating Wine Blogger Certification, good for a round or ten of fiery opinion volleying across the bloggosphere and around the world.  You get a bloggers lounge at ZAP, complimentary with internet hook up, in anticipation of your savvy wine experience ending up on our monitors, luscious, logged and already out on VHS.  More Bloggers Tasting Forums will be the norm for 2009 (I’m predicting 2-4 scheduled over the next few months).  So Access may be a fight of the past.

My hope for the wine blogosphere is that the passion and talent you exhibit in life and on your blogs will continue, perhaps with greater ease, frequency and with even more variety in experiences, people and wines;  that your access will inspire you to go further in your tasting adventures both across the land and into the glass;  and that your fresh excitement will spread into the mainstream wine loving community and beyond.  My hope is that you will also maintain the wild rogue personalities that make you so interesting to read and taste wine with, abjuring the pressure or suggestion that you are new media with a responsibility to anyone other than yourself, your palate, your passion.


Read Full Post »

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.


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.

Read Full Post »

Proof of ROI in Social Media:

That’s for the boss’ bottom line.  But I think the real ROI isn’t measured by the bottom line.  The most valuable investment we all make in social networking is our time and ourselves.  Without those two things invested…and invested authentically, there is no real return.  How do you measure and put a dollar value on connecting, shared information, generating ideas, developing conversations?  I’m sure there are social scientists that will study and follow these activities and endeavor to measure the trail and where it leads.  And as soon as the numbers are in black and white, I think the measure will have already missed the essence of the most valuable return from social networking.


In this particular case, however, I have been VERY lucky to have a short, direct trail with a couple people in the chain to point to a measurable outcome.  Brian Simpson, (F & B at the Roger Smith Hotel in New York City) and Shannon Marshall,  (Northeast Divisional Manager for Hahn Family Wines ).  Through the power of social media, twitter and 12seconds.tv, Brian & I have connected & have been posting 12 second videos of the RSH daily lunch special paired with wine.  We started in early November.  By request, I connected Brian with Shannon & by early December we have the menu above :  5 wines from Hahn Family Wines by the glass with 3 more by the bottle.

For me the return is in the relationships and connections I am allowed to cultivate world-wide through social networking.  The bottom line ROI is a secondary result I am grateful for…but not my primary pursuit.  The connections are.  Which brings me back to wine.  I feel the same way about sharing a bottle with someone.  Happy New Year everyone.  Cheers.


Read Full Post »

Unpluged underwater!belize-photos-day-2-lisa-has-good-time1

This fall has been a whirlwind, full immersion, groundbreaking series of connections in the wine business, on-line, in social media and at conferences:

The uber-connectedness of the web world, twitter and all versions of social media has brought a phenomenal level of conversation and content into our lives and our industry.  Consumers, bloggers and businesses are looking in many directions to figure out what to do next.  So in this hectic yet powerful season I am pausing to remember what the connections are all about.  People.  And in order to fully focus on those people, I will unplug and disconnect for 8 glorious days to do just that.  I’m not sure exactly what i’ll do with all the free time;  I will certainly be diving, I will play games with my kids, and if I can find one, I may read a book!  (yep, an actual paper one 🙂  I’m taking advice from AriannaHuffington .  When asked at the Web 2.0 Expo keynote interview with Tim O’Reilly, “What’s the next big thing?” , that’s what she answered…unplugging and re-connecting with yourself.  Peace.

Read Full Post »

I love an idea that can go viral.


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.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »