Posts Tagged ‘Wine Bloggers Conference’

The Wine World had better get ready.  This weekend (October 24-26, 2008) a gathering of assorted wine lovers, wineries, wine tech companies and wine bloggers all gathered in honor of Wine Bloggers.  No, it wasn’t an awards show, but we enjoyed plenty of celebrating and acknowledgments all the way around.  The collective influence of this assortment of wine bloggers is something to be reckoned with .  Forget those last generation men from the days of the Paris Tasting.  Meet the Wine Bloggers.  They are some mix of: independent, quirky, brilliant, humorous, hilarious, friendly, international, dedicated, decent, sharp, passionate, energetic, writing, winos.  And they will not be tamed.

Consider them alpha-wine consumers.  They know most of what there is to know before the main-stream picks it up when it comes to wine.  They also relay that news back out to their readers and fellow wine bloggers.  It is a network with their collective ear to the ground.  And since many of them do this because they love it, aka, not paid to write about their wine love, they will say exactly what they think, uncensored, uninhibited.  Wine bloggers will also work to back up their assertions and news with facts and supporting materials.  Rest assured, ethics and credibility is in the forefront of their minds.

Additionally, they have gathered and connected.  Maybe not organized, but that may not be necessary.  As part of an online community, their collective influence must not be underestimated.  And wine bloggers are just getting started.  I’ve said it before, and I will say it again:  the consumer has much to gain from this online community.  A free resource for consumers to navigate the myriad ways, web sites, stores and wineries selling wine and wine gadgets!  See the list to the right to find the right set of Wine Blogs for your personal tastes.  And subscribe.

The wine world is just coming to grips with it’s technological transformation and what the www will mean in wine sales to the consumer.   Though wine clubs are not new, the way people will interact with them and connect with wineries, winemakers, and the variety of brands out there is still being imagined and pursued by start ups world wide.  Imagine a wine club akin to Netflix.  Voila, WineQ.    And discover Cruvee, the social site for wine lovers that recommends wine based on your preferences.  The wineries that have the foresight to invest time, $ and relationships will have a tremendous foothold in the online wine culture.  There is a wide open field for participation that adds value.  Leaders, step up.

Photos, Courtesy of my new WBC Wine Blogger Friend: www.dirtysouthwine.com, Hardy Wallace)

Cartoon courtesy of Google Images

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Folding time and space, making connections, defining what a wine blogger is, what we are not, and what it means to the wine business:  That’s why we’re all here.  Joel Vincent kick’s off the Conference today with those thoughts.  It is an exciting time for the wine blogging world, the wine drinking world and the wine business world.

Un-like any conference you’ve ever seen before, think of it kind of like a speed dating session between wineries and bloggers.  Yeah, kinda crazy, but really a blast!  We now have 5 minutes to taste the wine and live blog about it.  I may have to go to twitter next, as this format likely will better serve for summaries at the end of they day (yes, I’ll be spitting as I taste!).

Rest assured, there is LOADS of wine love coming from the Santa Rosa, first ever Wine Bloggers Conference at the Flamingo Hilton Hotel.

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It’s getting pretty weird out there. Well, it probably has been for awhile. So what are you going to do about it? You have some options: My least favorite and perhaps one of the most popular positions is the fetal position. Either mentally or physically, people may consider adopting a curl-up-until-it’s-over attitude. And maybe that works for some people. However, while I don’t look forward to crisis, I do recognize the opportunity for, leadership, new deals, new connections and being the carrier of light across the darkness.

Marketing, PR and all new e-marketing opportunities are bursting with possibility right now. Twitter has posted their Top 50 Tweeples (are you connected to them?), AND is partnering with Current TV (watch their amazing “Hack-the-Debate” programming of the Presidential debates posting real-time tweets). YouTube is experimenting with click-to-buy placement with Amazon.com. Blogging, Video blogging and many other forms of Social Media are exploding with popularity while corporations race to figure out how to maximize advertising in web’s social-sphere. The video version of Twitter, 12Seconds.TV is about to go public, currently in their alpha testing phase. The Wine Blogger’s Conference is completely sold out in Sonoma County with special guest, Gary Vaynerchuk this month. The list goes on as Facebook upgrades their applications and races to keep up with their users. Google is working on a browser (Chrome) that, when completed, will change the way the average Mom, Senior and student not just uses the web, but interacts with and seamlessly integrates online experiences within their lives. If you think that is dramatic, I haven’t emphasized enough how life changing all of these tools will be.

So what does all this mean to you?

You still have a minute to figure out where you will fit in. But only a minute. When New Media goes super-nova, you could be left unconnected. And thereafter, you’ll be running to catch up. Whatever your business, you must find out how you will thrive online. Meanwhile, the bottom line is still your communication and connection to your customer base. Nurture and nourish that relationship; especially during tough economic times. They will remember that and thus be even more loyal customers. A sense of connection, security and belonging is important anytime within our community; it is invaluable during these times and will go a long way in defining the quality and commitment of your online community. You’ll extend your reach and achieve greater bang for your marketing buck this way, while offering something of value to your client base. And they won’t forget that. You can’t beat being human. It’s way better than being a corporation…even if you are a corporation. (for more details on this perspective, check out this post on the Silicon Alley Insider) Then you become that light in the darkness…and that light is contagious.

I have two thoughts from Bill gates to leave you with.

“There will be two types of businesses by 2010- those that are online and those that are out of business.”

“The Internet will help achieve “friction free capitalism” by putting buyer and seller in direct contact and providing more information to both about each other.”

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