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Wine Bloggers Conference: the repercussions just keep on coming

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There were so many issues swarming around the WBC that it’s going to take time to sort through them all or even identify them with specificity.

One way to figure out the emergent issues is to read the posts that the bloggers themselves put up, to see what they’re talking about. I like this one from Wilma’s World. Her observations are right on, including that some wine bloggers have grey hair (ahem) while others are young and edgy. “Nearly all would also like to make money from their blog but few will actually do so,” she writes, echoing my belief. She adds, “Blogging isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes a commitment and it can NOT be a transparent attempt to sell a product,” which are points I stressed in my breakout session on credibility.

I also liked the Napa Valley Wine Blog and especially the point that some heavy hitters (Gallo, K-J, Ste. Michelle and — at my table — Brown-Forman) attended “to observe and find out just what influence bloggers might have on the wine industry.” Nobody knows if wine blogging is a temporary blip on the radar, the future of wine writing and criticism, both, neither, or will mutate to something unpredictable. But the smart people understand they’d better be on the train if it somehow decides to barrel out of the station.

Then there was this blog from Caveman Wines, run by a guy who works for a well-known California winery P.R. company. He attended my credibility breakout session, and I’m glad he pointed out that “After this summer’s kerfuffle over Rockaway-gate, I was expecting things to get ugly, but they actually remained very civil.” (I had similar fears.) My buddy Lenn Thompson, from Lenndeavors, has commented (in a comment he made to my Wine Enthusiast blog) that I “held my punches” and “played nice” co-moderating the credibility seminar, but I think The Caveman understands the value of civility in an uncivil world.

Credibility, civility, making money, commitment, the role of blogging vis a vis the biggest wineries in America — clearly the WBC opened a Pandora’s box of gigantic issues, whose repercussions are far from being understood.

Oh, I also have a new fiction story, immediately below. Enjoy.

  1. I agree there was a strong sense of camaraderie and celebration at the WBC. Amazing lineup of wine talents thinking outside of the old school box.

  2. Here’s a related topic that could really bake our collective noodles:

    Are wine journalists and wine bloggers, & those that follow both sects, part of the same collective, or are the factions heading for a collective conflict?

    There are some who straddle both areas (such as yourself), and those who have denounced blogging altogether as “lazy journalism” (notably Wine Spectator’s James Suckling).

    Personally speaking, if after reading the articles I post next week on Opus One & Penns Woods (which took a substantial amount of my time, effort, and even money to bring to life), anyone who wants to dump the lazy journalism tag on my blog is hereby welcome to kiss my white a__! :)

  3. If wine journalists and bloggers have a collective conflict, then my right and left arms are gonna both be pounding on me, since I am both. Then again, that might suit my Gemini nature. Anyhow (and with all due respect to my former colleague Mr. Laube), my blog is not a lazy one. I wish it were. It takes up too damned much time. But I love it and it’s a labor of love. As is yours. 1WineDude.

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