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The State of Blogging in America, as seen by the French

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Paul Mabray, from VinTank, sent me this study, from Institut du Management du Vin, in Burgundy, on wine blogging in China and America, two opposite ends of the world and also, as the study says, one from a mature market and the other still developing.

The study examined 308 American wine blogs (out of perhaps 1,000). It’s an interesting snapshot of the current wine blog scene. Here are some key findings:

- “wine bloggers are getting younger every year,” quote.

- At the same time, “out of our 308 blogs, we have 94 bloggers aged between 26 to 40 and 93 between 41 to 55.” That adds up to 187. Since the study emphasizes “The dearth of contributors in the under 26 group,” we are forced to conclude that the remaining 121 bloggers (of the sample of 308) are over 55! That doesn’t seem likely, and is impossible to square with the statement above.

- Of the 308 bloggers, 62 are “non-wine professionals”, followed by 33 who are “journalist/writers.” (That would be me, I guess.) Ten are sommeliers. Eight are wine store owners.

- In America, California has more wine bloggers (15% of the total) than any other state, followed by New York. The study found 105 active wine bloggers in California.

- The motives given for blogging are not entirely clear. The study cited everything from “documenting the blogger’s life” and “improving writing” to  “making money, attracting clients and hoping to get published.” A “new and interesting category” of bloggers, the study found, is people “writing about their own wineries or the winery they work for.”

- Of the types of blogs, the majority are wine reviews. Next is wine and food. Wine and culture, wine business and “other” are further down the list. I wonder how the study’s authors would have stereotyped my blog.

- Thirty-eight percent of the wine bloggers post daily (which I assume means 5 days a week).

- Concerning monetization, “very few bloggers are making a living out of their blog or even making any money out of it. The only type of bloggers earning a salary are ‘corporate’ bloggers–working for a company.” However, some bloggers make some money taking advertising.

- Of the 308 U.S. bloggers, about half maintain both a Facebook page and a Twitter account. (I do.) However, most of these have very few followers or friends. (I’m in the minority in that I have thousands of both.)

That’s it for the American wine bloggers. You can get info on the Chinese bloggers by studying the review. I’ll just cite this interesting conclusion: “Americans tend to blog for pleasure and by passion when Chinese are still very much educating themselves and their readers.” From my perspective, that is certainly true. I don’t try to “educate” my readers in the basics of wine because I trust and assume they already know. I do try to share my pleasure and passion.

  1. The conclusion cited is interesting from another standpoint. Their study showed only 22% American bloggers motivated by passion for wine, versus 87% Chinese bloggers motivated to share wine passion… exactly the opposite of their study conclusion. Looks like whoever wrote the study conclusion didn’t pay attention to the study.

    Anyway, it would be far more valuable to know who READS wine blogs rather than who writes them!

  2. Eve Resnick says:

    Thanks for mentioning the research study and pointing out the discrepancies. As the main author of the report, I take full responsibility for the errors. I did pay attention to the report when writing the conclusion :) but English being my second language I might have expressed myself poorly and I apologize.

    This said, I am totally aware of the fact there is a lot of room for improvement. This study is the first part of a 5-year project and I hope to improve the methodology and the analysis of the results in the following years.

    And yes, I agree. It would have been also interesting to know who reads wine blogs. It is certainly a section we might add to our next project – maybe in year 3.

    Again thank you both for your valuable input and for pointing me in a better (at least, I hope) direction.

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