Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Editorial - Wine Bloggers are Schills

There has been an minor uproar in the wine blogging world these past two weeks with the publication of an article in Wine and Spirit magazine based in the UK, about wine blogging. Completely unknown, Claire Hu, made some grand statements in her "exposé", which Tom "the enforcer" Wark of Fermentation, seemed to have taken offense to in his retort to "Claire".

Tom tends to hold bloggers up as the "future" of wine writing, and he doesn't like the idea that "Claire" is wary of us wine bloggers. To quote from Tom's quote of "Claire's" article, I want to illustrate and comment about these quotes, with a few of my own quotes that you are free to quote in your own follow ups to this wonderful article. And I quote...

WINE BLOGGERS ARE BOUGHT AND PAID FOR!
No Shit Tom! How do you think I afford my Hummer for when I go tasting in the vineyards, or the crystal decanters I use for my wine. Of course, I use a new one each time to avoid off flavors from one wine to the next. We are bought and paid for and that's why there are SO MANY of us "professionals" rolling at the wine functions with our Bling Bling!

WINE BLOGS ARE REGULARLY INFILTRATED BY WINERIES POSTING GREAT REVIEWS OF THEIR OWN WINES ON OTHER PEOPLE'S BLOG
Well now, I do have agree with her. I mean, on my non-wine-ing blog, we always invite wineries to write their own reviews. With so much bling weighing down my fingers, I don't have the time or the energy to type.

YOU CAN'T TELL WHAT CONTENT ON A WINE BLOG IS INDEPENDENT AND WHAT IS PAID FOR.
Good point, though I guess I can't tell what content in a magazine is bought and paid for either, so I'll give "Claire" a point for this one. And in reality, all of our content at Wine-ing 2.0 is bought and paid for. In fact, Wine-ing has just signed a million dollar contract with Google to be their sole search result when people look for wine advice!

BLOGS HAVE NO QUALITY CONTROL OF THEIR CONTENT
Duh! and thanks effing god! I speaks what I speaks adn hows I's' wanting to. I means peeps don't want to read stuff if it's fowled with grammatical stuffin. Our shit is shit, and nothing more, read at your own risk. the peeps musst alls be wrong.

MOST OF WHAT'S IN THE WINE BLOGOSPHERE IS RUBBISH
Once again, "Claire", we know this and that's why we produce it. We love this rubbish, and so will you once you drink the blog flavored Koolaid!

WINE BLOGGERS DON'T DELIVER FRESH IDEAS
"Claire", I'm warming up to you. You really nailed it. Like a vulture to its offspring, we regurgitate the crap that wine rags feed us, and we do it with a smile, while bending over as the great Wine and Spirit in the sky feeds us its well crafted sustenance.

Needless to say, all this quoting has been tough while wearing my bling, wait a second...I need to remove...a ring...or two.....ok, better. Now that we have debunked some of the above, and reinforced a point or two, I want to move back to "Claire's" original article. In it, "Claire" provides for us weak-kneed, industry shills, some do's and dont's of wine blogging. Thank god, because I was really hoping to learn something from this Master of Journalistic Ethics. Pay attention all of you wine bloggers, this could save your blog, and maybe your life:

The below is a direct quote from Wine and Spirit with my comments intermingled.

Do's and don't of wine blogging - (As told by a non-blogger)

Do's

n Find a niche. Some of the best sites specialise in an aspect of wine such as fortheloveofport.com or burgundy-report.com

Perfect! Two NON-WINE BLOGS/NON-BLOGS to illustrate your first point.


n Find fresh subjects to discuss in an engaging way

Like this post of yours that discusses a group of people who have been writing about wine for 4 yrs now?

n Check punctuation, spelling, grammar and facts

Punctuation, spelling and grammar, I agree with, but in reference to facts, I ask that you first review yours before asking me to review mine. Oh WAIT, I DO! (reference "tip number 1 re: niches)

n Try to move up the Google rankings by choosing relevant keywords and headlines, interesting and newsy content and setting up link exchanges. Tagging key words and blog rolls also help s

Oops, print publication had trouble with the new internets and seems to have posted a half thought...

n Update regularly

More than monthly? Quarterly? What works for you?

Don't -The best part

n Rehash old content. Find your own voice

Like this great headline from the front page of your site:

What's the difference between vodka and water?

They've always looked the same. But now, as Graham Holter discovers, (this was actually on the home page when I visited it earlier today!)

Just in case your wondering, I figured this one out in my first year of college!

n Over-edit. The appeal of a blog is its immediate and interactive appeal, but see above

Ok. I'm confused, but then again, I'm not the journalist. What are we doing, trying to strike a balance between over and under? I do remember a drinking game from college called over and under, also think that is where I learned the difference between water and vodka.

n Just put up tasting notes. It's boring

Your right it is boring. (please click these links, really, it's soooooo worth it.)

n Be too trivial - keep it real instead

See comment about Vodka above...

n Over-do the technology. Better to keep it simple and effective

You have no problem there, nor do we! Then again, I've never seen a super blog. Maybe my newfound bling can create one and then we can watch and see if new technology is as important as content.

In the end, technology and blogging has given this article, and "Claire", more readers than she would ever have had from print and the internet combined. Fermentation alone has brought her thousands of new readers, and here at Wine-ing 2.0, we are proud to add our 5,000,0000 loyal fans (subtract the '0's).

Until next time, signing off...the Schill you call, Overoaked!

3 comments:

Belcarnen said...

Very nice :o)
BTW Burgundy-report.com have blog part, and indeed worth visiting. Full of... ehhh... tasting notes :o)

Joe Roberts, CSW said...

"Just in case your wondering, I figured this one out in my first year of college!"

Now... where have I put my pesky wondering... ;-)

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the next expert installment of blogging "do's and don'ts"...