I wanted to launch a blog for my company, Blue Prism, based on enterprise software. I had no idea what a weblog was, so I thought I would practice on a private one first. I considered writing about glorious and awesome Manchester City Football Club, but concluded that wine as a subject would yield less emotional arguments and more reliable and interesting subject matter.
In a few short sentences, summarize your intention with your wine blog.
At first I just wanted to keep a record of wines I had tried and restaurants I had visited. But then I discovered that I quite enjoyed writing. At the moment I just want to keep learning about wine and writing.
How would you describe your readers?
There is a wide range of interests, some wine, some food, some bloggers, some friends and even the unwashed public come to view. I suspect my investors are also keeping track to make sure I am not drinking all the company funds.
Is blogging a professional endeavor for you or more of a personal outlet?
Totally personal. I have no idea if I will ever try to make money out of Confessions of a Wino. At the moment, enterprise software pays the bills.
What tools or resources have you found to be successful in marketing your blog?
I am not selling anything so I don’t see it as marketing. I have connected to the usual networking websites like mybloglog, stumbleupon, facebook, technorati etc – although I rarely visit these sites due to lack of time. Despite these registrations, by far the biggest proportion of my readers find the site via Google, but I have made contacts (and friends) across the world simply by following links from other people’s blogs and this is one of the most rewarding things about blogging.
How would you describe wine blogging to be different than print media?
It’s not just about wine. I think that journalism in general is dividing into three categories: 1. News; 2. Analysis; 3. Opinion.
- Daily newspapers are dead. News needs to be up to the minute, not daily. Therefore all news needs to be online. This is the future for the daily papers as well as broadcast media which is all merging together. I still want to read trusted sources like the BBC and The Times for example so this channel remains professional for me.
- Print media itself will never die unless we run out of trees. It is suited to in depth analysis, not news. I still read a Sunday paper for example and it usually takes me the whole week to read it. Again, I value trusted opinions so I see this channel also as remaining professional.
- When I want to choose to buy something, or see a show, or go out to eat, I search the web. There is a growing range of opinions and I trust amateur ones more than professional. Blogs are an ideal medium for expressing opinion and taking the aggregate view across a range of sites is my insurance against one rogue, or incompetent site.
Do you believe wine blogs have made any marked impact on the wine industry or wine culture?
We are starting to see the industry using blogs as a marketing tool so it must be having a big effect. I bet there isn’t a wine blog out there that wasn’t offered a pre-release copy of The Billionaire’s Vinegar, for example, and more and more people are offering me samples for review. It always surprises me when people tell me that they have bought a wine, visited a resto, or joined a club based on reading my site. The legendary Rob McIntosh even spent his own money on a bottle of wine I had recommended. Hope he enjoyed it!
Where do you see wine blogging in 10 years?
I think social networking sites will eventually be superseded by people having their own website and choosing who they connect to. The role of the networking sites will merely be to connect people. We have seen the efforts of technorati, mybloglog, myspace et al but I don’t think anyone has hit upon the magic formula yet which is maybe why Facebook is doing do so well, although it doesn’t really do it for me….and maybe it is still too hard and too technical to set up one’s own website for my vision to arrive any time soon. And come to think of it, maybe a weblog is not quite the right platform yet either, but it’s heading in the right direction.
What do you hope to gain from this conference?
I just want to connect to a few like minded folk, share a couple of glasses, and see why on earth they spend so much of their life in front of a PC.