Blogging is a part of the internet-age communications genre referred to as “social media”. A blog is a short-hand term for “web log”, and it is a type of on-line journaling. (Remember journaling, or keeping a diary?) Blogs cost nothing but time to create and they are easy to maintain. This year’s Wine Bloggers Conference, the third annual, was held in Walla Walla, WA, which is an up and coming wine grape growing and winery area. Not long ago, there were only a few hundred wineries in the state of Washington; now there are almost 650.
An observer at the conference was Dr. Alex Ramirez, who teaches in the Information Systems program at the Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Alex is involved in the analysis of why bloggers blog, a study which has implications for communications trends of the future, for the sociology of community organization, and for marketing on the internet. In an age where your teenage and twenty-somethings spend more time in front of a computer or smartphone or digital-game screen than in-person visits with friends and family, blogging plays a huge role. It’s how this generation builds their knowledge base via trusted information outlets.
You might not be as computer-oriented as the youngsters in your life, but we’ve all come to the point that we turn to the internet for instant information. In my columns, I’ll often give the URL (that’s the www…. address) so you can get more detail on a wine or a product or an industry issue. Huh? URL? Oh that’s a Uniform Record Locator. It’s kind of like a library card, but for the internet.
So what wine blogs, in addition to http://www.winebiznews.blogspot.com/ of course, should you follow if you want to delve into the wine world more thoroughly. That is to say: which of the 13,000 wine blogs are worth your time? The list below is highly subjective and cut-to-the-bone for this column. I follow 50-60 wine blogs, and it is a rotating and constantly changing list. Even bloggers burn out!
The Pour. (Eric Asimov, New York Times)
Steve Heimhoff’s Blog
Alice Feiring’s Blog
Jamie Goode’s Wine Blog
Reign of Terroir
1 Wine Dude
Juicy Tales by Jo Diaz
That’s a start for you. Blogs are repositories of wine reviews, information about winemaking techniques, the ‘buzz’ in the industry which often indicates what winery will succeed or not with a new vintage or new facility or under a new owner, what regions are emerging as significant wine regions, which star winemakers are working with what winery, deals, details and divas.
The internet has tremendous storage capacity. Blog entries are archived and “tagged” by many bloggers so you can find content quickly. And most have a search capability. Go to http://www.winebiznews.blogspot.com/ and search for Tahoe Weekly. You’ll find every column I’ve ever written, and a few postings that are blog-worthy but perhaps not everyday reading.
Enjoy! All Hail to Social Media!
(This primer appeared in my weekly wine column "It's Grape" in The Tahoe Weekly Newspaper, July 7, 2010)
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© 2010 Barbara Keck
For more information on dining and the wide range of activities around Lake Tahoe, see the online version of The Tahoe Weekly.
Watch for my forthcoming book: "Wineries of the Sierra and Its Foothills". Publication date early Summer 2011, Wine Appreciation Guild Publishing.