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2009’s Most Engaging Wine Blogs and Our Utter Lack of Diversity

Vinted on January 18, 2010 binned in about 1winedude blog, commentary, wine blogging

Last week, I found out that I finished in the top ten of PostRank.com’s list of the most engaging wine blogs of 2009.  PostRank’s list is based on algorithms that measure online social network reactions to blog articles.  I think, anyway – it all seems a little complicated and makes me glad that I like writing instead of math.

I’m pleased as spiked sangria punch to be sharing the top 10 list with such talented and esteemed company.

I’m less pleased at how similar we all seem to be.

As you will note from this handy inset graphic, the list is comprised almost entirely of white males (click to embiggen):

To be fair, both Decanter and Lenndevours are blogs with talented staff, not all of whom are white males.  Just the vast majority of whom are white males.

The lack of diversity is kind of odd, and sad.  I wonder if we represent the majority of wine consumers?  I doubt it, considering the studies that point to women being the driving force behind wine consumption (especially in the U.S.).

I’ll stop now as I expect to get flamed for even bringing up the topic (those of you who know me have figured out by now that I can’t help myself) and turn to the somewhat safer discussion of which 2009 1WineDude.com blog posts PostRank measured as being especially engaging.  But I’ll warn you, that this list had me scratching my head just as much as I did over the ‘white guy convention syndrone’ of the top 10 list…

Read the rest of this stuff »

Wine Ratings on 1WineDude.com: The Aftermath

Vinted on January 14, 2010 binned in about 1winedude blog, commentary, wine review

I love you people – you sure have some intelligent opinions!

My open discussion on whether or not 1WineDude.com should implement a rating system for its wine reviews generated just a teeny bit of discussion… as in over 70 comments worth of discussion!

There was a poll as well, for those who prefer to have their say without commenting. 

The results?

The poll ended up over 60% favoring the addition of ratings (see the previous post for an explanation of how those ratings would work). 

The comments had a slight majority in favor, with the remaining roughly comments falling into the following groups (in descending order of responses):

  • It’s your blog, do whatever you want.
  • I don’t like ratings but I’ll forgive you if you use them.
  • Please, please, please do NOT do this.

Despite the fact that the majority of responses to the wine rating question were in favor, the mix of poll results and comments didn’t strike me as the type of majority that implies a Dick-Cheney-style voting “clear mandate of the people.”  I’m not sure it feels right.

So what am I gonna do?

Well… I’m gonna compromise

Read the rest of this stuff »

My Biggest Regret of 2009 (I Need You To Donate $1 TODAY)

Vinted on January 11, 2010 binned in about 1winedude blog

By most counts, 2009 was a great year for 1WineDude.com.

The blog won some awards.  I got interviewedquite a lot.  The blog was featured in some cool places.  I got to contribute to some great publications (like CNBC and Mutineer Mag).  And getting mentioned in Yahoo! Tech news and the L.A. Times was really cool.

But…

I’ve got this ugly, nagging feeling of “so much left undone” when it comes to one effort in 2009 that had special meaning for me.

Simply put, the progress on my initiative to Help Kick Alzheimer’s Ass has been really, really disappointing.

Let’s make one thing very clear right off the bat: I did NOT push the Help Kick Alzheimer’s Ass initiative as hard as I should have.  And for the most part, 1WineDude.com readers were FANTASTIC at spreading the word on the initiative on Facebook and twitter.  And some very, very generous people have donated to the cause.

But the Alzheimer’s Association has been a total FAIL when it comes to helping me promote this fundraiser, and we have a LONG WAY to go before we reach our fundraising goal.

So, I’m starting 2010 by asking you a favor.

If everyone who visited this blog donated a dollar, we’d reach our fundraising goal in less than one month

Become a fan on FacebookRetweet links to the donation page. But most importantly, please donate a dollar.

Cheers… and THANK YOU!

Should 1WineDude.com Start Using Wine Ratings? Have Your Say!

Vinted on January 7, 2010 binned in about 1winedude blog, wine review

Yes, I am actually going there.

No, I don’t expect everyone to like it, which is why I am asking you what you think about it.  Here’s the skinny:

What It Is

  • A grade I would give any wine reviewed on 1WineDude.com (and on the mini-wine review twitter feed).
  • The grade would follow the ‘report card’ format: highest compliment is an “A+” and lowest is an “F” (maybe an “F-“ if the wine really, really, really sucks donkey bong).

What It Ain’t

  • It is NOT a numerical rating system (we know where I stand on that stuff, right?).  For those of you who like to ‘post scan’ and then comment: Please do NOT comment on how I am a sellout because I’m giving a wine a number.  Because I’m not giving it a number.  Actually, why am I writing that since you post-scanners aren’t reading it.  Whatever.
  • It does NOT mean a change to how I cover wines on the blog. Same approach (detailed coverage, a story about and behind the wine, not just a tasting impression), just add the grade to the end of it.

Why The F— I Am Doing This

  • I know that there are many wine-lovin’ people out there who probably don’t take a lot of stock in a numerical score, but still want a quick way to take it all in when it comes to a wine’s value for money, it’s overall sensory impressions, it’s raison de’tre (is that raisin de’tre for Amarone? sorry, couldn’t help myself).  I’m just not sure if those folks are reading this blog.  Hence the poll below.

Feel free to give me your thoughts on this, and comment away if you love it or hate it.  I’m a big boy – I can take it.

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Cheers!

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Contact: joe (at) 1winedude (dot) com

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