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…
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Driving home last night, I heard a segment on NPR about the local response to the current disaster in Haiti:
- A Haitian man had made his way to one of the camps being set up to care for the displaced. He was asked if he was injured or looking for lost relatives. No, he said, he was fine and his family was unharmed. He had come to see if he could in any way comfort those who had no one left after the devastating earthquake. The man ended up comforting an eight year old girl whose entire family had been killed in the disaster.
There are scores of stories like this.
The situation for Haitians was dire before the quake – now, it’s abysmal, and there is no government relief effort. Now you can help, in two wine-related ways:
- The first way comes to us via mweb’s posterous site: If you purchase charity wine at ONEHOPEWine.com using the promo code HAITI you receive a 20% discount and 20% of your purchase will go to support those in need (via donations to Partners in Health).
- The next comes to us via PalatePress: PalatePress.com is partnering with Brother, can you spare a bottle? to create a wine auction from wines that you donate from your cellar, with proceeds going to the American Red Cross. Palate Press is covering costs of shipping and handling to the auction winners. Check out the details at http://palatepress.com/2010/01/haiti/.
Please spread the word, support one of these causes if you can!
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 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…
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Who’s a Big Winner today?
YOU’RE a Big Winner today.
No doubt that the wide world of wine media is awash in well-weathered year-end recaps (not too mention consonation!), with thoughts about the wines and wine-related happenings of a 2009 that has nearly gone by. While I enjoy the year-end recap thoughts as much as the next guy or gal, I’m not going to provide another look-back wine list or article review, mostly because I already have those posts published and can’t fool you into reading another one because you’re too smart.
No, I just want to tell you how lucky you are this year, wine-wise anyways.
Yeah, YOU. You’re one lucky S.O.B.
Look at it this way: Was 2009 perfect when it comes to wine? Of course not. But consider this:
You have access to more wine of higher quality and for lower prices than at any other time in the history of the world.
You also have access to more sources of quality information about wine (and all aspects of how it is made, distributed, etc.) than ever before.
So, you not only can get great wine for a great price, you also can gain as much knowledge about wine as you’re hungry for, at almost no cost to you.
Think about that for a second. Most of you reading this have more opportunity when it comes to wine than your parents ever dreamed of. Unless you’re like 14. In which case, you should know that I do not have reviews of Peppermint Schnapps on this website. And no, I am not going to buy some for you at the liquor store down the street. Look, kid, just buzz off already, will ya?!?
The cherry-on-top of this have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too scenario is that the price of entry for your say in the growing wine conversation (which can positively influence where the wine industry goes in 2010 and beyond) is approximately $0.00. In short, you have a wealth of wine knowledge available at your fingertips, and as they told you at the end of the G.I. Joe cartoons in the mid-eighties, "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle." And knowledge, as we all know (ha-ha!), is power.
In other words, who’s the big winner after the wine trials, tribulations, travails, and victories of 2009? YOU are, my friend, you are.
So, as we draw the curtain on 2009, take a moment to toast yourselves, as you are potentially the most powerful influencer of the future of wine.
Cheers and Happy New Year!