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Going Pro | 1 Wine Dude - Page 24

Posts Filed Under going pro

The (Worst-Kept) Secret: How I’m Able To Try Going Pro In The Wine Biz

Vinted on March 30, 2011 binned in going pro

Here’s a snippet of a fictional conversation between me and a wine writer. I use the term “fictional” because it’s not a word-for-word retelling, but (somewhat shockingly) it’s more-or-less a conversation I’ve had with several people in the wine biz in the past few months.

Me: Hey, good to see you again! How are things?

Wine Writer: Goodgoodgood.  Aren’t you quitting your day job? And your wife is okay with that? Really??

Me: Yeah, sort of; I’m leaving my IT career late Spring. My wife is great; in fact, she’s kind of my loudest cheerleader for chasing my dreams and–

WW (cutting me off): How are you making money, exactly?

I’m actually getting sick of these “conversations” (is it really a conversation if the other person only asks you about things that concern them?) – in fact, I might pre-record answers to play back the next time I find myself in one of those; better yet, I’ll get one of those Mr. T talking key-chains and randomly hit the buttons in response to those questions.  That would rock; I imagine it would go something like this:

Wine Writer: Aren’t you quitting your day job? Is your wife okay with that?

Me (holding up Mr. T key-chain): Please pose that question to my spokesperson [ presses button on key-chain ].

Mr. T key-chain: QUIT YOUR JIBBA-JABBA, FOOL!

If someone is going to pry into my life’s intimate details, I prefer that they at least ask about me or my family first and pretend to care about me on some personal level (lesson one about the new world of social media: you should actually try to be social).  As most any 1WD reader can tell you, I don’t know exactly how I’m going to be making a living yet – that’s basically what this series of blog posts is chronicling, so everyone will know those details very shortly after I do – but the truth is that I already have the single most important thing needed for chasing dreams (like switching careers or traveling the world):

It’s called Time.

And to get time, I needed to have money. Already

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1WineDude TV Episode 30: Making Your Wine Writing Search-Friendly (SEO Panel And Presentation from WWS11)

Vinted on March 23, 2011 binned in 1WineDude TV, going pro

Speaking of Doug Cook (mentioned in yesterday’s post), I was lucky enough to be included on a panel with Doug and Alder Yarrow at the 2011 Pro Wine Writers Symposium discussing the importance of search and how to maximize the chances of having your wine writing noticed on-line.  Alder founded the first wine blog on the Internet and deals extensively with SEO in his day job, Doug was former director of search at twitter (maybe you’ve heard of them?) and I … well, I was the guy lucky enough to be sitting next to them, adding commentary about how this stuff applies in the real world of wine writing on-line.

We based our discussion on a fantastic slide deck that Doug produced for a similar series of talks that he’s been giving, whch you can find below after the jump, as well as some video from the panel discussion.  Anyone who is trying to get their wine writing found on-line needs to take this stuff seriously (within reason of course).  The vid is long, it doesn’t include the full session, and the sound quality isn’t awesome… BUT… I think you’ll get some good info. out of it so, screw it, I’m including it anyway (just bear in mind this panel wasn’t designed to be filmed, ok?). Also, YouTube can totally go suck donkey bong for how painful it was to (unsuccessfully) upload the vid, which explains why it’s hosted on my own server instead…

Anyway… some highlights for the impatient:

  • The best way to get your content noticed is to produce kick-ass content. This is uber-important and personally I break almost all of the rules in Doug’s presentation from time to time in pursuit of making content that hopefully humans (not search engines) actually want to read.
  • Everybody finds everything on the Internet via search, and usually they’re searching for something very specific.  Your website needs to be search-friendly and making it easy to find related content is important.
  • How and to what content you link is important to how search engines view your website – probably way more important than you think.
  • Thinking of trying to fool the search engines into giving your website prime search results real-estate? The Googles, Yahoos and Bings of the world have teams of MENSA-candidate eggheads whose jobs are to ensure that your tricks will fail. If that’s your strategy… good luck with that.
  • If you use a blogging platform, most of the nitty-gritty stuff is handled for you, and the stuff that isn’t done automatically can be handled by (usually free) plug-ins.  Don’t go too crazy with this stuff – like anything else, baby-stepping into the guts of how search engine optimization works is the best approach, and it should never supersede your real focus (producing the best content that you can so that people want to stick around when they do find you).

Enjoy!…

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1WineDude TV Episode 29: Certifiable (or “How–and Which–Wine Certifications Really Matter”)

Vinted on March 16, 2011 binned in 1WineDude TV, best of, going pro

Do wine certifications really matter?  And which ones give you the most bang for the buck?  Watch to find out (well, to find out my views on it, anyway).  The moral of the story: experience trumps all, but certs. are a great way to enhance experience, gain knowledge, and help build that all-important network.

Mentioned in this episode:

Cheers!

Through A (Wine) Glass, Not-So-Darkly: Vintank’s Predictions For The Future Of Wine And Tech In 2011

Vinted on March 9, 2011 binned in going pro, wine 2.0

Vintank is a wine and tech industry think tank group based in downtown Napa, full of folks for whom I hold a great deal of respect (so much so that when they asked me to partner with them on trying out the concept of using badges for wine reviews, I jumped at the chance).

As think tanks do, they periodically release reports on the industry, for the most part in Vintank’s case concentrating on the intersections of wine and technology (predominantly on-line and social media tech).  Their latest report, titled To-And-Fro, was recently released and provides synopses of their 2010 work and the major developments in the on-line wine world over the last year.  Most interestingly, however, is that To-And-Fro also makes some bold predictions about what we’ll see in 2011 in the culminations of wine and tech. If you’re interested in the wine biz, it’s well worth a read (and the 150+ slides in this deck go by quickly), and you’ll find it embedded below after the jump.

But I should note that I had a strange, nagging ennui when reading To-And-Fro. It’s not that I think the predictions espoused in the report are incorrect (I agree with nearly all of them), it’s just that I can’t shake the feeling that the report is too optimistic.  If To-And-Fro has a flaw, it’s its pesky optimism: it seems to assume that the wine biz operates rationally and does so at the speed of normal businesses that have an on-line component – neither of which I’ve found to be true…

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