Posts Filed Under wine 2.0
I figured those of you who might be disappointed that the predicted 2011 Rapture didn’t turn up this weekend might need a pick-me-up. Not me – I, for one, knew for certain that the Rapture was not coming, because the only true sign of the approach of Rapture is (of course) a lanky guy in an all-white suit and white top hat wearing shades with red lights in them during the night time and getting his groove on with some funky dance moves. And I didn’t see that guy this weekend anywhere…
Anyway… the pick-me-up takes the form of our latest giveaway: this time I’ve got promo codes for three free copies of the recently-revamped iPhone wine app Pocket Wine, sold by Wine Paradigm (a $3.99 value). This is not to be confused with last week’s giveaway, which is still running until Wednesday. Got it? I promise no more concurrent giveaways, because I don’t want anyone’s head to explode.
What has been exploding, however, is the volume of mobile-related wine content in recent weeks (see my recent take on VinPass, and another story posting here later this week on iPad wine mags), so today’s giveaway feels timely (to me, anyway). It also, in turn, makes me feel increasingly older and out-of-date with the mobile scene, since I don’t own an iPhone, a Droid device, or an iPad (hey, Apple: potential sponsorship opportunity here, people!) and therefore have had to request screen prints from the mobile apps that carry my reviews to approve anything they do with my content, since I can’t view the stuff in its native format. I know… I suck… Whatever.
You know the drill: you comment, and in one week I randomly select winners from the commenters! There will be three winners, each receiving one promo code each for a copy of Pocket Wine. Disclaimer: I’m giving away promo codes (here’s how to redeem them in the Apple App Store if you’re one of the lucky winners), not devices – and if you’re a winner you have to redeem your promo code by June 13th (or it turns back into a pumpkin… or at least stops working).
One thing I like about Pocket Wine is that it has (or seems to have, based on the screenprints!) a focus on developing and tracking your own personal taste preferences (see inset pic) – and we all know that I’m a pretty big fan of that approach, because it’s how I learned about wine in the first place. But it’s a player in what seems to be an increasingly crowded field of wine-related mobile apps.
So our topic for the comments: How do you feel about the plethora of mobile wine apps? Handy tools? Or just crapware taking up your precious mobile phone memory? Got any faves? Shout it out for a chance to win!
Social gaming – driven in part by the ubiquity of social networks (do I really need to dredge up the if-facebook-was-a-country-it-would-make-your-country-look-like-chump-change stats?) and (I strongly suspect) our natural human competitive instincts now that hunting and killing are generally frowned-upon – has seen a usage curve that by any measure can be safely said to have exploded off the charts.
Here’s a real chump-change-making stat for you: Over fifty million people in the U.S. are playing along with social gaming – and that’s a stale stat from last year.
So it was only a matter of time, I suppose, before the gaming trend caught up to the world of wine, despite the world of wine being something like six years behind most every other on-line trend.
That feeling of inevitability was one of the major reasons why I decided to jump on the social gaming board with VinPass, billed as the first cross-platform social game for the wine industry, which launched just this week…
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The good news for wine lovers is that there’s a ton of wine-related content on the ‘global interwebs,’ much of it available for free (because content is a commodity now, people). The bad news is, not all of that content is reading that would appeal to a wider audience (wider than the friends and family of many of those writing the content, that is) – that’s not at all meant as a dig at the vast majority of wine blogs that act as personal journals chronicling passionate consumers’ journeys into the amazing world of wine; it’s just the truth in terms of how much of that content is presented and targeted (trust me, not too many people would want to read my personal journals… but the point is that a small group of people close to me might).
The better news is that, for those looking for the most surfable waves among the vast oceans of on-line wine content, the judges for the 2010 Born Digital Wine Awards have done a great job of vetting some superb individual pieces of that content for you. You can thank them later (I recommend flowers, because those people get a ton of wine already).
The Born Digital Awards program is brainchild of Gabriella and Ryan Opaz along with Robert McIntosh, who together have started building up an impressive set of wine-related media ventures in Europe. The idea was to build on the success of the Wine Blog Awards in highlighting outstanding wine-related websites, but with a Pulitzer-style twist: focusing on individual pieces of content (video and writing), and awarding actual cash to the winners. I don’t know anything about the judging process itself beyond what’s already been published at borndigitalwineawards.com, but I do know that the list of judges contains some pretty amazing wine writing talent.
The finalists in each of the award categories were published last week, and the winners will be announced on May 18th at 5:30 PM ET, streamed live from the London International Wine Fair. I’m humbled to be among the short-listed finalists (go ahead… make the height jokes… you jerks…), but that’s not why I’m talking about the awards here. I’m talking about the awards because I wanted to post the entire list of links to the short-listed finalists below (after the jump) – there’s just some great f*cking content in the list, and if you’re into wine it’s a treasure-trove of cool-ass shiz to read.
WARNING: You may get tired of seeing Blake Gray’s and Alder Yarrow’s names in the list, as they’re each finalists for something like 900 of the categories (ok… two…). In all seriousness, those guys are friends of mine (as are several of the other finalists, actually) and I’m happy to see their stellar writing included in the list (and even happier to be included in any list with those guys).
Now get reading (and watching)… and enjoy!…
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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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