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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Well… this is… interesting.
Fellow wine fanatic and blogger Robbin Gheesling passed this tidbit onto me earlier this week:
Remember Anthony dias Blue? He’s the guy who just this past summer had this to say about wine bloggers:
“…bitter, carping gadflies who, as they stare into their computer screens and contemplate their dreary day jobs, let their resentment and sense of personal failure take shape as vicious attacks on the established critical media.”
Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
Seems he might have changed his mind – dias Blue is currently scheduled to give a talk on wine blogging at the upcoming VINO 2010 Italian Wine Week in New York.
Here’s the skinny from the program:
Seminar # 7
Room: Louis XIV Suite (4th Floor)
Presentation: “Blogging on Wine and Social Networking: New Tools in reaching
Consumers of Italian Wine ”
Moderated by: Anthony Dias Blue , WCBS Radio, journalist and author, Los
I don’t want to disparage the guy the possibility that his tune on wine blogging has changed – and I sincerely hope that it has. I just really, really, really hope that dias Blue has had a bit of self-revelation and has seen a turn-around in his thinking since July, or this might get really ugly, really fast.
Because the last thing that wineries, PR, and media need to hear is that blogging and social media aren’t important or are somehow full of “barbarian… militant bloggers” (his words, from July), because both are patently false.
Feels like forever since I posted the first edition of 5 Blogs in 5 Minutes. Time to pony up five more wine blogs that I think are worth checking out!
Another Wine Blog – The brainchild of Amy & Joe Power, this is a site that has been on top of the hottest topics in the wine world lately. The writing is done well, which makes up for the confusing (to me anyway) new layout of the website. Anyway, what I really like about this couple is that they always provide an educated and opinionated take on those topics, which is why I read blogs, after all!
Wine Without Borders – Talk about fighting the good fight… This blog from the Specialty Wine Retailers Association sheds the harsh light of truth on the despicable practices of those who are trying to keep a monopolistic strangle-hold on alcohol distribution in the U.S. Living in the Communist-wealth of Pennsylvania, I have a vested interest in the SWRA’s success. This is an organization and a movement that needs and deserves your support. Tom Wark deserves a medal for the work he’s doing here.
Rockss and Fruit – Think that I speak my mind? Well, Lyle Fass makes me look like a U.S. Ambassador to Saudia Arabia. Normally, stream-of-consciousness style blogs bore the hell out of me, but Lyle has a way of making even the mundane seem interesting and his recollections of interacting with some of the world’s best wines borders on the poetic. And when he tears something down, damn, he really tears it down!
Drinks Are On Me – Is there anybody who doesn’t know Bostonian Dale Cruse? If not, you’re in for a treat. Dale is one of those truly unique figures in the wine world – funny, articulate, and thoroughly original in the items that he decides to cover on his blog. What I love about DAOM is that I never know what Dale is going to talk about next, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be laughing my ass off when I read it!
Wine Lovers Page – This site has been around for a good long while and while not technically considering itself a blog, it more-or-less functions as one anyway. I’ve always found this site to be insanely useful and approachable. They also have wine-related forums that are a few-thousand members strong. Worth checking out.
“Who cares what wine bloggers have to say, after all?”
That question has been posed (with full negative connotation) by at least two established wine personalities as recently as a few months ago – one the most influential wine critic in the world, the other a long-standing wine writer and editor.
Well, I have a answer for them. Rather, I should say that the established media has answered their question for me.
The question should probably be amended now to read:
“Who cares what wine bloggers have to say? Aside from two of the most preeminent newspapers in the United States, I mean? Oh… wait a second… Uhmm…”
Last week, wine bloggers were quoted in both the NY Times and the L.A. Times. In the case of the NY Times, two wine bloggers were quoted, actually, in a story about a wine video blogger that was written by someone who likes to think of himself as a blogger (but to be fair is paid by NY Times so some would argue it’s not a ‘true’ blog).
I think that my feelings were summed up best by the character Sydney Fife in the comedy I Love You, Man when he cheered on his best friend at a fencing match, heckling the opponent with the timeless phrase: “Suck it, Gil!!!”
Before I get too gleeful here, I should note that I understand that our place in the wine world, as bloggers, is still small. I’m not too big for my britches just yet. But… the tide is indeed turning, and the flood is indeed coming. Detractors, no matter how well-established, can no longer tell us that the flood is not coming, because the first wave has trickled onto their floor and even their socks are soaking wet…
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