Posts Filed Under wine blogging
It’s no secret that writing, as a paid vocation – whether about wine or any other subject – is a becoming a bit of an endangered species.
Never has this situation been so acute as it has in today’s economy, which is utterly dreadful for all of us except for maybe the 4 people out there who enjoy having twice the responsibility for 33% less pay than a few years ago. And those 4 people need a Chuck Norris-style roundhouse kick to the side of the head.
Much has been written about the impact of this gloomy state of affairs on the world of wine and wine writing, and from what I’ve seen, Steve Heimoff summed it up best in an article that appeared on his blog on June 5th (emphasis is mine):
“…if there are fewer and fewer paying magazines and websites, and more and more wine writers doing bad writing, then simple logic dictates that the economic future of wine writing is pretty dismal, in the long term. People used to make a living as milkmen, gas streetlamp lighters, town criers and all sorts of other jobs that no longer exist. Could “wine writer” be as anachronistic as those someday?”
Last week, Alice Feiring – another writer who, like Steve, paid her wine writing dues coming up through traditional media and now also publishes content on a (very good) blog – seemed to have taken this gloomy view one step further (or is that farther?… ah, whatever) into the bleak and murky depths of wine writing despair.
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Things are coming up ‘Dude’ in the month of June!
Friend of the Dude RJ has listed 1WineDude.com as it’s Wine Blog of the Month over at RJ’s Wine Blog! Here’s what RJ had to say about selecting the blog:
“1WineDude is a perennial presence in the wine world and someone who always has something interesting to say. He will always be an compelling read…”
I’m really stoked, grateful and very humbled to have made the cut. Thanks, RJ!
In other news, apparently I totally own the future of wine criticism, according to Wine Enthusiast editor and Friend of the Dude Steve Heimoff. Yesterday, Steve indulged in a bit of crystal ball prophesying titled “It could happen…”, in which he proposes a witty future in 2030 (when I’ll be… well, a lot older than I am now) where I am the galaxy’s most influential human wine critic (and in battle against 2030’s version of today’s wine bloggers, who are androids):
“Roberts, widely acknowledged as the most influential wine critic on Earth, the Moon and Mars, found himself in the crosshairs at the recent winebot conference, held in the Hubble Hotel some 600 miles in space.”
It’s a funny read and a much-needed break from some of the “heavier sh*t” going down in the wine world recently (like failing businesses, embattled critics, plummeting journalist revenue…).
But let’s hope, for the sake of our children, and of our children’s children, that Steve’s powers of prediction aren’t anywhere near as keen as his palate!
I find it interesting that the advent of alternative media formats, like blogging, have not only enabled millions to publish by removing barriers to entry, but have also forced those same would-be self-publishers into a strange situation. That is they’re not just reporting, writing, and publishing. They’re also editing, formatting layout work in terms of text/pictures/etc., and acting as photographers.
It’s also interesting that this “jack of all trades, master of none” scenario is playing out in traditional print media as well, though it’s being driven less by independence and need and more by financial cutbacks (which themselves are in part a result of the alternative media phenomenon).
It also means that the modern-day reporting warrior carries not just a notepad, but a camera and lenses; one eye on their story, the other on the lookout for a decent shot.
I consider myself a terrible photographer. Which is why I’ve not invested thousands of dollars in a decent SLR camera with primo lens attachments. It would be like giving a Stradivari violin to a monkey. I do, however, at least try to take pictures that are not uninteresting and that give me a chance of sparking some memory of an event…
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So… this weekend my E-mail Inbox was getting flooded with notifications from twitter, the micro-blogging platform that connects people by allowing them to broadcast short messages of 140 characters or less describing what they’re up to and… well… uhm… well it’s just the sort of thing that you sort of need to be using before you totally understand it. Sort of.
Anyway, I figured that something was going on, because while I tend to get a few additional follows on twitter almost every day, this weekend the number of twitter notifications was hitting SPAM-like levels, and I was totally at a loss as to why, but in these situations you don’t question good fortune, you just hope enough people stick around after they figure out that they’ve mistaken you for a celebrity or whatever.
Turns out that a recent post by Dale Cruse, which listed me among 11 others as “Must Follow” winos on twitter, was picked up by uber-blogger Darren Rowse, the mastermind behind the truly awesome and inspiring ProBlogger.net. Darren featured the post on TwiTip.com, which is one of the key twitter resources for anyone who “gets” the fact that twitter is not used exclusively by 14 year old girls and is actually a vibrant and powerful social media platform in its own right. Darren also has about a quadzillion twitter followers.
So I was very happy to see that the influx of new followers had a logical explanation, and I’m deeply grateful to Dale and to Darren for the exposure. Check out the entire post (and see the rest of the list, which features some awesome wine twitter folk) at http://www.twitip.com/12-must-follow-wine-people-on-twitter/.
For you new twitter followers out there – thanks! I’m pretty sure I won’t be changing any of the inane wine banter that I spew out via twitter on a regular basis, but I look forward to reading what you have to say, anyway!