Posts Filed Under wine publications
image: TMRW Engine
So much of the material upon which 1WD was built consists, essentially, of opinion pieces (in fact, four or five years ago I sat on a panel focused specifically on opinion writing alongside Lettie Teague and Jon Bonne, about which I imagine both of whom are still scratching their heads).
But over the years, I’ve tempered (well… by my standards, anyway) the opinion-heavy pieces here in favor of conclusions that can be drawn from data. The older that I get, the more I want to see opinion bolstered by something other than the biased, fallible memories of people’s experiences (including my own).
Which is why I get royally pissed at the the wine world’s penchant for defaulting to the data-devoid opinions of entrenched personalities, particularly when it comes to denying the return on investment (ROI from here on out) of wine online (usually with the concept of social media directly in the cross-hairs).
While it seems common sense that their must be at least some ROI for wine brands in talking directly with their consumers (which is part and parcel of what social media online can catalyze), remember that data trump opinions, even when those opinions align perfectly with common sense.
Fortunately, the wine world now has some compelling data that demonstrate a plausible link between online social interactions and ROI. Yes, in terms of real people actually spending real money on wine…
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My first reaction to the recently-published study/synopsis on “Wine O’Clock” issued by the new firm Enolytics:
Well… yeah… no sh*t!
My second reaction to the recently-published study/synopsis on “Wine O’Clock” issued by the new firm Enolytics:
Wait… holy crap! This is actually important (and I am an idiot)!
At first blush, you might have the same misguided reaction to the report that I did (following the link above, you can read the free version; the full report will set you back $399). Essentially, the study suggests that wine consumers are most willing to engage in content and purchase research about wine during the time that you would most likely guess that they’re drinking the stuff. To wit, here’s a screen-print from the free version of the report:
There you go; we ramp up on such activity from about 4-5PM to 9PM, local time. I don’t know about you, but if you asked me when Wine O’Clock was, I’d have guessed those exact times with an accuracy of about 30 minutes on either side. The report goes on to state:
“Wine consumer engagement increases sharply beginning at 4pm and declines sharply after 9pm (local time).”
So… we start engaging about wine when we imagine drinking the stuff right before dinner, and stop when we are either too drunk to care, need to put the kids to bed, or fall into a stupor of self-loathing and cry ourselves to sleep, etc.
Now, before you succumb to the temptation to declare “no shit!” and pour yourself a glass (assuming it’s around 4PM local time), there’s more to this story that you need to see. Take a quick peek under the kimono of the Wine O’Clock report, and (assuming it’s closer to 4PM local time for you than 9PM, and you’re still sober enough), you’ll see why it’s actually pretty important info. for the wine world…
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No, seriously, you’re going to thank me later. Because my latest for Fix.com, titled How to Avoid a Hangover, is now live, and reading it just might save you some future pain.
What I found most fascinating in researching our collective attempts at trying to both prevent and stem the effects of hangovers is that, despite some heroic scientific efforts, we have moved the bar very little distance on the matter over the last one hundred years or so.
That apparent lack of progress isn’t attributable to poor science so much as it is the work of evil spirits bent on causing us pain and suffering. Er, actually, it’s a reflection of the complex chemical processes involved when our bodies imbibe (and imbibe, and imbibe, and imbibe…) and process alcohol. If, as Socrates supposedly said, true knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing, then we are inching closer to True Knowledge when it comes to hangovers.
Anyway, Fix.com’s excellent visual take on the results of my research are available below after the jump. Just in time for the weekend…
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Tom Wark recently asked me to chime in for an article he was considering for his blog, on the topic of whether or not interest in wine blogs was waning. I offered my views, some of which are quoted in his thoughtfully-considered piece.
Alive, though maybe not totally well (image: Grape Collective)
As to whether or not I agree with
Tom (my bad – see comments) those that might consider that wine blogging has “died without a funeral,” I think we first have to ask ourselves if wine blogging is inherently different from other niche blogging topics. If we accept that it isn’t (in the same way that, say, DVRs aren’t inherently different from one another – they all basically do the same thing at the core, which is record broadcast video media), then Tom is also asking if niche blogging is dead.
To which I would say, No, it’s not dead.
This is the kind of question that gets posed periodically (go ahead, search it) when we see dynamic informal institutions, like online communities, do what they do, which is change (wait, you really expected this stuff to stay static forever? duuuuuude…. wtf?!??).
We shouldn’t mistake community maturation and the movement of engagement discussions from blog comments to Facebook, Instagram, etc., as a lack of interest in the sharing amateur content about wine (which is what blogs inherently are about – sharing info and opinions). Just because one outlet (longer form blog posts) isn’t as popular as another (image-centric, short updates on larger social media platforms) doesn’t mean that people no longer care about the core thing: sharing wine online.
They do care. A lot. There is no lack of interest in sharing content about wine (to wit: see just about any recent stat from Vintank on online wine mentions). And where that content is being shared, influence and money (in terms of what people who read and participate in those updates and discussion will buy) will often follow (though, maddeningly, in ways that are difficult to track, but that’s not the fault of the platforms themselves).
Anyway, if wine blogging is actually dead, then someone forgot to send that memo to Grape Collective, you also recently quoted me in dear-gawd-TMI-bro! fashion when they interviewed me for their “SpeakEasy interview series with influential bloggers.”
“I’m not dead yet! I think I’ll go for a walk!”