An alternative title for this article might be “Sorry, But I Gotta Be Me” or “The 2010 Wine Blog Awards Messed With My Head.”
One thing that I know about good, compelling blogging (because that’s the stuff that I like to read) is that you can’t be afraid to bare all and let readers inside of your head.
Which entre nous, if I want to take this blog up a notch (and I do), might mean making us both a little uncomfortable from time to time.
Like now, maybe. Sorry, but I gotta be me.
I’ve been thinking about the WBAs lately because the “trophy” just arrived in the mail – a very nice (and, my wife noted, rather phallic) Riedel decanter with the WBA 2010 logo and the words “Best Overall Wine Blog – 1WineDude” etched indelibly onto the front (see inset pic and… jesus jumped-up christ, what’s with all of the gray hair on my head?!??).
Anyway… the thing is, the Wine Blog Awards did kind of mess with my head. The part that really got me into the baking-your-noodle-to-a-crisp-golden-brown territory was trying to figuring out what the award meant, in the grand scheme of things.
Some would argue “not much.” Others will tell you that it’s a bit like the Oscars with a dash of the People’s Choice Awards thrown in for good measure. Truth be told, it still makes me uncomfortable to read the description of the Best Overall Wine Blog category; I just don’t yet see 1WineDude.com as competing with the best of the best of all wine media, or advancing the genre of wine blogging significantly enough to make any real difference…
1WineDude.com has existed for about three years - a veritable eternity in blog-o-time, but where I come from that’s still more “promising rookie” territory than it is “top of your game” territory. The ironic thing is that in order to kick things up a notch and bring the blog up-to-snuff in my mind, things will not be more of the stuff that got us to whatever-the-heck-this-place-is where it is now.
You will not see me “phoning it in” – I owe everyone reading this at least that much and probably a lot more.
What’s become very clear to me since WBC10 is that a lot of people who are not necessarily 1WD readers sure have a lot of expectations about what this blog should or shouldn’t cover, should or shouldn’t include, should of shouldn’t be. Well-meaning or not, opinions on what I ought to be doing on these virtual pages have been coming out of the sediment-encrusted woodwork. If you’re one of those people carrying 1WD expectation baggage, consider this my advanced apology to you, because you are probably not going to be happy reading this blog in the future.
Sorry, but I gotta be me.
What those of you with an open mind (which I think is about 99% of you) will see are more risks being taken here, and hopefully more value being added. Some changes will be small (like a new-and-improved Search), others might be bigger (like a total blog redesign before the end of the year), and still others might be risky enough to make us both feel strange from time to time (like pushing the boundaries a bit on what should or shouldn’t be discussed in a wine context).
Some things will stay the same, however – the future of 1WineDude.com will be continue to be very public – we will share in any successes AND in the spectacular failures together (but I will be the only one feeling actual pain if we crash into the fountain in front of Caesars Palace).
This approach may not be the path to stratospheric website stats and bazillions of dollars of blogging income – but it will be genuine, hopefully will be fun, and certainly is the only way that I know how to do it from here.
I gotta be me.
Anyway, I’m glad you’re along for the (baggage-free!) ride, because I wouldn’t be here without you – and I’d love to hear what YOU would like to see here in the future!