A recent spate of criticism levied against wine bloggers as a general group got me thinking that there actually isn’t a thing we might call “wine blogging” anymore.
Think about it this way:
Should – or can – we stop people from taking cell phone pictures?
Most of the photos taken by mostly everyone are terrible. Awful lighting. Laughable composition. Deer-in-the-headlights use of (the horror!)… a flash! And don’t get me started on the subject matter chosen for well over 95 percent of what will be the estimated trillion (yes, trillion) digital photographs taken over the next year.
Almost none of those images will even qualify as a mortifying embarrassment for any professional – or even semi-pro – photographer. So, why not rise up in protest, gnash our teeth, and collectively bitch and moan that “amateur photography” is a blight on the professional photography world?
Because that idea is ludicrous, of course. It’s full of faulty assumptions, not the least of which is the notion that amateur personal photography could be controlled – impossible on its face with the proliferation and ease of both its creation (try finding a cell phone without a camera option, folks) and its distribution and publication (flikr… Pinterest… Instagram… the book of face…).
Another impossibly stupid assumption: that all, or even a tiny fraction, of amateur photographers actually believe themselves to be performing at a professional level, and are taking pictures for any reason other than their own personal enjoyment.
If you’re still with me, I’m about to tie this back into the wine world (thanks for your patience… I owe you a glass of something decent)…
If we accept that the assumptions above are wrong at best, and ludicrous at worst, then WHY THE F*CK DO WE CONTINUE TO APPLY THE SAME ASSUMPTIONS TO WINE BLOGGING?!??
I’ve got news for the folks who are complaining about “wine blogging” as a group activity: you’re a few years late to the party. I’d go so far as to say that there’s no such thing as wine blogging anymore, just as there isn’t actually “blogging” anymore on any topic. The act of blogging, still exists, of course; but the separation of blogging from media publication is now just an academic construct.
The ease of writing and publishing have made creating a blog post the written equivalent of taking a photo with your cell phone. Pros do it. Semi-pros do it. Total amateurs who will never entertain the thought of being professional about it also do it. You can’t stop it, you cannot wish it away, and you are a fool to think that complaining about it will change the vast majority of it. You are doubly a fool for even using the term “blogger” and thinking that it has any agreed, defined meaning in terms of a definitive set of people.
The bottom line is that creating and publishing *any* kind of media now exists along a spectrum, from total amateur to seasoned pro, and they’re almost all using the same toolsets. The difference is primarily in the quality of the content that gets created. If you want to equate the medium and the quality, then… well… we are back to justifiably calling you a fool, aren’t we?
So in a way, there is no “wine blogging,” folks. There is only a spectrum of content quality and a spectrum of professionalism in the creation of that content with respect to wine.