Wine Bloggers and Their Awards Deserve a Change
This blog was recently honored with “Best Industry/Business Wine Blog” at the 2014 Wine Blog Awards. That achievement made me very proud. I’ve spent nearly a decade working fairly diligently at FERMENTATION. In many ways spending almost a decade pondering, writing and generally getting stuff off my chest keeps me sane and centered.
Along those lines of writing and pondering, and to a degree staying sane, I have some ideas about The Wine Blog Awards, and particularly how I think they might evolve for the better
1. SUBMISSION OF EXAMPLES OF WORK
Nominations in each category should be more than simply a matter of anyone tossing out the name of a blog as a nomination and then being done with it. Instead, a nomination, in the category of “Best Writing on a Wine Blog” for example, ought to come with the submission of five or so examples of specific posts that would be used to represent the writing on that blog.
2. JUDGES AND EXPERTISE
Because reviewing wine, writing about wine, maintaining a wine blog, writing about the business of wine on a blog and such is no different from reviewing wine, writing about wine, writing about the business of wine in any other medium (digital or print) nor from maintaining a media outlet that isn’t in a blog format, the judges ought to have demonstrable expertise in writing, reviewing and publishing in any format.
3. JUDGING SUBMISSIONS
Creating a shortlist in each category and ultimately choosing the awards winners ought to be up to the judges, and not the public.
It is time for the Wine Blog Awards to have a name sponsor who can dedicate the time and resources not only to organizing and maintaining the awards, but to publicize farther and wider throughout the awards process.
Beyond these recommendations, there is some thought that needs to be given to the nature of wine blogging, what it is, what it represents, and how the Wine Blog Awards can recognize what is unique or definitional about wine blogging. Wine blogging, and blogging in general, is not the pursuit it once was if only because it is no longer the transitional and door-opening medium it once was. New technology drove the emergence of the wine blog. That technology is now old. Still, the craft of wine blogging is something different. The Wine Blog Awards need in some fundamental way to recognize this difference.