The (near) Future of Wine Blogs
Having recently gone through the experience of changing the address of this wine blog, I was forced to consider not only the nature of on-line publishing and the impact of Fermentation, but also the future of wine blogs in general.
Conclusions (predictions, actually) follow:
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WINE BLOGS IN 2006
1. The number of winery-written blogs will explode
Today you can find probably 15 or 20 blogs maintained by wineries. By this time next year that number will likely triple. Maintaining a well written informative blog is simply too lucrative a way to breed that one thing all wineries want: Loyalty.
2. Wine Blogs will attract advertisers
More wine blogs and more advertisers that is. A few blogs, including this one, offer advertising. And why shouldn’t they. If the audience is high quality (and I know the Fermentation audience is) and if the audience is large enough in number, surely an advertiser looking to reach a particular type of consumer will seek out the wine blogs.
3. The number of wine blogs will double
In November 2004, 26 blogs were listed on Wine Blog Watch. In July of this year 82 blogs were listed. Today there are 120 listed. Lots of people will take up wine blogging in 2006. The question of interest though is who and why?
4. Consumers will begin to look to specific wine blogs for in-depth coverage of specific wine topics
Some wine blogs are so focused on a specific subject you simply can’t ignore them if that subject matter interests you. LennDevours owns New York wines and is probably producing the best coverage of that area’s wines than any other publishing entity. Wine blogs such as Shiraz, The Winery Website Report and Tempranillo, all focusing on specific subjects you can see the trend beginning.
6. “Wine bloggers” will make the jump to being publishing in “traditional media” formats”
A few of them already have and more will follow. Wine will become even more popular in 2006 and that means publishers of magazines and newspaper will be more willing to offer coverage of the beverage. Wine Blogs are a natural place to look for writing talent.
7. News services will begin to monitor wine blogs for content
This prediction falls under the general heading of "Blogs are becoming Influential". You can easily search blogs in a number of places on the net. The big news services looking to be comprehensive will begin looking to wine blogs for compelling content to serve up.
8. Podcasts (or audio blogs) will grow in number and audience
There are a few wine-related podcasts out there that are as good as anything currently on the radio. More will follow as the technology becomes more accessible for both the producer and the listener.
9. Wines reviewed on blogs will be quoted on “point of sale” materials in wine retail outlets
All you have to do is read the reviews of wine at Vinography, WineWaves or any other wine blog that focuses on reviewing wine and you can understand why wineries would use their words to help sell wine. Heck, I can confirm this trend. I’ve produced point of sale material with quotes from bloggers.
10. A few wine blogs will reach a readership level equal to some traditional wine magazines
You know who you are. And there will be a few more by the end of 2006.