My Sense of Wine Blogging: An Update
I sense a change or perhaps "evolution" in the world of wine blogging.
It’s not so much a change in the way wine bloggers are blogging, but rather a change in the way observers of wine blogs are observing.
In part this sense I have comes from the fact that I am now receiving upwards of around 5 press releases or story pitches sent to me on a daily basis. I have to admit it remains a bit weird for me, a PR Guy, to get the story pitches and press releases rather than being the source of them. Nevertheless, these press releases and story pitches are coming from wineries, event producers, restaurants and those who produce products that relate to wine. I still receive at least one offer of samples per week. I’ve tried to be clear that I don’t do wine reviews. Still, I get the offers.
I suspect that other bloggers are also receiving more and more press releases and story pitches.
This all adds up to the realization that more and more people who are concerned with what the media has to say are treating wine bloggers more and more like legitimate media. And of course we are.
One of the interesting things about the wine blogging community is that there is a severe camaraderie among the bloggers. I always thought this was case because wine bloggers were, together, setting off on a path that had not been trodden as the world of wine blogging was relatively new. There is safety in numbers. But this has evolved, it seems to me, into something different…something that has always existed: a camaraderie among writers/media.
There has always been clubby connection between writers, reporters and media types. They all do the same thing: they watch and observe as a profession. That’s a pretty weird profession when you think about it. What’s weirder is that the "writer" has always been something of a celebrity in our culture and most cultures because they acquire an audience for the results of their observations. This also makes them attractive to marketers.
It was Gore Vidal I believe who once said, "A little part of me dies every time a friend succeeds." There’s an ugly truth in this personal observation of Vidal’s that most people can understand. But Vidal’s comment on his insecurities doesn’t remark on the other effect of a friend’s or colleague’s success: it creates motivation, as well as a little pain.
Any wine blogger that takes their blogging seriously doesn’t mean it when they say, "I just like to blog for my own satisfaction." And I hear this from time to time.
As this evolution I sense takes off and becomes something more, as it becomes a state of affairs where bloggers’ words and commentaries have a measurable effect on buying habits and opinion making, I suspect we will see a real separation of the wheat from the chaff. Those who take their work and their growing audiences and their significance seriously will be viewed as even more serious and significant by folks like me—PR and marketing folks. They’ll also be taken very serious by their readers and even by casual observers of the world of wine.
The 2008 wine blogging season is going to be very, very interesting. The evolution I sense now will, I think, coalesce into a state of affairs where wine blogs become the center of attention to a great number of people in the wine industry. That’s going to be exciting for a lot of wine bloggers who choose to make a grab at the prize.