Wine Blog Ratings?
I had the happy opportunity to give a talk to a gathering of Wine Australia yesterday in San Francisco. Wine Australia is the promotional arm of the Australian wine industry. You’ve heard of this industry, haven’t you? That’s right, it’s the industry that might be the most innovative technically and marketing-wise of any national wine industry on the globe.
They had me to their gathering of Australian wine marketers and executives to talk about the issue of blogs. I choose to talk about blogs as part of wine media, rather than the issue I think many of them have thought more about…"should I start a blog". The latter is a much more complicated issue than the former. Where blogs sit in the context of the global wine media is a much simpler, more straightforward issue. So sue me, I took the easy route.
I’ve been getting a number of such invitations of late. It’s a compliment. But let’s not stop there. It’s really indicative of a realization of those in the wine industry of the importance and significance of what’s happening with wine blogs.
I started my wine blog in November 2004. By my count there were about 50 to 75 wine blogs on the Internet at that moment in time. Today, by my best estimate, there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 600-700 wine blogs on the Internet. What’s going on is something of a snowball effect.
-Blogs are easy to create
-People see other wine blogs and want to join in
-Wine Blogs start to get recognition
-That spurs more people to start wine blogs.
I don’t think we are going to see a slowdown in the number of wine blogs that are create. I think we are in the middle, rather than the end of the initial burst of wine blog creation. By this time next year I’d bet we see at least 1000 wine blogs on the Internet.
After yesterday’s talk someone I respect greatly came up to me and made a suggestion that was very very interesting, but if carried through would certainly piss off a number of bloggers who thought the act was presumptuous:
"Someone needs to start a rating system for wine blogs."
He he he he he….
"How would you rate them?"
"Who are you to say what’s good and what’s not?"
"What qualification to you have to do such a thing?"
"It’s just exclusionary!"
Indeed…to all of those things. However, let’s at least admit that wine bloggers who review wines consider all these issues then go right ahead and review wines.
The suggestion was made based on the fact that it’s nearly impossible to sift through all the wine blogs on the internet to determine which are worth pursuing and why. And this, of course is the exact same rationale for reviewing wines. The person who suggested a Wine Blog Rating System told me that last years American Wine Blog Awards were very helpful to them in ferreting through the vast array of choices, but it really didn’t scratch the surface. He’s right.
There is already a Blog Rating System out there, but the system is admitedley quantitative, not qualitative.
The idea of a Qualitative Blog Rating project does speak to me positively for reasons that are surely indicative of real personality flaw I carry with me that has something to do with ego. However, the time it would take boggles the mind. Nevertheless, I’ll say straight out that it’s a great idea.
The Wine Australia folks were just great. Very inquisitive and thoughtful when it came to the subject of blogs and where they fit into the realm of wine media. They, like others, are right now beginning to figure out how to deal with them and why to deal with them .