Who’s a Pro?
I’ve been thinking about what makes "professional" ever since reading Ryan’s Post and the following comments over at Catavino.
Ryan’s query was: "Does it make someone more of a professional if their (wine) reviews are only
accessible through payment? Does the exchanging of money make a
person’s opinion (what any review by anyone really is) worth more?"
I’m not sure if the question is different if it’s applied merely to blogging vs. wine reviewing. I don’t think it is. Nonetheless, I started to wonder if I’ve become a professional "something" as a result of my blogging. Let’s look at the details:
1. The work on Fermentation is mine.
2. I take money in exchange for the placement of advertising on the blog
3. I often consult for money specifically on the issue of blogging
4. I give talks to professional organizations on the topic of blogging
5. I regularly receive press releases based on my blogging.
6. I get invited to events based on my blogging.
7. I spend about a half hour to an hour a day focused on my Blog in some way.
Is it possible to be a professional anything if you only spend an hour a day working on that thing about which you presume to possess professional knowledge?
Clearly it is possible.
Does it come down to whether or not one makes a "living" based on this thing you profess to have professional knowledge of? I think so. I think this is the hard, cold fact. Unless you can support yourself financially based on your blogging, your are not a "professional" blogger.
I’ve often wondered what would become of Fermentation if I worked 5-6 or even 8 hours a day on its content and services. I think that would make me a professional wine writer working in a blog format. However, I’m still not sure what it would look like or what it would become. It would be interesting to know.
At this point Fermentation is an outlet for my personal thoughts and opinions, a place to encourage the growth of a publishing format inside the wine industry, a promotional vehicle for Wark Communications and an advocacy vehicle for change I think needs to occur. But, one thing it is not is a venue for a professional wine writer.
The comments and the post over at Catavino are very interesting. Take a look.