The Best New Wine Writing Talent Is Found On Blogs
Those of us who are regularly looking for evidence that the online world of wine is able to reach into the physical or non digitized world of wine need examples to that effect. We have a new one.
Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV has been published…ON PAPER.
The publisher is Rodale and the book, "Gary Vaynerchuk’s 101 Wines: Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World", I schedule for release on May 13. This is good news for the online wine publishers such as bloggers because it helps legitimize this medium and it gives other publishers a little more confidence in looking into our world for other voice that might deserve a wider audience.
Gary is not the first blogger to see his work published. Tyler Colman (AKA Dr. Vino) will see published later this year, "Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters, and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink" and "A Year of Wine: Perfect Pairings, Great Buys and What to Sip for Each Season."
I can’t stress how important this kind of move from the blogging world to the world of print is for the rest of us who blog and who believe that being settled in the blogosphere means living with the appearance that our work is less credible. Despite the explosion of blogs and their impact on consumers, politics and our information intake, ink on paper still represents something more credible…even more important.
I can almost guarantee that there will be more such moves. But it will come slowly. Nonetheless it will happen that writers once tied to their wine blogs will find themselves published on paper.
The best new talent in the wine writing genre today exists in the blogosphere.
Anyone can publish a book about any topic they like.
CafePress now lets you do that just as it did with T-Shirts.
That plug having been made, I return to my opening statement: “Anyone can publish a book about any topic they like.”
One of the things undermining credibility of bloggers has not been the appearance or lack of the appearance of credibility. It has not been Matt Kramer’s column or a badly researched Decanter article. The single most important factor undermining the credibility of bloggers is the fact that many, even the more successful ones (even one who have received awards – gasp!!!), are not always as informed or knowledgeable about their topic of focus as they should be (double gasp!!!).
In PR and marketing there is something called “visual credibility” – an overt (or ostentatious) display of materials and content intended to serve as cues leading the observer to conclude that the person featured in the Visual Credibility material MUST be important, an expert and someone of importance.
My question is this:
How will a book constitute the bona fide substance of credibility rather than the appearance of it?
Scratch, “bona fide” from my last sentence, bad use of the term.
I agree with you Tom that others will follow with books as I am currently writing one and I think Lenn Thompson is, as well.
Arthur: I think you are almost totally wrong in your assessment of the knowledge of wine bloggers. The one’s I hang with are every bit as talented for the task as Kramer, Laube, et. al. Many of them just choose not to work in the mainstream wine media because they make a better living elsewhere. You will see the best migrate to full time wine gigs in the next few months as wine blogs become more popular IMO.
Arthur I think one gets a clearer view of this issue from a look at news and political blogs. Popular sites like Talking Points Memo and Huffington Post gained huge followings because the readership trusts these blogs more than it trusts the Mainstream Media. Meanwhile the mainstream media looks down its nose at the bloggers and says they have no cred.
Tom, I think your pro-blog belief is getting the best of your usually impeccable judgment! “The best new talent in the wine writing genre today exists in the blogosphere” ?? I think that’s a pretty broad statement. There are talented bloggers, and talented paper-based writers, and talented folks who span both genres. I agree with Arthur’s statement: “The single most important factor undermining the credibility of bloggers is the fact that many, even the more successful ones (even one who have received awards – gasp!!!), are not always as informed or knowledgeable about their topic of focus as they should be (double gasp!!!).” Truth to power.
First of all, let’s be clear: You are not “new” talent. Sorry. You are Finely aged talent.
That said, I do believe that if you wanted to gather together a, what shall we call it…, a “rookie team” of talented wine writers you’d probably find them writing in the blogosphere. Too broad a claim? Maybe.
I’ll grant you one thing. Sloppiness of grammar and spelling is a BIG problem in blogs. All you have to do is look through FERMENTATION to know that. But there is sloppiness in the print world too, as well as some examples of folks that don’t know their subject. Frankly, I think of print wine writing as the “Major Leagues”. I think of blogs as the minors with the possibility of some blogs being expansion teams.
When I see a blogger or print writer clearly describe faults in a wine and not acknowledge them as such, or completely mischaracterize a vintage’s weather rather than give an accurate assessment a wine, or fail to recognize hallmarks of bad winemaking and then proceed to recommend the wine, I am flabbergasted.
Print or ether, many of the most influential purveyors of taste are not educated in all aspects of wine science.
I am for the success of bloggers, but popular support is one thing and expertise and staying power are not guaranteed by popularity. Popularity is easily attained by telling people what they want to hear, not by telling them something that challenges them or undermines the way they see the world.
Do we want to change things for the better or do we want our share of the market? After every revolution, the revolutionaries themselves become the establishment.
I would contend that these pundits have their following because what they say resonates with already existing beliefs held by their folowers.
I have enjoyed spending the last half hour or so reading your blogs and comments. I am new to this (blogging) but there are some great and interesting things said and commented on. Keep up the good work!
I don’t understand. Gary’s book comes out in May, but you assert that he’s not the first wine blogger to have a book published because Dr. Vino is publishing something later this year. Huh?
The fact that Dr. Vino is under contract with a publisher is enough for me.
Wow – didn’t know Gary was now published. Cool! Crazy guy but glad to see that he’s showing that Web 2.0 works!
Well there’s no way that anyone can acurately say who the first wine blogger was, but it’s obviously the case that there are now dozens (maybe more) out there and what surprises me is that some seem to be very well read. How do I know? You can view a site’s traffic stats using Alexa and some of the wine blogs receive a very high level of hits. Michael. http://ukwinedirect.com
Tom, I agree that SOME of the best new wine-writing talent these days is found on blogs. But sweeping statements are premature. As in every field, the cream rises to the top, and the best blog writing gets noticed (a phenomenon greatly aided by your Wine Blog Awards). At the same time, hack blogs (as well as irrelevant and self-serving blogs) will garner very little attention. It’s a process, and we’re still in the early stages. What your post really demonstrates is simply that the best blogging will make the leap to traditional media. And over time this trend will simply serve to expose how marginalized the big wine media have become.
With respect to published bloggers, Alice Feiring recently published “The Battle for Wine and Love or How I Saved the World from Parkerization”.