As in Groovy…It’s Cruvee

Cruvee launched yesterday.

As in Groovy, Cruvee is new wine social networking and personalized wine information site that aims to combine comprehensive information, people’s passions for interacting over their favorite libation and powerful user-adaptive technology to create a community of well-informed users.

For anyone who has used other social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace or OpenWine Consortium, Cruvee will be very easy and simple to navigate. You’ll be navigating about checking out any of the 18,000 wineries highlighted on the site, the forums, the groups that bring together like-thinking wine lovers and exploring the various feeds that that are delivered to your "My Cruvee Page" that are chosen for you based on how you interact with the site. The technology is impressive:

"Cruvee’s technology always keeps you up to date with the most relevant
information that matters to you most, no matter which part of the site
you’re visiting. For example, looking at any wine on our site shows you
not only information about that wine, but recent discussions about that
wine in the blogosphere, other cruvee members who own that wine,
reviews from members and professional sources, and other wines that
might interest you."

Any wine lover could use Cruvee as their on-line wine hub, as their place to begin their daily fix and even as their storehouse of wine information such as what they own, what they want to own, what they’ve reviewed, which wineries they want to visit and who knows what else. It’s pretty deep. But what’s best is the site becomes even more relevant to the Cruvee devotee the more its users interact with the site.

The wine information hubs across the Net seem to grow at a sustained pace, some being well populated, others not so. Cruvee will appeal to wine drinkers and wine aficionados that pure drinkers and wine lovers. Wine Industry types will find it useful as more people adopt it as their on-line home.

18 Responses

  1. dhonig - September 10, 2008

    What does it offer that the others do not. I am feeling overwhelmed, following dozens of blogs, Twitter, and OWC.

  2. Tired - September 10, 2008

    Agreed. Do we really need another one of these wine review/social networking sites? I’m already overwhelmed by Cellartracker, Snooth, winelog, etc. There is nothing special on their home page that tells me Cruvee is THAT much different than the others.

  3. Joel - September 10, 2008

    @dhonig – the most useful thing is that it actually aggregates and sorts other sources for you. The “MyCruvee” page auto-populates with blogs, twitter, etc… information that is relevant to you. The back-end tech is really extensive (I got a thorough in-depth briefing before this launch and worked with them a bit on how its positioned).
    So its not really about yet another “social network thingy” – which I thought it was also at first and chided them about that. Its really about taking all the user-generated, real-time chatting, blogs, etc… and presenting you with stuff you care about.

  4. Thomas Pellechia - September 10, 2008

    If this keeps up, I’ll have no time to earn a living. Got to stop this Internet thing–NOW!
    Seriously, social networking seems to me like an odd description for anything that happens online–I avoid all sites that claim to be in on it.

  5. Alex Kremer - September 10, 2008

    Thanks for the feedback so far everyone. As Joel said, one of the things we’re actually trying to solve is the “overload” factor of disparate sites out there and bring you what matters to you most in a single place. Think of it as a smart feed aggregator that automatically adjusts its criteria based on your wine preferences.
    We’ve been aggregating hundreds of wine blogs and other sources over the past year to build a database of content that we can then tailor to whatever you happen to be doing at the moment. For example, searching for a particular wine will not only show you the standard “Billy liked this wine” type of stuff, but relevant blog and news posts we’ve gathered – From sources that you care about. You also might find relevant social media chatter about that wine, or even a WLTV review. Again, the point is to make you do less work.
    Hope I’ve cleared it up a bit – I’d be happy to answer any questions!

  6. Jim Preston - September 10, 2008

    Nice site but the brag about 18,000 wineries is a bit much for me. The depth of coverage is shallow at best. Some of the info I glanced at is outdated. It seems that they took old public information and had the data entry done in India.
    Nice tools though and I certainly appreciate the effort.
    – jim
    Seek wine tasting road trip adventures!

  7. Alex Kremer - September 10, 2008

    Our sweatshop is here in sunny Phoenix 😉
    Data is one of the biggest issues with any wine site and we’re obviously continuously working on getting more of it. One of the items on our agenda is to actually open up our data and allow anyone to take it or contribute to it in a normalized fashion. I think the wine 2.0 industry would have a lot more innovation going on if the barrier of entry in terms of data weren’t so high.

  8. Dylan - September 10, 2008

    Alex, this is a great idea. I worked on a social media pitch about 3 months ago and what research showed us as one of the number one user insights, “people don’t need ANOTHER social networking site.” Aggregation is the hot new solution and, in my mind, best way for people to make their current internet situation feel more manageable. I expect your site to do very well.

  9. Thomas Pellechia - September 11, 2008

    Before I go to the site, can someone explain what this “aggregation” consists of–is it putting together a bunch of links, quotes, or copyright material without permission?

  10. Alex Kremer - September 11, 2008

    Hi Tom,
    The answer to your question is mostly yes. We do have content partnerships with certain providers (mostly for video and professional reviews) but many of our news articles and whatnot come from RSS feeds. Like any of the online aggregation sites out there, we do only show excerpts and actively encourage traffic back to the blogs (and individual posts) we got that content from.

  11. Thomas Pellechia - September 11, 2008

    I’ve had a few “aggregate” sites lift my stuff verbatim, complete with my copyright notice at the end of the column. Not nice.

  12. Alex Kremer - September 11, 2008

    I can’t speak for every aggregator, but we are very mindful of situations when someone doesn’t want their content indexed, and will gladly remove any content the rightful owner doesn’t want up there. We also pay attention to creative commons licenses (for example, in our Flickr<->Winery integration) and don’t pick up anything someone has put off limits.
    I took a look at your RSS feed and it looks like you’ve got your entire articles (instead of excerpts) going into the feed. This might explain why some aggregators have picked up your entire posts.

  13. Thomas Pellechia - September 11, 2008

    The whole feed is for reading the whole article, not for printing it. It is still copyrighted.
    There’s nothing wrong with “fair use” quoting, but even that is a murky area, especially if the quotes are quite extensive as to make up just about the whole article.
    If an aggregate links, no problem. If an aggregate lifts, potential problem.

  14. Alex Kremer - September 11, 2008

    Again, not speaking for anyone else, but we only use excerpts and link back to sites. For example, if you do a search for “Napa” on our site, you can see how we handle this:

  15. Thomas Pellechia - September 12, 2008

    Thanks, Alex.
    Not accusing, just trying to get a grip on this aggregate thing, and also trying to understand how many aggregate sites it will take before the aggregate sites are performing the same service and become redundant.
    In other words, I’m putting my bid in now to you for the day when you’ll discover that you probably could use fresh, new thoughts and words to create your own identity.
    My rates are friendly 😉

  16. Alex Kremer - September 12, 2008

    Shoot me an e-mail, then!

  17. Thomas Pellechia - September 12, 2008

    Blogging as networking…I like it.

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