Fermentation’s Top Online Wine Influencers
What is "Influence" and what makes an individual "Influential". Let's not over think this. Isn't "Influence" the power to make other people act and think differently…or at least to act and think? And isn't one MORE influential if they can provoke MORE people to act and think?
So, if we ask the question, "who are the most influential people affecting the Online Wine World", we are looking for people who, through their actions (online or otherwise), cause larger numbers of people to act, or change the way they act, in relation to wine online. So, utilizing this theory...
FERMENTATION'S TOP ONLINE WINE INFLUENCERS
Cyril Penn, Editor, Wine Business Monthly
Wine Business Monthly is the best read wine trade site on the Internet. They send out a daily list of top wine stories that LOTS of people read early in the day and then react to, if only by them reading the stories or being introduced to them. The fact that there are so many folks in the wine industry get their daily Top Wine Stories and, hence, their daily perspective on the wine industry from Wine Business Online makes Cyril, the editor of the organization, among the top Online Wine Influencers
Jeremy Benson, President, Benson Marketing
Jeremy's company does the same thing that Wine Business does with their daily Enews Monitor. Their list is very big and the people that get this list of top wine stories on the Internet read it closely to see what's new in the wine world. This is influence for the same reason that Wine Business Monthly has influence: They use the Internet to help determine what stories and issues are at top-of-mind of thousands of wine industry insiders.
Gary Vaynerchuk, WineLibrary.TV
Gary has harnessed online communications to build a significant audience of wine lovers via his WineLibrary TV, his twittering, and through garyvaynerchuk.com. They buy wine he recommends. And though I don't have hard data on this, I think Gary provokes them to think differently about wine. At the very least, Vaynerchuk has prompted people to think differently about what a wine critic is. That's influence.
Rich Bergsund, CEO, Wine.com
Despite its somewhat checkered business history, Wine.com is among the largest if not the largest wine retailer on the Internet. This means that Rich Burgsund and the folks at Wine.com do the most to introduce people to online wine sales. This is critical work. For many people, Wine.com is the first place wine is ever purchased on the net and that first impression means a lot to the rest of the industry.
Craig Wolf, CEO, Wine & Spirit Wholesalers Association
Over the past few years, few people have done more to slow commerce in wine on the Internet than WSWA and its head Craig Wolf. By using its resources to spread unwarranted fear among legislators and releasing misleading information to the public, many states have had second thoughts about opening their borders to well regulated commerce that makes sense in the 21st century.
The Inertia Beverage Group Team
Inertia Beverage Group (a client of Wark Communications) has been instrumental in evangelizing to wineries where direct sales are concerned. Between their direct sales and Direct To Trade Platform, their free compliance service and their constant involvement in the technological and marketplace development for direct sales, far more wineries have taken the leap into the online world.
The ShipCompliant TeaShipCompliant is the company that has worked harder than any to blunt the efforts of uninformed legislators and self-indulgent wholesalers who have done as much as possible to make complying with state laws difficult. ShipCompliant has given wineries and retailers the means of navigating the countless regulations that govern direct shipment of wine so that more consumers can enjoy the continually increasing diversity of wines in the American marketplace.
Tracy Genesen, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis
No single person has done more to lay the ground work for consumer access to wine than Tracy. This is the woman who devised the overall legal strategy that brought the Granholm v. Heald case to the Supreme Court, who was the first person to get a judge to rule that retailers are covered by the Granholm ruling and who most recently convinced a court to shoot down "capacity caps" on who can ship wine while working on behalf of Family Winemakers of California in a Massechussetts-based lawsuit. Tracy is the legal guru behind the rise of online wine sales.
Joel strikes me as the "Braintrust of Wine Social Media". Business focused, savvy, and industry-centered, Joel nearly singlehandedly runs the OpenWine Consortium, the most important development in wine trade networking to emerge in a decade. Through OWC, Joel played the key role in creating the first North American Wine Bloggers Conference that brought the continent's wine bloggers into the same room, face to face, for the first time. He is omnipresent in all forms of wine-related social media and commands respect for his ideas and opinions.
I suspect there are other suggestions on who I might want to include on this list and I welcome those suggestions. But if you suggest some one for this list of Top Online Wine Influencers, please explain why they belong on the list and please note if their inclusion is based on a different criteria than mentioned above for what "Influence" means