The Problem With Twitter and Wine

I do love twitter. My tweet deck is open all day, chirping and chiming in the background as I go about my work. I check it regularly, primarily looking to see how clients are portrayed, looking for useful news and ideas and keep track of friends.

And I use it too—to spread word of a new post I’ve written, to forward on posts by clients and to introduce my followers to news and ideas. It’s an amazing tool.

However, many in the wine and wine related industries that I follow as well as simple wine lovers abuse my attention and the attention of those that follow them with banal and useless and feeble tweets that have no value.

This is a plea. A plea to ease up on the following types of tweets and the real meaning of those tweets that argue for their relegation to the dustbin of tweetery:

1. I’m drinking a really great wine right now.
Translation: You aren’t!

2. I’m at Restaurant XYZ.
Translation: You aren’t!

3. Thanks for the follow.
Translation: This message isn’t for you

4. I’m drinking 2007 X with a plate of X.
Translation: Beat that!

5. What are you drinking right now?
Translation: I’m lonely.

People talk about the drawbacks of Twitter all the time. The 140 character limit. The way it fills up space. The unsubstantial conversations. Sure. Ok. But it obviously is a huge innovation in communications when used correctly.

I just think a commitment to using it correctly is such a small thing to ask.

7 Responses

  1. Rich Reader - October 2, 2012

    That’s a good start on the re-interpretation of lame tweets.

    My favorite is ” ….. Please retweet” which frequently means “nobody would want to read this”.

  2. Tom Wark - October 2, 2012

    Rich….what’s interesting is that research has show that when you write “Please RT” or “Please ReTweet” it gets retweeted at a much higher rate.

  3. Nick P - October 2, 2012

    Tom, please god expand this post with another 5 then another 5 of these with the hilarious “translation.”

  4. Arnold Waldstein - October 2, 2012


    This is not a problem with wine and twitter it’s just the problem that happens when you give the world a free and powerful communications tool and people don’t think about how to communicate.

    Not a lament, just reality.

    Not a problem with the wine world, just the noise of the web itself.

    For me, I try to keep it interesting. Turn off auto-tweets from my blogs. Try to keep a message for example that is particular for myself and my companies, like theLocalSip.

    Sometimes I’m successful. I guess some not like all of us.

  5. John Kelly - October 2, 2012

    Yeah the “thanks for the follow” should ALWAYS be a DM. I don’t mind the “I’m drinking/eating this” tweets so much – they are often good good for inspiration, sometimes good for a little envy and occasionally a bit of schadenfreude. But the “what are you drinking right now” tweets get an immediate unfollow.

  6. Holly Evans-White @LeCellarCat - October 2, 2012

    Hiya Tom,
    As a person super new to Twitter I have been on my learning curve and although I’ve never asked the quesion: What are you drinking now (cuz it’s sort of like saying; What color panties are you wearing? just none of my business) – I had to try, and learn from, each moronic thing as I Tweeted myself into the 21st century.

    Still learning, but as a long long time cork dork wine educator who works for a rock star winemaker and who is faced daily with neophytes, we must be kind and patient with those learning the ropes because we do want them to join us on this journey, we don’t want to be grouchy old timers who don’t recall the freshness and excitement of the new discovery.

    Unless I can make my Thank Yous relevant I will DM all thank yous from now on. Thanks for the lesson!

    Your old pal Cellar Cat

  7. Morning Star - October 3, 2012

    There’s a lot of “curmudgen” in this post. I see your point but a lot of people do not have time to put into analyzing and understanding twitter to your extent. You write a popular blog and you probably read a bit about twitter! I remember reading at one time in twitter ethics that you are supposed to thank people for following you, something I hated doing and have stopped. “What are you drinking now?” I hate. Please Repost is begging for a non-repost. My point is people are at different levels and use twitter for different reasons. If you use it really “effectively” you will probably be annoyed with people who do not. It’s a learning curve and the good and consistent Tweeters with something relevant to say will be successful, so take heart. You did make some relevant points though for more sage Twitter users.

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