Attending this year’s Wine Bloggers Conference in Lodi I met a whole new group of people that I didn’t know before. I feel that it is essential to support new online wine writers as well as videographers. Traditional press I feel have not always been complementary about a large community of online wine writers–who for the most part are largely unpaid. I think the traditional and paid press might pick up on those who write to get “free” wine. But the industry has recognised those who write because there is a higher purpose and those who are seeking samples only are those who I believe over time get fewer and fewer samples.
No one has a number of how many wine labels exist year over year. Needless to say it is very large and I have talked often about how there are not enough people to cover all the wines that exist. Wine publications do cover a large portion but there are so many others that are not picked up by the publications.
The newer online wine writers I feel are important to not just keep content fresh but also new approaches. I also like seeing a great diversity of online wine writers–that cover gender, race, ethnicity, age and experience and every walk of life. I know a lot about my demographics of my viewers and readers but I also know that I cover a lot of important demos but I don’t cover every person. When Gary Vaynerchuck retired from wine videos–I could hear a collective sigh of disappointment. I pointed out to many people in the industry that Gary while he and his PR partners brought a lot of attention to the wine world — even his reach was limited. I look at his videos today and they are certainly aged – I am not sure I can connect with a particular game of the NY Jets and still find that relevant today. While wine producers loved Gary I am not sure his demographic reach touched all wine consumers. After Gary the wine world survived as I had expected and now I think there is a time for new people who are committed writers to find their audiences and their potential viewers and subscribers to find them.
I think the community of online wine writers will succeed not by competition but by cooperation and collaboration. When I meet new(er) online wine writers or even wine vloggers I give encouragement. I have rarely received encouragement but it is my recognition of little encouragement that I do want to encourage other people who write or complete videos about wine.
I do believe that a wine bloggers conference does bring people together once yearly. I would love to see a stronger organization or platform to get to know each other and to support one another. I do think an organization is needed and I could see such an organization can lift all boats. This organization could also keep it’s foothold of relevance and value of online video creators and wine writers.
I look at the many online wine writers communities and there are many are not necessarily what I am speaking of–as each time a new community is created it is a place to post material. Perhaps there is a higher calling that we can come together and offer our value proposition via an organization. After all Sommeliers have various organizations to represent their value.
While I am an advocate of a more formal group–I am not saying that I want to create this potential organisation by myself.
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