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Wine,Wine Blogger,Wine Business

Today: Celebrating Five Years of Wine Blogging, and what I’ve learned

Today is blog number 1002, and it’s exactly five years later from my very first blog posting…

This year I’ll also hit that 1,000th blog milestone.

I’ve learned a lot in this process, and so I’m going to share. I do have to share, first, something that I just learned, and is probably the most poignant thing I’ve learned in this entire process. It just happened at UC Davis, while Jose and I were panelists for Rusty Eddy’s extension class on winery PR. Steve Heimoff and Bart Hansen (Dane Cellars) were also presenters.

Steve began as the first presenter for the day, to share his enlightenment and perspectives. When he handed the program over to me as being next, he introduced me. “Jo Diaz also blogs, and is a great story teller.” He turned to me privately and said, “And, you’re also a very good writer.” This was done with a smile of  acknowledgment and a brief nod. The man whom I greatly admire for his writing, also admires mine.  That’s an important moment for anyone, but most especially me at this exact time after five years of writing this blog…

That was my “Congratulations!”

Top 10 things I’ve learned about blogging in general:

  1. Blogging is addictive.
  2. Everyone seems to be doing it.
  3. Bloggers like to be with other bloggers.
  4. As in all things in life, some people are better at it than others.
  5. Some people love to rant and some people love to rave.
    • Blogging allows for both.
  6. There are a lot of reasons to blog:
    • Journaling as a hobby
    • Having a platform from which to be published
    • Wanting to store information on the World Wide Web
    • Needing to get the copious amount of stories in one’s head out, to make room for more, while still not losing the details of all the older stories (my reason)
    • Enhancing and advancing one’s credibility and career
  7. You meet people through your comments.
    • Not only are virtual friendships formed, but some wonderful personal friendships are forged.
  8. Blogging opens up the world for relationships being built from any country in the free world.
  9. Like all things, it will come and go for the blogger… as interest is keen, peaks, and then wanes.
  10. I could write a romance novel, based on the discipline I’ve learned while blogging.

Top 10 things I’ve learned about wine blogging:

  1. I’m glad that I got in during that macroshifting period of 2004-2005. I caught a lead as a female wine publicist.
  2. As in all publishing, it’s primarily a man’s world.
  3. Men like to read other men, as evidenced by the comments (and research about that fact).
  4. There are a few really good women out there who have been able to successfully make their presence known, by finding their own interesting voices and filling important niches.
  5. Some of the original hobbyists are leaning toward wanting, and some actually finding, wine as a career.
    • I once heard that we mostly do what we’re second best at… I believe that.
  6. You can’t always depend on a hobbyist to be putting out the most educated, researched, and up-to-the minute facts and figures about wine.
  7. Some of what is being written is the blind leading the blind, so some things are getting really screwed up.
    1. Every time I read Petite Sirah with a “y” it’s like fingers down a chalkboard.
    2. If these people would write exactly what they see on a label as it’s correctly spelled, this could easily be remedied. (Would you spell Petit Verdot with an “e” at the end of Petit? Yeah, it’s that bad when Petite Sirah is spelled with a “y.”)
  8. Wine bloggers love to write for other wine bloggers… their own image and likeness… the club, the clique, the validation.
  9. It has opened up a world to me that I wouldn’t have had prior to blogging.
    • Being in the industry already, I had an inside edge solidly established.
    • It’s greatly broadening my wine knowledge, way beyond the Northwest, spreading out into the big, wide world of wine.
  10. I could write a book about wine, based on the discipline I’ve learned while blogging.
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19 Responses to “Today: Celebrating Five Years of Wine Blogging, and what I’ve learned”

  1. Jo: Congratulations on 5 years of blogging! An amazing achievement. And it’s not over yet. Who knows where all this is leading? Keep up the good work, and have a great, happy new year (you, Jose and the kids)!

  2. Roger says:

    A very well deserved congratulations Jo! Have an awesome and safe new year.

  3. Frank Haddad says:

    Very good points and congrats on a thousand posts, talk about discipline wow

  4. Sondra says:

    1002 blogs, that’s something to cheer about! !!! = cheers

    Congrats on being a pioneer for five years entertaining and educating in more than the blogosphere.

    All the best and continue the fabulous work.

  5. 1WineDude says:

    And many more!

    “Every time I read Petite Sirah with a “y” it’s like fingers down a chalkboard.” – AWESOME! 🙂

  6. Jo Diaz says:

    Thanks, Steve, Roger, Sondra, and 1WineDude (Joe). Very sweet to see you all here today!

    Joe, Too funny, but too true… fingers down the chalk board…

  7. Alana Gentry says:

    If Steve can be your hero, you can be mine 😉

    So many great points in this list. I too have learned so much–in the beginning I think Joe told me how to spell Sirah 🙂 and presently I’m right there with you, very interested in the global world of wine.

    Hope our paths cross many times in 2011!

  8. Jo Diaz says:

    Alana,

    Your words are very dear… as are all the others shared today.

    Dark & Delicious is on Feb. 18, 2011.

    Do you have your glass ready? If yes, I’ll make sure you get comp tickets.

  9. Jo Diaz says:

    Thanks, Frank,

    I didn’t know I had it in me. Now I do.

    May you, too, get tot hat point with your http://www.intheglass.blogspot.com!

  10. Congrats on your success, and reaching such a milestone. Thanks for sharing your tips and experiences

  11. Jo Diaz says:

    Thanks, Eamon! It’s been fun, to say the least.

  12. Alana Gentry says:

    Dark & Delicious–my glass is ready!

  13. Jacqueline LeMay says:

    Jo,
    Congratulations, impressive milestone! Have you considered publishing your favorite blogs as a book? We of the non-wine connoisseur community would appreciate your stories because they transcend humanity not just wine.

  14. Jo Diaz says:

    Wow, Jackie,

    Transcending humanity is a pretty potent concept/message. I hadn’t thought of my writing that way.

    I had thought about writing a winery cat book in the mid 1990s. I had tons of images and great stories, and Chronicle Books listened to me. At the time, though, they were producing books of cats from Greece. My images were good (really good), but the Greek cats were all against a bleached white stucco background, brilliant azure blue skies, and it became all about those cats. You didn’t need a word for any of them.

    Mine were against brown barrels, walking out of wine cellars, sitting on picnic tables, and that just couldn’t compete with the stark images of the Greek cats… Chronicle Books passed, and I let it go, then watched Winery Dogs take over about ten years later.

    I’d definitely know how to put a book together, if there was ever a deal. From what I’ve heard from my book author friends, you’re on your own selling them, once they’re produced… even with a big publishing house, and no one I know with a book has been paid anything worth writing home about. The publishing companies make the most profit from writers. The writers get a mere pittance.

    Even self publishers have a very hard and long road to selling each book.

    I make more as a publicist, and I love the short story side of this profession, which is why I love blogging… No publisher or editor to please. I’m free and loving it.

    There… worked that one out!

  15. Jacqueline LeMay says:

    Hmmmm, the rapidity and content of your reply plead my case! Gotcha. I agree with the logistical part but writing isn’t about logistics or control it is about telling the story and you do it so well. Your cat vs dog vs nothing … is the reason for my suggestion. Have a great week my friend you have earned it!

  16. Jo Diaz says:

    Alana,

    As soon as we have physical tickets for media, I’ll send a pair to you!

  17. Jo Diaz says:

    It isn’t about logistics… You’re right. It’s about passion, and I’m pretty stream of consciousness.

    Now, off to get *your* book written, my dear!

  18. Jo:

    …and wishing you many, many, more wine blog posts to come!!! Happy 2011!!!

    Dennis

  19. Jo Diaz says:

    Thanks, Dennis. Same to you on all counts!

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