One might think so, if you take the comments on wine blogs as evidence to that effect.
At the Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC), a three day symposium for wine bloggers, media innovators, and wine industry leaders held in Santa Rosa, California, I had the chance to meet Tracy , a PhD student from Auburn University in Alabama, but who is living in Mephis, TN. Tracy and Steve Heimoff were both attending to lead the panel discussion on Credibility.
I met Tracy before her panel, however, when we (Tracy, her male companion Robert, and I) were leaving the Kick Ranch’s welcome reception. As we walked down the hill, I decided to ask them if they’d like a ride back to the Flamingo Hotel, where the conference was being held. Our brief conversation had been so comfortable, that the offer was made in a collegiality moment. She was clearly someone that was fascinating with whom to chat… Her husband struck a low profile, perhaps because being a professor had him constantly having to share knowledge and opinions, and this time he was just along for the ride. As a great listener, he simply let us have at it… We then sat next to each other at the next event, and Tracy continued to tell me why she was there as a researcher working on her PhD degree.
[SIDEBAR: I was totally struck dumb later when a comment on one of Steve Heimoff’s blogs had an attendee even questioning why she was even at the conference. Clearly, he totally missed the point, because Tracy was very clear from the beginning of her seminar why she was there. I know we only hear what we want to hear, and her studying wine bloggers and wine blogging wasn’t on his radar screen, “So why was he even in the room?” thought I, when his comment was posted on a blog about the conference.]
As we got to the valley floor, the Pure Luxury bus had filled to capacity and was leaving. For us, it wasn’t a problem, but for one conference attendee, it would mean waiting a half hour or so for the next bus to arrive. I knew I had room for one more in my car, and so I made the offer to a new friend/colleague Delfim Costa. As it turned out – absolute small world that it is – this past April I was approached by Delfim’s company, Enoforum, about helping with their PR… I say small world, because Delfim’s company is based in Portugal. At the time, I was pretty overwhelmed with assignments, so I could only thank Delfim’s colleague for the opportunity… Now, Delfim was riding in my car back to the conference center.
Back to my question: Are Wine Bloggers All Just Writing for Themselves as a Community?
It was Tracy and her academic studying of wine bloggers who first discussed this aspect of wine blogs to me. This gave me pause for thinking. Is she absolutely right?
In the past week, I’ve been quietly watching some of the wine blog world. It’s not my occupation (I’m journaling, as I continue to state in this blog). It’s also not my preoccupation to see what others are writing about, nor is it even a fascination; but, for other wine bloggers, it would appear to be. Tracy’s the scientist on this one, so I’ll let her gather her data, then I’ll read her book! I can’t wait to read her results. Meanwhile, this week I’ll be back to doing what I must… work.
What I learned this past week, by stumbling upon Enobytes, is that this blog had created a list of Google’s Top 100 Wine Blogs.
Now, if I Google “Wine Blog,” I come up as their number 14 to 15. I do better with Yahoo, Ask, and AOL. MSN has me as their first blog – go figure. So, to not show up at all (?), and to read other people’s post – of course I couldn’t help myself from posting. Then, it became totally fascinating to watch. (“This can become really addictive,” I thought to myself, as if blogging isn’t addicting enough.)
Click here for the stream that followed: It’s a fascinating read of bloggers all either wanting to be on the list, having been missed from the list, or somewhat insisting that the name of their blog listing be changed – even though that’s the name that Google has them listed under.
So, in my humble opinion, based on all of this past week’s private research, we’re a pretty self absorbed group of people, talking to each other. I have over 1,000 people reading my blog each day, none of whom post comments – for the most part. Maybe one or two people might comment, once or twice a week. The few that do comment are mostly other bloggers… to Tracy’s point.
I believe Tracy’s onto something; and that is, writers write and readers read… And, what do they think of all of us jounaling people?
Based on our behavior, we rant, we rave, and they (people who aren’t blogging about wine) are simply enjoying how the internet is revealing our fish bowl pen palling of personal opinions, observations, understandings, and experiences… At many varying levels of expertise and understanding; from novice to pro.