Social media,Wine,Wine Writer

In the middle of the “Social” and “Traditional” media seesaw

My view from being in the middle as a marketer…

I’m in the middle of this “Social Media” and “Traditional Media” seesaw. I was there when traditional media didn’t even have the “traditional” adjective in front of it.

I did know (during those early times in my PR career) that media had reached ivory tower proportions for many, who were destined for a bit of humbling (I thought)… Trust me, I’ve had more than my share of humbling in this lifetime, and know that a modicum of it has very important self evaluation and growth effects. While Steve Heimoff falls into this traditional media category, he’s never needed any humbling, in my humble opinion. Steve is a genuinely warm and friendly man. So, my reference to humbling has nothing what-so-ever to do with Steve… just a very few wine writers I’ve met along the way…

Then, along came Web 2.0 and the ability to be on the Web and talk to friends in a social way, even creating a new “media,” aptly called “social media.” They took a huge spike very quickly, and although the spike is now coming down to rest in a more realistic middle-of-the-graph place, the monikers “social media” and “traditional media” were set into place.

We now seem them beginning to blend back into just being “media;” however, that’s still going to take a few more years before the transition is complete

And, there I was and still am… in the middle between black and white on this issue, about which one is more important. I’ve always identified with Gandalf the Grey. QUOTE: “Gandalf: It’s only a matter of time.” And, this came up and was THE DECIDING FACTOR, with both Steve Heimoff and Paul Mabray (from yesterday’s story of “Steve Heimoff and Paul Mabray in the same room, and we all got out alive,” agreeing that they don’t have the answer yet to, “Which REALLY is more important, if indeed one had to BE more important than the other.”


Steve and Paul, you’re both right; and you’re both not wrong, but you perhaps both need a bit more information to take it one more step closer toward being on the same page… although, I believe I just witnessed you both having just “arrived.”

  • You’re both right in that both of you have very important and true beliefs. I’ve watched many a  brand be born from both a great score and great social media pushes.
  • Where I believe that you’re both needing more information… because an objection is just a request for more information…  is in the importance of one over the other.

In the world in which I work, which has me marketing brands, both worlds are equally important. This is why you, Steve and Paul, both came to that impasse that I witnessed; and in the end, came to a very important paradigm shift that’s had to happen…. with both of you agreeing that you don’t have THE magic answer…

That’s how it ended folks… I watched these two guys, whom I admire and adore greatly, both shaking their heads in exactly the same motion at the exact same time.

Big sigh…

Kids… Until magazines are no longer published (and, I do believe that if not my grandchildren’s generation, then their grandchildren, when they’re my age, they’ll no longer be buying physical books) this is how it’s going to play out… the shifting to acceptance from both sides that a completely digital world is where we’re headed…

Many of us see books becoming a way of the past as sad, because we have memories of curling up with a great book. These new kids will see books as “antiques” down the line. (What do you think of a Model T today?)

At that point, those in charge of making or breaking a wine brand will still exist, simply by what they’ve said and the size of their  audience that’s willing to listen.  Traditional media used to be 100 percent of my day job just eight years ago. Slowly, that’s been shifting, and now they’re about 50 percent of my world. You know where the other 50 percent now lives, including me writing this blog.

Image makers like Steve Heimoff have remained relevant, because people enjoy what others have to say about a subject ~ be it wine, autos, or services that people offer ~ is always going to be relevant. We, as humans love discussing with others. Having today’s traditional media coming on line in an accessible way, like Steve keeping himself relevant by having a blog where people can directly speak with him… both an older and now a younger audience have shifted toward him. Steve’s a relevant “friend” to many social media people, as well as traditional… And, Paul Mabray can measure in numbers his success/relevance.

Steve’s joined social media, and he admitted to loving it at this class. Meanwhile, Paul shook his head a few times in disagreeing with all of Steve’s thoughts, but it wasn’t just a one-sided negative of, “Hey buddy, you’re just wrong.” So, we witnessed the union of friendship and understanding happening…

Polar opposite thought of the today…

“Traditional media” and “Social Media” are beginning the move back toward “media.” But, both Steve and Paul admitted that we’re not yet “there” yet. We’re still traveling the path.

Then, Jose jumped in and suggested that Steve talk about what he had just blogged, because it was excellent information for the class.

We were all lifted from this “Theater of the Mind,” that we now ALL knew existed. Most people missed the layers of anticipation, and maybe even the contention; but, we all were privy to an extraordinary moment in wine writers’ importance/relevance in time…

And, off Steve went… How does a winery get from the minor leagues to the major?

Peace on earth…

As my day used to say, “and so is Christmas,” when I’d say something “was coming”….

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One Response to “In the middle of the “Social” and “Traditional” media seesaw”

  1. gdfo says:

    While wine writers and reviewers and critics have been around for a long time, social media has not. Social media is new. People are trying it for lots of things. They may try some ones elses idea or suggestion and find that the opinion was not educated and not for them. That has not reached a zenith. There will come a time when many wine drinkers will shy away from social media for advice realizing the what they need is a more educated approach, rather than advertising and mass-minded opinions of dilettantes.

    The writer/reviewer/critic still has to earn their reputation. There will always be some wannabees out there. Things will change. But there will always be a need for the ernest and educated wine educator.

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