Sunday, April 24, 2005

I'm Metablogging Today

Metablogging is blogging about blogging. Generally I don’t find the idea of writing about blogging particularly interesting – at least not in the abstract, and at this point in blogging’s evolution. And yet, a couple things lead me to do just that in the context of this blog today. First, I’ve been doing this for about a month now and second, the new Business Week (May 2, 2005) magazine arrived in the mail today.

The cover of this week’s Business Week screams in huge font: “Blogs will change your business”. The online edition of the article appears to be complete and free, so check it out. It’s an interesting read. A few highlights below:

“… you cannot afford to close your eyes to them [blogs], because they're simply the most explosive outbreak in the information world since the Internet itself. And they're going to shake up just about every business -- including yours.”

Steve Rubel, a New York PR strategist and blogger is also quoted in the article as saying:

“The first job … is to monitor the blogs to see what people are saying about your company. … Next step: Damage-control strategies. How to respond when blogs attack. He says companies have to learn to track what blogs are talking about, pinpoint influential bloggers, and figure out how to buttonhole them, privately and publicly.”

Ultimately, this seems to me to be the main reason for why Business Week would bother to consider saying something about blogs. We need to start figuring out how to “buttonhole” people who aren’t saying what we want about a company’s products. It’s one thing for a customer to send a company a letter about the deficiencies of its product, it’s something entirely different when the whole world can find those opinions in an instant via a google search.

If it hasn’t happened already, my guess is that at some point soon this will affect someone doing a wine blog. Let’s be honest, not every wine is a winner. And people’s tastes are amazingly different. There’s bound to be someone trashing what someone else thinks is great stuff. The wine business will have to deal with this blogging phenomenon. I think this will be most interesting to watch. And since my postings occasionally identify something I’ve “dumped”, I wonder whether people like Steve Rubel or one of his clients will come a’knocking one day to “buttonhole” my opinion?

Meanwhile, as I mentioned, I’ve been doing this about a month now and yet even that small amount of time has given me a chance to make a few observations…

  1. I started this blog mostly on a whim one day because I had more time on my hands than I typically do. I’ve been reading blogs for many years (started way, way back with CamWorld and but I had no idea there were so many other people doing wine or wine & food blogs. The number of them and the quality of their content has been both surprising and refreshing, not to mention interesting reading.
  2. This takes quite a bit of time. Shouldn’t be surprising, but I didn’t realize I would end up spending as much time doing this as I have. What the hell was I doing before with the time I’m now spending doing this? I read a little less of other unrelated things online and I just watch less TV now.
  3. Writing regular blog posts makes you think about things in a more disciplined way. I enjoy about the same amount and types of wine as I always have, but now I write things down more often and think about them after the fact in a way that only makes the appreciation of them that much better.
  4. Other than some good wine blogs, the state of the wine business online seems pretty dismal by comparison to other businesses. Where is the Amazon of wine? In fact, more interesting as far as I’m concerned, where is the Dell of wine (i.e. the direct sales model)? And where is the google for wine? (Sorry, doesn’t quite meet the bar as far as I’m concerned.)

Anyway, despite the time it’s taken, I find it motivating to do this and I’m having fun doing it too so I hope to keep it up for awhile. And as they say here in Texas, “thanks for coming and y’all come back”.


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