Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Everyone has to have their say

I have been reading wine blogs for what I consider to be a very short time, but there is something that has occurred to me that I think is well worth remembering: Everyone gets to have their say.

Yesterday, I read a blog post by Steve Heimoff. Steve is one of my favorite bloggers to read. His position as a journalist for the Wine Enthusiast gives him access to wine and information that many wine bloggers (or at least the ones blogging for their own fame and fortune) dream about. He called me out on his blog for mistaking his feelings towards bloggers (rightfully so), and is very much an advocate for thoughtful discussion on the Internet.

Steve writes:
In their eagerness to topple the old order the bloggers sometimes
over-react, sensing blood in the water and moving in for the kill. But reactions
should be judicious; the punishment should fit the crime.

After reading the full blog post (which I would suggest), I think the issue Steve is bringing up is not that the articles now streaming the Internet's twitter, flickr, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. byways are unjustified. There are just so many of them and there seems to be no end to the number of people chiming in on the subject.

To fill in my readers that do not know what is going on, there has been a particularly intense round of navel gazing happening on wine blogs in the past month, due to the issues surrounding Robert Parker at the Wine Advocate. Then there was an intense round of anti-navel gazing. Now there are people who are just fed up with the whole idea of a navel, but I digress.

I think what some bloggers do not realize is that just because 3,000,000 other people have written about a subject, taken it to their cellar, beaten it to death, performed a mighty two footed jump on its lifeless body, does not mean that one more blogger will not take it into their mind to give the corpse one more go round with the paddle.

This is the blogosphere, where there are no rules (yet), no editor, no grammar, no spellcheck, and certainly no end to the number of times a subject can be written about. Everyone gets to have their say and there is nothing anyone can do to stop them.

But that is what makes the blogosphere so powerful! It is a wine marketer's dream to be able to have all 700+ wine blogs (or any blogs!) all writing about their client all at the same time. But there is no way to ask all 700+ people to do that. That is not the way it works. At best you will have a handful of people writing about a wine within a month. And that's only if you have done your research, made relationships with the bloggers, and understood what it is they write about and why.

This works for all subjects, not just wine. If we could get everyone to agree to write on a deadline, then we could move on to the next subject without a problem. However, bloggers all read each other's blogs (or so I have found), which means that a blogger might read a story about the ethics issue 700+ times in four weeks. It is understandable that one would get tired of reading about the issue, but such is the nature of the beast (blogging that is).

My suggestion: stop worrying about it. People will get it out of their system, just give it time. Go back to doing whatever type of blogging you were doing before these shenanigans started. The 700+ people reading your blog will appreciate it.

On a completely different note, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate my girlfriend Leah on graduating from medical school. Leave her a comment on here blog here: Pets, Posts and Other Medical Mysteries
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