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Brain Fail

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I’m sad to report that my Brain 1.0 crashed this morning.

I had crafted a beautiful post about Twitter and the business benefits of participating in it, including witty comparisons, links to all sorts of relevant articles, statistics and images, and even made a few quote-worthy inserts that would allow you to pass on the article to your friends.

Unfortunately, I sat down this morning to paste this article from Brain 1.0 into Worpress and I discovered that this well crafted article had been corrupted (possibly by tiredness or even the half bottle of wine I had last night). I even attempted to reopen the article in my now rather dated Pen-N-Paper interface, and the entire thing seems to have become one wordy, garbled, incoherent and unresearched mess.

Unfortunately it means I’m going to have to start again, and this post is an attempt to re-format those thoughts and find fresh inspiration.

For those of an impatient disposition, the gist of the article was:

Twitter is a worthy additional tool in any business communication plan, but there are several different ways to approach it, and you need to better understand not what twitter IS, but how it is USED before you prepare that plan.

You do not need to participate in it heavily to benefit. You can simply monitor conversations and use it to respond to questions, and most importantly, respond to any issues directly and in a timely way. This is customer service “gold dust” and creates a great opportunity for word of mouth benefits.

However, as with all social media, you can really benefit from the twitter platform by getting involved, interacting with other individuals and communicating your (personal and business) personality. This is something that takes time, honesty, and a degree of openness most businesses find hard at first. However, it could be transforming for the business by creating a truly loyal group of friends, much more than ‘just’ customers.

OK. I’m off to turn that into something a little more useful and rounded, and to see if anyone has yet brought out an upgrade or replacement for my unreliable Brain.

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More BBC Wine Conversations

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Must get this post up quickly because I’ve been asked (this morning) to come along to the BBC Working Lunch studios TOMORROW to discuss Wine, Social Media, and specifically the business benefits of Twitter.

Not only that, but I get to share a stage with Annie Mole who will be focusing on the blogging side of things – wow!

How exciting is that? I’d never intended to BE the wine spokesperson on Social Media, only to get to know it to the benefit of the wonderful wineries I work with, and all my wine friends. However, anything I can do to raise the visibility of wine blogging and wine tweeting, then great! After all, this IS the wine conversation.

Of course, one of the main points and examples will be the ongoing developments at Twitter Taste Live

If you are in the UK (or can access the BBC Two), check out the programme that starts at 12:30 tomorrow (6 January, 2009) or watch the iPlayer catch up in the next week.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, if you are reading this before the programme goes out, let me know what you think I should say. Any great examples of where Twitter has helped your wine business – winery, retailer, marketing agency or importer? What about as a wine consumer – has twitter helped you explore wine further? I’d love, in fact am DESPERATE for, your feedback.

Wish me luck!

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London Bloggers Prize Winners

Thank you so much to all those who came to the recent London Bloggers Christmas gathering at Ember, and who took the time to write their thoughts about the wines and link back to the wineries who generously provided the wines to taste.

Here is a list of all the reactions to the event that I could locate (including those who didn’t link to the wineries) that also linked back to this site – who knows what else happened out there (let me know!)?

Miss Geeky – Not too late! keep up the efforts, and great to chat to you
>Re:Photo – thanks for the photos and the comments on the videos.
Wadds’ tech pr blog – thanks for the review, hope you liked the presentation
Timinator – glad you like the Vivanco white rioja
Caroline’s Miscellany – thank you so much for your thoughts on wine and particularly for the wine facts of London
A Yankee in London – thanks for the kind words on the presentation, great to see you again
Chris Gilmour’s Diary Vol. 14 – greetings from the short chap on the stool :)
Fake Plastic Noodles – shame you didn’t get to try more of the wines, but thanks for the nice comments, and for your support
Jazamatazz – thanks for tasting your first sherry!
Tony Scott – looking forward to our wine/beer/cider tasting in the near future
Chris Reed – ginger and proud – glad you are hooked on the events, and hope you enjoyed your bottle of CVP
Londonist – always great to get a mention on this site, and thanks for the photos Chris!

The process was to award a “virtual ticket” for each link to a winery blog involved in the tasting, and many were generous enough include links to all the wineries as well as some specific links of their favourites. We are all very thankful for your support.

In all 62 tickets were placed in the draw which offers a pretty good chance of winning, but the ultimate and sole winner* of a case of 6 bottles of Dinastia Vivanco Crianza (offered by me, but through my Rioja winery blog at thirstforrioja.co.uk) is …

Caroline’s Miscellany

Caroline, if you would drop me a line with your address at [email protected] (or through a comment on this site), I’ll arrange for the wines to be delivered to you asap for you to enjoy. Congratulations!

Thank you again to all the wonderful London Bloggers who participated, to Andy Bargery who allowed me to sponsor this event, to the wineries who provided their wines, my mum & dad (etc.), and finally to those who read this blog and make it fun to write about wine and help to share the love of wine.

* in case you were wondering, I gave everyone an entry in a spreadsheet for each link (up to 8, one for each winery), then assigned each “ticket” a random value from 1-100, sorted on this basis & numbering each entry, then picked a number between 1 & 62. The winning ticket was #16

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London Bloggers Prize Winners pre-announcement

Apologies for the delay, but I have rather intermittent access to the internet, so it has been a little difficult tracking and colating the results of the prize from the recent London Bloggers “Winery Bloggers” Tasting (see the last paragraph in this post for the details).

Thank you so much to those who did write a post with their thoughts on the evening with links to the generous wineries who sent their wines! I think I have got them all (or those who remembered to ping me too) and will announce the winner shortly, but thought I would let you know I am working on it

Happy Holidays to everyone in the interim!

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How to find your new favourite wine blog

A short update to let you in on an exciting development.

There are quite a lot of Wine Blogs out there – by some estimate there are around 1,000, and very few of them have much profile (i.e. traffic) yet. A few (mainly American) sites have gathered a reputation beyond a small circle of followers, such as Vinography, Fermentation, Dr. Vino and Good Wine Under $20, and a few Europeans are also regularly quoted, such as Catavino and Wine Anorak. These are the sites that get mentioned most often in articles about wine blogging online and in print, but they may not represent the kind of wine blog YOU want to read.

How do you find a blog about the wines of India, or a Wine Marketing blog in French?

Last year, Guy Kawasaki launched the popular Alltop into the wine arena with wine.alltop.com (where you will find this site listed, of course) but by its very nature, the site is still limited.

Now, Catavino Marketing has taken this to the next level (with just a little input from friends) by relaunching a great wine blog resource at http://wineblogger.info

The site has existed for around a year, listing the growing number of wine blogs around the world, but with quite a lot of effort, and some nifty programming, Ryan and Gabriella have now categorised these blogs into languages and even some topic categories so you can find the kind of blogs that are most interesting to you. What is great is that you do not even need to visit each one, but you can see the latest 5 posts from each one and even a preview of the post itself.

Of course, the technology and design may not be radical but it IS important because it is a major resource for the wine blogging world, and the kind of thing that no commercial organisation was going to get around to build for us as it is unlikely to make money. We ought to be doubly grateful for the skills and dedication to the wine blogging cause of Catavino Marketing & friends.

I’m certain we will see this site grow as a resource for wine bloggers and those who like to read them over the next few months, so do keep an eye on it, and if you find something new and interesting because of this, do let me know.

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