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BLOGGING AND MAKING MONEY IN THE WINE INDUSTRY

In my non-wino life, I blaze through the traffic of the Internet and try to stay current with trends that will assist me in my business.  Recently, I read a book called Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff.  Li and Bernoff are research geeks at Forrester Research, a marketing research firm.  Their book is about the change in marketing created by the online social technologies, most specifically blogging (see http://www.forrester.com/Groundswell/index.html for more information on the book).

Now, my buddies, Wino John and Wino Bob, created this website a long time ago because they happened to be techno-geeks who happened to like wine.  They didnít think they would get rich selling stuff through the website (at least I hope they didnít think that).  They just wanted a forum to chat about whatever they wanted to, whenever they wanted to.  Usually, it was wine-themed, but once in a while, a rant or a digression slipped in.

Well, Winos John and Bob, you guys are in luck.  Li and Bernoff say that all companies need to get into the act of social networks and using a blog is a recommended start.  You donít need to sell stuff; you just need to sell the fact that you are connected to millions of wine aficionados who respect you as the non-expert experts that you are.

In their book, Li and Bernoff provide a story about a vintner in South Africa, Stormhoek Winery (http://www.stormhoek.com/blog/), that  hired a blogger to promote its wines.  The blogger, Hugh MacLeod, is also a cartoonist whose first business was writing cartoons on the back of business cards.  If you go to his main blogsite ( http://www.gapingvoid.com/),  youíll see some samples of his work as well as find out about him and his other clients.  Clearly, this guy MacLeod makes some money by blogging.  The folks at Microsoft are clients of his.  Stormhoek is a client of his.  His April 11, 2008 blog post talks about his renewed relationship with Stormhoek after a sale of their UK distributor.

MacLeod has a gapingvoid widget that he asks creators of blogs to download to their website.  WJ and WB, whereís our winostuff.com widget?  Take a look at this guyís profile and cartoons.  We do better with the WB stick figure cartoons.  I think we just need to channel this into the right opportunity.  Somewhere out there is a winery that is looking for us to be its big sponsor.

Wino Wally
Baltimore, MD
April 20, 2008

Editor's response:  

  1. WinoWally, we are all about the blog.  And the wine.  But mostly we are all about the blog uhhh...  the wine.  Obviously, we are conflicted. 

  2. WinoBob wrote a book on the change in marketing trends created by porn on the internet.  It was called Trouserswell.  It was released prematurely and... well...  let's just say it never caught on... 

  3. As for corporate sponsorship, there are thousands hundreds several blue chip third-rate companies that are banging on our door, trying to align themselves with WinoStuff and our immense, albeit intoxicated, readership. 

  4. Widget?  I thought the hip new trend was utilizing a MIDGET!!  Bob, you can fire the midget...

The bottom line is that we need to find a company with:

A) a huge marketing budget,

B) no real desire to measure ROI on their marketing spend,

C) an appreciation for the marketing potential of bikini-clad winobabes, excessive alcohol consumption, sophomoric humor and general religious irreverence. 

I know the right company is out there.  Maybe one with a Wino as CEO?  Hmmm...???  Where could we find a company like that???

WJ


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