This makes beer the obvious drink of choice for the lonely, single, internet geeks out there who spend their entire evening on their laptop commenting on blogs, writing about every thing they do on Twitter and then, when it is late at night, looking at images of Carrie Fisher in Return of the Jedi. Think Comic-book guy in The Simpsons. He could be a beer blogger.
But back to the point in hand. Rob's comments made me think that maybe my posts should include comment on other people's writing and today I find myself jumping to the defence of the most prolific wine blogger, the now retired, Gary Vaynerchuk.
I read an article by Steve Heimoff ( http://www.steveheimoff.com/ ) where he appears to gloat about the fact that he has said "for years that Gary Vaynerchuk wouldn't do wine videos forever - only as long as it took him to launch something else that presumably pays more money". That there was a "one trick pony" aspect to him and that he was like a rock band that has a one hit wonder and then disappears forever.
What Heimoff forgets is that Gary Vaynerchuk is a businessman, he just happens to have made his name in the wine trade. In his last episode of Daily Grape he says he is an entrepreneur first and a wine lover second. Similarly, in the very first episode of Wine Library TV, he explains the reasons behind doing a daily video blog on wine was to communicate more with his customers at his family wine shop and give added value - these are words of a businessman, not a wine critic.
And businessmen move onwards when one business has served its purpose. It is why Richard Branson is known as the owner of an airline and not as a record salesman in London. By his own admission, Vaynerchuk started off selling baseball cards, and made his name as a wine critic, but his purpose of becoming a critic was to sell wine from his family store. I am sure that, like Branson, he will go on into other ventures and have successes and failures, but he will keep doing what he loves and that is doing business, not commenting on wine.
Heimoff's comments of one hit wonder or one trick pony have a negative connotation. Take Steve Jobs, all he has ever done is make computer stuff - he's a one trick pony and has done pretty well. Sure Vaynerchuk's style isn't something everyone will like (neither are Jobs' products) but he was tasting wine on a video blog, there isn't much you can do to vary this, you just have to do it to the best of your ability. I would also draw attention to the fact that Jimi Hendrix was technically a one hit wonder, yet his legacy has lived on decades past his departure, as I am sure Vaynerchuk's will not only in the wine world but in the social media world as well.
This piece by Steve Heimoff reads as though he is a bit bitter that this young wine merchant from New Jersey has got the recognition he has searched 30 years for and he is so glad GV has gone, he is saying "I told you he would ditch you, now come back to me - a real wine enthusiast." and if he intended the article to read this way, this attitude is counter productive.
If my tongue in cheek stereotype of a beer blogger was accurate in the real world, then wine bloggers are the comic book store guy in the online community, and both Steve Heimoff and I are as guilty as the next blogger. We live in our own isolated internet world, writing about what we think and ignoring anyone else, and we tend to comment only when we are critical, not complimentary - exactly what I am doing now! Sure, we might have a family and a life outside us, but online we are on our own. Vaynerchuk tried to construct an online community focused on wine, and he was successful , but maybe the wine world wasn't ready for him yet. Gary put in the hours, replying to tweets, answering his critics and passionately promoting wine internationally, even when wine was (by his own admission) his second professional passion.
The only people who should be criticised are the people who are professionally passionate about wine first, as it took a businessman, not a wine communicator, to show us all what we were doing wrong in communicating our message. We need to open our eyes to each other's content, point out the positive, debate the negative and simply communicate. I am glad I happened upon the twitter conversation between Vaynerchuk and Heimoff, as I'd never heard of the latter and have been introduced to a wine communicator, who I suspect, I might have a lot of differing opinions with. He isn't right or wrong, he just has a different opinion to me. Hopefully that will start an online communication between two wine blogs and maybe that will expand my readers and his reader's palate for wine writing, and expanding your palate is what Vaynerchuk encouraged us to do for over a thousand episodes.
Wine Library TV