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THURSDAY THORNS
05/10/2012
Thursday Thorns
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blog

By Doctor Strangepalate

I once thought that social media was a hoax. Then I learned how to get my own Twitter account, to set up not one but two Facebook sites and somehow got roped into LinkedIn. Oh, and along the way, I established this blog.

Truth be told, I did not believe in any of it. Not even after seeing the Facebook movie set in Cambridge, the very town where I grew up, hung out, learned to drink, somehow managed to sneak into the local college and then fled from that esteemed locale for what was supposed to be a two-year gig on the left coast—from which I have not yet returned after all these years.

It was a dark and stormy day in San Francisco when I was challenged by some young, hip kid to discover social media. Get thyself online and set yourself free. Think of all the friends you will make. Think of all the new readers you will find. Think about emerging from the old media that has held you captive for three decades and breathe the fresh air of the Internet 2.0.

Okay, you hip kid, I have done it. So why does my knee ache from a half hour of softball with the grandkids and Twitter make me feel like I am cheating when I condense complex thoughts into 140 characters? Don’t get me wrong. I like Twitter. I wrote hundreds of tweets to be read by hundreds, no make that thousands of fellow twits. But it was all so incomplete. I get a string of inane thirty-word comments every day, and, between you, me and the hard drive, barely a handful have any meaning.

Oh sure, mine are different. Whole blogs topics condensed into the equivalent of a Ritz cracker. Pleadings for folks to come read my writings. Impossible discussions with folks who are not listening and get angry if their thirty-word summaries are contradicted by my thirty-word summaries. I like Twitter. But it suffers from what Yogi Berra once said of a very popular restaurant in New York City, “It has become so popular, nobody goes there anymore”. Or to put it more succinctly, despite the constant barrage of words and the presence of many good and thoughtful people on Twitter, I don’t go there anymore.

I do understand. My kids love social media. Why call when a text will do? Let’s tell the whole world about everything going on in their lives on their Facebook pages. Really, I do understand. I am too old to be hip. I keep getting reminded of that fact when I see, or worse yet, attend concerts by singers I liked decades ago. It is not that they have no hair or are paunchy. They can’t sing anymore. The music is the same, the words are the same. Their voices are no longer hip. I’m not sure I was ever hip. I know I am not now.

But, there is one part of social media that I love—and that is this blog. It turns out that Mr. Old Folks has a lot to say, has lots of opinions to share and just loves having a place to share them. Writing is work, and writing a blog is no different from any other kind of writing if one wants to be smart, cogent, grammatical and all those other things that good writing should be. I like to think that the CGCW blog, whatever else it may be, and Lord knows that it has not become nearly so popular as the blogs of folks like Steve Heimoff, Alder Yarrow and so many others in the wine arena, is “smart” most of the time.

Steve Eliot and I think about the issues confronting the wine industry. We challenge ourselves and the people about whom we write, both positively and negatively, to think. No one has to agree. They only need to think.

I worried about social media. Now, I love it. I love ignoring my Facebook page and Twitter and I love the blog. Hurray for social media. It is so popular that no one goes there anymore. But here we all are—at least until the next big thing comes along.


 

The CGCW Experience - Take the Tour

Meet the New CGCW

For thirty-five years, Connoisseurs’ Guide has been the authoritative voice of the California wine consumer. With readers in all fifty states and twenty foreign countries, the Guide is valued by wine lovers everywhere for its honesty and for it strong adherence to the principles of transparency, unbiased, hard-hitting opinions. Now, it is becoming the California winelover’s most powerful online voice as well. And, our new features provide an unmatched array of advice and information for aficionados of every stripe.

Comments

counting
by John
Posted on:5/11/2012 10:25:17 AM

I love the blog too, but I wonder if anyone will ever read the book it is a draft of. Somebody at VinTank put something up the other day suggesting just how small our community really is. I have initiated a count - sort of like the big annual backyard bird count - to enumerate spottings of rara aves on the blogs I follow.Maybe I'll doa  blog post on the results someday.

 

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