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Tuesday Tributes
The 57th Report On The Death Of Wine Blogs

By Charles Olken

Wine blogging is dead. Well, maybe not dead, as in D-E-D, dead. Maybe just on vacation. Or on sabbatical. Or, napping. Not sure which, but I have been looking at the signs, and they are not good. To wit—

--There has been no Robert Parker scandal anywhere in the press for a month or more. Without Parker to kick around, the wine blogosphere finds itself in trouble. With 967 of us out there, all looking for something to say, it helps to have a scandal that we can all talk about. No scandal, no spikes in readership, etc.

--The 100-point scale in no longer a topic of any relevance. It is here, it is boring, it is both useful and useless at the same time. In fact, it is no more or less useful and useless than any other rating system every devised. We use it because it is easy, and because it is popular with the folks who pay the bills—namely the readers. But we no longer have to defend it because no one is attacking it. In fact, when Decanter Magazine, that English bastion of conservative wine journalism, or do I mean that conservative English bastion of wine journalism, recently adopted the 100-point system, almost no one noticed on this side of the pond. Too boring by half is why.

--These days, the humorous wine blog, The Hosemaster of Wine, is more popular than most blogs that take wine seriously, including this one. We can all agree that The Hosemaster is at least partially popular because it makes a lot of people laugh. Nothing wrong with laughter. But wine is too serious to make fun of. When a site like The Hosemaster of Wine becomes my first stop of the day in the blogosphere, then we know that all those other sites, like STEVE! and Sermentation are losing their grip on us.

--A good friend of mine writes a very popular blog. I can’t mention his name or that of his blog because I am about to give away one of his trade secrets. Back in the day when he was receiving many more hits than he is today, a very large proportion of his blog readership emanated from China. We all know that the Chinese cannot read English so that, by itself, may explain why readership is down.

--Here are blog topics that showed up with serious intent this past week. When you read them, you will realize why wine blogging needs a new Robert Parker scandal. “Choosing Winery Compliance As A Career”; “Tweets About McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s”; “Soon To Be A Cretin”; “Five Tips For Mobile Commerce ROI”. Oh well, blogging just ain’t what it used to be.

BOTTOM LINE: You might think that this is all tongue-in-cheek stuff because it is all tongue-in-cheek stuff. The problem is, however, that it is also true.

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No Subject
by Ron Washam, HMW
Posted on:7/9/2012 10:07:11 AM

Hi Charlie,

Well, I'm not sure HoseMaster of Wine is that popular, especially because they don't get it in China. They read it, they just don't get it.

I have the good sense to write a wine blog that is rarely, if ever, about wine. It's about making fun of all the pretension that surrounds wine. I agree that wine could use a good scandal about now. Maybe I should make one up. I think everyone is bored with "natural" wine (whatever that is--though I think it's wine with excessive body hair), the 100 point scale (Decanter is almost always fifty years behind--they just declared 1961 a good vintage in Bordeaux), and Parker (D-E-D). Now if we can just get them to shut up about "minerality."

Thanks for the kind words about HoseMaster. Guess I should retire now. Again.

Hot Topic
by Samantha Dugan
Posted on:7/9/2012 10:42:22 AM

Seems as if the topic of the moment, the "Hot Topic" if you will, amoung wine bloggers is the fact that wine blogs are dead....

There clearly is some kind of shift happening and on my end it works out to be a good one. Far fewer fellow (shit, say that three times fast) bloggers reading and commenting on my blog and yet, my readership is up, and now, now it's my customers that are reading which is what I wanted when I started the blasted thing! I think some of the circle jerk stuff is coming to end, thankfully, and when you get a bunch of people all yammering about the same damn thing it grows tiresome, unless you do what Ron has done so brilliantly, say something on topic but in a very unique way...and lets face it, there is only one HoseMaster. Don't know about anyone else but when there is a bunch of clattering it builds in intesity in such a way that I feel compelled to just shut the damn noise off.

by William
Posted on:7/11/2012 10:02:28 PM

Thats what consumers are saying about articles like this. They don't care. And whats anyone's empirical basis thayt blogs are dying? Less  inter blog commentary by bloggers. Who cares.

I write less than ever and get more readers. Darwinism at work?

No Subject
by Thomas Babington Macaulay
Posted on:7/13/2012 6:06:25 AM

Yes, it might be true that wine blogging is in its downtime. I also blog about wine. My goal is to find unique & good information so that I can write good content. I have been visiting <a href=""> wine clubs </a> & found that they have good information about wine manufacturer, origin & varieties. I often visit their websites for these details. These details, are the ones, which helps me produce good content 

Tommy Babb
by Charlie Olken
Posted on:7/13/2012 8:09:13 AM

When you wrote, "The natives of wine countries are always sober". had you visited France at that time?

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