This post is part of a series of posts about le Vin 2.0 2011 where I presented on the topic of mobile technology opportunities for winemakers. Here’s a video of the presentation (in French) and a summary in English.
When a company decides to develop a mobile strategy, their first instinct is often to make a smartphone application. But applications are actually one of the heaviest investments you can make with some of the most limited returns. Apps seem really cool and they seem like the most *mobile* thing you can do because that’s what you always hear about on the news, but you can make an application and then wake up the morning after next to that 10,000€ app and realize you don’t really have the same ambitions in life. This metaphor got weird.
All I’m trying to say is that most winemakers shouldn’t even think about making an application.
Here are several reasons why:
Application development is expensive. The lowest dev cost I’ve ever seen for even a simple application that was basically just a PDF that you could flip through was 6,000€.
Application development is restricted to specific platforms. If you make an iPhone app, it only works on iPhones. And then you need a different app for Android phones. And you need to constantly maintain the app as the technology changes. I use a Samsung Wave which has the Bada platform and basically nobody makes apps for me. I feel left out and end up resenting everybody who is ignoring my phone platform.
The most successful applications are Universal in scope, and most winemakers don’t have the resources to maintain this kind of app. Almost nobody wants an O’Vineyards app that just tells them about O’Vineyards. They will open that once and then forget it’s on their phone. On the other hand, a Love That Languedoc app that tells them about all the Languedoc wines .. that’s a little more interesting, but still not ideal. Then if you think of a Guide Hachette app that has all French wines. That’s getting interesting. Or something like Wine Demon that does all wines available in the UK. Now you’re providing something useful for your app user and they will come back to it repeatedly and regularly. But most winemakers don’t have the resources (or motivation) to do that kind of big picture app.
Instead, optimize your website
It makes more sense to make a mobile friendly website. A good web site can be optimized for all mobile phone users. It can be done pretty inexpensively. I have some minor technical skills so I made a separate CSS for this website (heavily based on iPhonsta, a free wordpress theme). But even if you know nothing about computers, you can hire somebody to make a mobile version of your site for less than 1000€. The mobile site will also be a good testing ground where you can learn about your mobile users’ habits by watching your site analytics.
In the near future, I imagine mobile commerce will become a realistic option for wineries (Although we’ll face the same issue of universal scope… most consumers would rather be regular shoppers at amazon.com than shop at 28 separate publisher websites). You can also imagine microlocation once HTML 5 kicks in. Today, my website detects you’re using a cell phone and I show you my mobile site. In the near future, I will see you’re using a cell phone and you’re within 20 kilometers of the vineyard so I’ll prominently display a map with directions on arriving at my vineyard. Or I’ll see you’re on my vineyard and I’ll show you information about the parcel where you’re standing. Or I’ll see you’re in the UK and I’ll prominently display links to Naked Wines where you can buy my wine online and have it delivered to your home.
The counterargument: Apps are awesome
Several people at Vin 2.0 pointed out that they have very successful applications. Notably, le Guide Hachette, mentioned above, Intermarché, and idealwine. While I make apps sound pretty terrible, they pointed out that the app store is a very well-viewed platform. With the right kind of app and the right kind of PR/marketing, you can get your app featured in one of the app stores’ Top Lists. And that’s a lot of exposure. Again, I think this is an unrealistic endeavor for most winemakers. It’s more appropriate for a universally-scoped guidebook or retailer (with a bit more budget than O’Vineyards). But I do appreciate that there is this great opportunity to be seen by lots of eyeballs if you play the app game right so I should mention the argument here.
Piggybacking instead of developing your own app
Personally, I’d rather piggyback on already existing applications. Take Wine Demon for instance. It’s a customer review database for all wines available in the UK. Anybody can leave a review and it should be like a tripadvisor for wine that also shows availability. That’s a great tool that can drive my UK sales if I get good reviews. Instead of developing my own application to do this (which will cost tons of time and money), I can just spend a tiny bit of time optimizing my presence on Wine Demon. Encourage people who like my wines to use the app and it will effectively bring my average scores up. I can make sure there are nice photos of my bottles on the site and all the information is correct and up to date. This takes little time and I’ll probably reap more from this small expenditure than if I launched my own application that does basically the same thing.
Same with tripadvisor strategy. Tripadvisor has become really important for hotels, lodging and tourism. Now how do I react to that? I don’t try to launch a competing website. I just try to optimize my presence on the already existing site. 🙂
At the European Wine Bloggers Conference (EWBC), Ryan Opaz talked about new web tools that allow people to tell stories more effectively online. I’ve embedded the video of his presentation below, his slideshow, a list of all the tools he mentioned, and then a couple attempts to use the tools.
WordPress.org – self-hosted blog with wordpress content management system. This is how I publish the blog you are currently reading.
Tumblr – Perfect for telling short stories with quick uploads or highlighting links/photos/media in an easy, aesthetic way. Might belong in the microblogging category.
Posterous Spaces– One post here and posterous will turn around and post your update everywhere (ie any blog you set up, any social media account, etc.)
Squarespace – A premium website creator that is apparently pretty intricate. For your typical 1000 € website that lots of wineries make, this makes just as much sense (if you have decent design sense) as hiring an outside contractor. Never used it myself though.
Facebook – duh.
Twitter – duh.
Linkedin – why?
Alternativeto.net – Alternativesto totally doesn’t belong in the middle of the microblogging slides, but SUCH is life. It’s awesome for finding new tools in any of these categories.
Google+ – awesome?
RSS/Podcasting explanation – Really Simple Syndication is a system that lets people know when you’ve updated your website. Podcasts are audio recordings that use RSS to appear in your mailbox or mp3 player or whatever everytime they’re released.
AudioBoo – ultra easy way to record audio and immediately publish it
vocaroo – quick audio recordings; sort of a poor man’s audioboo
viadeo – billing themselves as something like the French LinkedIn, it’s not surprising Ryan Opaz glossed over them. It’s very French and very business-y. But a lot of people swear by it.
adegga, vinogusto, winedemon – Ryan didn’t really talk about social media sites devoted to wine but these can be an important stomping ground for wineries to tell their stories. some sites like cellartracker really don’t offer that opportunity to winemakers, but others like Adegga allow for a lot of interaction and “ownership” on the part of producers.
Effort to use the tools
Animoto – I made an animated slideshow for my B&B with animoto. It was pretty painless but the free version is pretty amateur. It beats most of the ridiculously boring slideshow software I’ve seen, but it’s a far cry from the quality level I like. It’s great for a little slideshow for fun. I wouldn’t be proud enough to put it permanently on the landing page of my website. I bet the premium version is awesome though and it only costs like 5 bucks to do an unlimited number of videos for a month.
Dipity – I used this timeline tool and I think I should have used it for something else. I decided to start compiling a history of wines of carcassonne (upcoming book project), but I realize now that I missed the mark. This tool is really designed for contemporary, breaking news events. Or personal uploads. Regardless, here’s my first work in progress on the site.
Bundlr – I started using bundlr for an upcoming Carcassonne audio guide project which also ties into the geolocation presentation I’ll be giving at Vin 2.0 in Paris this December.
Storify – I tried to use storify to make something about the EWBC but it was already November and most of the tweets from the EWBC were already buried in the archives. Unless I’m missing something, storify is really meant to be used AS the event is unfolding. So I missed the opportunity to do one for the EWBC. But Wine Future Hong Kong was happening that day so I made a storify for it. The interface was very easy to learn and I’d say this whole experience was good. I like it. The finished product looked professional and was easy to read. And people loved my summary. It got a lot of retweets and attention. And it just involved me picking out my favorite tweets, photos and links (and I mostly pulled these photos and links from tweets too). And then it serves as link bait because everybody mentioned in your storify is proud that you cited them. Plus sometimes you get the opportunity to be pretty funny. One complaint: I didn’t realize that the URL wasn’t customizable so my hong kong wine future storify still has a soave italy url. Ooops.
And I’ve slowly but surely been working on this problem in my spare time. What is the perfect winery website? What should be on the landing page? And how should the rest of the page be structured?
Keep it simple
“If at any time you find yourself tying the ring to a dog’s collar, stop”.
–Oscar’s advice on how to propose marriage, The Office
Never Said About Restaurant Websites doesn’t only offer chuckles. It also offers a guide to making less horrible restaurant websites. Their perfect site has all the key information on the landing page. The site should preferably be tiny. The key information includes location, opening hours, reservation policy, and a downloadable menu.
Keep it simple. Any time restauranteurs think they should include a short flash animation, blaring music, a winding manifesto about why the chef became a chef, or anything like that, just stop. Count backwards from 10 and walk away. Almost everybody who googles a restaurant’s website will specifically be looking for location, opening hours, reservation policy and a copy of the menu. If that’s not on the landing page, you lose.
But here’s the rub. What is the perfect information for winery websites?
The most crucial information
As far as I can tell, the most crucial information for every winery website is:
A list of wines (with photos of bottles or labels)
I think from here, a visitor should also be able to access detailed information about each wine including varietal composition and a description (and from there, information about each vintage).
Also from here, the visitor should be able to access more information about where the grapes come from. Describe the vineyard, climate, geology, and culture.
History is a place where you can talk about yourself. Try to keep it short.
If you ever find yourself making a flash animation, stop. 😀
This will create a tiny, simple website full of useful information. Now, how to layer that information?
People who want more specific, deeper information are generally more willing to click around the website for a minute in order to find that info. But don’t bury the information too deeply or they will lose patience.
Jefford writes, “If you’ve just spent €700 on a bottle of Clos du Mesnil and have made the effort to look at the website, you may want to know the history and geology of the vineyard, you will probably want to understand why fermentation in wood makes this wine different from its peers, and you may be intrigued to hear why a company which always claimed that ‘blending was all’ now produces not one but two single-vineyard Champagnes.”
Of course, this is true. Even my 28 Euro Reserve is priced high enough that people might want to know exactly why it’s 28 euros and not 10. But that’s deep information. It shouldn’t be landing page info. People who want this level of depth are willing to click around a bit to find out more about the Reserve. In my current design, from the landing page, they can get the basic varietal composition of the reserve and a picture of the bottle in one click (the “wines” tab). They can get detailed description of the fermentation process, aging, and tasting notes with a second click.
Similarly, professionals tend to be slightly more patient. It’s their job, so they’ll stick with you longer.
So hopefully this gives you some guidelines about how deep to bury information. The more specific a piece of information or the more “in-depth” it is, the deeper you can bury it in the site. Basic, common information should be on the landing page or one click away. More indepth info can be two clicks away. Really specific info can be three or four clicks away. And so on.
All that said, there are several reasons why you might want to deviate from this model.
Make some choices
There are several potential audiences for a winery website. You can’t cater to all of them at the same time. You’ll have to choose who your website is designed for.
Types of people visiting my site (sort of in order of popularity):
A drinker who is just surfing the net
A journalist who is looking for additional information
A fan who is just checking in
A tourist who is trying to visit you IRL
A supplier trying to sell you a service or product
A drinker who wants more information before purchasing
A drinker who wants more information before consuming.
A sales person looking for promotional material / tech sheets
A retailer or restaurant trying to find your wine
An importer or sales agent trying to contact you
Now when I look at that list, I feel like there are vastly different goals. Pretty much everybody is seeking information. But the nature of that info varies a lot.
Obviously, you can ignore some people straight away. I don’t need to think about suppliers trying to sell me new barrels and stuff. They’ll find a way to contact me even if its buried in the most remote part of the website imaginable. And it’s their job to find that information so they’ll persist.
There’s an instinct to cater to the most common visitors while ignoring the less frequent visitors. However, while importers only visit the site rarely, those are very important visitors. So you can’t just ignore the less frequent visitor types.
Ultimately, you have to make some choices. Make your own list with your own priorities. I’ve made this list based on my experiences online so it’s a bit idiosyncratic. For example, tourism is an important part of our business because of our proximity to Carcassonne, our ability to speak English, and our personalities. While tourism is a priority of ours, most winemakers will not value it as much. So make your own list and it will be easier to make choices, especially about the landing page.
Archetypes of Winery Websites
I think there are several models that can serve as archetypes of winery websites. Ideals or extremes. Some of these work better than others, in my opinion.
E-Commerce winery website
This winery website operates like any other e-commerce site. It is owned and operated by a winery, but it feels like amazon.com. Every page reminds you to take advantage of a special offer available for a limited time only, free shipping for orders over a certain amount. Every part of this site is designed to push visitors toward the credit card confirmation page.
I’m not a huge fan. It’s especially difficult for small wineries to make it this way. For a successful e-store, you really should have a whole range of products. But there are some people who like it this way. And obviously, this model ignores most of the rules of good site design that I talk about above.
Trade site, All business
Some wineries have a site that is clearly designed for people from the trade. There might be a beautiful page set up to show who distributes their wine in each country (or in the case of the USA, each state). This is exceptionally practical for restaurants and retailers that wish to carry the wine.
There will be tech sheets for every wine. A different sheet for every vintage. There are downloadable and printable shelf-talkers in multiple languages.
Sometimes these sites even require login information which the winery will only hand out to paying wholesale customers.
Winery: The Movie
Wineries will very commonly make websites that are more about “expanding the brand” than about informing visitors. You’ll sit through a long flash animation and then have to wrangle with an unexplainable interface to find even basic information.
This is generally annoying. In rare cases, it can be executed very well. In those rare cases, it’s still an acquired taste. For example, I like the Bonny Doon website despite its reliance on Flash and its whimsical nature. It strikes a good balance. And it offers all the information I eventually want in a format that’s novel without being tooooo contrived. But even good sites like this get poor ratings from some web surfers because they are a little trying if you’re not in the mood.
The blog you’ve never tasted
A lot of winery websites (like this one) are more famous than their corresponding wines. Many of the people who visit this website have never tasted my wine. They just assume it’s good because a lot of people say so, and I seem like a nice guy.
A website that knows some readers are there for the blog and not for the wine can take liberties about what it displays on the landing page. Many of my visitors don’t actually care where I’m located are what my labels look like (because they just read this blog while they’re bored at work or because they’re wine professionals that read technical articles like this one).
On the other hand, a customer who has already bought and is on the verge of consuming wants more practical information like pairing suggestions and tasting notes (caveat: don’t bore them to tears with generic tasting notes that have so many nouns and adjectives they could actually be describing every wine on the planet mixed together)
That’s just the first two people on my list. They’re fairly similar and yet they already have different information demands. Do you put it all on the landing page? I don’t think so. You have to make some choices.
“I wish this website would devote a lot more space and effort to a ‘welcome to this website’ paragraph that no one will ever read instead of prominently listing their hours of operation.”
I criticize a lot of websites for having ugly landing pages with cheesy flash animations, loud music, and no useful information.
It’s easy to cut out the flash animation and loud music… but what constitutes useful information?
One important story that should be included in every winery website is a biographical history section. But how do you write that history? How do you convey the right information? And how much is too much?
Writing your history
People want to know about your history, but they will only remember things that are really unique and notable. You don’t need to put this information on the landing page of your website. It can be safely tucked away in a “Biography” section or “About” section.
And keep it short. You can include a manifesto hidden deep within your website, if you must. But there should be an easy to read, brief biography somewhere close to the landing page. If you have trouble keeping the bio short, visit ten other winery websites and delete anything in your history that also appears in their history.
The fact is almost all winery history sections fall into two categories “we’ve been making wine for x generations in the proud tradition of Lord Soandso of Somethingrather” or “I’m passionate about wine so I started making it y years ago and it’s been hard but worth it.” Unless you have something really special to say, this is the part of the website that people will forget ten minutes after reading it. So only say the special stuff.
And again, it doesn’t have to be on the first page. Even though you think your story is super interesting, people might be more interested in accessing basic information about your wines, where they’re available, and what food they go with. So writing a website is about balancing all this information and presenting it in a convenient way for the impatient Internet surfer.
How O’Vineyards handles it
I try to show our personality on every page of the website. The closest thing to a concrete biography is currently located in the “wines” section that talks about our winemaking. But you’ll also learn a bit about my philosophy on tourism by clicking on the “visit” section. There used to be a “Bio” section about our history, but I merged it into wine because it’s more useful there. Still debating this one internally and you might see me move it around more in the future. But it’s not very long and it’s certainly not the landing page.
Thierry Desseauve is a really cool dude. He’s obviously had a huge role in creating the contemporary wine scene that exists in France. He’s come a long way since his departure from RDF and I’m glad he had time to talk at Vin 2.0 (a conference I talked about previously) since he’s usually busy with the multitude of projects that he spearheads with Michel Bettane.
Actually, with the Grand Tasting right around the corner, I was very surprised to learn that he’d be presenting at Vin 2.0 on the same panel as me. We bookended it. I started with a talk on how a winemaker can use social media to build a brand, and he finished. And this was a great boon because he was able to address a lot of what I said in his presentation. Several parts of his speech are addressed to me, and I think that in some sense, I was a proxy for all the world’s winemakers making good wine and looking for solutions.
I said some things in my presentation that he could have taken the wrong way. About the high cost of live events and conventional advertising. But instead he acknowledged that he as a media man has the important job of finding the people who do value old school marketing while simultaneously placing himself in the arena that folks like me value.
He’s talking about his efforts to change the focus of the wine business. So that everybody focuses on the drinkers instead of each segment catering to some other middle man without ever thinking about our consumers.
I enjoyed the presentation.
And a big thanks to Isabelle from Vizioz Communication who filmed Desseauve’s presentation and put it on youtube.
This is my summary of the conference speeches I heard at Vin 2.0, the conference on wine and the Internet organized by Vinternet. It was a good group with some solid presentations. The organizers motivated a lot of people who don’t normally speak in public, and it’s interesting to see your friends on stage for the first time. And a keynote by Gary Vaynerchuk is always worth sitting in on. I’m really looking forward to his new book.
Qu’est-ce qui a changé en 15 ans?
A top notch way to start the day. The panel started with James de Roany’s presentation of a study on where the wine world will be in 2050. Then Jacques Berthomeau, who is often given sole credit/blame for the CAP2010 report (often called the “Berthomeau report” or the “Bordeaux plan”), talked about how things have progressed since his commission dared write what they wrote. And then Bernard le Marois and Lionel Cuenca each delivered a testimony from a trade point of view. They talked about changes wine merchants have felt in the world of wine economics.
James de Roany from the CNCCEF (I’ll give a bottle of wine to the first person who can tell me what the hell that stands for without looking it up) spoke to us about a recent wine report that focused on where the wine world would be in the year 2050. Lots of interesting statistics. The numbers that seemed to impact the audience the most were related to how many non-drinkers France has now. A big untapped youthful market. There was also a neat section on economic projections for various countries that showed the US economy stagnating along with a lot of western Europe while China, India, Brazil and Russia all grow. This allows de Roany to suggest that winemakers should be focusing export efforts on countries with growing economies.
Berthomeau’s follow up was entertaining (the guy is a great story teller) and it was poignant as he is a main author of a report that dared to look forward (similar to the CNCCEF report we had just heard about). His team put together opinions as bold as “women are going to buy a lot of wine” and “maybe France shouldn’t try to directly compete with mass produced wines from the New World.” But Berthomeau didn’t just dwell on his glory days. He’s still got a lot of fire in his belly, and he exclaimed that there are still important lessons we have yet to learn.
For example, we need to think less about wine and more about grapes. Small fine wine producers are sort of in the minority around the world. When we talk about macro economics and global trends, it’s much more useful to think about grape production. Interesting stuff. Also, he reminded us that we need to get outside baseball. We’re too insular. A lot of online communication only reaches other wine professionals while the vast majority of the public stays in the dark. And this is one possible explanation for the growing number of nondrinkers in France. We are losing our base by playing omphaloskeptic games (staring at our belly buttons). He made a colorful comparison between American indie films and French indie films. The latter are frequently characterized as art house projects without plot or driving force. While American indie film still strives to reach an audience with a story (just less hollywood gloss). I don’t know if it’s a perfect comparison, but I like it.
A lot of Bernard le Marois’ presentation was lost on me as it dealt with more retail-oriented info. But he served up some juicy information about how he thinks the business has changed in the past 15 years and that is the topic of this panel after all.
Lionel from idealwine gave a great presentation. He’s very charismatic and acted well on his feet. I get the impression that Marois said a lot of the things Lionel was planning on saying. So instead of repeating that, he sort of flowed through his slides and talked about various projects that he’d seen rise and fall since idealwine entered the online retail game back in 2001. The company has an interesting story in that they’re one of the older online wine retailers in France (and the world) and they made it with remarkably little capital and a very small team.
Le Blogueur va-t-il détrôner Parker?
I enjoyed this panel but I feel like they largely ignored the main question: will bloggers dethrone Parker? Sylvain Dadé from SoWine moderated and he didn’t really get people to address the question… but he did get them to talk about interesting stuff. And the talkative Fabrice le Glatin never spoke for more than six or seven minutes at a time, so I’d say the moderator did an amazing job. ;D
Emmanuel Delmas and Fabrice le Glatin were both there as popular French bloggers. While neither totally addressed the main question of the panel, they showed their respective paths to blogging and their rise to popularity. And I’d say they were recognizant of the idea that no single blogger was going to dethrone anybody. Their blogs are just fun ways of interacting with a world they love: the world of wine.
Antonin from Vindicateur and Marc Roisin from VinoGusto also got to speak and they were representative of a new type of wine guide. Vindicateur is sort of like Rotten Tomatoes in that it weights scores of various professional critics along with amateur ratings to give agglomerated meta-scores to a wine. VinoGusto is a lot like snooth but less pitch-y and much French-er (I believe Marc is based out of Belgium). Marc came the closest to actually answering the question of whether somebody will dethrone parker. His answer was plainly No. The Wine Advocate and eRobertParker are both useful tools that add value to wines and make purchasing decisions easier for their readers. And they have a huge audience. He argued that blogs could also benefit the wine world in this way, but they don’t necessarily supercede any wine guide in existence. He also coyly made an argument that VinoGusto was just as good as the Wine Advocate and actually has a larger viewership than eRobertParker but he didn’t try to make this out to mean that he was gunning for Parker’s role.
Pourquoi changer? by Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary spoke about a lot of stuff. He gave a little intro and then went into Q&A. He has a sort of wandering story telling style that works very well for him. It was fun to watch. I guess the first thing I’ll say is that he defended Parker. In reference to the panel that preceded his, he mentioned that Parker never made a play to control the wine market in the US or anywhere. The dude just delivered an honest and helpful opinion about wines. And the real criminals, if there are any, are the retailers and suppliers, according to Gary. And I agree. If anybody gets credit or blame for the ubiquitous nature of Parker’s scores, it’s the gatekeepers who are heavily influenced by him and the shopowners who post WA scores on their shelf talkers instead of handselling wine. But this sort of blame game is not very constructive, so I won’t dwell on it. It was more of a passing moment in Gary’s myriad stories.
Another really interesting thing to me was that Gary had an out in his book deal. Although he signed a 10 book deal, there was a clause that said he was free of contractual obligations if he ever exceeded a certain amount of cumulative sales. And the real kicker is that he exceeded that amount with the very first book. Wow.
He also gave me a shout out while talking. He was arguing that people enjoy wine more if they know and like the winemaker and he used a couple examples from the audience including Beaucastel and O’Vineyards. Good company. 🙂
I really can’t do his speech justice as it was the longest and had no central unifying theme. It was instead an awesome collection of high-quality reflections. Watch a couple of the video recordings of his various keynotes and you will get a sense of what I mean.
La prise de parole sur les réseaux sociaux – la communication conversationnelle
This panel was more workshop-y and how-to than most of the other panels.
Mélanie Tarlant, maker of amazing brut Champagne, talked about how her family has approached the Internet… and I’d follow her advice as they’ve got like 10,000+ followers on facebook and a devoted network of fans who regularly share their story…some fans have even translated their website into various foreign languages. The thing that struck me most about Melanie’s presentation is her notion that the website/blog is really a secondary or tertiary tool. The short posts to twitter or the little uploads to facebook and youtube are just as crucial to their online presence.. if not more crucial. And I have to say that I believe that. I almost never go to their website proper. But I always check their updates on twitter and facebook. Intriguing. And she had picked out a few tweets, retweets, facebook shares, etc. to illustrate the point (all messages from the past few days). It was a pretty impressive case study that I’ll certainly steal from in the future when I’m trying to convince people to get online.
Miss Vicky presented her journey with a lot of humor and no pretense. She described how she very quickly became a reference in French wine communication thanks to a series of happy accidents and following her gut.
Francois Desperriers from BourgogneLive talked a bit about their short journey and its resounding success. And again, what strikes me most is this similar idea that the site is secondary to conversation tools like twitter and facebook. Francois’ updates on those “satelitte” sites receive much more feedback than the actual posts on the website proper. Another point of interest was when somebody in the audience brought up that-which-will-not-be-named “MONETIZATION”. Yes, tough question. Hope Francois and Aurelien figure out the answer to that.
Yair Haidu got up and did a good job presenting his project without sounding too pitchy. Although I’ve already seen the project presented several times so I’m less interested in this presentation. I instead key in on the more recent developments. The magazine elements… the API for bloggers…
Anyway, it’s clear that this panel has a lot of tools at their disposal for communicating online. And I’m glad they shared their knowledge. They also did a good job of referring to each other in their presentations. You can really see interactions between these people. Although sometimes it seemed like we were a little TOO interactive… the fine line between clever allusion and blatant mis en scene. But I’m being picky here. It was a great panel.
Développer ses ventes avec les réseaux sociaux – le e-Commerce de proximité
Philippe Hugon from Vinternet moderated my panel. I started things off with one of my wacky presentations about marketing wine online. Before the conference, I was a bit worried that I had too much ground to cover in 15 minutes… but people said a lot of what I wanted to say during the day and laid the foundation for my real arguments… so I got to be a bit of a provocateur, suggesting that folks stop blogging about their own wine. It was fun. And I talked a bit about other more conventional forms of marketing like salons and scores… and my fellow panelists took it the right way: in stride.
Jean David Camus followed me with a brief presentation on how Hospices de Beaunes has used the Internet to further the already outstanding brand of that location and its signature wine auction. It was good timing because my presentation was a bit big picture and Jean David presented some hard numbers to make it more concrete and real.
Rowan gave a great description of his business at Naked Wines, tailored to the audience to show them how Naked is one of the truest examples of a Web 2.0 business… where the clients really do have control in the way the company is run, what wines are imported, and how people interact on the site.
Thierry Desseauve had an excellent presentation which I felt was addressed directly at me. I was sort of worried that I might upset him with my talk, but he took it perfectly. Very tongue in cheek, responding excellently and showing that salons and ratings still have a very active role to play in wine alongside with all this cool Internet stuff. He’s an interesting figure because he and Bettane have both shown an amazing commitment to exploring the Internet while pursuing conventional wine journalism, wine criticism, and wine events. Their Grand Tasting is happening as I type the first draft of this document and I’m sure they’re having a great time.
Wine Library TV live episode
This was a WLTV episode where Gary tasted four wines. I don’t want to spoil it before he posts it on his site, but I will let you know that my wines do not appear. . . this time. 😉
Ces nouvelles technologies qui changent notre rapport au vin
Okay, I’m gonna admit my memory is a bit fuzzy on the final presentations. And the camera was out of batteries… And I was nursing a glass of Chateau Palmer‘s 2000 Alter Ego… and so… I don’t really remember everything. My bad!
We heard a bit about Taste a Wine which is cool software to file away tasting notes. . . ZeVisit did an amazing presentation on a sort of virtual ebook app they made for the Beaujolais region.. and they told us about their plans for augmented reality apps where you hold your phone up and it describes whatever is in front of you. It makes me really jealous that we don’t have that kind of project brewing in my region. And the guys they were working with said they saw tripled sales and tens of thousands of downloads of the app since it went public. Pretty cool.
Grégoire Japiot and Miss Vicky talked about the VinoCamps. More on that soon.
And Philippe did a wrap up of the whole day, citing tons of different tools like Adegga, Cellartracker, tweetawine, everybody who was present, etc. It was pretty solid. I liked his slides.
Excuse the lack of videos. I left my computer’s power cord in Paris and cannot access the videos until that gets sent to me or somebody bails me out. :-ç
How to find us
Domaine O’Vineyards, located in the North Arrondissement of Carcassonne, is just minutes from the Carcassonne train station, the Medieval City, and the Carcassonne Airport.
GPS coordinates: 43.259622, 2.340387
Wine, Dine, Relax at our Boutique Vineyard
Unique thing to do in Carcassonne
Wine Cellar. Winery Visits. Wine Tasting.
Wine & Food Pairing
North Arrondissement of Carcassonne
885 Avenue de la Montagne Noire
11620 Villemoustaussou, France
Tel: +33(0) 630 189 910
Best by GPS.
Follow the signs to Mazamet/ Villemoustaussou using the D118. At the end of the last straight part of D118, you will come to a roundabout with the Dyneff gas station.
Take the exit towards Pennautier. Continue 500m to a small roundabout and go straight over.
Look out for the second road on your right, Avenue des Cévennes which curves up hill (about 1km) to Avenue de la Montagne Noire on the left.
At the last juction, bear left. the road sign “Ave de la Montagne Noire” (confusing as it seems to show a right turn)
After another 500m you will see our red brick color building in the middle of the vines.