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Aspinal of London (US)

dvds on wine

generation transformation Print
Written by Nikitas Magel   

Clearly, the online world is evolving.  On the side of print media, however, it remains to be seen if this is being done quickly, rigorously, and comprehensively enough to mirror the changes coming about on the side of internet media.  As the internet becomes ever more sophisticated, increasing the effectiveness and efficiency with which it organizes, categorizes, and cross-references online media, thereby rendering it exquisitely more versatile and dynamic, the act of gathering our wine knowledge from printed periodicals comes under scrutiny.  Magazines like Decanter, Wine Spectator, and Wine & Spirits all have online versions of their publications, but for now that's precisely how they're positioned on the landscape — as pallid versions of the print medium.  The existing paradigm of information circulation is still, in large part, simply being transposed onto webpages that largely lack the interactivity, creativity, and dynamism of web-borne technologies.  To be fair, many of these tools have only recently begun to take hold — but a year in 'internet time' is an eternity in real time.  I feel it's safe to say that, in general, traditional wine media are at best merely cautiously following what's hot on the internet, and at worst simply ignoring it.

But surely it can't be all doom and gloom for the mass media monolith; not for something that's been firmly entrenched in the way we as humans have always gathered our news.  In the interest of substantiating my otherwise anecdotal conclusions, and getting a clearer and more nuanced view of the larger picture, I spoke with Manhattan-based trade and consumer media veteran Robert DiGioia, who had this to say: "Newspapers that don't deliver interest- and behavioral-based content across multi-channels (print, web, email, mobile, video) are quickly losing relevance and readership.  Not to mention sponsors.  Media-agnostic advertisers are abandoning generic, institutional, "big-splash" campaigns in exchange for quantifiable, targeted, lead-generating offers and platforms.  Long-form, image-laden feature articles have a natural home in print and magazines.  But the online domain rules up-to-the-second headlines and sound bytes.  Luxury online and print magazines have the upper hand in today's media landscape, with high-end subscribers and brands granting immunity from economic downturns."

So, what's the take-away message here?  Each mode of media would do well take inspiration and adopt practices from the other.  Online wine media — the bloggers, webcasters, interactive tool developers — should continually self-evaluate for relevance, impact, and original (niche) contribution to the industry.  Above all, they should be very clear on whom their audience is, and that it would find their content or methodology truly engaging.  Blogging or webcasting just for the sake of blogging or webcasting merely bounces back the irrelevant echo of an empty chamber.  Printed wine media — the magazines and newspapers — should more aggressively research burgeoning online tools and technologies, hiring some of the technology talent behind them, thereby proactively bridging the gap between the two modes of media.  Newer generations of wine drinkers will continue to arrive on the scene and, for better or worse, they'll increasingly look to the internet as their primary, if not sole, source of wine knowledge.  Fully embracing that inevitable reality benefits us all. end

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Remy said:

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Blogging live - and sharing offline too
Nice take on the old/new medias of the wine world. I think the line between the two will necessarily blur over time, and new things will probably come out of that creative blur.

One thing about the live wine blogging event, though. At my table, at least, we were sharing with one another around the table and commenting about the wines, the event and the winemakers' presentation, just as we were blogging away. So the experience was both online and offline, not just focusing on the keyboard and screen. And there was another interesting advantage about the speed dating approach: as you blogged away on each wine, with very little time, there was no second guessing, no reevaluation of the actual tasting through reading what your peers thought about it, or finding out that the wine had gotten such and such score. You just had to deliver your immediate impressions, go with your gut feeling, and that was it. And to me, that felt like going back to the basics.

So even though the tools were technological, and the constraints were considerable, this wasn't about the medium, for me. It was about wine. It should always be that way.
 
05 November 2008 | url
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