Let's get this straight from the get go. I'm a Specator subscriber. It's clear they've got some very smart, very talented people working there. I even had a great time hanging out with Harvey Steiman at the Wine Writers Symposium this past March. But whoever calls the shots around that place when it comes to the Internet is totally clueless or completely short-sighted and greedy. Or both.
The reason for such harsh criticism?
Very quietly, over the last couple of weeks, The Wine Spectator has entered the world of wine blogging. Quite seriously, as a matter of fact. All of their main editors are now regularly blogging. And they've chosen to put them right up front, on the home page where you can see them.
But you can't read them, of course.
No, not unless you fork over $7. 95 a month, or $49.00 per year. In ADDITION to your subscription, if you happen to be a subscriber.
Now, I understand the Wine Spectator needing to charge for some access to their web site, especially the database of wine reviews, their archive of travel and restaurant content, etc. But THEIR BLOGS !?!? What the hell are they thinking?
Where do I even start with this? How about the fact that every other major publishing outfit in the world that I know of has managed to figure out that blogging:
1. Provides a great way of interacting with your reader base
2. Is a great way of reaching more new customers and convincing them to subscribe
3. Can help you reach entirely new segments of the population that could not be bothered to pick up your magazine but very well might subscribe to an RSS feed and over time might also subscribe
4. Is a HUGE (did I mention HUGE?) potential source of online ad revenue, provided you don't artificially limit the traffic to your site by doing something stupid like requiring customers to pay to see the ads, er, your content...
Can anyone come up with any reasons why this is a good move by the Spectator? Anyone? I mean, I know they've got the largest subscriber base of any wine magazine, but that pales in comparison to the potential for online ad revenues.
I await your response in my jaw-droppingly dumbfounded state of confusion and mirth. Come on, Marvin Shanken. Get with the program. If you need me to sit down and run through the numbers with you, I'm happy to drop my snarky wine blogger hat and put on my web consulting hat for you.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Tallying the Damage from the Napa Quake Vinography Images: A Sea of Blue Vinography Unboxed: Week of September 14, 2014 The Taste of Something New: Introducing Solminer Wines Vinography Images: Swift Work Social Media Answers the Question: Where Did Australian Wine Go Wrong Hourglass, Napa Valley: Current and Upcoming Releases Drought Problems? Just Have an Earthquake Vinography Images: Just One Vinography Unboxed: Week of September 1, 2014
Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 KirÃ¡lyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy