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There’s a Reason No One Reads Wine Blogs: A Response

3 Apr

You’ve probably done it.  You’re researching for a term paper and you get engrossed in the Golgi apparatus or the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.  You start talking about it to your friends to the exclusion of almost anything a normal person would find remotely interesting.  Then, somewhere between the cisternae and the endoplasmic reticulum you realized that you’ve developed tunnel vision.  The more you specialize, the less you interest the average human being.

There’s an excellent post on the Palate Press that explores the topic of why no one reads wine blogs.  The author, Tom Johnson, looks at the utterly abysmal readership numbers–citing, for instance, the fact that “the top 100 wine blogs combined would be the 280th most popular blog in the country”–and offers two reasons for this phenomenon.

First, he observes that most wine blogs only offer wine reviews, leading to a “recipe for insignificance.”  I would tend to agree with Tom.  Wine reviews are useful but not intrinsically interesting, and they are available through a whole variety of sources such as wine magazines and review databases.  I personally dislike wine blogs that are 100% review-driven, although I do recognize that some people create such blogs primarily to keep track of what wines they’ve tried.  Nonetheless, as Tom writes, the best blogs are those that provide context and and tell stories.

Second, Tom points out that political blogs are nine times as likely as wine blogs to link to other related blogs.  He writes, “Wine bloggers in general are failing to use the defining characteristic of the worldwide web: the ability to link.”  Linking more often would create conversation and increase readership for all concerned.  I recommend that you read Tom’s article, which is well-researched and provocative (if the ninety-two and counting comments are any indication).

That being said, I would like to elaborate on one of his observations.  His article states the following:

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