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- Innkeeper - 06-15-2009 03:20 PM
I've noticed a big reduction in newcomers to the forum since the front page of wines.com became a wine store.
- wondersofwine - 06-15-2009 04:12 PM
We've always pretty much depended on a core group of people. Just not as much traffic as some of the fora but I feel I know most of the regular participants.
- Kcwhippet - 06-15-2009 04:51 PM
Been noticing that, too, Carl. Seems like the focus of Wines.com has shifted from "We're here to help you" to "We're here to sell you".
- Kcwhippet - 06-15-2009 07:47 PM
Just spoke with Verne. Due to the recent direction of the board, the above post is his last. He's disturbed that Wines.com has diverged so dramatically from what Jerry Mead and Jackie Wilferd devised about ten years ago. In no way would Jerry have envisioned this becoming a site aimed mostly toward commercialism rather than toward friendly discourse and eonological education. Oh well, I guess this is what they call progress.
- Thomas - 06-16-2009 08:26 AM
I think this kind of shift is what's referred to as Web 2.0--the new wave of social media. It's also a fine way to get information out to the public without having to pay anyone for providing it.
Makes me want to retire my keyboard but, as KC said, this is the new form of progress.
KC, you may remember when television was young: it promised to bring in a new age of information. You know what that gave us. Looks like the Internet follows suit.
- wondersofwine - 06-16-2009 08:31 AM
I will miss greatly WW's posts--the slang vocabulary, many typos, but mostly the spot-on tasting reports on many red wines. (One aside: if WW wasn't even aware of the commercialism on the home page, does it really impact the communication among board participants? I guess he's standing on principles and I have to respect that.)
- Kcwhippet - 06-16-2009 09:24 AM
Wow, I think what's at the crux of WW's concern is that the home page of Wines.com has gone from prominently featuring the Forum, FAQ's, the Wine Press and other such educational and informational subjects. Now the major focus is on wine sales and the rest is relegated to a small menu way down on the right side.
- winophite - 06-16-2009 11:47 AM
Oh man. A fellow can't even be sick awhile...and come back to this! Well hopefully things can come back...
I'm reminded of Charlie Browns Christmas story and Snoopy's commercialized dog house...in the end it was shown that some commercialism may enhance the little tree, but with the focus not on the tree it's just caudy commercialism.
Sorry, post-op narcotics I'm sure.
- Thomas - 06-16-2009 02:54 PM
which wine goes with Percocet?
[This message has been edited by foodie (edited 06-16-2009).]
- Kcwhippet - 06-16-2009 04:27 PM
Foodie, I'm thinking a real high alcohol wine (the higher the better) such as a monster Zin.
- Thomas - 06-16-2009 04:40 PM
Yeah, then you can give the rest of the bottle to your spouse...if you are still awake!
- Drew - 06-16-2009 04:48 PM
Well, let me chime in. First of all....Verne, I love you dearly and look forward to your phone calls every weekend, even if I am on the golf course, but I ask you to reconsider. I didn't know the folks who originally set up this board; I had heard of Jerry Mead but didn't participate on the board until after his passing. I understand your "surprise" when you viewed the main page as I also bookmarked the shortcut to the forum but, for me, it doesn't matter. I can't purchase wine from Wines.com because they won't ship to Maryland. Other than a few posts from PW who sez "I got a few nice wines on sale for anyone interested" or " Would anyone share some tasting notes for my blog" or as he posted on 1/12/09,
?Jackie and I would love feedback on pricing, availability, and if you think wines should be categorized as they are...
We are trying to be as competitive as possible to others out there!?
He's only posted 77 times since 9/26/08 and was introduced by Jackie, http://www.wines.com/ubb/Forum39/HTML/001143.html, on 9/30 where she announced he was taking over the marketing of wines for Wines.com. He's never said "if you want to use the forum pay me this amount" or "You have to purchase wines from me". It's a FREE, casual and comfortable board where we gather to share wine stories and fun times that COSTS US NOTHING and all we have to do is show up and post for NO CHARGE and NO PRESSURE to buy or contribute ANYTHING. I love and respect you Verne, love your humor and posts and will MAJORLY miss you if you don?t reconsider but, bottom line, Wines.com is a business with a forum attached and not visa versa. It?s a good site for me and I think for you. Squires and Westcoastwines.net are a little over the top. Garr?s board is nice but oft times over intellectual and over analyzing by topic, imho. Just my 2?.
[This message has been edited by Drew (edited 06-17-2009).]
- hotwine - 06-16-2009 06:18 PM
Well said, Inspector. Reads more like 4 cents.
- VouvrayHead - 06-16-2009 06:18 PM
Verne, (if you read this)
This board has some qualities I haven't seen elsewhere. I find it to be incredibly informative and congenial, as well as a nice place to post my own notes. I've looked at a lot of other boards, yet I pretty much only post here.
I don't know what Jerry's vision was that much (I've only read about him), but as someone who has learned an awful lot here the past few years, I think there IS a service going on here that has nothing to do with business. And with Foodie and you gone, that is certainly being diminished.
Anyway, if you don't come back but happen to read this, thank you for all the posts and keep on keepin' on.
(If he does not come back at all, I'd appreciate if one of you all who talk to him would relay at least the last paragraph to Verne. Thanks!)
- VouvrayHead - 06-16-2009 06:20 PM
Thinking about what I know of Jerry's mission, I DO wish the forum and general information was featured more prominently on the frontpage and the store was in the background as was previously the case, but I guess they're trying to make money... and I don't exactly hold that against them.
But if that's the case, I'm not sure they're trying to make money off of the forum exactly.
Perhaps the two functions of wines.com could be more clearly split?
[This message has been edited by VouvrayHead (edited 06-16-2009).]
- Thomas - 06-16-2009 07:04 PM
Just so you understand my position on such things.
My concern as an independent wine writer is that information that is imparted on a forum can somehow be construed as an endorsement of wines that are or might be in the future sold on the Web site.
That would leave me open to the claim of pimping. This has been a balancing act for me all along on this and on other sites. I must be extremely careful, and that is why I rarely post specific TNs.
A long time ago, Jackie asked if I'd be interested in writing copy for the site, but nothing ever came of it.
Lately, a few things that have happened on other sites have led me to understand the true possibility of the perils that lay in wait.
Then, there is the subject of my earning a living on what I write. I don't mind passing along information to consumers, but if my words are used to earn money, I'd like some of that money to make it into my bank account--the mortgage company would like it even more
I have no agreement with any of the forum sites that specifies who earns what from what I write, and that isn't good for me anymore, especially now that every blogger and sociopath, er, social media site seems to think that opinions are facts...and that they should always be free!
These are my concerns not with this site, but with all sites.
[This message has been edited by foodie (edited 06-16-2009).]
- dananne - 06-16-2009 07:14 PM
If this is WWs last post, he'll surely be missed by us, and hopefully we'll continue getting weekend phone calls from him, particularly during football season!
As regards the board, let's be honest here -- it's basically a group of about a dozen of us talking to each other. I could probably name everyone off the top of my head, both by username and by given names. Many of us have met one another and know each other offline. Occasionally, a newbie will show up and ask a question, or somebody will pop in from the past with a few posts and again disappear for long stretches, but by and large, it's just us talking with one another, interrupted now and then by the random post. I like that, and I enjoy having a small group that I can learn from, discuss things with, and have all the conversations politely and without anyone being abrasive, obviously showing off their knowledge or cellar, or otherwise just being unpleasant to socialize with online. I'd say most of us hang around on this board for that very reason -- the other boards have just too many unpleasant people making it too unpleasant an experience.
True, it seems the forum is now an adjunct to the wine store and not the other way around, but it's also a service provided us for free, and they've got to find a way to make money somehow. Otherwise, the board goes away, and we're all left trying to talk to each other amidst the shouting at a place like ebob. Ugh.
I personally haven't thought PW to be over-the-top in his posting. I've never bought anything and haven't felt pressured to do so. Then again, I haven't been around since the Mead days, so I feel no real personal affront about the change in focus. I can understand the point of those who do.
Anyway, I echo others in that WW will be missed, and Anne and I hope he'll reconsider. If not, then he'd better do a better job picking up that phone! Also, I like Aaron's suggestion that the board and the store be split up a bit more clearly, so that the board can be more towards wine education and discussion, and the selling can move over to the other.
- VouvrayHead - 06-16-2009 07:29 PM
Yes, I see your concerns. They're clearly valid in your case, since you truly are an expert in multiple fields here.
Alice Feiring seems to be going through some similar decision-making (for slightly different reasons) on her blog.
I'd certainly be upset if, for instance, in the discussion of pedagogy on a teacher forum I found that some textbook company was making money off of my knowledge while I continue trying to live on my third-year salary.
But I think in the end I'm hoping the candle keeps burning for "internet as vast forum of freely-exchanged information and understanding for those willing" despite the massive influence and influx of corporate interests in the medium. I hope we find a balance... Hell, look at TV. It took decades, but if anyone noticed, PBS now has 4 channels!
- Thomas - 06-16-2009 07:49 PM
Wow, Vouvrayhead, you are an optimist. I wrote TV off years ago although I do watch PBS--that and the movie channels.
I don't know the answer to the myriad concerns that come up on the many wine forum sites. It is different when you've met some of the posters in person than when you haven't. I believe that the reason some of us are congenial is twofold: some of us have met; and most of us are fine people, capable of disagreeing but not disagreeably. That seems a tiresome rarity on much of the Internet.
I talked with WW today. He seems to be set in his decision. Me, I've already reduced my presence considerably on this site, and, thanks to separate situations on two other sites, I have pulled out of posting on all other forum sites. I post mainly on a few blogs, and only then when I can't contain myself.
I'm in the process of trying to figure out if I should keep up with my own blog.
- Duane Meissner - 06-17-2009 01:34 AM
He will be missed indeed. He is not one with which I have had the privilege of sharing a private off-line relationship, but I have certainly enjoyed our communication on this site. His approach to wine has played a role in the maintaining of my interest in the blessed juice. I still hope he and I can meet in person one day.