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April 14, 2007

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rick gregory

yes, in the main. Though wineries are not has local as the businesses that Seth talks about since they can ship (well... no, let's not go there). And if you can bolt on a commerce module to Typepad or wordpress.com so much the better.

I do find it odd that he didn't mention the value of having your own domain though. Easy enough to do and both services allow you to point the blog at the domain. I'd much rather have winery.com vs winery.wordpress.com or winery.typepad.com

el jefe

Seth is stealing my ideas! I have been telling people for months that the right way today to set up a web site is by using a blog. I have proof around here somewhere...

Be that as it may, our local wine association was looking at spending 1000s of $$$ on a traditional web site. I suggested the blog as web site route as an alternative. We just went live this past week:

http://www.calaveraswines.org/

As you can see, nothing fancy - but very easy to find what you are looking for (I think). I don't have a lot of spare time to do free web design, but I put very few hours into it, even including the banner design. I handed it off to our Exec Director and she has totally run with it. We plan to have members actually blogging on the site soon (if there is another regional wine ass'n blogging I haven't seen it.)

rick - I agree in principle about the domain, but setting up real domain mapping in typepad is non-trivial (CNAMES anyone?). Domain forwarding would be the way to go - better than not doing it. But joesgaragebakersfield.typepad.com isn't bad, I think.

Mary B.

Seth Godin's advice seems simple on the face of it: 1)blog, 2) Squidoo, and 3)Flickr. It does take an investment of time to learn the software for each . . .

On the domain name, I've been dragging my heels, because as El Jefe points out, it IS a project for Typepad users, and now I have so many links out there, I'm not sure I want to change it!

But in good news (I hope!) I spent my Non-Lazy Sunday learning the ropes at Squidoo. Not only do I now have a few lenses published, I've created a 'Food and Wine Pairing' Group! And I am sponsoring a May/June theme for any wine bloggers that would like to join the group, get linked, and have their lens featured.

BTW, I was still poking buttons and learning the software when I got a ping on the Group page from . . . Twisted Oak! Way to stay on top of it, El Jefe!

Mary B.

Forgot to supply the link . . .

http://www.squidoo.com/groups/foodandwine

Mary B.

Having spent the day Squidding and sleeping on it, I am not sure that Squidoo is an effective venue for wineries. Godin recommends it, of course, as he is the founder of the site. The site has something like 150,000 lenses and claims to get more traffic than Barnes & Noble.

However, because the site is designed for "marketing" it tends to attract X-treme marketers, wannabe internet getrichies, and ad-only lenses. There's also a lot of quality content, but it is mainly shopping based--there's even a "mall." So I think most of the hits the site receives are probably coming from shoppers and price comparison requests. In the world of artisanal wine production, where we need to make personal connections with our customers, Squidoo may simply not be the most effective place to do that.

However, I still intend to take one for the team. And I see that El Jefe has already started a lens for "Wineries," which will help set us apart from all the winesource.com/wine1.com/wine4you.com sites. i can see Squidoo as eventually becoming a hub for consumers looking for wine sources, and from there, they can glance at a lens, and then focus, through the lens, on a company's website. But I think getting the groups focused and lively is important to that goal, and that takes work. I see some 2 am compositions in my future. ;)

So, the recommendation to use Squidoo is not a hit-and-run, just-beam-me-up solution. It is, in its own way, as demanding as blogging. Except you can use excerpts from your blog to populate your lens (with lots of links back to your site). I hope it works out, but it won't unless our "groups" have lots of personality and get media attention to attract people to the hub.

Cross your fingers.

el jefe

hi Mary - thanks! - but you were there first!

I've known about squidoo for a while but never could quite see the dire need. This blog post (and a lull in a project) put me over the edge to at least just try it. Seth's post made it seem pretty easy, and it was. And the site's user interface was at least amusing!

Setting up the modules was also straightforward, but finding them wasn't. If I hadn't known there was an RSS module to look for I would not have found it.

And as usual, google still can't find Red Hill Road in Vallecito.....

But if it finds us some new quality traffic and links, then it was worth a little time setting up.

But I agree with Mary - it'll take some more investment to make it work!

Lenn

(Sorry I've been so out of the loop and not responding to post on your site Mike!)

I tend to agree that using blog services/software is better than not having a presence at all. I also think that too many wineries have spent too much money on crappy, customer un-friendly shopping carts and backend apps.

But what it really comes back to is content. So that said, having wineries do what they do best "making wine, etc" isn't entirely true.

Content is king. No matter how easy the blog or CMS system is, if you don't have someone who can focus on using them, putting quality content in front of customers and potential customers it just doesn't matter.

That is what gets lost in all of these "here's how ____ company can leverage the internet and new technology." At the base, someone still has to have some acumen.

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