In the comments to a recent post, I received a comment from André Ribeirinho. Since I'm interested in the backgrounds of people who read and comment on my posts, I followed his link to www.adegga.com, which is currently a closed-beta test for a "social wine discovery" site (but, as I recommend for any site-in-progress, they do have a way to let you express your interest in knowing when the site goes live).
Fortunately, they have a blog which gives a little more insight into what they mean by "social wine discovery" (discovering new wines based on other people's choices), and a peek inside adegga showing how the site actually works/looks. It's interesting to note a shift in their tagline from "social wine shopping" to "social wine discovery" over the course of time.
André does a good 30-second elevator pitch:
At adegga we are building a place where users can share their passion for wine with friends. A place where conversation around wines can take place and where all users can take valuable information from that. Allowing them to learn and shop wine in a better way.
How does this differ from sites like Corkd ("the simple way to review and share wine")? It remains to be seen. Vinography's Alder provides a list of why community tasting note sites will fail:
- lack of a comprehensive wine database
- variable quality of user-generated quality (Sturgeon's Law: 90% of everything is crap)
- lack of incentive to participate
- lack of critcal mass of reviewers (members)
André sees answers to those problems:
- Creating a universal identifier for each wine, along with improved search/match
- May not be an issue for Adegga's intended audience (friends writing for friends)
- Better tools for sharing and participation (I agree here)
- Taggers, not just Reviewers (this is his weakest rebuttal)
(I recommend you read his full post). Alder himself noted the conditions for success:
So here's what they need to do: solve three of these four problems.
noting that #4 may be unsolvable.
rants at length about CellarTracker's shortcomings mentions "cellar tracking" as one benefit these sites can provide their members, and it wouldn't surprise me if André and his team are thinking about a Basecamp-style "simple is better" approach to the issue of keeping track of your bottle stash, given his response to Alder.
I've signed up to find out when adegga goes live, so I'll let you know what I think when the site goes live. Are any of my readers involved with the private beta test? If so, leave a comment.