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Wine 1.7rc3 (Why Wine 2.0 Isn't Quite There... Yet)

Web 2.0 - the two-fer, el internet dos, the big web deuce.

You understand it totally, right?

Me neither! Good - that means we can embark on this here post together without any pretense... you know, we don't have to pretend like we work at the Apple Store Genius bar.

Anyway, my interpretation of Web 2.0 can be summed up in one phrase: the architecture of participation. 200% clear, right?

Yeah, I still don't get it, either. Put another way, Web 2.0 is the moniker given to the fact that the Internet is no longer a place where people consume information. Instead, those people now expect to help create that information, to be connected in new and interesting (and instant!) ways, and to have their voices heard - by each other, and by the companies whose products they consume. According to Wikipedia, Web 2.o websites "may have an 'Architecture of participation' that encourages users to add value to the application as they use it."

OK, now that makes more sense.

So what does this have to do with wine? Man, I've been asking myself that question for the past 5 or 6 days, ever since I got back from the Wine 2.0 expo held last week in New York City.

Just like Web 2.0, the term Wine 2.0 has taken on several meanings. Dude's interpretation (and this could way, way wrong) is that Wine 2.0 is supposed to describe how the web is putting more power into the hands of wine consumers; i.e., it's the nexus of wine, Internet technology, and the wine lovers.

After attending the Wine 2.0 expo, I'm not sure that the Wine 2.0 movement is quite ready for prime time. It's on the right track, but it's more like Wine 1.7 rc 3 - you know, the interim bug-fixes release that is a teaser for the the really cool functionality you're expecting in the next version. Allow me to explain...

I'm not saying that the Wine 2.0 event wasn't a blast (it was), or that the organizers, vendors, and attendees weren't great peeps (they were), or that the venue wasn't cool (it was; despite the fact that they couldn't provide us with extension cords... at a technology event... oh, the irony...).

What I am saying is that for an event that showcases the nexus of wine consumers, wine vendors, and the tech that brings them together, there were a lot of wine consumers, tasting a lot of wine vendor products. There just wasn't a lot of tech bringing them both together.

Like, for example, extension cords (sorry, couldn't resist).

Of course, I do realize (and was repeatedly reminded during the evening) that wine producers are fundamentally farmers, and theirs is not usually the realm of Internet-based tech. BUT... I expected a more substantial showing anyway (call me a dreamer...).

Having said that, things in Wine 2.0 land are far from dire. There was some interesting tech going on at Wine 2.0 NYC - there just wasn't as much of it as I thought there would - or should - be.

Now, I'm about to tell you about two interesting pieces of wine-related tech that were on full display at Wine 2.0 NYC. I happen to be associated in some way/shape/form with both of them. BUT... before you write my next few paragraphs off as naive, starry-eyed manipulated commentary, both of these items happened to be mentioned by C|net - who, I sincerely hope, knows a bit more about what's interesting in the world of tech than I do. Don't take my word for it - check out the C|net video coverage for yourself. So I couodl be biased, or I could just be way ahead of my time (yes, I do feel vindicated actually, thank-you-very-much):

  1. Twitter Taste Live -Now this is what I call connecting wine and people via tech! I was invited to participate in the live wine tasting (hosted by BinEndsWine.com) at the event, which was an easy sell for me since a) I was already going(on my own dime) & b) if I hadn't gone to Wine 2.0, I'd still have participated in the TTL (as I've done every time since its inception). Why? It's f--king fun, that's why. Where else can you get people all over the globe tasting the same wines at the same time, sharing their reactions and chatting with the wine producers live? (the answer is nowhere, by the way). As odd as "virtual" wine tasting sounds, it absolutely rocks the house - and the 140 character limit of twitter helps to prevent any one person from dominating the conversation. This, to me, is exactly what Web 2.0 is all about - not only do they have a good thing going, they're trying to continually up the ante and take it further (which puts some pressure on me, since I'll be co-hosting TTL at some point in the next few months... uh-oh... better get woodshedding...).

  2. Snooth.com - The team at Snooth has been trying to push the boundaries of what an can be done via an on-line wine retailer, and at Wine 2.0 NYC they unveiled a nifty interface that shows the appproximate location (city / country) of wine searches happening globally on Snooth.com, in real time. The coolness factor of this is totally off the chart, though the immediate application of this tech wasn't readily apparent (at least, not to me). But... it's something to build on, and smarter folks than me will no doubt soon find a way to leverage this coolness... I'm just not sure how...
So there you have it. Not all great, but not all bad. The future will no doubt be interesting, primarily because the people that are making it interesting have no idea yet what they will do with the interesting stuff. Sounds like true innovation to me.

Sort of.

I just hope that wherever they are going, they bring along enough extension cords.

(images: ebaumsworld.com, cnet.com, winetwo.net)


Taster B said...

Dude, maybe they just assumed everyone would bring a fully charged mobile device of some kind. Sounds like they had some backward-compatibility issues. ;-)

craigdrollett said...

Dude!- F---ing AWESOME! Post! Right on the money!!

I've got it featured you know where....

Anonymous said...

Great post. Funny thing is as techie as they want to be if you go to their site and click on the 'events' link it 404s. :P

Joe Roberts said...

Thanks, all!

TasterB - I was on my lil' itty-bitty Acer AspireOne UP laptop... and it only has about 2 hrs battery life *max*. That doesn't rule out user error, of course ;-).

By the way - TheSecondGlass.com has a nice write-up of the NYC Wine 2.0 event, and it features a picture of my bad hair day!


Smoke said...

Hey Wine Dude,
glad you enjoyed the event! Sorry about the extension cord, we did buy a bunch of them but must have run out. Re tech co's... we invited at ton more, but many are on the west coast and did not make the trip (their loss and ours).... keep giving us feedback! We will improve!
Wine 2.0

Joe Roberts said...

thanks, Smoke!

The ext. cord mention was a bit tongue-in-cheek ;-).

Wine 2.0 *the "movement"* is more the target of my commentary - if the tech doesn't exist yet, for example, then that's hardly the fault of your event.

I think Wine 2.0 *the event* is certainly on the right course, and I am looking forward to seeing how it evolves!

Anonymous said...

It might take more bandwidth, but if we could find a way of delivering wine directly over the internet to everyone's PC, then we could take advantage of the real time Snooth interface.

Maybe I'll work on it.

Anonymous said...

Snooth isn't ready for prime time either. Unfortunately, it grabs too much information, like minimum bids from auction websites, making it look like wines are available for huge discounts - when, in fact, they are not.

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Douglas Trapasso said...

A question for you, and definitely the same question for the Wine Blogger's Conference (which I will be attending - just 26 days away!)

I wonder if any workshops took place for those of us who love wine, are comfortable with tech and somehow, someway, want to find a new career in this combo of the two. My Night Thing is working sales in a supermarket wine department, and I know that's not the highest point on the Wine Food Chain. I am very grateful though, for this opportunity, but I am always thinking about how I can make my Night Thing my full time Day Thing. Maybe the Blogger's Conference will suggest some possibilities.

Joe Roberts said...

Not sure, CP. I do know that Wine 2.0 was part of Web 2.0 and they did touch on topics like changing careers but not specifically about the wine trade, I think.

As far as the WBC, check out the list of break-out sessions, they might cover some of that topic:

Cheers & see you at WBC!

The Wine Messenger

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