Right now I’m at the 2009 Wine Blogger’s Conference at the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa, California. It was while I was at this same conference last year that I was inspired to launch a wine blog research project with the Millennial students in my Bus 305W class. We divided into 8 teams of 5 students each and I gave them the list of Alden Yarrow’s Complete List of Wine Blogs available at www.vinography.com.
Next step was to divide up the wine blogs alphabetically by team so we ended up with a random sample. In the end, the 40 Millennials analyzed 222 blogs. These were then categorized by type of blog, and then a statistical analysis was run on the number of wine brands as well as the amount of advertising on the blogs. Though the data is still being analyzed, high level results show 9 major types of blogs, with the most common being “Wine Reviews & Ratings.”
The 8 teams of Millennials were then asked to create their own wine blog for the class, and it was fascinating to view the type of blogs they created, as well as the creativity that went into developing their wine blogs. The range of blog types/topics they created included: visiting Sonoma County tasting room; the pros/cons of different capsules and closures; travel and wine in Northern California; everything good about chardonnay; wine ratings; and general wine education topics.
They were also asked to create an online wine commercial which were presented to the whole class. They ranged from the very funny to the poignant to the rather strange. Following are links to several of these clever commercials:
THE CHARDONNAY EFFECT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K89608MdPH0
DRINK RESPONSIBLY: http://www.viddler.com/explore/erikweisz/videos/2/
In the end, the Millennials said they enjoyed the project; especially learning how to create a wine blog. It is interesting to note though, that before the project started only 4 of the 40 students admitted to reading wine blogs; however after the project more said they would now pay attention.
And so as I continue to enjoy participating in this year’s Wine Blogger’s Conference, I can only be grateful to everything they taught me and look forward to learning more new tips this year – as well as tasting many great wines!