Archive for October 26th, 2008

Wine Bloggers Conference in Sonoma: An Online Community Connects and Demonstrates the Collaborative Nature of Social Networking

My expectations for the first Wine Bloggers Conference were high when I decided to attend early this summer. After months of getting to know several wine bloggers on Open Wine Consortium and Twitter, I was going to have the opportunity to meet my friends and fellow wine bloggers in person. I know it may seem strange to hear me call a bunch of people I’ve never met in person my friends, but that’s what they are.

As a community, we have cheered on each other’s achievements and new ventures. We have jumped in to provide insights, ideas and resources with enthusiasm. We have comforted each other when one of us is down in the dumps or not feeling well. And like all other friends, we can pick good fights in jest, debate a point of relevance (or non-relevance!) and be mad at one another one day, but not the next. We have come to count on and deeply respect each other, whether or not we agree on things.

We share a love and passion for wine and those involved in the industry. We are excited to learn more, share our insights and push the envelope forward to better ourselves and our blogs. This is a strong, vibrant and exciting community and I’m very honored to be a part of it.

This weekend, I met many of my blogger friends and happily recognized several by face from their avatars which made it very easy to walk up and introduce myself or have someone seek me out. The awkwardness that usually accompanies breaking the ice with conference attendees was not an issue, as was pointed out by Joel Vincent of Open Wine Consortium, one of the Wine Bloggers Conference organizers when he addressed us during his wrap up speech today. Another tremendous advantage of social networking, in my opinion.

This first post on the conference is a foundation for the others that will follow to report on more specifics and important take aways. I have some new insights on the Finger Lakes Region after seeing some of Sonoma County. I will fill you in on new ideas that were uncovered at the conference. And I’ll walk you through some more specifics of our weekend activities as soon as I am feeling back to myself. I am still not well after suffering from motion sickness on the bus ride back from our dinner at Sebastiani, but I’ll report more soon and have some great photos to share with you as well.

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