Wine Life Today is useless

Have you checked out the Wine Life Today website?

I found it recently and thought it was a great idea.  If you have ever heard of Digg, you are probably a bit techie.  Nonetheless, I’ll press on.  Digg is a news aggregation and bookmarking website that allows users to vote for (Digg) the best stories and these get promoted onto the front page so they get a better chance of being read by busy folk.  But Digg is really aimed at geeks so if you look for softer categories like wine and food for example, you will not find them.  So someone had the great idea of a Digg for wine and decided to call it Wine Life Today, only instead of Digging, you Toast the news item.

Now there are two other differences between Digg and Wine Life Today.

1.  Digg is well used and Wine Life Today is not – the most toasted post I could find only had 10 supporters.  The top Digg article had 41,619 – hmmmm.

2.  Digg has a good algorithm and WLT is totally rubbish.  It looks like any post of any age will make it onto the front page with only 4 Toasts.  Today there is a post three days old with 5 toasts that is above a three day old post with ten toasts.

So my view is that it’s a waste of energy then?  No, hang on I didn’t say that.  Both points can be corrected by:

1.  If more people used the site it would deliver a massively better experience for everyone.  Are wine people so anti-technology?

2.  If more people used the site we might see that the algorithm is actually well conceived, or we might see that it’s not, in which case the site owners would be encouraged to spend a bit more time improving it.

So why don’t you go over to WLT yourself and join up.  You might find some interesting wine news.  You might want to promote some interesting wine news.  At worst, maybe we can turn it into a useful resource for everyone???

So in reference to the title of this post:  Wine Life Today is useless…..without you.

Disclosure:  I have nothing whatever to do with WLT or the owners of that site (I have no idea who they are).  I have, though, toasted a few posts on the site including a couple of my own.

In fact I have toasted this post in the hope of gaining support from the existing meagre user base in promoting the site.

7 Responses to “Wine Life Today is useless”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Wine Life Today is useless…

    The algorithm looks ropey and there are hardly any users – but is this the whole story?…

  2. Dr. Debs Says:

    Well, many of us have been trying to get folks to use the site more, and this has worked, with users increasing steadily each month. I don’t think wine lovers are not techies, but that they’re slow to catch the wave.

  3. Alastair Bathgate Says:

    Hey Dr Debs
    I hope WLT takes off. I like it!
    I am plugging into the Stateside blogosphere partly because British wine lovers are even slower than you guys.
    I feel the wave coming though, and I am grabbing hold of my surfboard (which is shaped like a wine bottle, for some reason).

  4. Joel Says:

    Hey Alastair,

    Thanks for the write up. I happen to agree with you. The site becomes exponentially more useful as the users increase. And the algorithm is improving, the next version of the site will be up within the next 90 days. But in the last year the site has hit a “hockey stick” of traffic with significant growth month over month. I welcome the honest feedback!

    Its a labor of love really. Am I wasting my time? I don’t think so. Do model train builders or antique collectors that spend countless hours doing something because they love the product and enjoy the company of others who love the product waste their time? I’d say not. For that matter, do wine bloggers waste their time blogging even though it takes up (for some) many hours? Nah…we’re all doing it because we love wine, and in general the people, the experience, the society…I’d venture to say we just all love The Wine Life ;)….

    This is a good article. I’m a marketing person so to me the title is spot on – eye-catching and makes you want to read on (certainly made me want to read). Also like the honest review of the site’s potential.

    I’m working on it and maintaining it because I’ve met many interesting people over the last 3 years blogging and WLT is my contribution to that society. Countless people have told me that a community-driven wine site will take forever to build up and become useful. I don’t believe it will take forever, I was blogging on wine when it was about 25 of us in 2004 – a couple months after the vaunted Vinography.

    I do believe that as this society grows and great journalists that don’t work for mainstream media will need a venue for others to see their work and really good writing will be rewarded by the community. And I don’t believe that a tab within “Entertainment” on Digg or Newsvine will do this community justice. WLT is all about wine, will always be about wine, and if it helps others launch their blog or new venture (like Calwineries, an early user) then I think WLT’s mission will be accomplished.

    Thanks for the post! And, hey, I toasted the story….which makes this your 10th toast ;)…

  5. Alastair Bathgate Says:

    Hi Joel

    Thanks. I agree with all your points and wish you every success.

    Hey I have 10 “toasts”! I must be have a few marketing skills!

    Next time I criticise your site though, I’ll now have to disclose that I know the site owner!


  6. Stacy Nelson Says:

    I think it’s a great idea. Web 2.0 is so huge and the more social networking sites that we, as bloggers and networkers, can tap into, the more information about wine we can filter out into the general public. Great job on its creation and implementation. I have added it to my Bloglines (which if you don’t have, you should – it’s the best way to keep all of the blog subscriptions organized) and will be checking it out regularly.

  7. Alastair Bathgate Says:

    Hi Stacy
    Thanks for your comment.
    Yes I use Bloglines too but when I get the chance I am going to check out Google Reader as I’ve heard good things about it.
    Either way I will continue to subscribe to the WLT feed.

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