Finally, the day has arrived. The morning started off with a search for breakfast, a quest that lead the group that I was with to a restaurant whose slowness of service nearly caused me to pass away from hunger. Josh Wade, Steve Paulo, and I met up with David Honig, Rick Bakas, Jeff Lefevre, and Sasha Kadey on the way over and had some great conversation.
After the breakfast, we got registered for the conference, and spent some time tasting some wines from around the state of Washington. One of my top priorities was to pick up the pieces of flare for my name badge from the famous Wine Brat, who by the way, is as much of a hoot in person as she is on the ol' Twitter machine. I decided that I would advertise my status as a certifiably crazy rockstar on mine.
During the time that could have been spent relaxing for most peeps (our schedule is pretty packed), Joe Herrig, Drew Lazorchak and I hunkered down to try to make some progress on our panel presentation on Sunday. We may very well avoid totally embarrassing ourselves, but I'm making NO promises.
For the conference opening, I was sitting at a table with the incomparable group of Hardy Wallace, Ward Kadel, Steve Paulo, Matt Mauldin, and Amanda Maynard. Hardy tried to get an impromptu chicken call, which sadly fizzled out a bit (sorry Hardy, I tried to do my part). Listening to Steve Heimoff talk nicely about bloggers, which was a little surreal. Steve actually seemed like a ridiculously nice guy, and I'm hoping that I get a chance to talk with him this weekend. Steve's talk was an interesting discussion on the tension between bloggers and the print media.
3:51 - Okay, so I admittedly didn't do my first post until I was sitting around listening to the keynote. Here it is, almost four o'clock. Now I'm starting to timestamp the posts. I'm sitting, listening to multiple Wine Blogger Award winner Jeff Lefevre of Good Grape talk about advanced wine blogging. Lots of great information on tools that I can use for my blog and social media. Great stuff. Jeff shares lots of good ideas and resources to maximize the effectiveness of your blog.
As someone who has been playing around with interviewing some people, it's great to hear Joe Roberts share some knowledge about doing interviews.
Really big take away from this panel – Work on your craft. Joe Roberts says that you don't have to be Hemingway, but your writing has to be good. You also have to know your subject. You don't want to be caught putting out BS that makes you look stupid.
4:30 – Great question about the responsibility to review wines that are submitted. Jeff says that we just need to treat it with seriousness and professionalism. You have to have intent to be professional when you accept samples.
Really great stuff about talking to each other, such as pointing to posts that you like, commenting on each other's posts, etc. I see this as all being part of being in the wine community. It's not because you want others to do the same to you (but I do love comments), it's because it furthers the online conversation.
4:41 - Steve Paulo just showed me some kick ass stuff that he's been in the middle of with the Vintank folks. I hate you California people for being able to do so much cool stuff.
4:43 – Rick Bakas is in the house!
4:46 – Okay, I've decided that I think I'm going to use the live wine blogging time to provide a good meta-narrative of the whole thing. Not big on the lightning round style tasting notes thang.
The tasting is a white wine tasting. We have 5 minutes with each wine and winemaker. We are supposed to be tweeting tasting notes, I'm tweeting my people watching, because that's how I roll.
5:30 – My favorite comments during the speed dating tasting -
- "we're all geniuses" – @stevepaulo
- I hate speed dating. :-/ No romance. – @wineingwoman