After some chatting on Twitter today, Paul Mabray from Vintank convinced me to interrupt my hiatus to put out an installment of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly this week. For those who have been wondering about me, the plan is to relaunch Vinotology next week with my new design and format. The plan has morphed a little bit from what I had originally intended for the relaunch, but there will be some changes in store, beyond a new look for the site. Looking forward to resuming my daily duties on the blog soon, and thanks for your patience.
Without further ado, here’s TGTB&TU:
During my absence, there has been some great content coming from some of my favorite blogs. One of my favorite posts (actually a two part series of posts) was from the 1WineDude blog. There have been a lot of bloggers who have tackled the issue of biodynamics on their blogs, but the two part point-counterpoint series by Joe Roberts is one of the best explorations of the subject that I have seen. He did a great job of getting both sides of the story, straight from the horses mouths. The interviews with Alan York (pro) and Stu Smith (against) were both expertly done, and did a great job of shining some light on the two perspectives. Check them out.
This next item could just have easily slid into the Ugly this week, but the competition for that category was fierce, and I managed to find something even uglier than cookbooks centered around fart inducing food. Go figure. Katie Pizzuto is awesome, as always, in her post on the sickeningly titled “THE FART WITHOUT FEAR COOKBOOK”.
The Ugly this week centers on some controversy that cropped up this week about wine database and social networking site Snooth, courtesy of some good investigation by the Vintank folks. The first bombshell game in the form of an exploration of some numbers that were reported by Snooth. Vintank did some digging to explain the numbers, which yielded some evidence that seem to reinforce the old axiom about “lies, damn lies, and statistics.”
Unfortunately for the folks at Snooth, the hits kept on coming. In a follow-up post Vintank supplied evidence that Snooth had been populating their database with data taken from online wine review juggernaut Cellartracker. In a follow up response, Snooth founder Philip James provided an apology and explanation. While I appreciate the fact that Snooth seems to be acting to clean up the mess, it seems like a case of “too little, too late” to me. At best Snooth might have gotten caught asleep at the wheel when it comes to cleaning up old data, and at worst they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. It will be interesting to see what comes of this in the long term, as the possibility of legal action has been bandied about in the comments on some of these posts. This one really is a cautionary tale for anyone looking to do business online.