There has been some discussion and confusion since the latest Wine Bloggers Conference about what a Citizen Wine Blogger is.
I created the term “Citizen Wine Blogger” back in 2008 when we first started the Wine Bloggers Conference. The goal was to provide a less-expensive price to the WBC to those bloggers who were not employed by a company and, instead, had to pay their own way. (We also provide a lesser discount to industry wine bloggers.) That was and still remains the primary reason we use the term.
Citizen Wine Blogger was a totally arbitrary name and I could have selected any other term that achieved the goal: Non-Business Blogger, Hobbyist Blogger, etc. However, Citizen Blogger had a great ring to it and I have heard others like it too. I don’t really know what the popular opinion is but, at this point, it is well accepted.
We define Citizen Blogger as follows:
To be as a Citizen Blogger, you must have an active (i.e. at least three current posts) blog that does not promote a business and be listed as a contributor on the blog.
So a Citizen Wine Blog is one that is not connected to a business. To clear up any confusion:
- An individual writing for his own account but whom also works in the industry is still a Citizen Wine Blogger.
- A wine blogger who starts to offer consulting services or other similar money-making programs on his blog is still a Citizen Wine Blogger. One of our entire goals at the Wine Bloggers Conference is to give bloggers the tools to grow and prosper and we would not want to penalize them for doing that. Only once the blog is clearly more about a business than a personal blog would the blogger become an Industry Blogger.
- Any blog using the URL of a business is likely an Industry Blogger.
- We do not in any way take note of the quality, professionalism, intent, or success of a blogger. The entire point of blogging is that it is open to anyone, from the newbie just starting out to the blogger with experience and success.
- The term Citizen Wine Blogger does not apply to the Wine Blog Awards. Most of the awards, with the exception of Best Winery Blog, are open to all citizen and industry wine bloggers.
- We count all media bloggers as Citizen Wine Bloggers. I realize this is a bit misleading but many media (like your local newspaper) now have local citizens blogging on their website. Plus, we want to encourage media bloggers to attend the WBC.
I hope that helps but please provide any comments you have!