One of our primary goals as organizers of the Wine Bloggers Conference is to deliver an event that meets the needs of our community. The “new media” world of blogging and social media is not so new anymore and changes yearly, so to achieve our goal of meeting your needs we continually think about new ideas, solicit feedback, and make changes.
One of the ideas we hear from our alumni is whether we should adjust the WBC to reflect the changing dynamics of wine blogging, professional wine writing, and social media. We recently conducted a survey of our alumni on this subject, with a specific focus on whether we need to change the name of the conference to be more inclusive to wine writers who are not blogging, and wanted to share the results here.
We asked in the survey about six different potential names with this percentage of respondents who “loved” the name:
- Wine Bloggers Conference: 40%
- Wine Writers Conference: 35%
- Wine Writers & Bloggers Conference: 26%
- Wine Media Conference: 27%
- Wine Writing & Social Media Conference: 25%
- Wine Communications Conference: 19%
Clearly, our alumni prefer to keep the Wine Bloggers Conference with its current name. Even more starkly, the “negative” response to the current name was only 19% – by far the lowest negative among any of the choices. Even those respondents who are not Citizen Bloggers preferred the current name.
So the results are in and we will not be changing the conference name.
We also asked whether there should be separate conferences for “wine bloggers” and “wine writers” and 87% said there should be one conference for both. This is a little contradictory since respondents did not want to change the name to include “writers” but the other survey questions and the many comments were very revealing.
In general, Citizen Wine Bloggers are passionate about what they do (we all know that) but also proud of being a wine blogger. Most see themselves as wine writers but as very different from writers who have an editor or who get paid for their work. And they are proud they have chosen the format of a blog to express their views on the industry.
Those attending the WBC who are not Citizen Bloggers (industry bloggers, professional writers, or others in the wine industry) are equally positive about wine blogging. Only 13% (the same as for Citizen Bloggers) consider blogging a “limiting or out of date term” and, in fact, people supported the focus on bloggers. As one non-blogger alumnus said:
Wine Bloggers should be respected for what they have achieved … a more open, democratic and vital forum about wine.
This comment seems to sum up the attitude of the survey respondents. In essence, our alumni are telling us “We like being wine bloggers (or associating with wine bloggers). But we also welcome everyone to our conference.” That works for us and, in keeping with that spirit, we have added the tagline “Writing and social media in the wine industry” to our conference website.
See you at the Wine Bloggers Conference this August.