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Timing is Everything

September 19, 2011

Happy Monday. Please pardon a few moments of self reflection.

My colleagues at the 12 Bottle Bar just recently went through a massive overhaul of their blog. It was not without some pain on their end. But the reasoning behind the effort was likened to a stack of pancakes. On a blog, new content gets thrown on the top of the stack.

The concern is that even the third or fourth pancake from the top of the stack will never see the light of day. And pancakes are delicious, especially my father-in-law’s secret family recipe. Pancakes were meant to be eaten.

Now I have neither the technical skills nor the inclination to spend a lot of time revamping the FLB into a shinier sleeker version of itself. Yet at the same time, I too struggle with managing over 700 original posts that represent over two years of almost daily content.

So instead, I’m going to try an experiment.

If you’ll allow me to follow the pancake analogy just a bit further, I’m having a difficult time telling if some pancakes are just limp and unappealing, or if they just got buried in the pile before anyone got a chance to enjoy them.

Over time my wine posts have settled into a regular rotation appearing on the FLB Sunday mornings. It’s not an ideal slot. Perhaps that should be reserved for a weekly post on brunch. As I imagine I could write about that subject for years.

So here’s what I’m going to do. In the bright light of a Monday morning, that would be today, I’m going to highlight a few of those lesser read wine posts. I’m curious to see if they get any more traction on a weekday. So here is where you vote with your clicks. Perhaps I’m making some bad pancakes. Or maybe you all are just more into waffles (given the popularity of the beer posts).

I’ll look over the site stats from today, and try and make some sense of them. If you happen to like the wine posts on the FLB, I’d encourage you to share today’s post and ask your friends to click through the links as well. Okay. Here are just a few pancakes you may have missed.

The Pepsi Challenge – This talked about the physiology of taste that caused Pepsi to triumph over Coke in the classic marketing ploy which has become a HBS case study. There are implications to wine tasting both at home and at wineries.

Good Wine Hunting – I walked around a food and wine festival with Albany Jane to try and find a good wine that she enjoyed. There is a good wine out there for everyone, even those people who insist all they like is sweet and simple plonk.

Colored Glass – This subject came up in our beer discussion, but it was a wine topic first. The color of a wine bottle can help you determine if inside resides something tasty or something foul.

A Refreshing Idea From a Local Winery – I had been critical of New York wineries, mostly for trying to grow grapes that thrive in hotter climates in our cooler region. But far too many also try to pass off fruit wines or other adulterated bottlings, and wonder why they aren’t taken seriously. Here is the story of one place that is doing it right.

A White Wine For All Seasons – White wines aren’t just for the hot days of summer. Here is a delicious one that may be hard to pronounce, but it’s worth trying.

Take My Tears and That’s Not Even All – Tainted wine. Not all wine is good. But being able to taste cork taint and other flaws in wine can be a lot harder than most imagine.

Free Wine – Some wine is better than others. Some of the best bottles I’ve enjoyed over the years are those I haven’t paid for. Here’s a bit on the psychology of taste and the economics of wine.

Wine Label Libel – More tips for reading the wine label of a bottle for clues about the quality of the contents within. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but some words are more important than others. Learn the difference.

The Blind Leading the Blind – Think you can’t tell the difference between an expensive wine and an inexpensive one? I bet you can. The only way to tell for sure is a blind tasting. Maybe you’ll like the cheaper one better, but there will definitely be a discernible difference. And if you prefer the less expensive of the two, you are in luck.

Okay. That’s it. Thanks for playing. We’ll have some more original content tomorrow.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 19, 2011 10:31 am

    Timing is indeed everything, as we’re slowly learning. I’m not much into wine (more the beer type, local IPAs please), but perhaps Friday night, before wine-drinkers are heading out to the stores to stock up for the weekend or going out to dinner, might be better timing for your wine posts? I love the Sunday Brunch idea. We’d like to expand ours somehow, soon. Hopefully it will catch on. Redesigning anything on the web is painful for me, so I don’t blame you for not wanting to go through that hellish process. We need a new website badly, but I’ve been putting it off because I only have so much mental energy to focus in a limited (although expansive) number of areas.

  2. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    September 19, 2011 10:59 am

    Sorry, Daniel B. While I read them, I have little interest in your cocktail, wine, or coffee columns.

    • Kerosena permalink
      September 19, 2011 3:03 pm

      Ditto. I just don’t care all that much about alcohol or coffee.

  3. Jenna permalink
    September 19, 2011 2:55 pm

    I too would suggest Friday. If I’m going to a friend’s home for dinner or a party over the weekend, it would be fresh in my mind. Also, I don’t keep a lot of wine hanging around the house. I’m much more likely to grab a bottle of wine Friday night on my way home from work to have with dinner than I am to make a special trip on a Sunday afternoon or start keeping a list (a list I would likely never see again once depositing into my purse).

  4. September 19, 2011 9:52 pm

    I hate to say it ol’ boy, but the quickest way to get me to spend a scant time skimming a post is to make it about wine or coffee. Just don’t give a crap. The only posts concerning adult beverages I enjoy concern the actual brewing/wine making process. I think I enjoyed one where you talked about bottled/aged cocktails… I am kind of fascinated with making tinctures lately.

    It seems you have kind of developed a regional appeal for your blog, and I just don’t think you have a wine culture here. You may have some wine enthusiasts, but for the rest wine posts are going to continue to be a big snore. If you truly enjoy writing them, isn’t the one guy who gets major jollies out of them worth it?

    I am very narcissistic when writing posts, I only write about things I like. Sometimes this takes us on a journey into the banal, but it is my flavor of banal and it often pleases me to share.

  5. Ellen Whitby permalink
    September 20, 2011 12:32 am

    It seems, Profusser, that you are trying to write for your audience, thus the survey. And in having your readers invite their friends to look at your wine posts, you’ll be making decisions regarding when or if to continue to write about wine. Mr. Dave, on the other hand, writes for himself even if it takes him down the road of banality. That difference in approach caught my attention and I thought it worth mentioning.

    I have read many of your wine posts along the way and at the moment, I’m not really inclined to go through them again. After all, it is late and you’ve listed nine posts for re-reading. That’s not something I can take the time for right now, though I have made a mental note to go back to at least a few of them.

    If I did have the time, I’d enjoy reading them. I like the information you share and I like your presentation style. I like the variety in topics (though I’m not sure that adding a weekly post on brunch would enhance your repertoire). Unfortunately, I don’t retain the details for long. I’m also not a big wine drinker but that doesn’t make the reading experience any less pleasurable.

    Thank you for your posts. Thank you for taking interest in your reader’s interest.

    Now how about some posts about chocolate?

  6. September 20, 2011 3:25 am

    Thanks, as always for the mention. Rebuilding isn’t easy (we’re still struggling on certain fronts) so I wouldn’t recommend for everyone. Surfacing great older posts — especially yours — is well worth the time. The other option is to raise your prices and separate out streaming movies from those that arrive in the mail — but that might not be applicable to you. :)

    I think a regular round up like you’ve done above would be a welcome feature.

  7. September 20, 2011 2:36 pm

    Good lord, all of these mentions of pancakes! And me with a brand-new jug of maple syrup, just waiting to be opened! I’ve really gotta make some pancakes now. :)

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