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Tag Archives: wine blogs

New features for the blog?

Website
New features for the blog?

Always trying to find the right mix for readers.

Update: Thanks for all the emails — some very good advice and comments about what we’re doing here and how we do it. I was quite flattered to have so many people tell me they didn’t want anyone else to write for the blog.

Still working on the transition from the old platform to the new, and especially with updating the broken links — and we’re only in the seventh month after the switch. The Internet is a wonderful thing, and Google’s search algorithms are even more special.

Having said that, it’s time to continue the blog’s progress into the 21st century, and that means I need your thoughts about the following. If you like the ideas — or don’t like them — leave a comment at the end of this post or send me an email.

• A regular (monthly? every six weeks?) live chat about cheap wine, the wine business, and so forth, where you can come to the blog and ask me questions in real time. You type them in, and I answer. I’ve done this elsewhere, and it’s usually a lot of fun. The catch? What happens if you hold a chat and no one is there to chat?

• Someone besides me writing blog posts. I’m thinking about this not so much because I’m tired of writing the posts but because I’m wondering if another voice — though still focused on what we do here, still objective about wine, and still a quality writer — would add something to the blog. Also, if you’d like to so some writing for the blog, send me an email.

• Wine Curmudgeon TV. I’ve toyed with this before, but the logistics have always been daunting. They aren’t quite as daunting these days, so the question is: Is it worthwhile to do a shortish, 10-minute chat with a guest or guests about wine? And what kind of guests? Because winemaker interviews and features haven’t been all that popular here.

Update: Technical problems on the blog

technical-computer-problem-get-help-from-an-expert-over-the-internet
Update: Technical problems on the blog

No, the Wine Curmudgeon didn’t feel like this yesterday. Nope. Not at all.

11 a.m. update: The missing posts and comments have returned, and all is mostly back to normal. Thanks for your patience.

The good news is that we figured out what happened yesterday, when at least six posts — including the post scheduled for Monday — vanished from the server that hosts the blog. Also missing were a variety of other items, including all the comments from last week, and those should return, too, once all is corrected. So no, I’m not censoring comments, for those of you who wondered.

The bad news is that the problem hasn’t been fixed yet, though I have been assured it will fixed “soon.” And, because it wouldn’t be any fun unless there were more complications, I can’t post anything new to the blog because the new post (including this one, which I will have to repost) will disappear as soon as the problem is fixed. So it’s just as easy to wait until then.

That’s because (for those of you with a technical bent), this is a server issue. Somehow, part of the blog exists on one server, and the rest exists on another. And because the Wine Curmudgeon appreciates irony, yesterday’s blog traffic was no worse than usual. Maybe people just want to read me complain, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s about wine.

Google AdSense, wine blogs, and Joe Camel

Google AdSense, wine blogs, and Joe Camel
Google AdSense, wine blogs, and Joe Camel

“Hey, kids. Why don’t you try some wine with your smokes?”

Most wine blogs can’t participate in Google’s AdSense network, perhaps the leading on-line ad service. That’s because, as I found out when I applied, we violate its terms of service: “We did not approve your application for the reasons listed below. Issues: Drugs, drug paraphernalia, alcohol, beer or tobacco. … Please remove all drug-related content from your site, then resubmit your application.”

That we’re doing nothing illegal and that we don’t have any drug-related content to remove seems like just another of those wonderful, Google-esque ways the search giant does business: Buying companies to close them, discontinuing popular services, or agreeing with the Chinese government that Internet censorship isn’t such a bad thing.

But Google’s decision to ban wine blogs from AdSense goes deeper than that, speaking to the contradictions inherent in wine and alcohol 80 years after Prohibition thanks to the NeoDrys, fear of underage drinking, and the three-tier system. Google doesn’t object to wine, as near as I can tell. It just doesn’t want to be responsible for someone buying it who might break the law, because that could lead to nasty publicity, lawsuits, and the besmirching of its good name. More, after the jump:

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