Communicating about wine: the way forward
[Thinking out loud]
The old model (1):
Vertical communication. Expert shares information with consumers. A bit like teacher in front of the class. One way transfer of information. Medium: magazine articles, books, newsletters.
The new model (2):
Horizontal communication. Writer is on a journey and takes others with them. Conversations, with dialogue between writer and reader. Medium: blogs, social networking, some websites (although you can have a website that works along the lines of the old model).
In the new model, the writer acknowledges that some readers will have more expertise than them in some areas. It removes the distance between the writer and the reader, and is a more open, honest and interesting way of communicating about wine.
Does this mean books and magazines are dead? No, there will still be a place for them, but I think the style of writing will have to change. The vertical transfer of the expert's knowledge to the reader is going to diminish in importance and appeal.
At the moment, I think we're in transition. Many readers are used to model (1) and so publishers using this model will still find an audience...for now. But it will be a shrinking audience. The challenge for commercial publishers will be to adapt their revenue stream to fit model (2).