Off to Turkey, for the bloggers conference

So, at some unearthly hour tomorrow I am off to Turkey for the 2012 European Wine Bloggers’ Conference (http://ewbc.vrazon.com/), although it is now dubbed the Digital Wine Communication Conference in light of the fact that social media has grown in importance of late.

I am really looking forward to it. There will be some great people there. Indeed, I suspect the main reason that many folks will be attending is to meet each other. I’m hoping we’ll have a lot of fun.

But I am also a bit nervous. The problem is, I think some people misunderstand me. I worry that they might judge me badly because I’m one of the invited speakers, and that they anticipate that I’ll have a big ego to match.

In truth, I am just like many of the participants there, who blog, tweet and facebook about wine from the perspective of enthusiasts, not professionals. I love wine. I started writing about it on the internet after catching the wine bug, and by 2001 I was blogging, just because I loved wine.

That’s what I’m still doing. But I’ve been lucky enough over the last few years to have enough wine writing work, and supportive sponsors of this site, that I can make wine writing my living. This doesn’t mean that I think for one moment that I am a big shot, or that I am any different from ‘amateur’ bloggers (I hate this term ‘amateur’ – very often these amateurs know more than ‘professionals’, are smarter, and can write better to boot).

So I hope that being a pro won’t count against me in this environment. I am just someone who loves wine, probably drinks a bit more of it than I should, and tries to shares some of my experiences online. I have been lucky in my timing – being one of the first to write online, and having the second oldest wine blog (the late Joe Dressner was first, I believe), has helped a great deal. If I were starting out now, the competition would be intense.

I am really looking forward to four days of interaction with some great people, beginning with the BYOB dinner tomorrow night. I am just bubble wrapping the magnum I am bringing now, which I will have to check in – let’s hope it makes it to Izmir.

5 comments to Off to Turkey, for the bloggers conference

  • Jamie – our conference is built around exactly that thought. We encourage many/most of our speakers and panelists to come from the community of wine communicators that has emerged online. Don’t worry, we’re quite friendly and not that prone to judge other bloggers harshly, we’ve all been there and there are few enough who’ve achieved the broad recognition of your blog. We’re very happy to have you join us this year, … and hopefully from now on.

    Yes, it is actually, honestly, and openly, about meeting people. It is about creating a stronger community and working out ways to make sure we stay relevant, because there are not enough real events that encourage networking and cooperation rather than competitive deal-making in the wine area. We can also have fun doing it.

    We hope everyone has a great time, and goes home with new friends, new contacts and new ideas, … and in this case, a better understanding of Turkish wine :)

    … and I look forward to tasting whatever you are wrapping

  • Jamie, as Robert eloquently stated, we are 100% about open-mindedness, innovation, change and connection. Our goal is to break down barriers that keep us apart, not create new ones. Hence, please rest assured that you are VERY welcome and we are all eager to have you :)

  • Just to add to Roberts thought, don’t worry, there are lot’s of Pros, Amateurs, and wine geeks of all stripes. You’ll blend right in.

  • Big ego or not, anyone bumping into you in Turkey and being able to pick your brain would be one lucky individual indeed. Keep up the great writing.

  • Iain Cameron

    Hi Jamie not a wine comment, but organization with a z? What happened to the Queen’s English?

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