From Brussels, an answer to Robert Parker Jr. - The Bloggers' "Nouvelle Vague" begins here!
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
“In 2014…. 11. Wine bloggers will continue to complain about their failure to monetize their sites and earn respect.” Robert Parker Jr.
Ipse dixit! Earlier this year, Robert Parker Jr., the most famous, incensed, followed, chased, and overrated (maybe sometimes even a little too much) wine critic in the world, among its 15 predictions for 2014, branded as inconclusive the wine bloggers. According to "The Critic", wine bloggers are not and will not be able to monetize their media power on the market, as well as their colleagues in the food and fashion industry.
This statement gave me much annoyance at the time, primarily because it underestimates that a person can work, taste, travel and write for passion, and not just to monetize his interest, and secondly because it’s too simplistic. Robert Parker Jr. in fact owes its success certainly to a his passion, his skills, in particular his business skills, but also to a market that when he began was similar to a prairie, free and ready to be conquered. Unlike today where the offerings of events and services in the field are so numerous as to be difficult even just to mention all.
Nevertheless, I remained convinced then that this assertion does not respond to the real, because the world of bloggers is full of initiatives that go into a new era that combines passion and profit. The proof is that more and more companies today are, in every market, looking for profiles like that of the bloggers to take care of their image on social networks, organize operational marketing campaigns, etc.
Well, my impression has been confirmed here in Brussels where I moved a few months ago.
In the capital of the European Union, the world of bloggers is certainly in full “fermentation”.
There is a community, today composed of approximately 1.700 members ("blogosphere Belge",https://www.facebook.com/groups/131055780258637/members/) which shares on Facebook contents and initiatives made by each one of them.
Numerous blogs receive awards for their "readability", usability and utility, as well as "La dinette des grandes" (http://ladinettedesgrandes.com/, facebbok: https://www.facebook.com/oh.ladinette?fref=ts, twitter:https://twitter.com/la_dinette) by Emmanuelle Gerin and Vanessa Gohy, who weekly suggest the best places for a dinner, a brunch, or an aperitif.
Bloggers engaged in publishing activities as the two bloggers aka 13zor (http://le13zor.canalblog.com) and Em Aime (http://aimebyem.blogspot.be), who about a year ago realized "Bxl Vintage", a real guide about the Brussels for lovers of Vintage.
Bloggers organizing events such as Axelle Minne (http://ohmalice.blogspot.com) who just this summer has surprised for her "Les cheese&wine sauvages", three convivial evenings, in secret places, for those who want to discover the pleasures of the cheese and wine tastings, with the wines of Luxembourg and other sweet “surprises” (for those interested, the third and final meeting will be September 25, for further informations:https://www.facebook.com/events/426945670778768/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming).
But the examples could go on almost indefinitely, with events that take place daily in this city, not least those organized by the Bordeaux wines with the help of companies like “Vinogusto” founded by Marc Roisin (www.vinogusto.com), bloggers and wine lovers, or the activities of Belgian Wines (http://www.belgianwines.com), a company created by brothers Jens and Jonas De Maere, who turned their passion into a very exciting project, and more the initiative BIY - Blog It Yourself! (information and registration:firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @Bam_belgium; Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/events/268034973384983/?fref=ts), a series of events that aims to shape the bloggers, by the girls of “La dinettes et des grandes” and “13zor” (the first event will be the next September 14).
The above shows that already today bloggers are able to leverage their passions to become businessmen and businesswomen, and then we can say that half bet of Robert Parker Jr. is lost.
For the other half (earn respect) we should ask "The Critic" what he meant.
In fact, if for respect he intend the respect and recognition for what you do, and what you do is worthy of attention and praise, well then I recommend to Robert Parker Jr. to refrain from making further predictions of 2015, having mistaken those of 2014, or at least the number 11th.
If, as I believe, he intended the ability to influence and drive, or do trend in an entire sector or an entire market, well we have to wait some time yet, it will not be possible in 2014, and probably will never be possible as well as he did in his career the same Robert Parker Jr., because the times and markets have changed completely.
At the same time, I also believe that in a few years, this will be in part possible if the bloggers will understand the importance of to work in synergy, thinking large projects and investing not only passion, but also a lot of time and money. This is the way.
Meanwhile, I toast to the bloggers and their "nouvelle vague" ...but also to Robert Parker Jr., you never know if he would read these lines. Cheers!