Is there a future for this, or other forum(s)?


WARNING – for me, at least, a long-ish post. And because many people will not follow this discussion if it stays on the Burgundy Report forum, I’m also posting it in my Diary 😉

I guess, as background, some of my experience may be mirrored by others, but…

I stopped with the forum of erobertparker when the junta closed it down – it was mainly closed due to critique, and much of it both unrepeatable and unnecessary, despite the general undertow of brown-nosing – but it was the best ‘meeting place’ I’ve ever known on the web. I paid a small subscription to go back and delete as many of my previous posts as I could (my freely given content) but much had already been archived – one could say stolen…

I started this forum by popular – well at least a dozen people(!) – demand, people who needed a new place ‘to go’. It took some work to set up, and then much more work to weed out and eventually stop the spam. But it seems, to say the very least now, to be in a persistent vegetative state…

I had a dalliance with wineberserkers, but often the tenor of discussion was (is) unpleasant – never to me – but plenty of shilling and self-importance was carried over from erp. I only go there today if somebody specifically points me to a link, or a bunch of people come to Burgundy Report because of a discussion there.

What I have noticed is that a couple of Burgundy-related groups (two, only because the moderators of the first had a fall-out!) on Facebook now have thousands of members and whilst as always it’s a small core of posters, wines and even sometimes tasting-notes, abound. There’s definitely a core of ‘look at me with my Leroy’ posters, who have not that much to say, but I like that it’s a different demographic – many more from China/HK/Singapore et-cetera than the ‘traditional’ fora. Plus, Facebook seems to have an ever finer focus – first, Burgundy Geeks group, then come individual village groups like Vosne-Romanée – I expect it might take longer for somebody to set up a group devoted to Monthèlie!

So, is Facebook the forum for the next years? In the current circumstances, I don’t see much possibility of this particular forum surviving 2016.

But that’s up to you of-course 😉

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There are 10 responses to “Is there a future for this, or other forum(s)?”

  1. dccrossley1st October 2015 at 1:31 pmPermalinkReply

    What’s wrong with wine-pages, Bill? It is not only civilised, it provides information on any topic you need to know about, via its wide group of users. It has also facilitated a host of real life, enduring friendships via its off lines and beyond.

    • billn1st October 2015 at 7:47 pmPermalinkReply

      There’s never been anything wrong with w-p David. Occasional diversions aside, it has just never been part of my burgundy-centric focus – and though it may seem that there’s a lot of burgundy wine discussed there – in truth, compared to the others notes, it wasn’t so much. Interestingly burgundy has been much less of a topic in most places – I think there could be two reasons; less people using fora, and maybe just as importantly the prices of burgundy being too high…

      • Dan Perrelli20th October 2015 at 7:28 pmPermalinkReply

        Right on both counts, Bill. Also, the tone on Beserkers is toxic.

  2. jhasenpflug1st October 2015 at 1:41 pmPermalinkReply

    Bill, I thoroughly enjoy your commentary and your pictures. I like the flavor of “here’s what I did-drank-thought-weathered today. I do not post comments often because I am pretty convinced no one cares, and I share your belief that much of what is available to read is mere shilling and self-promotion. Facebook can be tiresome and frankly, boring, but often I like to see what others are drinking or where they might be traveling. Since moving back home to Texas I no longer have much opportunity to drink really fine Burgundy. As you say, its main pleasures are in sharing it. But I have been finding a wealth of pleasurable wines at the local markets, and at very reasonable prices compared to the hideous markups on today’s Burgundies. Your posts may be the sole opinion in today’s blogosphere that I respect – because it is presented as your own and not in any authoritarian manner – accurate, detailed, and with an obvious wealth of experience. Please keep up the fine work.

    • billn1st October 2015 at 7:44 pmPermalinkReply

      Jerome – not enough critique 😉
      Drop me a line when you’re back in Beaune!

  3. Claude Kolm2nd October 2015 at 6:46 amPermalinkReply

    If an alternative location is needed, I’d prefer somewhere other than facebook. I refuse to use it.

  4. Alvin Seah2nd October 2015 at 8:55 amPermalinkReply

    I dislike using FB as well. I find that I lose privacy. I check into this Forum every other day and practically every day during the lead up to the harvest. It has become a ritual for me and it would be a real loss if this project was mothballed.

    Reviews of DRC, Leroy, Vogue, Rousseau, Ramonet, Coche, Leflaive, Lafon and Roulot are plentiful. For burgheads, its the lesser known producers who needs promoting. It is through this forum that I discover some many up and coming producers and interesting stuff.

    So please do not let this die.

  5. The Inner Harbor Project3rd October 2015 at 2:01 pmPermalinkReply

    I think the truth is that there are many excellent blogs with relatively sparse comments. Someone once told me that you should assume something like 600 reads for every comment so not to be too concerned by few comments.

    Like many, I enjoy reading your frequent posts quite a lot – they are one of my routine stops on the web. But because your expertise is so great and your level of appreciation is so studied, I would never dream of posting a comment.

    I’m someone who would never enjoy an on-line wine community anyway. So I don’t miss the comments from your diary.

  6. bmcq4th October 2015 at 11:31 pmPermalinkReply

    It’s funny the responses are here instead of in the forum.
    I too am not a supporter of FB in any sense. The underlying principle of exposing yourself on the internet seems stupid to me and it encourages a peculiar egotism that more often than not is a conduit for some of humankinds worst traits.

    So, I’ll try padding the forum with some stuff.

  7. Nick Peay5th October 2015 at 12:18 amPermalinkReply

    Yep, I read here, and at WB and very occasionally at UK-drinks/wine, but here is really the only place where I get to truly indulge my obsession w/ Burgundy. I follow your harvest notes (what happened to the rest of Mark’s harvest at Arlaud?) and greatly appreciate all of the photos, and the links to interesting items. I’m paying attention to your tasting notes and love your producer profiles (bought/read your book). I have bookmarked ‘All About Burgundy,’ Laurent Gotti’s new venture, but unfortunately my French is too poor to make that very much fun.
    Facebook. So far, I’m very happy not to be on FB. Your message above is the first time I have felt a twinge of regret as far as not being on it.
    All this has to be considered that I am ITB (producer), which is why I don’t post (hard not to be biased or self-promoting), but I do buy a lot of Burgundy, and at no special discounts, so my opinion is relevant, no?

    • bmcq5th October 2015 at 1:04 pmPermalinkReply

      The point of the absence or presence of community is spot on. The lack of one allows some pretty embarrassing behavior. It’s been small enough here so that doesn’t fly.

      Besides, Vanessa, Nick and Andy make a kickass good pinot!

  8. Geoff Paisley5th October 2015 at 3:36 amPermalinkReply

    Dear Bill,
    I would be very sad to see the demise of the Big Red Diary. As I was at the loss of ‘The Vine’ (January 2005). I have been a follower in the background and rarely post. I also dislike FB. I am sure you will come to an appropriate well reasoned decision as has been your track record in the past – one of the reasons I enjoy reading the diary of course. A wonderful resource.

  9. billn5th October 2015 at 9:11 amPermalinkReply

    I should note to Geoff that the Big Red Diary is not going to close; rather I’m interested in comments re the future of ‘electronic’ wine discussion, driven by the (apparently) sad old relative in the attic that this site’s forum has become. Of-course it is not just this forum that receives many fewer comments than in previous years, which was why I introduced the topic of FB groups as a (just one) potential future alternative – my ego realises that not everything needs to be hosted here 😉

    As I discussed with bmcq on the forum (yes, there have been posts!), today’s Facebook burgundy groups are mainly about ‘grandstanding’ – the majority of posts come from people with deep cellars or simply expensive tastes – there is little to be seen outside grand cru labels, and rarely much accompanying text/info. FB has numbers on its side, but nothing that hints of community – and as seen here, there is a demographic that will not consider joining FB.

    Counter to that, though it is of-course to an extent self-promoting, I very much like Steen’s links to his own vineyard profiles, and these sometimes bring interesting discussions. I also occasionally link to articles or posts here, but sparingly so as not to be accused of shilling my own site…

    Nothing is simple

  10. Dan Perrelli20th October 2015 at 7:42 pmPermalinkReply

    I read wine-pages and Wine Disorder, though less and less, not because folks there are impolite, but because there is only so much to be said before repetition sets in. Just as the obvious is next to useless (Roulot, Roumier, Rousseau, Fourrier) unless you are reporting a serious ‘miss’, the ‘undiscovered’ now have a shelf life of maybe a year or two before the Amazon effect takes over. I’m still amused how Clos Rougeard (not a new find by any means) was always available somewhere until Raj Parr and Jasmine Hirsch repeated instagrammed about their new paramour.

    Because I am in-the-biz I have to maintain a Facebook Page. I’ve unjoined all the wine groups I had signed up for, or in one instance actually had to petition for admittance. . Wine porn mostly. I did find one friend in Europe who keeps in touch outside a group.

    Prediction: any true amateur is eternally dissatisfied. Your readers need you.

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