November 23 and 24 were the punctuation mark on a long cool growing season for Washington grape growers. With temperatures plunging from 30 degrees to -4 degrees and lower in a matter of a few days, vineyard managers were scrambling. As wineries wrapped up the 2010 harvest, doubts about the 2011 harvest lay heavy on many people’s hearts. Much of the damage will be uncertain until Spring but many areas had a lot to be thankful for over the holiday.
Washington grape growers understand hard freeze. With one coming every 5-8 years, this part of the business is nearly unavoidable. Not every region in the state is susceptible to hard freezes. Much of Washington’s grape growing region lies along the moderate temperature control of the mighty Columbia River. There are some vineyard sights in higher elevation, or away from water that can cool off quickly.
Michael Haig, of Spokane’s Whitestone Winery, manages his wineries estate vineyards off of Lake Roosevelt, an area of the Columbia River created by the Grand Coulee Dam. Michael explains the potential devastation of a hard freeze and shows how wineries check the primary, secondary and tertiary buds for damage. What makes this freeze unique and potentially damaging is how early and how quickly the freeze came. Haig says, “Over time the buds will become cold hard, which means as the temperature slowly drops, the buds can withstand colder temperatures.” Michael peels back the layers of the bud to expose a positive sign, green. The primary buds, at Michael’s vineyard, remain intact indicating a full harvest for 2011.
Many vineyard managers I contacted held similar sentiments regarding damage, “I’ll let you know in the Spring.” An article in the Tri-Cities Herald by Andy Perdue paints a grimmer picture in certain areas of the state.
“It’s not pretty,” said Rob Andrews of McKinley Springs Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills. “It’s too early to tell 100 percent what is going on, but in the 30 years I’ve been growing grapes, this is the hardest I’ve ever been hit. We’re looking at a tough 2011.”
Preliminary investigation reveals little to moderate damage in most areas with Horse Heaven Hills containing pockets of greater damage. Damage will depend on grape varietal and specific topographical location for many of the vineyard blocks. The results will reveal themselves more fully with the Spring thaw.
The Washington State University Viticulture and Enology program has an informative Cold Hardiness Website that breaks down the potential damage to various grape varieties. According to the site, the more cold hearty varietals include Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Riesling. The more fair weather grape varieties are Barbera, Mourvedre, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sangiovese. A mere 5 degrees can separate 10% bud loss from 90% primary bud loss.
During my visit with Michael, he was excited to announce the second annual release of the Pieces on Earth red blend. The wine is one of four wines that make up the Pieces series (Pieces of Red, Love You to Pieces, Scared to Pieces, and Pieces on Earth). The predominately Cabernet blend is available for a limited time and has a special holiday label. The medium bodied blend has a balanced structure of dark red fruit, coffee, cigar box, and moderate cedar. The tannins are well integrated and perfect for enjoying now or with your upcoming holiday dinner. At $20, this is a solid 3+/5
Whitestone will be releasing their 2007 Merlot on December 17. From Michael:
“This is our most coveted and award winning wine. In blind competition, our Merlot has won gold at every major wine competition in the United States, along with being named Top Merlot for the State of Washington. The 2007 vintage features rich textures of leather and spice adding deep texture to rich raspberry and currant. Ripe tannins find harmonious balance in this well structured wine, which finishes off with a long, smooth after taste. $26 bottle”
Whitestone’s Spokane tasting room is located at 111 S. Cedar and is open Noon – 6pm Thursday – Saturday. Watch their Facebook page for special events and live music when they‘re open until 9pm.
Do you have a wine lover on your Christmas list? Buying for a wine lover can be a serious challenge. If you buy them wine you run the risk of being ridiculed for your inadequate choice. If you buy them a typical gadget, it may be relegated to the drawer of wine charms and cork screws, put in the next garage sale, or worse yet, re-gifted to the crazy uncle.
To help you in your gift giving for the wine lover in your life, I’ve got some fun, eclectic, novelty, and even some local ideas to help make your Christmas shopping easier. You can’t go wrong with these gifts!
Eisch Wine Glass Set ($30 per glass)
While Riedel glasses seem to be the toast of the wine community, I love my Eisch glasses. After all these years, Germany is still attempting an overthrow of Austria. Perfectly balanced and boasting a “breathable” technology (although after a lawsuit from Riedel, they can no longer market that), the Eisch Sensis glass dramatically improves the aroma of most wines poured in them.
Wine Soiree Decanter ($25 each)
Soiree is The Premier In-Bottle Wine Decanter. Soiree is a glass wine aerator that fits on top of the bottle and is the perfect wine gift and a Sommelier approved wine tool. It decants red and white wines and is easy to use, clean, and travel with. Using the Wine Soiree is easier to use than the Vinturi and offers the same results of a quick aeration.
Made from reclaimed wine barrels that housed Spokane’s Latah Creek wine, these artistic items are a perfect match for your wine lover. Enjoy the wine barrel pen that uses Parker refills and the beautiful wine topper and cork screw. Your wine accessories should be as artistic as your wine. Seperate, these pieces are priced at $64 but because Santa loves you (and artist Doyle Wheeler too), you can have them both for $55). Ammohead Design pens are available at Nectar Tasting Room and other local wineries.
Wine Tasters Diary (Spokane Pullman) is an essential under-$15 local wine guide that explores the region of Spokane and Pullman. Get author William Maltese’s perspective as he tours and tastes local wine.
The Wine Trials is the essential under-$15 wine guide that shook the wine world to its core by proving that in brown-bag blind tastings, people actually preferred cheaper wines to more expensive ones.
Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine – 3rd Edition is the “the one essential book for any wine lover” Eric Asimov
Wine Away Wine Wipes ($7)
A great fun gift that any wine lover would appreciate. Enjoy wine with lunch or just erase the late night tango with a Syrah. Wipe that wine off your teeth with wine wipes, a proprietary blend of stain-removing and teeth protecting ingredients that cleans red wine off teeth and neutralizes palate. Just run Wine Wipes over your teeth and see the difference. Each container has twenty wipes and a mirrored lid.
Wine Fridge Small ($80)
Wine temperature is important. People often bring their whites right out of the fridge (too cold) or open their reds at summer room temperatures (too warm). Stock a week’s work of wine in this little and portable wine refrigerator. This little eight bottle Emerson cooler is classy, practical, and doesn’t take up much space on the counter.
Preserve your bottle of wine at the perfect temperature for up to 10 days. The slick system pours the wine without allowing the oxygen to reach the wine. The stainless steel design is attractive and will fit into any modern kitchen. While slightly pricy, this is one gift that your discriminating wine lover will enjoy.
Zebra Shoe Bottle Holder ($26)
Love wine? Love shoes? Here is the perfect solution! Forget the stuffy display. Show your personality with the zebra print shoe display. The ceramic wine bottle holder fits most standard size wine bottles. This piece is sure to be the conversation starter at all your parties and the hit with all your wine loving friends.
Show your wine personality with What’s Your Vine t-shirts. Are you “Bubbly and Brilliant, Champagne” or “Sweet and Spice, and a little intense – Gewurztraminer.” With seven t-shirt slogans and several color choices, let your wine personality show. This is the perfect gift for the female wine lover on your wish list this year.
Club Nectar Membership ONLY $39 - reg $75
Give the gift that pours all year long. Wine lovers in Spokane can save big by enjoying the Nectar Tasting Room, Club Nectar annual membership. Members always receive $1 off all glass pours, 10% off all bottle purchases 15% off case purchases, complimentary tasting bar flights, half off all “Final Sip Saturday’s” and exclusive invitations to parties and release events. This membership will quickly pay for itself. Sale is through Dec 1, 2011. Click the buy now banner at the bottom of the page.
Rock n Roll Wine Art Print ($850)
You love wine and you love art but I bet you don’t have a Stacey Wells Rock-n-Roll Wine Series print. Be the envy of all your wino friends this Christmas with a Jimi Hendrix, Gene Simmons, The Doors, Elton John, Michael Jackson, or Rolling Stones 18×36 high quality Giclee print. Stacey’s work is phenomenal and showcases the best of wine, music and art.
Wine Rack Wine Bra ($30)
Perfect for the woman wine lover who has trouble taking her wine to football, baseball, and school functions. Turn your A cup into a voluptuous full bodies D cup of delicious red wine. The Wine Rack is a comfortable sports bra with a polyurethane bladder that holds a full bottle of wine. Use the handy drinking tube to enjoy your bodacious Bordeaux or your seductive Syrah.
As you shop for the wine lover this year, keep these amazing gifts in mind. What do you want for Christmas? I’d love to hear if you’ve discovered any great wino gift ideas. I’m always looking for something new. Please share in the comments, or let me know on Twitter @nectarwine using the hashtag #winochristmas.
Looking for places to get many of these and other great gift ideas? Check out my friends at the following two links (and no I wasn’t paid to promote them).
Wine Accessorized (Gadgets Gifts and Gizmos)
24 Nov 2010
A few weeks ago, this little bloggie turned one. In a medium where “old school” is five years, turning one sorta makes you a teenager. Armed with my new “know it all,” brooding, moody attitude, I’m putting on my skinny jeans and flannel, shuffling the iPod on EMO and getting ready for year two. The last year has been an incredible adventure of success, stumbles, and relationships. I don’t claim to know it all or be an expert on blogging, in fact I’ve made a whole mess of mistakes in year one. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others (and a fool is destined to repeat them), so here are 10 blogging mistakes I made in the first year. I hope you avoid these.
10. Don’t post your new post after 6PM – As a general rule you’re better off waiting until the next morning. I’ve been guilty of this a few times and without fail, the post in question gets very little traction in viewership and response. Twitter and Facebook (great traffic drivers) get very conversational after 6PM and promotional pushes seem to fall on deaf ears. One time, in order to keep my 7 month streak alive, I did post at 11:58PM on a Friday night. That post saw as much traffic as the path between Pelosi and Obama’s house since the 2010 elections. In a similar vein, don’t come out of the gate with your best stuff on Saturday afternoon on a sunny summer day. Just because you’re sitting at your PC still in your tightie whities doesn’t mean many other readers are.
9. Don’t spell people’s name wrong when you highlight them in a post – Blogs often quote others as reference points, additional information, or for cross promoting. Linkbacks are great for SEO optimization. When writing a post on social media, I reached out to Rick Bakas, (then the Director of Social Media Marketing for St. Supery winery) for a quote on the subject. Armed with several great quotes, I drafted my post and then sent it out for the whole world to see (by whole world, I mean the 327 people who followed my stuff at the time). The problem was I spelled Rick’s name Backas. Rick was gracious and kindly pointed out my flaw. The real embarrassment was when I did it AGAIN in another social media post, this time calling him the Directory of Social Media Marketing. What a tool I am.
8. Don’t forget proper SEO tagging – Many months went by before I realized that I was missing out on better search engine optimization. It may take a few extra minutes but I’ve noticed a dramatic difference in traffic and ranking by focusing on three simple things.
- Make sure that the title contains the key words of the topic
- Make sure the images are tagged appropriately (spkwine1.jpg is not as good as Barrister Winery Spokane 1.jpg)
- Use the SEO portion of your blog platform. WordPress has a great built in tool that lets you optimize your page and your post with key words and a brief synopsis.
7. Don’t pick fights with people – I only partially did this once (okay maybe it was three times, but who is counting) but have seen it done on many occasions. The times when I didn’t hold my tongue have always come back to bite me on the ass and have hindered my brand and my reputation. Online communities are like small towns and it seems that at some point everyone will know your business. If you have a beef with someone, take it to them directly. If you feel like calling someone out on your blog, you may generate a lot of comments and traffic, but be ready to retract any emotional statements. In one of my more popular posts (and a fun one to write), I talked about this very subject – In My Opinion, Your Opinion Sucks
6. Don’t be a recluse – One of the most fun parts about blogging is being a part of the community. When I first started, I commented on hundreds of blogs. It was a great way to get to know the writing styles of the blogging leaders, lean more about wine, and also introduce myself to a bunch of really cool people. Writing top notch stuff is great and all, and it might get read at some point, but developing relationships, sharing other people’s content, recognizing other’s hard work, and adding to the conversation will build your community quickly.
5. Don’t be everywhere – Focus. I don’t do LinkedIn, Google Wave, Friendster, My Space or many other social networks out there. When I first started in this wine community I joined a few Ning sites that seemed to have quite a few members. Keeping current on all the sites proved to be a challenge. Many of these sites still exist but don’t seem to have much influence on traffic and the community seems less engaged. I learned early on that Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and local networking site, LaunchPadINW were the places to be. Find your niche and excel there.
4. Don’t be hit and miss with your content– If you want to be successful in blogging, you’ve got to have daily content (or near daily). Google likes fresh content and people on social platforms are slutty tramps with ADD (I mean that in the nicest way, so let me explain). There is always a shiny new widget on Twitter and Facebook. Your fans, followers and likers, will quickly find something else to fulfill their reading desires. Staying current on content keeps them coming back and faithful. While I let my streak lapse without any fanfare a few weeks back, I’m convinced that my commitment to content is one of the main reasons for the continued increase in traffic and recognition. If you can’t do daily content, make a goal of 3 times per week or every Tuesday, and stick with it. The same can be said with updating Facebook and Twitter. Develop a strategy and stick with it. Your consistency will pay off.
3. Don’t be elusive – This one is important for folks that are blogging and getting into social media with an agenda. I’ve always been honest about my intentions. When I began, I always informed the wineries, wine bars, and coffee shops I reviewed that I wanted to eventually open a wine and coffee bar. When that goal morphed into a tasting room, I made sure I shared that. While not everyone has embraced those goals, and some still look at me with a skeptical eye, they can’t accuse me of being sneaky or underhanded (well, they can – but would be wrong).
2. Don’t be a conformist – Find your voice and stick with it. I’m not always the greatest writer but I know my strengths and I avoid my weaknesses. You won’t find me producing some technical wizardry like you find on Palate Press from time to time. I am not as quick witted as 1WineDude or connected to the industry as Steve Heimoff. I’ll never give in depth winery analysis like Washington Wine Report. I’ll be me. There are times I’ve posted some serious expose and had to deal with the consequence of people not liking it. I used Twitter to get the media interested in my plight against city hall. Some say, I should have played nice. When I wrote about one wineries unsuccessful attempt to open in the area, I wrote about the irony of the opposition. I was vilified. When I wrote something very sexy about Champagne recently, one person told me I needed to be more careful now that I was a business owner. For me, I think it’s important to stay true to who you are. Keep being you and the people who like you will keep liking you.
1. Don’t have an unorganized brand approach – This is a lesson that I’m continuing to learn and struggle with. When I came out of the gate I wanted to be Nectar Coffee and Wine. I bought that URL and I also bought Drink Nectar. Drink Nectar was unavailable on Twitter, so I did @nectarwine. Over the course of the year, I’ve become the “Drink Nectar guy” locally. My Facebook page is Facebook.com/DrinkNectar. My YouTube channel is Youtube.com/DrinkNectar. Almost daily on twitter, I’m mistakenly referenced as @drinknectar (that account is a dead account with zero tweets). When I went to open a business, I didn’t want it to be called DrinkNectar. This was a huge FAIL on my part that is becoming difficult to correct. I recently decided to RE-BRAND to accommodate the opening of Nectar Tasting Room. Hopefully, after a year of successful re-branding, I’ll have solidified myself as Nectar Wine Blog, Nectar Tasting Room, Nectar Media, and Spokane Wine Magazine. So, in order to avoid the same confusion that I have, I strongly encourage you to think through the aspects of your approach before you get started.
There you have it, 10 blogging mistakes that I’ve made this year. I hope they help you avoid making the same mistakes in your blogging adventure. Now I think I’m going to post this, even though it’s getting close to 6pm.
Have you ever had your material hijacked, stolen or plagiarized? What are your rules for quoting, distributing or sharing your content? In the last week, I’ve been acutely aware of several different types of sites that are thriving on using others content for their own gain (financial and web traffic). Some bloggers subscribe to the Creative Commons thought and others hold to traditional Copyright laws.
How would you feel if a post you wrote about a wine business topic ended up in the next issue of a wine magazine? You might be excited for the exposure, but would you expect to be compensated for your work? At the minimum you would expect to be credited for the article and have your contact information displayed. Chances are the magazine is making money off of you, so payment as a freelance writer would be the norm.
How does this work on the web? As bloggers, we’re often excited to be referenced on other sites and such references are the goldmine of SEO rankings within Google. Circular references and linkbacks (especially on popular sources) are key ways to boost your search engine rankings. Recently, I’ve seen a wave of aggregate sites that capitalize (even prey) on the content from wine writers. In my opinion, some of these models go as far as stealing content. Here is a look at four common uses of your content. How do you feel about these types of sharing sites?
Paper.li sites, while bordering on the spammy, are innocent ways to aggregate content of the people you follow on Twitter. My understanding is that you create categories and content buckets (hashtags) that collect the tweets of the people you follow. These items are posted on a newspaper type page that showcases the content.
- The Pros: Post includes a synopsis with a direct link back to the original content. The Layout is a quick easy read of the articles that interest you. An archive of previous days is easily accessible.
- The Cons: The tweet is not always accredited to the person who wrote the content. I may be sharing something that a fellow writer wrote and the Paper.li will attribute the article to me (at least in twitter image).
Sites like WineBusiness.com and the newly launched Today in Vino attempt to provide a resource of top wine news information. At Wine Business, editors sift through hundreds of daily content items and surface the stories that they determine to be the best. The site has become a trusted industry resource for the best stories on wine. Being featured here can certainly increase SEO rankings and traffic count. Today in Vino syndicates news from top wine blogs but also allows writers to upload their own content. The site allows readers to vote on articles which create a social hierarchy of popular content. Each site provides a direct link back to the source content with only a brief synopsis of information.
“Dear Nectar Wine Blog,
Many of the top Wine blogs have agreed to syndicate their RSS feed to us, and I would now like to request permission to re-publish your RSS blog feed on our web site too.
The benefits to you include…blah blah blah…
Each RSS post we syndicate is headlined with a long-term, one-way, link back…blah blah blah
In short – we provide increased awareness, online marketing, and promotion for your brand, blog, and/or web site.”
Really? It all sounds good but when I went to visit the WineMiles.com site, I was appalled with their model. HUNDREDS of blog posts in their entirety were on their site. An easy RSS feed reader grab results in instant quality content from various sources across the web. While they claim to provide a link back and reference to the original content, with 100% of the post on their site, why would someone want to link back? With full posts from Dr. Vino, New York Cork Report, Washington Wine Report, Vinography, Vinotology, Palate Press, Good Grape, etc – why would I even need to visit their sites? WineMiles has banner ads on their site and is essentially making money off of other peoples content. To their credit when I asked them to limit my content to a 100 word synopsis with a direct link back to the original source, they immediately complied. But, how many of the writers even know about their content here? Do you care? Are you up till 1AM writing to pad the pockets of some lazy aggregator geek? Visit WineMiles.com and see if they are sourcing your full RSS feed.
Site and Content Hijacking
While I’ve yet to discover a blatant theft of my material, I have seen tweets from several friends who have found their content surfaced on other sites with no back reference to the original content. How do you handle these issues? Hundreds of amazing pieces of content are written daily on the internet. More news crosses my “desk” on twitter every day, than I would even care to read in an issue of any major wine magazine. Because this quality content is published online, theft and plagiarism is as simple as a copy / paste. As a community we need to police these types of sites together. What culprits have you seen? Is there a central place we can aggregate offenders? With 500+ wine blogs, the community should ban together to police the theft of content.
Most, if not all of us work a day job and burn the midnight oil with a glass of wine to provide daily and weekly content. The passions and hobbies represent our dreams and creative outlets. The content should be properly represented and credited. I’m hoping that as a community we can police these hijack sights and limit their use of our content.
Wine blogging is a tangled vine of mystery, intrigue, passion, eroticism, and cow horns. Topics like bio-dynamics, Robert Parker’s 100 point system, the use of sulfites and stolen grapes stir the tank of controversy on a daily basis. Once one enters under the canopy of darkness…there is little hope of making it out alive (or at least with white teeth).
Since when did mixing commerce with blogging become the antithesis to credibility? The medium of blogging affords a great freedom in expression and also lends itself to a speed that cannot exist in traditional media. Bloggers were first to respond and report on the Great Grape Caper of 2010 when Grande Reve Mourvedre was stolen. You wouldn’t find stories like, “Steve Tanzer is a Jackass” in Wine Spectator. As the evolution of online publishing continues, many of these amateur bloggers are going “pro.” This begs the question, “Does the addition of commerce lessen the transparency, credibility, and passion of the posts?”
In the wine world, Gary Vaynerchuk sticks out as the John the Baptist who blazed the trail for social media success. The seeming King of All Social Media has built an empire by cashing in on his passion for wine. Many people, yours truly included, have been inspired by his story. Do you trust Gary’s daily Wine Library TV reviews any less because he is a retailer? He certainly seems genuine, and yes a little excited, but he has earned our trust. Bloggers like Joe Roberts (1WineDude) are going pro in 2011. We all followed the journey of Hardy Wallace on his quest for a really Goode job. Does the fact that he was schlepping corporate wine lessen his zany passion? A slew of other bloggers are turning pro:
- Catie McIntyre Walker has turned her alter ego, Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman into Walla Walla’s first dedicated retail wine store.
- Ed Thralls, of Wine Tonite, juked, jived and maneuvered from Atlanta to Santa Rosa by combining his offline talents with his online prowess to land a job at Vintage Wine Estates as the top social media monkey there.
- Rick Bakas spent a very public and prominent 18 months as the Director of Social Media at St. Supery. During his time he grew the brand’s online presence which translated into offline accounts and sales. After writing the book, Quick Bites – 75 Savory Tips for Social Media Success, Rick is now growing his new company, Bakas Media.
- Tamara Belgard (Sip With Me), from Portland OR, started her blogging journey with the goal to visit every Oregon tasting room in a year. The blog showcased her marketing and creative background which eventually led to her being hired by Canas Feast Winery.
- The infamous Seattle Wine Gal (Barbara Evans) successfully leveraged her social media skills to build a brand, generate revenue through events and consulting, and eventually land a job at Seattle’s Think Space.
- Some yahoo from Spokane, WA has taken his wine blog from zero to 60 in just over a year resulting in a regionally focused wine magazine and a brick and mortar wine tasting room.
Yesterday, WineBusiness.com featured a post from one of my favorite wine writers, Paul Gregutt. I consider Paul a friend and a mentor but I also considered a statement he made in yesterday’s post to be a friendly challenge.
“Two leading Washington bloggers – the Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman, and DrinkNectar – have opened up a wine shop (Walla Walla) and a tasting room (Spokane) in the past month. Now that their blogs are attached to commercial enterprises, I wonder what the impact will be? Will their transparency and credibility suffer? Will their blogs become more of a tool for commerce and less of a passionate calling?”
Paul, to answer your question – I am no less passionate about why I started my blog now than 12 months ago. While I may be different than others, I started my blog in the passionate pursuit of branding a business. While sooner than I expected, and also different than intended, those businesses are here. I blog about what I like and I blog from my level of wine understanding. Sometimes my wife will say, “You better be careful,” and more recently someone told me, “Josh, you can’t write those sexual innuendo posts now that you are a business owner.” To that, I say, bull shit. I need to stay true to who I am. If I want to describe a Cabernet Sauvignon as, “Your strong-willed woman who likes to show she is in charge. She likes it hot and when you get her going she’ll let down her hair and show you her kinky spicy side,” then I will.
It’s obvious that some of my blog posts will become commerce related. I will use the platform to keep people updated on the business. I am also committed to continuing the type of posts that I’ve done over the last year. One reason I changed to the blog template that I did is to bucket the articles that I write. The new site allows me to surface content on the home page in the categories that I want (currently Nectar Tasting Room, Wine Reviews, and Social Media). Other posts are categorized by using the navigation menus on the site.
Gregutt’s post was less about bloggers going pro and more about the Hosemaster of Wine’s retirement non-event. For those who tune out mindless drivel, Ron Washam, AKA the Hosemaster of Wine masqueraded as a wine blogger and satirist for a while. His childish humor was often deserving of a mild chuckle but usually left me thinking of the schoolyard bully who couldn’t think of anything clever to say so he rehashed the tried and true comedic sub-plots to garner attention.
Washam, through Gregutt’s post says:
“My hunch is the wine blog world will slowly begin to fade, even now it seems there are fewer and fewer comments on blogs, and wineries will eventually stop giving away wine to nobodies, and Social Media ‘Expert’ will have the same clout as Porn ‘Star’ and wine bloggers will be reduced to the level of hell reserved for Trekkies.”
In my opinion, Washam has his head so far up his hose he can’t tell the difference between a poodle and a pincher. Blogging (whatever version it surfaces as) will fade as soon as people are emasculated of their opinions.
So, Paul , how is that for controversy, passion and transparency. Thanks for issuing the challenge.