Getting into the Real World!

Photo courtesy of Melinda Joe
Photo courtesy of Melinda Joe

Welcome to our website 2.0 and my first blog! First of all I want to talk about Web 2.0. Many of you will know what that is – and many won’t. So here’s what I think it is… the second generation of the World Wide Web that moves away from static content to something that is dynamic and can be shared. It’s a move to collaboration and interaction – it’s the way the world is right now! The move to Web 2.0 has an almost cult-like feel and applications such as Facebook and Twitter are a testament to this. (By the way, Misha’s Vineyard is using both of these currently.)

Web 2.0 has changed expectations of consumers – and it has changed the way producers now need to run their businesses. Social networks and blogging tools get people closer to their customers – they can help you create a community. We all know that word-of-mouth is the best recommendation for products. Social media is sort of the same – it’s like word-of-mouth too – but to more people and a lot faster. So what’s not to like!

Our first website was a rather static affair but was done with the best intentions. We learned that Singapore as a wannabe cool, hip, trendsetter type of country, decided that prisoners at Changi Prison should have options other than working in a bakery or the laundry. We were able to commission a group of prisoners working in the Digital Media workshop section of the prison to do our first website. It wasn’t bad at all – but done in Flash so updating was not possible and there were lots of other issues with people not being able to search for content in the website.

Now we have launched Misha’s Vineyard website 2.0 – which is more interactive with podcasting (via videos we will post on U-tube) that will show what’s happening on our vineyard, links to our social networking sites on FaceBook and Twitter, our own forums for staff that work (and have worked) on our vineyard, a forum to share wine experiences, a forum for food and wine matching, and of course the very first step into any 2.0 world – a blog!

So that now explained, and in keeping with my theme of “getting into the real world” – we are also getting into the real world of actually selling wine! After 8 years of “the vineyard project” it is now real not a project but a real business and I have now attended my first real wine show! The picture below was taken by a pal, Melinda – whom I met on Twitter ! Melinda writes a blog from Japan on sake, food and wine and she attended the New Zealand Wine trade event in early June at the Marriott Hotel in Tokyo’s Ginza district and came to meet me (after lots of tweets between each other) and tried our wine. There is no 2.0 way of trying wine – it needs to be done the old-fashioned way!

My buddy Sarah Mayo from Singapore (, flew to Tokyo to help me on our table. Thank goodness she did! She has enough Japanese to have conversations with people (which helped enormously) but we were so busy on our table that we ended up having to also recruit an official translator at the event, as well as Kiyotomi-san from NZTE Japan to help us pour wines for the crowds!