I’ll start back after a bit of an unintended blog hiatus with a simple request to Wine 2.0 tasting notes site entrepreneurs.
Please either publish an API to your tasting notes feature or build a WordPress plug-in so I don’t have to cut and paste my reviews into your site.
Whoever delivers this first will be the exclusive site for republishing my reviews for a period of time. This is my main gripe about all these sites as it creates more work for me. I’d rather create more content than spend time pasting it into other site(s).
I’m even open collaborating with a site in order to build such a plug-in (yes, I have decent php coding chops). What I want to do is publish the review here and have it tagged in such a way to automatically be imported into your site in my ‘winecast’ account. Microformats would be a nice touch, but not required in the first release.
BTW, I have about a hundred unpublished tasting notes that I will be posting on a more or less daily basis this summer starting today. I’m planning on tasting quite a bit more this summer on a few road-trips but that’s a post for another day 😉
Let me offer a different perspective on your dilemma.
hReview + RSS = Tasting Note API
Rather than writing TNs on your blog and pushing them into other TN sites, why can’t these sites pull your TNs using the RSS feed that your blog already provides? Besides RSS, the other key piece that makes this all work is the hReview microformat. So long as your TNs are formatted using hReview, any TN site can pick up your TNs in your feed, parse them into whatever format/structure they need, and reference them on their site.
In fact, this is precisely what Scrugy has been doing for the last several months and has accumulated nearly 150K TNs so far. Granted most TNs that I come across aren’t formatted using hReview so I can’t glean as much detailed info as I could otherwise but this should illustrate the potential of this approach. Currently only Cork’d and Winelog.net are using hReview to format their TNs.
So in my mind what really is missing here is a WordPress plugin (or a tool that let’s you add a TN to your blog) that formats your TN using hReview.
I’d be willing to cruft up a blog posting tool that does just this, if you’re game. Let me know.
OK, James you are on for the WordPress hReview plug-in. I’ll send you an email with what I have done so far and maybe we can cobble something together. Hope Cork’d and Winelog can then just subscribe to my feed to ingest but how they associate my reviews to my accounts on those sites might be an issue.
Thanks Tim for bringing this up. I’m really tired of the disconnect between blogging and notetaking. I find that CT does a nice job of giving me output to embed in my blog, but the fact is, I don’t always enter my notes because of the extra steps involved. I can go even one better for all of the winegeek/programmers out there. Why doesn’t someone make a Twitter, only for notes? With desktop apps/widgets that make it easy to just quick pop a note in. Then it would pan out through all the sites that I choose to send it to. All my TN acccounts could scrape it, it would automatically go on Catavino.net and anywhere else I would want it to go….Thoughts?
Wow, great idea Ryan!
Perhaps something could be cobbled together that supports hReview and has all the fields we would want for wine reviews and allows for auto-posting to all the major blogging platforms (WordPress, TypePad, Blogger, Drupal, etc.). Sounds like another Wine 2.0 start-up 😉
Hope one of the existing notes sites takes a look at something like this as they have 60% of what we want right now… anyone there have any ideas?
Philip James says
The hReview/RSS method is probably the least effort all round and would work well. The bloggers would need to use the tags, and the review sites would need to keep a list of rss feeds to parse, but thats pretty simple on both ends. Good idea James.
As for associating with existing user accounts – that would just need to be done the 1 time (by hand), and so isnt that much effort for us either.
Looking forward to seeing this in action and hopefully adopted by others.
Thanks for dropping by; I really like what I see at Snooth. If you could just add an RSS feed field to your account preferences and associate all reviews coming from that feed to my account that would be ideal. The only issue is normalizing my 100 point reviews to your 5-glass system which should be easy enough if I present you with hReview in my feed.
Alternatively, just add an RSS feed from my reviews that presents back the entire review and I’ll subscribe to that and post back to my feed here via cron. Your super simplistic approach is very appealing compared with the 2-3 click alternatives.
I think scores need to be thought about a lot. It’s a subject people have strong feelings on and if the social sites work, then they won’t matter that much in the end. My thought being that if a site is recommending wines based on TN descriptors then the scores will fade into the background.
Anyways for converting scores, I love this chart: http://www.delongwine.com/news/2006/05/09/how-we-rate-wines-and-other-things/
I’ve used it many times…
Jason Coleman says
Great great great all around.
What makes sense to me is to enter the tasting note at one of the tasting notes sites and then aggregate them to the blog. (I think Tim was hinting at this.)
That way we don’t have to reinvent the wheel in terms of data entry UI in the WordPress plugin. It’s already there at the TN site. Plus it’s less than trivial for anyone but Snooth and Scrugy (and even them actually) to figure out what wine you are talking about in your blog post, especially if we don’t have it in our database yet.
Also, this seems to be the standard for blogs. You don’t for instance ask del.icio.us to query your blog daily to figure out what you’re linking to. You “log” your bookmark at del.icio.us and have it aggregated on your blog.
To this end, I’ve fixed our RSS feeds on wine logs to include notes and comments. I may update them yet again to include more information about the wine (varietal, region, etc). What fields are important to you guys?
You are right that my post was to get folks like you to make it easy to use your tool and republish to my blog. Please do so and Winelog will be the place I post my tasting notes.
But I also think there is value in bloggers publishing reviews in hReview for sites like Scrugy and Snooth to index so I’ll be working on a wine-centric plug-in for WordPress.
To answer your question, the following are the fields I’m interested in and will implement in my hReview plug-in:
Designation (e.g. Vineyard, Reserve)
Rating (1-5 stars) <-- This is the current scoring mode in the existing plug-in Score (50-100) <-- I'm going to add this but it might not make it into my first release Thanks for everything you are doing at Winelog, Jason!
Wondering if you ever got anywhere with this. I have just moved to keeping everything in cellar tracker, but Snooth is much easier to integrate my site to. I’m using google’s blogger, not wordpress, but if you have had success integrating to the snooth API to do notes, i would love to hear your experiences. Ideally I would have a site or an iPhone app that I could enter a TN and have it go to Cellar Tracker and Snooth. I think the hardest part would be successfully finding the wine on both sites, followed by the grunt work of integrating to whatever APIs are out there.
Nope, there are still no WordPress plugins or mobile apps that really do what I would like. I’m looking to define specs and find a developer so I can post up reviews without the cut and paste and then getting the affiliate links manually. Should be a lot easier than when I wrote this post as the API’s have matured. I’ll keep you posted on what develops.