There’s an interesting article over at BusinessWeek about Wine 2.0 that features many of the sites linked on my right sidebar. In the year that I’ve blogged about Wine 2.0 I have often wondered who will break out and become the “Facebook of Wine.” Since wine is a social beverage, I reasoned, someone would create a site that would combine Web 2.0 with wine and create a social network around this concept.
But this has not happened. Today we have about a bunch of wine social networks all fighting for attention. The only ones that have built any critical mass are WineZap, Snooth and Cork’d/Wine Library TV. And it’s not clear if any one of these will break out of the pack and become the de facto Facebook of Wine. Right now I think that Facebook itself stands as much chance as any Wine 2.0 sites but it will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few months. I expect to see consolidation in this space and one or two leaders emerge.
Check out the article here and slideshow profiles of some of the leading Wine 2.0 sites here.
I agree, I think Facebook perhaps stands the best chance of becoming the Facebook of wine…funny, no mention of Cellartracker in the article (unless I overlooked it, which is possible since I skimmed it). My guess is that Cellartracker has more regular users than all the other Wine 2.0 sites combined.
Steve Bachmann says
How do you define critical mass? Web traffic, employees, revenues, registered users? Most of the pure 2.0 players have little of any of these. A social network is ultimately only valuable if it can be monetized, whether through advertising revenue, ecommerce transactions or something else.
The comment from Jill about Facebook itself being the Facebook of wine has a ring of truth to it. Ultimately, individuals will not want to maintain multiple “friend networks” so leveraging the “winner” (i.e. Facebook or someone else) rather than creating one from scratch makes more sense to me. That’s why Vinfolio recently launched its first Facebook widget and will do more. Here’s a link to a recent blog post of mine in The Wine Collector about our Facebook widget: http://www.vinfolio.com/thewinecollector/2007/12/new-my-vincellar-facebook-widg.jsp
Thanks for your thoughts, Jill and Steve.
I think Facebook or some other general interest social network will be the winner as wine is too niche for widespread adoption.
That’s why I think the smart folks are using Facebook apps to extend their reach into the places their customers are now and not forcing them to join yet another social network. I like what you are doing in this regard, Steve.