trade information

How About “Valid” Flow of Information for a bona fide Food, Wine and Hospitality “Industry” in North America in 2014?

And Wednesday is here. My days are no longer days or nights. It is dark now and I have been up for several hours, commuted over 30 miles and early for work. I crashed here where I can type a note quickly. Since my new routine allows me to do more than I did which is more than what an average person does, I now have more time to dig into wine. And? I was riding the train and since I am very used to following technology news, I not only have blogs of value that are well-established and efficient hence easy to follow and be informed but also I can use more novel means of acquiring information such as video and audio. I have a Youtube account dedicated to such technology broadcasts which are also part marketing by established news agencies BUT do provide accurate and timely information. I was curious today and tried to add wine into this Youtube just to see the effects. Nothing. The Sommelier affiliations I have? Major wine publications? They barely led anywhere. Even local popular magazines which can have timely info barely have any leads. What does all this mean? They are so primitive or backward?

I like to think they refuse to divulge information unless is being sold. Marketing is a low priority. Local news of value to the wine trade is available in the resources that sell them! The same can be said of others. This is not an article about criticizing such venues but to ask where is one to receive information of value besides Decanter emails? I like to think we are so advanced in 2014 that I can dedicate one of my tablets to technology activities AND acquire a second tablet which may be used daily once or two or three times weekly for the purposes of gathering all incoming leads, news and so on BUT do these sources exist? If I were to take a simple step of acquiring a tablet and installing a RSS reader would I be able to receive whole and valuable (garbage is endless in this business) industry and trade information by adding say 8 to 12 blogs? Logically, I should be able to click my RSS Reader app icon daily as I have done for technology forever on my tablet and flip through the articles of recent that have value and bother to stop and read as much of what gets my attention before moving on! Shouldn’t I? I don’t think so. I think one reason is those who gather and provide news and information as third party are interested in “selling” them and have no interest in “informing” the trade or individuals in trade. I also think the organizations and institutions which are in the relevant businesses are only fronts for powerful people and money in the business until go out of business hence information is not their business nor is “industry.” I like to think that it is a responsibility of major publications to have at least one solid blog that pushes the most needed news AND skips the masses of garbage (that probably are created by them also) from this flow. I also think the bodies that operate in the field “assuming” an industry exists in some form beyond the facade and the businesses pretending ought to have some way of timely publishing their angle of the top or valuable news. Court of Master Sommelier? Wine and Spirit Trust? That is a random throw of the many bodies in business. If there is an industry also in existence there has to be a routine publication including “industry” needed information and news. Decanter is not IT. An entire industry cannot be run by tidbits thrown at us by one magazine. I like to think it is a duty in 2014 for those organizations and institutions which get so much out of this business to run a daily “original” blog of news and information no matter how brief or infrequent as long as is informative and valuable so if there is an “industry” out there and individuals whom are not wrongfully an “industry” structure is in place, what is worth knowing will be available. Two conditions must be met in this pursuit. If information is to be sold which may be necessary, a free version MUST exist or this is not beneficial for an industry and benefits the buyers and sellers only. Secondly, the format is very important or these contents are worthless. Many blogs, publications and sources provide the information but the format and the packaging of information together with all the garbage included in this flow of information make it impossible to make any use of the info. In a way, it would be disturbing to have a solid, clear and collective flow of valuable, accurate and mildly biased information and news of the industry in one place as say a RSS Reader. One step further would be video clips when worthy hence enhancing the value.

There are those who argue no “industry” exists and a bunch of traders with the most money hold everyone from employees to public hostage by their activities and provide “fake” versions of what may be needed from products, organizations, marketing to what you may name so it appears this Special Interest is really a solid, organized and healthy industry of many trained and qualified men, women and organizations doing what a healthy industry does. I agree and disagree but probably is the best description of Food, Wine and Hospitality in United States during the first two decades of 21st century. How about violating this standard? There are enough independent organizations and bodies and persons whom can initiate or clean up what is already available hence making the flow of information practical and useful and we have a new level of organization for what we have in place. It may be a fake “industry” and a solid coalition of businesses with no interest in an “industry” but in financial transactions short and long terms but we can operate another level on top of this by having many “valid” flows of information for the sake of information. An “industry” man or woman would be able to participate and be in tune with the “industry” that fights to exist beyond the controls of “profiteers” and we would in time have some level of organization that functions for more objectives than money changing hands or bank accounts. I think a multi-billion dollar industry needs such a basic level of activities to be flexible through times. People who are on the same page of what is going on in the industry form a group that has effect on the industry. Today, this is only insider experts or those who can “buy” information. A system of “valid” and “current” resources of flowing information would put the majority or large portions of those in the “industry” that is suppressed on the same page hence they have more effect and hopefully the common cause of a healthy “industry” will stand better chance of success against its own troubles.

How about that?

22 Jan 2014 7:30 am Downtown San Francisco, California