Thursday, January 04, 2007

What's In Wine Life Today?

Over in the sidebar, you will see a new addition under "Recent Headlines from the Following Blogs": Wine Life Today's Front Page Headlines.

What's Wine Life Today? It's a wine news aggregator and feed service dedicated to bringing you the most up-to-date information that readers of blogs like you find interesting. I have nothing to do with this site, but I visit it regularly.

What's the problem? Very few bloggers are currently using this service. Regular posters include Tom Wark at Fermentation, El Jefe from El Bloggo Torcido, Winehiker, Elsbeth at Escafeld Vineyards, and yours truly.

And it's really very simple to use. Under every post here at Good Wine Under $20, for example, you will see the option to "Toast This!" Clicking on that link will put a link to the post in the Newsroom at Wine Life Today. As others find the story and toast it, too, the story moves from the Newsroom to the Front Page. These updates happen automatically as stories receive votes.

Do you regularly read a blog that doesn't have "Toast It" links, but think a post is great? Simply copy the URL into this form, adding a brief description when prompted you to do so along with the title, and click submit. If you are trying to submit a story that is already in the Newsroom or on the Front Page, it will tell you, so that you can toast it and add votes, rather than duplicating the post. If you've been frustrated by aggregators and social bookmarking sites that are just too diverse to help you find what you are really looking for, I urge you to start reading, toasting, and contributing stories today. You can even subscribe to Newsroom and Front Page feeds if you are a news junkie.

And if you're a blogger, what are you waiting for? Click over to their Blogger Tools and download the code to put a "Toast It!" link on all your posts automatically and help us all to find the content that we are looking for. I submit every story I write here simply by waiting until it appears on my blog, then clicking the Toast It! button to submit the story. You can also automatically post stories via feed (no adverts, though). And unlike some aggregators, only the description and title appear. To read the story, people have to click over to your site so there's no lost traffic and greater opportunities for readers to get hooked on the useful information you provide.

Remember: if you want the freshest news head for the Newsroom. If you want the most popular content, the stories that your fellow bloggers and readers are enjoying, head to the Front Page. See you at Wine Life Today.

13 comments:

Joel said...

Thanks Doc. Wine Life Today was born from the idea that with the proliferation of wine blogs it seemed like citizen journalism had some of the best wine information in it (I hardly read the big pubs now). The blogs pointed out interesting stories, little known wineries, and really scaled up what publications like Wine Spectator are trying to do but can't really do because they're only a few reporters there. I wanted WLT to become a place for the citizen journalist to submit stories and for interested people to get up to date on what's happening. Got alot of time to read? Check the newsroom. Not so much time on your hands? Hit the front page - its only going to have the "popular" topics on it (I see you've picked up on that).

The "Digg" style voting allows some interesting things to happen with wine information. The good information will naturally bubble up to the top!

Thanks for the plug! Cheers!

ryan said...

I agree, Wine Life Today is a great service that more bloggers and non-blogging wine lovers should use. Right now, its most wine blog posts, but also features important wine news from time to time.

I would encourge anyone who finds an interesting wine story to post it on Wine Life Today. Its easy to do and benefits everyone in the WLT community. Its a great application and cant wait until it really takes off.

Dr. Debs said...

Hi Joel. I'm with you, finding my interest in all the expensive mags I subscribe to waning while I head out to the stores armed with really fine recommendations from fellow bloggers and learn about wine from the people actually making it like El Jefe. And I like the idea of the "Citizen Journalist"--that really is what we are, a madcap band of roving wine reporters. You're entirely welcome, and thanks to you for such a great site.

Dr. Debs said...

Welcome, Ryan. I think it will take off this year, if others like you and me find the interface so easy to use. I also find it less overwhelming than some of the other sites out there where simply navigating around the home page gives me a headache, there's so much stuff on it!

ryan said...

Agreed Dr. Debs. Wine Life Today is very user friendly, Joel apparently put alot of time and effort designing a usable interface. I think Digg style sites are going to take off in 2007, with Netscape breaking into the mainstream. Its just a matter of time before they start to get popular in niche markets. Wine Life Today is in a perfect position become popular as the whole digg phenomenon takes off.

winehiker said...

I first became aware of WineLifeToday from Ryan. Because I was already familiar with Digg.com, I found it an easy-to-use no-brainer. But more than that, seeing a digg-style site devoted to wine was a welcome sight. Those that have commented here regularly use WineLifeToday for very good reasons.

Dr. Debs said...

Thanks for leaving a comment, Winehiker! I found it easy, too, since I know digg. All those diggers out there should definitely try it out!

Escafeld Vineyards said...

Hi Dr. Debs, Thanks for mentioning Escafeld! I really enjoy the Wine Life Today site, it's a great service, and clean to use. I hope to see many more contributers there soon.

Dr. Debs said...

Hi, Elsbeth! I just saw that my hotlinks didn't work for you or El Jefe--I'll go fix it. And I'm enjoying your site tremendously. Thanks for coming by.

Sonadora said...

Alright, I am computer stupid. I can't find the code on Wine Life Today to put in blogger...I see it for typepad, wordpress, feed burner, etc....

Someone help the moron out please?

Joel said...

Wow! Thanks to everyone for the kind words. Its taken a while to get the usage up but now that there are several contributors its starting to generate good, useful stories.

Just ask Dr. Debs here. He has a mini "Digg Effect" going on from this very story! ;^)

I'm happy its easy to use. I really tried to make it up complicated and clean up the interface. I hope to upgrade it in the not too distant future with some more nice community features. Who knows, if the wine topic is good enough maybe another tab for "Food" blogs and stories...

Anyway, I really appreciate the kind words from everyone. Its been a labor of love for a while and sometimes that enthusiasm can wane but it helps tremendously to hear its helping others.

Sonadora - you're no dummy. I setup a Wiki with information on Blog Tools because I spent some time trying to figure out the "Toast This!" function. Blogger is not a platform I'm very familiar with but I think its pretty straight forward. Let me look it up and see if I can help here (I looked it up once before, no idea why I didn't put it in the Wiki at that time)...

joel said...

OK, try this help page I just added to the Wiki. If that works, let me know and I'll send out a notification.

Google Blogger VOTE button

The other option is to integrate FeedBurner (as Dr Debs has done here). If you go to Feedburner.com and get your blog going with that then you can follow this Wiki link to get the Toast link.

Dr. Debs said...

Joel, thanks for helping out with Sonadora--her blog is great so we need to give her readers an easy way to toast her success! And I've loved seeing the increased traffic on the site and the new perspectives and stories that have been brought to my attention. Thanks again for providing all of us with such a wonderful resource!