February 19, 2006

your sexy little cutting-edge blogware app has no excuse

[Shel Israel and Robert Scoble, co-authors of "Naked Conversations".]

The big Web 2.0 event of the week was, of course, the launch party of Robert and Shel's book, "Naked Conversastions", over at Michael "Techcrunch" Arrington's house. Flickr photo links here and here.

Something tells me this was more than just another Geek dinner. As Dan Farber wrote in ZDnet:

TechCrunch leads Silicon Valley Web renaissance.

The party atmosphere reminded me of the good old Internet days, overflowing with new ideas, optimism, and enthusiasm.

Of course, I would have loved to have gone. That being said, that didn't stop me from getting 10 cases of Stormhoek sent over for the party. Michael was very kind:

I also want to specifically mention Stormhoek, who donated ten cases of their premium wine to the party. It is incredibly good wine, and their generosity in sending it has made me a lifetime customer.
Jeff Clavier was also there, and he ended up writing a nice review of it as well.
Both whites were fresh and pleasant, the Pinot Grigio being off dry and the Sauvignon Blanc having the dry and floral typical characteristics of that varietal.
Meanwhile, George Nimeh has done a stellar job figuring out my Stormhoek marketing strategy:
You can't buy the kind of endorsement that Michael gives Hugh and Stormhoek, because everyone knows the deal. It is, for lack of a better word, cool. The relationship is transparent, and that matters. We all know what Hugh is up to, but that's ok. That's the way it should be.

In other words, honest transparent marketing and communication just plain works.

I personally don't have a problem with bringing the dreaded "marketing" word into the Web 2.0 space. This isn't 1998. Our kind, understanding VCs aren't going to give us $20 million dollars to spend on TV spots. Whatever product or conversation we're bringing to the Web 2.0 party, be it software, hardware, wine, Aeron chairs, real estate or whatever, we're all going to need really amazing marketing, if we're going to survive.

And hey, if a $10 bottle of obscure South African Wine can make a decent go of it, then your sexy little cutting-edge blogware app has no excuse. Rock on.

[MORE LINKS:] Robert Scoble writes about the party. So does Rick Segal [hilarious and sharp; recommended], Brian Oberkirch interviews Shel and Robert for a podcast.

Posted by hugh macleod at February 19, 2006 5:53 PM | TrackBack

It was a great party. My one regret is that people drank all the red. I was supposed to get a third of whatever was left over. The Strmhoek is really great stuff, Hugh. Thanks for you role in putting this celebration over the top.

Posted by: Shel Israel at February 19, 2006 7:12 PM

Thanks Shel... btw... is that a glass of Stromhoek in your hand, in the above photo? ;-)

Posted by: hugh macleod at February 19, 2006 7:59 PM

Huh ? Sorry Shel, I was supposed to get the leftovers for Mashump Camp :-). Well, there were none so...

Posted by: Jeff Clavier at February 19, 2006 8:14 PM

i just spilt some of the remaining Stormhoek sav blanc onto my keyboard while reading this ;)

Posted by: Nik Cubrilovic at February 19, 2006 8:44 PM

Jeff, zing me an e-mail if your wine supply runs short... Cheers!

Posted by: hugh macleod at February 19, 2006 8:45 PM

So how do us non-geek-dinner-attending U.S. residents get our hands on some of that Stormhoek-ey goodness?

Posted by: Scotty at February 20, 2006 12:22 AM

Interesting to note how an "obscure" south african wine is now referred to as a "premium" wine on an influential bloggers site. There's lots of specious hand-wringing going on at the moment about whether the net should be fact-checked etc, but in the real world you can't argue with the way this has shifted the Stormhoek image and the fact that this repositioning in old marketing parlance will be broadcast far and wide online.

Posted by: john at February 20, 2006 2:09 PM

Extending the theme a bit, this story was up on memeorandum. So someone like me, interested in a cutting edge blog-ware app, learned about the hot new wine making it's way around the geek-blogosphere party circuit. Dude, that is so web 2.0!

Posted by: Chip.Otob at February 20, 2006 4:50 PM

slightly less obscure now. In the UK, the average bottle of South African wine sells for under GBP 3.50/bottle, Stormhoek sells for 5.99 to 6.99. Stormhoek IS premium. It's just that South African's haven't learned to charge like the folks from Napa.... yet.:)

Posted by: jason at February 21, 2006 1:27 AM

Wow! No comments! Me thinks they protest too much.

Posted by: Slav at March 1, 2006 9:32 AM