De Long Wine Moment


September 7th, 2011

The Power of Twitter

First Draft Metro Wine Map of France

From this. . .

The sad reality of twitter is that, despite its obvious utility, most people are there to market stuff. I kind of am as well; which is probably why I’m so bad at it. I never could “work a room”. I’m not really comfortable mixing schmoozing and selling. And I don’t want to be like the annoying uncle who seems to be having a good time at the family picnic but then – the old Jekyll and Hyde – tries to sell everyone a lifetime supply of Amway products.

No, the real power of twitter is in collecting and broadcasting news, events and ideas. It’s really an ultra powerful global version of the police radios that journalists used to use (like Burt Lancaster in the Sweet Smell of Success), but one where everyone can broadcast as well. It played an instrumental part in the Arab Spring. Sadly, your breakfast, what baby got into, announcements of free shipping, catty observations, etc. are not news or ideas. Unless, of course, you’re Ashton Kutcher. What is wrong with us?

Anyway, this is a post about how twitter helped a twitter skeptic like me. On June 27th David Gissen posted a first draft of his wine metro map of France on twitter. I didn’t see it, but Dr. Vino did and forwarded me a link to it. One of the reasons Dr. Vino’s site is the best wine blog is that he uses twitter as a true hunter-gatherer of information relating to wine.

Metro Wine Map of France

to this in 52 days!

Having just completed a wine map of France and being somewhat successful in being able to sell them, I knew I could at least offer David some useful advice. I was able to contact him through twitter messaging; we started a conversation that led to my company publishing his map.

It was my first foray into editing and publishing someone else’s work, and I must say that I’m very lucky that David is so talented. I don’t think it always works this way. The suggestions that I made – adding grape varieties, additional regions, etc – were realized in a way better than I could have imagined. I’m proud of being a part of this fun and interesting project.

It went through about 5 major iterations before reaching its final form, all in the span of 52 days from my initial contact to having the final proof approved at the printers. This must be some sort of publishing record! David is brilliant and I look forward to seeing more great projects from him.

Now that it’s published, twitter has generated a bunch of sales and media contacts, most prominently by the re-tweeting of a post by Dr. Vino after the map was published.

Thank you @100aocs, @drvino and twitter.

  • Eric Lecours

    steve, the metro wine map of france looks extremely useful to students of wine and great fun for enthusiasts. i just ordered one along with your regular France and Italy maps. it takes something that can seem daunting and incohesive (knowing france’s important appellations, where they are located and the grapes used) and organizes it organically and intuitively. i have a number of servers who are studying for sommelier exams. this map should be a great tool to get their heads wrapped around the most important wine producing country, France. très bien fait !

    ps – looking forward to italian version…

  • Steve De Long

    Thanks, Eric! I completely agree that it’s more useful as a learning tool than the regular map.