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March 11, 2008

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Dear Jason, This is my first visit to your site, so imagine my surprise to be mentioned in your post.

To get right down to it, what is novel about the site the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle recently launched is its networking "backbone." It allows the public to weigh in about what is the news through posting their own blogs, articles, photos and forum remarks. My small role in that effort as a freelancer aims to highlight a wine region that too often gets the short shrift.

I agree with your point that wine writing (and food writing) often runs the risk of being formulaic or just plain dull. I aim to work hard at sidestepping that trap. I know the readers will call me out if I lapse.

Regards,
Sheila Livadas (aka Riesling Rebel)
Freelancer for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Coming at it from a food rather than wine perspective I have to admit to feeling the same sort of blogging ennui. I've read much of the same stuff before - very little is new.

But, and it's a big but, I feel I have let things go - especially in terms of my own cooking. Speaking about my own site I never intended for it to have many restaurant reviews, it was supposed to be about my cooking. But laziness has resulted in me not cooking to the same level have done previously. As a result I feel I *have* to write something, so restaurant reviews are it. It's a dirty secret that I'm trying to address at the moment. Just got to finish off that darned restaurant review first though.

Sheila (Riesling Rebel):

Thank you for taking my reference to your new blog in stride. Most of us will admit that wine blogging is very popular right now and I was expressing my personal opinion that I've hit a bit of an overload recently. Your announcement caught me at the "right" time.

The advent of a quality blog has nothing to do with sequence, so I'm of course hopeful that your blog adds something new and interesting to the mix.

I am curious to see where a forum run by a print news source will go and what resources you can bring to bear that elude many private blogs. I'm not yet convinced a newspaper website--a great source of public information--always lends itself to a productive exchange of private opinion. I hope you prove me wrong and I'm curious to see how you deal with the challenges of a different format.

Best of luck, and keep that riesling under control!

Sincerely,

Jason Feulner

Sounds like wine blogosphere has become over-saturated, lots of copy cats, and there's a need to break away from the crowds. Just need some original ideas, a new burst of energy...

It doesn't matter how many wine blogs there are or how badly they cannibalize each other for ideas, the cream will always rise to the top.

Lenndevours is the only wine blog I read. Not only is it the best and most relevant to me as a Long Islander, but Lenn has something no other blogger could ever duplicate: A Jackson!

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