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August 03, 2011


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Nice post.

I just don't know...

I make my living designing solutions at the intersection of commerce and community.

I spent the first half of career in gaming.

So I'm not a naysayer by any degree.

It might work certainly but I don't believe that this is the big frontier for the wine world.

For something that so many are so passionate about and with such a lack of community and referral systems and databases...is this the big connector?

I'll be happy (and try this out) for anything that rises from the happy demise of the Parker point scale that works.

Maybe...as long as it connects.

Platforms and social games work when they give expression to behavioral needs. I'm on the fence whether this is the need that is itching to get fulfilled.

Arnold - I understand your skepticism, and I would just say that I'm deeply impressed with Paul and the VinTank team's research and work ethic. They're willing to fail, but they work hard to avoid it.

That said, I wonder if you're not exactly the target audience for this kind of thing. Perhaps you are. Reading your blog, I tend to think probably not. But I'm often wrong.

I think VinPass needs to list the Rewards that people receive for acquiring Passes. Right now, people are in the dark as to what they might receive. If they complete a Pass, but hate the Reward, that could turn them off to the whole idea of VinPass. And if the Rewards are enticing enough, that could attract more people, and not just those new to wine.

Evan...thanks for the response.

I'm not at all negative about this just sharing my thoughts.

And I'm certain that I'm not the audience, but our readers are I would bet. I will support the app and write it up once I play with it.

We can (but won't) have a long discussion about why Zynga was built and works. Or about the behavior of badges in check in apps.

I just believe that the majority of the wine drinking market do love wine and want nothing more than to feel comfortable buying it. Somewhere in there lies the motivation to connect and play and share.

But hey...we shall see.

Evan - thanks for the informative story. I've been curious about adoption of the game so hope you'll update us on that too.

It's great to know that a good idea can also be well executed.


Evan - thank you for a kind article and participating in VinPass.

To give you some stats:
Over 9K people have played the game generating over 41K tasting notes and almost 400K impressions of the passes and it is only going to get better as we add more platforms (remember VinPass is just a game layer within the apps).

To Richard's points - we definitely are experimenting with all kinds of things, game dynamics, presenting the rewards earlier, marketing the game within the apps differently, communications to the players, etc. All of it is learning so we can better serve wine consumers and help stimulate learning through experience.

PS - the best two places to play VinPass are on Drync's iPhone app or Winelog.net

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