Although I've known about the Wine Bloggers Conference, up in Walla Walla this year, (weird name!) and have known about their scholarship opportunities for us burgeoning bloggers, I hadn't applied until today. Why? I didn't think I should! I've got all of 22 entries and eight followers of this blog, hardly numbers worth mentioning. But what starts as a trickle may turn into a torrent and that's what I hope for. Being able to attend this Conference would be so amazing for me, it could change how I write, what I write about, maybe even where I write about it! Think of the implications, for they are vast! (said with not a hint of sarcasm)
While I might be suffering from delusions of grandeur (and most likely I am), in all seriousness I'm writing this mainly to get my thoughts onto the screen. I'm straight up nervous about submitting my application, this is something I really think benefits all bloggers and will hugely help people who are just starting out writing about wine. What I mean to say is that there are tons of better qualified people who've been applying for the limited funding available, just to get the chance to take some real knowledge away from the event. It's going to be pretty epic, the even that will stick inside our brains for years to come.
The skills, tips, secrets and wine will make indelible impressions upon the newbie-bloggers out there. This is part of why I'm so incredibly stoked on this event. For me, if I get a scholarship, it's a way to channel my passion for wine into something more tangible. You know, like a JOB in the wine business? (Seriously I want one..) Words are critical in how we get the message out, how we get people to build within themselves then excitement we feel. While there does rage a debate on whether the blogosphere will yield any positive results for wineries in terms of bottles sold, I'm firmly of the belief that it will. It's simple, my generation (Generation X/Y, since I'm borderline) will increasingly turn to more "casual" reviewers, ones they do not perceive to be out to make an name or buck for themselves. Call it a new form of social equity if you will, but the perception is that we bloggers are trying to give back.
That phrase hits the nail on the head, because really, we as bloggers are trying to give back something from which we've derived so much. That is to say, we feel that our experience has been so rewarding and enlightening that paying it forward is the right thing to do. We recognize the new world order, where people google things instead of using the Yellow Pages. We also recognize that content is king, and putting out quality content gets you noticed by your friends, their friends, their friends friends. See where I'm going with this? To bring it home, bloggers are going to be a big part of the wine world (and the rest of the world too) and therefore we need events like the Wine Blogger's Conference to stimulate us, enlighten us and encourage us to keep making contributions to something we're obviously so passionate about!
So again, I'll link up the Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship website and also of course, the Wine Bloggers Scholarship website to get you to visit it. Please if you can, donate, or at least visit and comment. Please keep reading wine blogs, be they established writers like Tom Wark or people getting into it like Emma Criswell. It keeps us going, motivates us, and makes our lives better because of our passion for wine and mainly, because of your response to that passion.