Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Our Sustainable Future

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

With elected, the world has gained a renewed faith in America. A faith that we understand what needs to be done and finally have the courage to act. To become the change agents that the world needs. We’re no longer afraid of coming together, of breaking cultural, racial, and religious barriers. We’re ready to begin a new age of humanity.

 

For those of you who’ve been reading our blog for awhile, you know we’ve focused on wine as a unifier in the of our lives. We’ve woven it into the core values of economic, social, and environmental health in an effort to exemplify its unifying power. The GrapeThinking passion has always been to create a sustainable world, and we feel the time is now to from our wine roots.

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Ecovative Design Wins PICNIC Green Challenge 2008!

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

I’m so excited for our friends at Ecovative Design. They have recently won the 500,000 grand prize at the PICNIC Green Challenge in Amsterdam a few weeks ago. I’m absolutely ecstatic for Eben and his partners!

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West Coast Green – How my life changed this week

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

West Coast Green conference

Wow, what an excellent conference! A game changer. I have to thank my friends over at Village Green Energy for hooking me up with a free pass. I’ve been so passionate this movement as long as I can remember… ever since 6th grade when I messed around with electromagenetic fields and plants. Early education for me was all ecology and , and that followed with rigorous economics in college, which I didn’t quite understand about myself until now. Having not gone into banking with my degree and now seeing the state of the economy I was like shit… but David Suzuki put it so clearly… it’s (eco)nomics. I can’t believe I never recognized that. I automatically associated economics with the greedy, short-sighted mentality of Wall Street that focuses solely on the bottom line and exploiting the market for cash and egoic status. Yet you realize the bottom line is not the statement of cash flows or the balance sheet… it’s the fuckin planet. Ecology + Economics = . This conference was absolutely buzzing! People were feeling alive and connecting and touching each other like I’ve never seen in my life. We all knew the revolution is ready and about to change the world in a big way.

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Wine Goes Green

Monday, June 18th, 2007

wine-goes-green.pngThis is such an important idea, that I thought it should be followed up with another post, especially just now seeing the cover of the most recent Wine Spectator.

Renewable energies, recyclable supply chains, organic growing methods, and healthy lifestyles are the wave of the future. We won’t just be driving hydrogen powered cars and have our electricity generated from photovoltaic solar panels and off-shore wind farms. Every aspect of human nature is going to change… our habits, our routines, and even our thought processes… systematic instead of linear. Waste management and recyclables will be integrated into every imaginable human system to promote efficiency and productivity, foods will be organic and healthy lifestyles will be promoted, and most importantly, our planet will be cherished instead of cut down, polluted, and destroyed.

And what’s a better place to help start this movement than wineries? They’re some of the most beautiful and aesthetically pleasing locations in the world (just look at the rise in wine tourism) and they create a product that is doctor recommended as good for your health, with red wine having the magical anti-aging component . Check out an old post this: The Human Elixir

Aside from just being a evangelist, (although this revolution will absolutely make the world a healthier, happier, and wealthier place), technologies and is something that wineries should certainly partake in. Not only will investment in sources and eco-friendly farming methods make your winery more profitable and your product that much more natural and tasty, but having the ability to market yourselves as a winery will make you more attractive to your consumers.

When released his movie “An Inconvenient Truth” last year, the trend tipped, making it more than a movement for treehugging hippies and Greenpeace activists. It’s now a movement that everybody is starting to get behind (other than Exxon and other special interested oil companies) all because of the overwhelmingly positive potential of its impact on our world. We’re hopefully about to enter another Golden Age of human civilization and wineries can help lead the way. It makes sense.

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Viral Vines: Setting the Online Market Ablaze

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Viral WinesOne of the most common misconceptions I hear as a web marketer is that an industry, product, or web site is just not viral material. That is to say, the content is so boring, so drab, that it would be impossible to muster up any kind of promotion that would harness the attention of the web. I laugh. I laugh because I want business owners to remember what it was like when they first started – that buzz, that , that creativity and excitement. It is still there, it has just been drowned by years of repetition, monotony and struggle.

The truth is, any site with the right spin can go viral. You will have to be creative. You will have to work. But there is always something interesting enough to drum up that can be turned into a fantastic windfall. We have never run a successful viral campaign that did not bring in so much traffic that the client’s site went down. Below, I go through a comparison of the pieces that make a viral campaign work in terms of starting a bonfire. The analogy bares out well, and provides some sage advice (if I must say so myself) in making a campaign truly work.

1. The Matches:
the initial spark
Without any doubt, this is the most important part of the campaign. Sink or swim, blaze or fizzle, your viral campaign needs substance. Luckily, you don’t have to put two sticks together and rub like crazy, there are plenty of ready-to-run themes that greatly increase the likelihood of a successful online viral campaign.

  1. Bad Customer Service
  2. Incredible Customer Service
  3. PopTechnology: Apple, Linux, Ipods, Ruby on Rails, Nintendo Wii, Gadgets
  4. Amazing Stories, Pictures, or Videos

The question for wineries is always how to include “primed-for-viral” topics into something drastically different from wineries and wine in general. Well, here are just a few grains to get you going

  1. Incredible Customer Service: Customer gets a bottle of your wine at a restaurant complains. Complaint makes it back to your winery. You contact the restaurant to find the customer information and send multiple free bottles to their house.
  2. PopTechnology: Include a Free Ipod Shuffle with a case of wine. The shuffle comes pre-recorded with tasting notes by the winemaker, recipes, and romantic music.
  3. Amazing Stories, Pictures, or Videos: The next time you get a cold storm that freezes some of your grapes and ruins them, run out there with camera and take some gorgeous shots of ice-covered grapes melting in the sun. Put those up on Flickr and watch the traffic come in.

The key here is value. Make your site something people want to see and read. Now that the ideas are rolling, lets start talking turning that match into a bon-fire.

2. The Kindling: superficial burning that light the real flame.
Just like any fire, you can’t go straight to the logs. Well, you could, but your chances of success are greatly impeded. This is where the savvy of internet marketing companies really comes in handy. Here are some tips to help the fire get going…

  1. Profiles with Reputation. Most Web 2.0 communities value User reputation. Users who have been at the site and participated at the site for long periods of time are much more likely to be successful when posting stories than new accounts. Use an old, reputable account to post stories to sites like Digg, Reddit, Netscape, etc.
  2. Link to the Story. Make sure that visitors to your site who are reading the story know that they can vote on it at various web 2.0 sites. Remind them by putting buttons below or beside the story. This is always good for a few extra votes early in the running from your most loyal site readers.
  3. Friends. I am not going to say go get all your friends out there to sign up and start voting for your stories. I won’t even go so far as to say that you should tell friends already on the site to vote for the story. I am going to say that you should make friends on these sites (such as the “Friend” function on Digg) so that they will know when your stories are posted. Moreover, feel free to tell your friends about the story. Some of them may already have accounts at web 2.0 sites, and you have now earned an extra vote or two.

3. Firelogs: keep that fire burning long
The key to long-lasting virals is that they must be RESPONSIVE. While most viral campaigns at least leave up the comments section so that users can state their opinions, a truly responsive campaign will keep folks coming back for weeks. Let’s say that you are running a viral based on gorgeous photography you have of your vineyard. Make sure in your post that visitors know that “more pictures are coming soon”. Ask them if they know any tips for “taking nature shots without getting overwhelmed by the sun.” People need a reason to keep coming back, and setting up a responsive viral will accomplish just that.

4. Suffocation: Preventing your story from burning out fast.
The most common problem with a viral campaign is early suffocation. In the same way that not enough oxygen is getting to your bonfire for it to burn, a viral campaign needs steady or above-steady growth to sustain itself. Once it loses its edge, it becomes very difficult to push through. This leads to several very important, key factors in a successful viral.

  1. Keep your site up: Contact your webmaster / hosting company well in advance and let them know your intent on running a campaign. Figure how much it will costs to keep that web site up when the onslaught of traffic comes. Pay it. If your site is down for 2 hours in the middle of a viral, you can count all your precious efforts good bye.
  2. Don’t over do it: Don’t spam the web 2.0 site with multiple stories on the same thing – I haven’t found a business that could stand more than a viral a week, much less one or more daily. Your site can’t handle it, and users will catch on really fast.

5. Gasoline: Artificial ways to boost your viral campaign
Covering a bonfire in gasoline works. You will get huge flames. And third degree burns. And a felony conviction for starting a forest fire. In the same manner, you can purchase votes from sites, get your friends to all sign up and vote, you can do almost anything you want. You will get caught, it will get out of hand, and you will have huge PR clean up job to handle. Imagine those million potential customers turning into an angry mob. It’s kinda like that. No. It is exactly like that.

Hopefully this will put some ideas into your head about how to use viral marketing effectively for your winery. There is no easier, cost-effective method of developing brand recognition. It is time to join the revolution. Great wines, viral vines.

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