Archive for the ‘websites’ Category

Expensive looks

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Here is a showcase of winery websites. It is a pleasure for the eyes. I have two remarks.

It takes money

beautiful mooseI fail to note a little winery in the list. This might be because only the big operations can afford to pay for web development.

Firms pay for looks

Conversely companies pay for a beautiful picture. It seems many big wineries buy projects on their visual appeal and not on their usability. The side effects include:

  • bad navigation,
  • lack of search functionality,
  • hardly readable content,
  • loading problems,
  • uselessness on mobiles.

There should be a user department in companies. What do you think?

Overhaul of the food engine

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

You can query the search engine with the box at the top of any page. Some people already do on a regular basis.

I have worked long to improve this web engine. And the new version is now running! The primary difference is the migration from the Google index to the Yahoo! index. I will not detail how Google was not so good. Instead I’ll explain how the new version is good.

Related searches are suggested, in the food and wine domains.

The results shown come from a wide spread of sites. It is not restricted to well known websites. Some blogs from the Cellarer community show up — much more often than on mainstream search engines.

The catalogue of returned websites is very varied. It also includes recent sites.

The look and feel is beautiful and easy to use. Try it!

In one month, I’ll explain how you can do the same.

The 8 sites that come up to dominate wine readership

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Here is the quarterly ranking of web sites. Webmasters need not apply as the contest includes all sites. The table shows only the 140 ‘best’ — ‘best’ is evaluated with public website metrics. These permit to include all sites — not just blogs.

Herebelow is a story of the poll and an analysis of the results.

A comprehensive pool of candidates

Crowd of competitorsI have again expanded the set of websites that I retrieve metrics for. Their number has grown to 340 now. This list is close to being complete: it includes almost all the websites that qualify.

Better data

The number of processed sites has grown as indicated above. Furthermore the measures are improved too.

The value of traffic used to be approximative. I have improved this metric by dampening the data for all sites. The traffic figure is now fully operative: the real (private) traffic figures are not extremely far from those publicly displayed. Only rarely will a blogger complain.

Individual movements

Some sites are no longer showing. In general this is not because they are lacking in any way. It is only because of the growth of the competing pool.

Other sites have made a strong impact this quarter. The values (the dollars worth) that augmented most were those of:

These sites currently enjoy public recognition and more readers. The sites that exploded this past 12 months were:

Fortunately there are many other authors for you to read. Discover them by going through the list.

How to participate

Websites are automatically included in the contest as soon as I learn of their existence. To be eligible to the next issue of the Cellarer wine directory, the below conditions must be met:

  1. The main topic should be wine.
  2. Producing estates and wine sellers are excluded. Some of them run wonderful websites but the type of information is different.

If you disagree with the directory criteria, please comment below or e-mail me.

You can follow the directory evolution by subscribing to the feed on websites blog RSS.

Once the above conditions are fulfilled the websites are also considered for addition to another tool: a search engine dedicated to wine and food.

Elsewhere

There is a complementary contest: the American Wine Blog Awards. It has a focus on US blogs and uses some subjective judgment by peers. The purpose is entirely different to that of the Cellarer ranking, which automatically includes all sites and is limited only by publically available data (which mostly is not directly influenced by peers). Tom Wark announces the American Wine Blog Awards every year in March.

The ecosystem of wine websites

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

I enjoy reading websites about wine; I came to discover that there are a lot of good ones. This article is a resource for you to find interesting sites.

I have performed website appraisal on 310 sites and I have ranked only the 130 ‘best’.

Herebelow is an analysis of the results.

The big guns

Two Fort Riley soldiers compete in the 2005 Best Ranger CompetitionThe traffic levels are very much below those of mainstream operations.
Yet a few sites dominate the pack. This is partly due to their early appearance on the Web (Wine Spectator, Wine lovers page). It is also partially because they have the weight of offline publications behind them (Wine Spectator, the New York Times, Wine Advocate, Dr. Vino).

In the last few years a few authors made their way to the top. One is Gary Vaynerchuk. He steadily rose by virtue of:

  • producing consistently good content that people want to consume;
  • and being regularly cited by their peers.

Diversity

The recent holiday season has clearly favoured these big site brands. You can expect challengers to rise in the next installment in April.
In the last few years the web offer has immensely diversified. Everybody and their wine supplier now has a blog. There now are many quality wine critics who comment on line. Some belong to the mainstream media, others not. You can have your voice too and this is good for everybody — except some big wine brands.

So go on a reading journey by browsing the list of 130 best wine sites.

How to participate

Websites are automatically included in the contest as soon as I learn of their existence. To be eligible to the next issue of the Cellarer wine directory, the below conditions must be met:

  1. The main topic should be wine.
  2. Producing estates and wine sellers are excluded. Some of them run wonderful websites but the type of information is different.

If you disagree with the directory criteria, please comment below or e-mail me.

You can follow the directory evolution by subscribing to the feed on websites blog RSS.

Once the above conditions are fulfilled the websites are also considered for addition to another tool: a search engine dedicated to wine and food.