Sunday, December 16, 2012

Some Thoughts For Online Wine Merchants - The Good, The Bad

Every so often I write about wine. Today is a good day to write about wine, because there's only one other thing to think about, one thing on the minds of all Americans, and I need a break from thinking about that for a few moments, even though I know there are over two-dozen families and a community in Connecticut that don't get the luxury of being able to take a break. 

I'm not in the wine business, I don't sell or market wine or have a business interest in a vineyard. I'm what's called "the consumer."

And I know, I'm not the average consumer. For the most part, wine merchants and wine marketers target those that get excited about things that make me laugh. As a sommelier myself and avid collector, I lament the person walking the aisles of the local wine shop just looking at price, label, and how many points, or the person who sends me an email about a wine and says it "looks good" because it's cheap and highly rated. 

I predict based on my unscientific observations that the best selling wine is "under $10 and 'smooth.'"

I want to talk to you - wine industry. I want to tell you some things about consumers like me.  Some good, some bad.

Do what you want with this. My prediction is that you will do nothing because things are good and I'm an outlier.

But here goes:


1. I don't care that the wine is made by "the famed winemaker from _________________." 

The grapes aren't the same. Wine starts with good grapes. I know that, and I know you know I know that, so stop emailing me that the wine is being made by the guy that made a good wine somewhere else. I don't care. Put it in a footnote, casually mention it, but stop using it as a headline.

2. Lot 18, stop emailing me whether I'm "sure I want to skip the (wine)?" It's stalky. If I want to buy it, I will. If you continue to stalk me, I won't, ever.

3. Please check before telling me that Suckling gave it 96 points or that some unknown critic gave it 93 points. 

You all know that is used by people like me to see how a group of different people liked the wine. When you say it's 96 points and 17 people who know wine say it's an average of 87.7, you're done. 

Would it kill you to note what cellartracker says, like does?

4. Wines 'til Sold Out, I have no idea what the "WTSO Member Average" is. Sounds fishy.

5. Invino, your shipping costs are terrible.

6., you need to do more for your Steward Ship people. 

Do you not see we buy more wine based on the yearly fee we pay for free shipping? Do you think we need more weekly emails telling us free shipping folks that you're running a special "one cent shipping" deal?

7. All of you, stop discounting wine to the price for which it normally sells. 

Only idiots don't know that Caymus is about $60. When you sell it for $79 and discount it, you're being disingenuous.

8. Wine Cellarage, you get dumbest move of the year. 

You promoted free shipping to people within three surrounding states to those who bought $500 of wine? Everyone else gets nothing? Unsubscribe, goodbye.

9. Get your inventory together. 

Whatever it costs you, tell me immediately that you don't have the wine, or don't have a case. Don't call me three days later and give me the bad news. Additionally, and I'm talking to you Wine Exchange, another place I'm done with, don't promote a wine you don't have from a distributor you don't know, because when you don't get it and you have more excuses than answers, you lose a customer.

10. Winery notes are meaningless. 

Tell me what you think of the wine as a merchant. Tell me a story about the wine, how you got it, why I should buy it. I'm not buying it because it you tell me what the winery says about how the grapes were planted or the weather. Be more like Dan Posner or Jon Rimmerman (if anyone can write as much as Jon or Nicki).

11. Stop sending me a box of wine.

I will never understand why I receive boxes of wine with nothing but packing and bottles. Wineries are usually exempt from this stupidity as they will include tasting notes, and goes as far as including a coupon for a future purchase.

But I do not understand why the rest of you include nothing? Would a handwritten note of "thanks" kill you? One time I got a note saying I looked you up and see you're a lawyer, my wife's a lawyer too." Silly little note, but it said something about the merchant. If I bought a Napa Cab don't you want to tell me that if I like it, you have another one that I may like as well? Do you not have a corkscrew with your company name on it, a hat, something? Sending boxes of wine with nothing in them is like saying "here." Silly customer retention policy. You're not the only wine retailer - you know that, right?


1., as much as your shipping costs piss me off, I like you telling me that a wine I previously purchased is back in stock. Good move.

2., I noticed that very, very, very, late in the year you started offering specials to Steward Ship members - like an extra day of discounts. Nice gesture.

3., good program of buying and picking up wine at any store, but you need to promote it more as a gift idea.  It's a great gift to tell someone to go by their local Total Wine because there's a gift waiting for them. It gets someone in the store that may not have visited and gives the gift giver a way of getting a bottle of wine in the hands of someone on the same day.

4., I love the new site design.

Love to hear any thoughts you have on the state of wine merchants.  Maybe I missed some good, or bad things, and maybe I need to know about some others out there that take care of their customers.

Anonymous comments are welcome as long as they say something relevant and half-way intelligent and aren't a vehicle for a coward to attack someone. I trust you understand.

Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint. Share/Save/Bookmark

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Where are the Marketers And Tech Hacks On Instagram Leaving Twitter, For Lawyers

As any lawyer who spends any time on the internet knows, there is nothing that happens for which some lawyer marketer or tech hack misses the opportunity to write about how it will affect lawyers. All new electronic devices, all new social networks, and generally anything new that garners attention of more than 35 people, comes with the drumbeat of those hopeful for a few lawyer bucks, that it will have an effect on lawyers. It just will. Just watch. Keep watching.

Don't believe me?

iPad for Lawyers

iPhone for Lawyers

Android for Lawyers

Blackberry for Lawyers

Facebook for Lawyers

twitter for Lawyers

LinkedIn for Lawyers

How Lawyers Can Use Halloween To Get New Business

How Lawyers Would Botch the Zombie Apocalypse

See, there's nothing that can't be related to lawyers.

So over the last couple days I wondered why there was no sounding of the lawyer marketing/tech hack alarm that twitter is no longer allowing Instagram pictures to automatically post.

I know, I know, you're thinking, "what's Instagram?" Well, if that's your question, you are probably not really a lawyer, or even doing anything that doesn't involve making collect calls from a correctional facility. Instagram is very important. It's important because many people use it and say it's important.

Instagram is a program to take and post pictures on the internet. You can also share them and have people share their pictures. You can also follow people and people can follow you. If you are a lawyer, you want people sharing and following. Share, and follow. Just do it.

If you are not taking and posting pictures on the internet, you seriously need help, especially if you're a lawyer. Because Instagram is a social networking site and lawyers who do not participate in social networking sites are missing out. Just trust the marketers on this. If they weren't right, they wouldn't have shut down their law practice to spend their days convincing you that they are right.

Anyway, before today, or yesterday, or whenever, you could take a picture with Instagram, put it up on twitter, and the picture would automatically appear on your status update.

That doesn't happen anymore. Now there is a link, but you have to click on it to see the picture.

Here's more of the awful details:

It used to be that when an Instagram user took a photo and then shared it with Twitter, that photo would show up in the Twitter user's tweet on and Twitter's various apps.

Then, last week, Instagram crippled this feature, only allowing Twitter to display cropped photos.
Today, Instagram seems to have turned this feature off.

(Instagram users can still share their photos to Twitter, but now other users have to click a link in a tweet to see the photo.) Some users are whining about the change.


How dare they call the emotions over the loss of a critical tech feature (for lawyers) "whining."

I know, as lawyers, you're thinking "what will happen to all my clients and my practice?" I'm scared too. What effect will twitter's dis of Instagram have on lawyers, and how we can save our livelihood?

The internet is already raging:

Loren Feldman, who is bald, and not a lawyer (but as everyone else on the internet, keenly interested in everything about lawyers), said this:

Omg no more Instagram photos. Shit just got serious. Man these are crazy confusing times we live in. Why must it be like this? Why?

Chris Taylor (@futureboy on twitter and deputy editor at Mashable) made the relevant point:

Clicked on an Instagram photo in Twitter and had to wait FIVE WHOLE SECONDS while it loaded the page. What is this, the Middle Ages?

I think Chris was being sarcastic, but as you know, sarcasm at a time like this is just bullying.

It's at a time like this when we need a hug, we need to be there for each other. The Atlantic Wire understands this - they have a three-step process entitled:

"How to Get Over the Twitter-Instagram War 

on Photos."

So I ask, where are the marketers and tech hacks when we need them? How will we continue to practice law when we can't directly post pictures from Instagram to twitter?

Help us marketers and tech hacks.


Anonymous comments are welcome as long as they say something relevant and half-way intelligent and aren't a vehicle for a coward to attack someone. I trust you understand. Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint. Share/Save/Bookmark

Friday, December 7, 2012

Meet Marc Romano Of Ignyte, Inc.

Marc Romano of Ignyte, Inc, sent me an email:


Regarding your piece on the future of law being a joke, I and several people who read your piece think that the biggest joke in law at least this week appears to be you. You seem pissed off at something. Everything OK at the office?

Frankly, I'm convinced that you don't know what your talking about and if you're so busy defending peoples rights, where do you find the time to write self serving pieces like this with the intention of degrading others who are delivering great value to the profession. You seem to have impressed a grand total of 23 people who hit the "like" button. Not so good.

In the future, you need to back up your claims with facts supported by credible third parties. The word of Brian and Brian alone simply does not cut it with intelligent people. Then again, maybe that's not your audience.

I have limited time here. I have seven law firms that we're rebranding and several holiday parties to attend in the evening by past clients who simply want to thank us for putting them on a positive path. They are all thriving and focused on the future of their firms as opposed to Brian who is desperately defending the past.

By the way, starting your day at 9:15 is a bit 20th century and not indicative of a very busy schedule. We start our days at 7. We're pretty jammed up.

Kind regards,

Marc Romano
ignyte Inc.
Get ahead. Stay ahead. / / mobile: 1 + 585 469 2132 /

Here's more about Marc:

Judgment against Ignyte, Inc.

Anonymous comments are welcome as long as they say something relevant and half-way intelligent and aren't a vehicle for a coward to attack someone. I trust you understand.

Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint. Share/Save/Bookmark