About a year and a half ago I was totally over Twitter. When I say “over it”, I mean So Over It that I couldn’t even get Into It. Twitter was new, I didn’t know many people using it, and all the twits and tweets seemed so utterly self indulgent… some would say, many still are. To make matters worse, my husband is an EEO (early, early, adopter); if he can beta test something, he will. So when Twitter came along, he was pretty excited.
Like many others, I didn’t really get the relevance of Twitter. To some extent I thought it was a prime display of insecurity via the Look at Me channel. As someone who really struggled with the decision of whether or not I should even enable comments on my blog, Twitter was a real challenge.
I saw it as a one-on-one activity (i.e. person – device) rather than a one-to-many relationship via the device. Face to face conversations were interrupted by regular mobile beeps alerting a DM (not a Deep and Meaningful, but rather a Direct Message), and in one instance I was even woken up at 3am no less, by a message alert on my partners phone. Needless to say, it didn’t help the cause.
Within six months though, I’d started using Twitter in a sort of if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em response. I started to like it and even got to know some people better than before.
Getting a Second Life
Then one day about eight months ago, via a chance meeting in Second Life, I met a fine chap by the name of Hugo Sharp. Hugo and I got chatting as I stopped to alleviate a case of flight induced kinetosis. While he was having incredible trouble figuring out how to sit on a seat, I felt like I was about to vomit on my desk. Nice way to meet someone for the first time. So after quickly establishing that I had no idea how to help him sit, we got chatting about things in our first life, connected on Twitter and most likely Googled the bejesus out of each other.
The interesting thing to come out of that short conversation was that Hugo had a keen interest in wine, hosted The Oz Wine Show podcast and was close to launching a new Australian wine site, Project Vino. As a wine collector, this all sounded pretty interesting and I was thrilled that there was something being launched in Australia.
At that point I’d been a member of Corkd for quite some time, but there’s just so much they’re not doing with the site. For me, wine is about sharing, being social and appreciating the subtleties of each new bottle you open. Unfortunately there’s no real sense of community on Corkd. In fact, there’s not much that draws me there except a desire to keep track of my cellar, and even that could be done so much better. Even when I’m cataloguing my cellar, I can’t help noticing usability flaws and other areas for improvement.
Where’s that drink?
Twelve prominent Australian Twitter users will take part in an evolutionary new twist on the traditional wine tasting format. What separates this wine tasting is that the participants could be anywhere in the world. They could be in front of their computer at home or on their mobile phone in middle of the Sturt Desert. All will be connected in real-time however by the latest and greatest online communication tool – Twitter.
Now while I’m far from a ‘prominent Australian Twitter user’, I am on there occasionally and I do like a nice glass of wine.
But what’s the point of it all?
Part real life user testing, part marketing, part social experiment. I’ll be doing something I like (wine tasting) with people I probably wouldn’t have been able to meet up with all on the one night. Twitter is simply a tool that’s allowing us to connect as a group in real time, with an ability to broadcast to a much larger audience. So whether it’s for the wine, the technology or the experience, it’s going to be different, that’s for sure. And I’m anticipating a great user experience!
So if you’re into wine, Twitter, or just want to observe an online community participating in a real time physical event, tune into @ProjectVino via Summize on April 30 and pour yourself a glass too.
Twitter Wine Tasting 1 – Kirrihill Wines
April 30, 2008
First wine: 7:00pm AEST
Second wine: 7:15pm AEST
Third wine: 7:30pm AEST
@projectvino on Twitter / Sumarize