Last week, I went off on Jakob Neilsen for essentially saying that you have to bloviate like a dotty old tenured professor if you want to be considered an expert in your field. (exaggeration) My thesis was that its important to know your stuff but that you need to interact and have conversations with your community. It’s through these conversations which you gain trust with the people you’re there to serve.
Someone who exemplifies these qualities for me is Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV. He is both a gentleman and a scholar. He takes advantage of all that Web 2.0 has to offer to spread his message of Wine to the world.
For those of you not familiar with Gary, he hosts a podcast, Wine Library TV, that goes out every weekday where he reviews some wine. He’s fun and engaging. It’s probably one of the best shows on the Web. Both Time Magazine and ABC News have decided to stand up and take notice.
On his show, he is constantly asking for user feedback but his show isn’t the only place where he interacts with the community. He has a Twitter account. In addition to giving personal updates, he used to use Twitter as a way to field viewer questions live on the show.
Now instead of using Twitter to field questions, he has an application on Facebook called “Ask Gary.” There users can post question for Gary, which he’ll answer.
He has a profile on the wine social network Cork’d. You can see what he’s drinking and what his thoughts are on the wines that he’s tried. He loved the community of Cork’d so much that his company Wine Library purchased it. He hopes to grow the community and use it as a way venue for encouraging people to try new wines.
At the end of everyone of his shows, Gary says, “you with a little bit of me…we’re changing the wine world.” I can imagine if Jakob Neilsen had a podcast he’d say, “I’m changing the world and I’m glad you just paid $3,000 to listen to me talk about it.”