After some reflection and wonderful conversations with the MG team, we understood that supporting this program at all cost was our ultimate goal and wanted to change our offer to reflect that. We will continue to support this innovative program as it leads wineries to more success online. We also support MG’s acumen at choosing the best candidate for the position and look forward to contribute our team’s seasoned e-business acumen to help it be a success online. We also understand that our endorsement of the VinTank 4+ will have no bearing on the results of the competition but rather will teach 4+ candidates better ways to execute wine online and help others learn in the process. We thank Murphy Goode for accepting our offer of support and look forward to working together as well as helping all our candidates raise awareness for the brand and learn wine online.
We would also like to announce what we now call the VinTank 4+
Our top 4 candidates are Hardy Wallace, Rick Bakas, Ashley Bellview, and Todd Havens. We will add their pictures and bios tomorrow.
However, 4 other candidates stood out of the crowd that we also wanted to reward for their hard efforts and whom we also think will be strong digital marketing employees for a winery. They are the VinTank +. The candidates are: Ed Thralls, Alina Brown, Frankie H. Gutierrez, and Eric Hwang. We will also have thier bios up by tomorrow.
With all VinTank candidate we will be working closely with them to help them run their campaign and help others learn about wine, social media, and Murphy Goode. We will be giving strategic guidance, business development support, and tactical assistance so they will be well versed in wine online. They are all pioneers and we are confident that all of them will be excellent employees for wineries for digital marketing positions.
In addition to our offer to MG, we will add a support package to any winery that hires any of the VinTank 4+ after MG chooses their candidate. This is a wonderful opportunity for wineries to charge into digital marketing and the placement of our “social media dream team” into the industry to catapult its online success.
Again, VinTank would like to congratulate Murphy Goode for running an excellent campaign and embracing wine online. We believe this is a healthy step for a winery and the buzz they have garnered online is representative of the success of the medium. To show our support and to help ensure the success of this program online, VinTank will be choosing 4+ candidates as “our picks” (one+ for each partner) but no matter who is chosen, we will donate $100K of consulting services pro bono to that candidate. Yes, $100K of our strategic consulting services for FREE! This will be helping them develop a strategic plan and key business development help to make their six month job super effective and successful for them and Murphy Goode. This is truly our way to support Murphy Goode for their hard work and for helping wine succeed online!
To reiterate as well, we are building consulting support packages for any one who chooses the VinTank 4 to hire after the MG competition is over.
We will have a secondary slightly smaller package for any winery that hires the VinTank+ candidates as well.
The candidates will be chosen on multiple factors: their command of social media, their ability to influence consumers AND the trade, the endorsements they carry into the job, their network, and their secret kung foo sauce.
“Wine is Meant To Be Crunk!” has been Hardy’s motto since starting the blog Dirty South Wine. His sense of humor, joy, and passion for wine is contagious. His hustle, his ability to work quickly, and his skills leveraging both social and traditional media are inspiring.
Follow Hardy and you may see that he talks very little about social media. He just does it. Within two weeks, Hardy re-branded himself, attracted legions of new followers, and created a massive network of supporters declaring “Dirty For Goode!” This network of supporters consists of a combination of 40 bloggers (wine, food, music), radio programs, newspapers, magazines, restaurant groups, retailers, and more. The combined “Dirty For Goode!” network attracts more than two million people per month. His audience has both an audience and a voice.
Hardy’s level of determination was evident from the start. When Murphy-Goode announced the position, they stated that they would give a 24 hour head start on the application to anyone who showed up in San Francisco on 4/28. Hardy hopped a flight from Atlanta, traveled the furthest distance, and showed up first in line. Follow Hardy, and you will see that he is a man on a mission.
Hardy’s message of wine is one of passion and joy. It is delivered wrapped up in offbeat humor, determination, and social media expertise, Hardy was a clear pick for VinTank to endorse. Hardy’s information can be found at www.goodetobefirst.com.
Link to video / voting page:
Link to twitter:
With a last name like ‘Bakas’, Rick was meant to be in the wine industry. From an early age, Rick has been fascinated by interacting with people online. He was one of the first 500 people to sign on to America Online while in college. Since that time, Rick has engaged with others, and built large followings across social networks as an early adopter. Currently, Rick can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Brightkite, FriendFeed, Tumblr, Plurk, Open Wine Consortium and a half dozen other sites. Recently, Rick was the Interactive Brand Manager at a startup in Boulder, CO. charged with site design, social network integration and mobile interface design. Rick can not only be found on social network sites, but he uses many of the web 2.0 tools to create synergy across multiple social portals–always staying on top of emerging trends.
Rick created and managed brands while working for NIKE, and that brand experience has help Rick manage his own personal brand. The combination of brand management and social media kung foo is why companies hire Rick to speak at their conferences as well as take their brands into the social space.
Link to video / voting page:
Mashable write up:
Rankings on Twitter ranking engines:
#3 wine tweeter on Twitter based on Wefollow rankings – http://wefollow.com/tag/wine
#1 bacon tweeter on Twitter based on Wefollow rankings – http://wefollow.com/tag/bacon
#3 brand tweeter on Twitter based on Wefollow rankings – http://wefollow.com/tag/branding
Ranked 100 pts. perfect grade on Twittergrader and recently was Rated as one of the top 25 people on Twitter.
Rick’s command of wine online and his influence is evident and another clear choice for VinTank’s support.
At a school assembly in the 6th grade, Todd received an award for being ‘Most Congenial.’ He was thrilled with the recognition, but had no idea what it meant until he arrived home that day to ask his parents. Congenial, easygoing, personable…whichever adjective you use, they all ensure that Todd excels in the social side of social media. Add film school into the mix, a career on-camera in TV commercials followed by years of casting reality shows for MTV, professional blogging and his current work in digital marketing with widgets, Facebook apps and cutting-edge technology and you have a strong, accomplished candidate that catches our attention. ??
We think his distinct voice, sense of humor and accessible disposition will be an asset to any Wine 2.0 venture.???
Link to video / voting page:
Although currently Ashley works to help companies help themselves through the chatter storm that is social media, she takes the intention and importance of communication to heart. People talking to people, she says, is the most powerful tool we have. Her love affair (obsession) with understanding the way we communicate is why she has a bachelors in linguistics and not in prescriptive communication. “We cannot dictate the way people communicate — we have to follow it. Flow with it.”
Honestly, what better way to flow than with a glass of wine in your hand? Ashley learned wine by working with it, serving it, buying it and tasting it for fine dining restaurants. Being privy to a constant focus group of wine consumers, she believes that the real measure of a wine is based on the experience of those enjoying it and not by an arbitrary number or descriptor.
Ashley is thrilled to be a part of such a talented group of like minded wine lovers and creative communicators. The opportunity to bring the joy of wine to people without the guise of exclusivity and pomp is one to celebrate. So, Tweet her, find her on Facebook or read her ramblings on her new blog to join in the conversation.
Ashley is Austin native, a good cook even though she never buys groceries and the best shower-singer this side of the Mason-Dixon.
Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=84147286242&ref=ts
Facebook Personal Site: http://www.facebook.com/people/Ashley-Bellview/7946490
Ed’s a techie at heart, with a 16 year career in software development for financial institutions and a Computer Science degree, but his heart has had to make room for his passion for wine. Ed’s mantra has been to help make wine a social and approachable subject since starting his “Wine Tonite!” blog in 2008 and his neighborhood Pelly Circle Wine Club three years prior. As a Certified Specialist of Wine and a current student in the UC-Davis Winemaker’s distance learning program, it’s easy to see his dedication to the subject. Oh, and he makes the stuff in his basement, too.
Ed has been on the social networking scene for a while since joining LinkedIn in 2005. At the start of his Murphy Goode campaign he leveraged his established business network and Facebook as a springboard, while he quickly grew his presence on Twitter, CellarTracker, OWC, FriendFeed, among others.
Ed’s message is about the total wine experience, beyond what’s in the glass, and his easy-going, laid back presence and communication style allows him to relate to almost anyone and make them feel at ease and have fun. With a nice blend of wine and technology knowledge and skills, he is capable of executing any strategy.
Link to video / voting page:
Link to twitter:
Ed Thralls Facebook Page: http://ow.ly/b9Pa
Ed Thralls You Tube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/ethralls
Wine Tonite! You Tube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/winetonite
Ed Thralls LinkedIn page: http://www.linkedin.com/in/edthralls
Ed Thralls OWC page: http://www.openwineconsortium.org/profile/EdThralls
Wine Tonite! Friend Feed: http://friendfeed.com/winetonite
Alina enjoys learning about people, particularly the ways in which they behave and communicate. As an anthropology major at Princeton University (2001) she had no idea that her interest would translate into the online realm. But it did. Since college she has traveled to more than twenty countries around the globe and has used online and social media tools to track news, socialize and share stories.
Alina later obtained her Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Western Washington University (2008) so that she could apply her people skills into the business realm. She is interested in new and growing businesses and identifying ways to reach out to consumers with tools that are fresh and unique. She hopes to apply this to the wine industry, so she is taking a car trek from her hometown of Bellingham, WA, to Healdsburg, CA, in order to document a beginner’s wine journey through blog, photography and video.
Link to Twitter:
Frank Gutierrez is a Napa Valley native with a deep-rooted passion for the wine industry. Today he prepares to make the move from Hollywood filmmaker to Wine Country Correspondent. To share his passion with others, Frank has produced “Frank Loves Wine”, a blog that not only promote his favorite wineries but also showcases his talent for photography and video production.
Utilizing his resources in the film industry, Frank produced a video that captures his love for wine, his interest in wine making, and his desire to preserve and expand the legacy of the Napa Valley. “Frank Loves Wine” is meant to inspire lust for a glass of Chardonnay on a hot summer day; a bold red Cabernet with a Tri-Tip steak.
Share a glass of wine with Frank and you’ll find a connection to the Napa Valley like never before. He is your personal wine matchmaker and will keep you coming back for more. Once you’re hooked to a vintage, Frank can expose you to the groundwork behind its creation.
Frank’s interests in the economy have also inspired him to take further action. “I want to help usher my favorite wineries into the new age of social marketing and connect them with people who will appreciate their work.”
A graduate from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Frank has years of experience in the film industry. His excitement and honesty has drawn hundreds of people to join “Frank Loves Wine”. Frank is a contender in the Murphy-Goode Winery Contest and one of the proud Vintank 4+.
Link to video / voting page:
Link to twitter:
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/people/Frank-Gutierrez/1847498975
Daily Motion: http://www.dailymotion.com/frankloveswine
Born in Hong Kong and arriving in the U.S. when just 4 years old, Eric has lived his life embracing change. He has reinvented himself in his career several times to stay at the forefront of technology. While majoring in urban planning and design at the University of Cincinnati, he turned his facination with computer programming into his first job in that field. From network engineer to commercial photographer to user experience designer, Eric’s love of learning has allowed him to make these transitions successfully.
Eric’s interest in wine began when a college roommate introduced him to German wines. But it was his involvement with the Mercer Island wine club in Seattle in 2001 where learning more about wine became an obsession. Along the way, he has networked with wine lovers, winemakers, sommeliers, and other industry people, learning from them and sharing that knowledge with others.
As an avid participant in social media, Eric has been blogging since before that term was coined and has shared his knowledge and photography throughout his many years of exploring the Pacific Northwest and travels to Asia, the Caribbean and the Middle East. His real-life international network of friends and associates are also his social network friends on Facebook and LinkedIn who answered his call to support his Murphy Goode campaign.
He recently started his wine blog, Bricks of Wine, to share his upcoming winemaking experiences, and it has quickly grown to include many wine and food related topics. Eric now sets his sights on combining his passion for wine and travel with his technical savvy and social network connections to help make wine unpretentious, introduce people to his favorite wineries and make a few friends along the way.
Facebook profile: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1044309206
Recent winner of Wine Enthusiast’s 1st Annual Decanter Contest