Posts Tagged ‘Plans’

foursquare and Gowalla

March 30, 2010

For the last few weeks I’ve been playing around with a couple of location-based services, foursquare and Gowalla. The basic premise behind these websites is that they both have apps that can be installed on web-friendly mobiles like the iPhone and Android-based handsets. As you travel about visiting different locations, you “check in” to each venue, which posts your location into your Twitter and/or Facebook streams, letting people know where you are and what you’re up to. If your friends have checked in nearby, it will let you know, encouraging you to meet up with people, and discover new places by rewarding you with points and badges for doing different things. Whilst it’s all good fun collecting these, I’ve been having a think about how to better make use of them for The Wineyard.

Initially, I was “checking in” to pretty much everywhere I went and generally getting a bit carried away with it all. The main result was a lot of annoying messages clogging up our feeds. When I was checking in to places like supplier tastings, it was pretty popular, but more day-to-day local locations weren’t exactly interesting. So I had a think (in the shower of course, where all the best things are thought of!) and decided to change my approach. I’ll still be using these services to check-in at different places, but in a more restrained and hopefully useful way for the rest of you.

The main places I’ll be checking-in will be wherever I’m working each day (be that from home, at the shop, or at our head office) so that anyone who fancies a face-to-face chat can find me easily (I’m not using my actual home address, simply a nearby generic location). I’ll also be checking-in at any tastings or other exciting events that we’re at, so that people know where they’re happening, and can see what we’re up to. I may also check-in if I’m in town, or at a restaurant, so anyone who’s interested can find me, or ask me about somewhere they’ve not visited and are curious about. If you’re ever nearby, I love to meet new people who follow my antics on Twitter and the blog, so do please come and say hello, and introduce yourself! I’m very friendly, and whenever possible love an excuse to grab a cup of coffee or a bite to eat, and will happily talk about almost anything with you. And yes, I’m single so ladies form an orderly queue please! We don’t want anyone getting hurt now. 😉

Once we have our website up and running (project start meeting coming up soon – most exciting stuff which will no doubt be tweeted about with much passion!), I’m thinking about integrating my foursquare/Gowalla activities in some way too, and also potentially rewarding our most regular visitors on each service in some way (if you start checking in now, you’ve a good chance of entrenching yourself at the top of the list). If you have any thoughts on either platform, or on what I’m doing with them, or even just want a friendly chat, do please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.


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Deli of the Year 2010 – We need your help!

February 4, 2010

Your favourite local food and drink shop, The Wineyard & Deli, is officially competing to be named Deli of the Year 2010, and we need your help! If you think we deserve to crowned Deli of the Year (and if not, get in touch ASAP and tell me why so we can step up our game before the contest is over), you can vote in one of two ways. First, and easiest, is to pop over to the following web-site:

http://www.purplelove.co.uk/nominate/vote/

Everything is explained there, and there’s a few boxes to fill out your details, and why you think we are a cracking Deli (again, if you don’t I really want to hear from you, pronto). In the coming days, we should also have a nice little stack of old fashioned voting slips you can fill out and post off, or give to us to send off. Voting has its perks by the way; a lucky winner drawn at random during the summer will get a trip for 2 to Spain to see the olive harvest, expenses paid courtesy of the competition organisers! Take a look around the website for more info.

The second stage of our candidacy requires us to submit as much top-notch evidence of our brilliance as we can get our paws on, such as photos of the shop, our stock & displays, press releases and quotes, customer comments, etc. Rather than just send in a bland batch of pictures of the shelves, I want as many of you to get involved as possible and get lots of snaps of yourselves and our produce.

If you’re eating and drinking stuff from the Wineyard, take a quick picture, preferably with yourself and a nice big cheesy grin and thumbs up, and get them in to us ASAP (email, Facebook, Twitter, or a print given in person – whatever’s easiest for you). It doesn’t have to be just yourselves or everyday stuff either – the more unusual or outrageous you can make it, the better! Just some quick and simple ideas: take pictures of us or your friends around the shop and out and about with our goods, take some of our food on a picnic, organise a party and get us to kit you out with all you need, climb a mountain and have a toast at the summit, go camping & cook our sausages over a stove with a few beers to wash them down; I’m sure you can think of more and better things yourselves.

Any tributes you can make to The Wineyard would also be absolutely wonderful; the more creative the better! Stuff like a nice big poster proclaiming your love for our shop, or perhaps a message written in the snow since it’s coming down thick and fast again at the moment. We’ve got until June to organise the supporting material we’re going to submit, and for votes to be collected, so there’s no immediate rush, but do get in contact if you’re thinking of doing anything – it’s bound to warm our hearts and earn you some discount in-store if nothing else! 😉

As an extra incentive, my favourite customer-contribution will win themselves a prize of some sort (I’ll be working on this in the weeks to come, more details to follow at a later date – At the moment I’m thinking a quality bottle of wine, a selection of our food, or a mixed case of beers for example). I’ll be deciding the winner based purely on my own personal favourite – anything that makes me laugh is bound to be in with a good chance, as is anything demonstrating some serious effort and love for what we do here. Just make sure you give us your name, and contact info, when you send anything in.

And if you want us to do something different or better at the shop, I’m 100% serious about you getting in touch and telling me. As well as being a lot of fun to get involved with, this contest also gives us a great chance to really evaluate what you all think of The Wineyard & Deli, and what you’d like to see us change or do more of. After all, each and every one of you is why we’re here, so I want to be absolutely certain each and every one of you is as happy as possible with us. I’m actually out of the shop all next week (6-14th Feb) but I’ll be checking my emails and the blog to see who’s been in touch, and I’ll be on Twitter and Facebook regularly as usual. I’ll also be writing up notes on recent tastings for the blog so keep an eye out for that.

Lastly, I’m thinking of putting together some new mixed cases of wines for special offers later this month, primarily to offer online via Facebook & Twitter, but I’ll also be letting subscribers to our emails know about them. If there’s any particular themes you’d like to see in a mixed case (e.g. Italian whites, Spain other than Rioja, all Red/White/Rose, etc – anything at all) get in touch via the usual methods and let me know. Suggestions for what you’d be willing to spend on a mixed case of 6 or 12 bottles would also be useful.

If you’ve read this far, thanks for taking the time to do so, and for having such an interest in what we’re up to – we love you ever so much for it and we’ll do our very best to keep things fresh and interesting whenever we see you.

All the very best,

Ben.

Things to come

November 23, 2009

Hoping to put in some late nights this week to get this blogging business kick-started properly. The main focus of this blog will be to discuss things related to our shop, such as events we’re organising/have had, new stock we’re getting in, and so on. However, I also intend to write up my own tasting notes on as many of our wines as possible as I work my way through them all (I’ve been working for The Wineyard for about 3.5 months so plenty to be written about already). In addition, I’m thinking of posting some educational stuff as I develop my wine-world knowledge, so I may do themed posts on different regions or grapes, which should provide an ideal introduction to a topic for the wine novices out there such as myself.

If there is anything you would like to see being blogged/written about in relation to The Wineyard and my journey into the world of wine, or you have any questions at all, I’d love to hear from you so please get in touch and I’ll respond personally ASAP.

Email: Ben@thewineyard.co.uk
Twitter: http://twitter.com/thewineyard
Facebook: Search “The Wineyard & Deli”