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May 09, 2008

Connecting With Others Who Share My Interests – WOW!!!

Posted in: Employee Blogs

Most of us have a few things that we’re REALLY interested in. For me, it’s running, skiing, mountain biking, and especially home winemaking. Probably like you, I spend a lot of my online time pursuing these passions.

Have you noticed how the Internet has evolved? Not long ago, everything was static. Yes, it was amazing that you could find so much information but it was largely “read-only”. Now, everything is interactive.

I used to visit great winemaking sites like http://wineserver.ucdavis.edu/. I still do that occasionally but now every few weeks I schedule a TalkShoe community call to talk and chat with other winemakers online: Cellar Dwellers Home Winemaking

This is both amazing and exhilarating. One night, a world expert on oak barrels called in. In making red wine (and some whites including Chardonnay), oak is incredibly important. It was one of our longest group calls ever - hours - just incredibly interesting if you’re a winemaker. (Note to non-winemakers; I realize that you think I’m whacko at this point, but toasted oak is just splendid if it’s from Hungary or France).

Another evening, a winemaker called in from New Zealand (with ShoePhone, it’s free to call from anywhere on the planet). After comparing notes about winemaking and talking about the beauty of his country, we agreed to send bottles of our respective wines to each other. While I thoroughly enjoyed tasting his wines, let me warn you not to make such a pact. It cost over $100 to send two bottles of my wine to NZ and, at least in PA you have to lie to the UPS guy, telling him that you’re shipping “olive oil”. I worried that the BATF was watching my every move (and now they probably are).

Truly connecting with people who share our interests is one of the most satisfying experiences in life. The genius of TalkShoe, and of the Internet in general, is that it can almost magically help us make these connections.


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