Friday, August 20, 2010

You know you've become a popular blogger when ...

The following are paraphrased emails because I don't want to give the sending companies the publicity they sought.

Dear Mr. Gray:

We loved your blog post! May we run it on our site? Your writing will be exposed to a much wider audience!

(I said no and they ran it anyway -- without my name on it.)

Dear Mr. Gray:

We are introducing a new widget/book/booze. Respond to this email with requests for samples.
Me: Sure, send it over.
E-mailer: Who are you?

(I had this conversation three times already this year.)

Dear Mr. Gray:

Did you know that a credit card your readers already carry entitles them to discounts at tasting rooms, blah blah blah ...

(This company pays to advertise on everything from rock concert stage sets to stadium urinal walls, but they try to sweet-talk bloggers into giving them advertising for free. I asked them to buy an ad and got no response, then precisely the same pitch the following week.)

Dear Mr. Gray:

You are contributing to the scourge of alcoholism. There are many deaths to be laid at your feet.

(Can I walk over them like a river of logs?)

Dear Mr. Gray:

I am allergic to wine. Every time I drink it I get sick. What sort of wine should I try?

(From my long medical background, my informed opinion is, uh ... next question.)

Dear Mr. Gray:

Would you be interested in writing for our website? We won't be able to pay you, but you will have the opportunity for wider readership.

(I've had this email at least 10 times, always from websites that have a lot fewer comments than mine, for what that's worth.)

Dear Mr. Gray:

You recently wrote about a Chardonnay. We also make Chardonnay. It's matured in oak barrels for blah blah and we stir the lees with weasel tails blah blah and would you please tell your readers about this wine with a link to our website?

(Wineries -- this sounds much more sincere if you send the email within, say, a month of the post in question. I've gotten this email about posts I wrote six months ago.)

Dear Mr. Gray:

We have selected your blog as our Wine Blog of the Day! We are attaching the code for this badge, which you can place in every one of your posts to show that you have received this honor.

(The badge was a link taking readers to the site in question.)

Dear Mr. Gray:

Our restaurant in South Beach, Miami has introduced a new cocktail hour, with drinks half price for thirty minutes! Be sure to tell your readers!

(I should keep a running count on states from which I've gotten this one; it's up to about 30 by now.)

Dear Mr. Gray:

Would your readers like to learn about a new idea that's going to change their life?

(Maybe they would, but I wouldn't.)

The last one's verbatim:

Dear Mr. Gray:

Your responses to comments are so mean-spirited. Are you really such a jerk?
Me: No, I only play one on the Internet.


Jon Bjork said...

I'm glad I'm not popular yet. The "worst" that happens to me is I get an email from a wine company asking if I want a free sample. I say, "Sure, and I'll give you my address, but I only write about Lodi wines." I tend to not receive a response back either.

Rafa Ibarra said...

Ha ha ha. It was great! I just love the part: (Can I walk over them like a river of logs?). Ha ha ha.

Best regards from Mexico.

King Krak, Oenomancer said...

What about the Story Idea from some PR dept complete with a Recipe? We get that a couple of times a week!

King Krak, I Smell the Stench said...

Wait, this just in (for Fork & Bottle, food & wine website):


Tim Grover here, owner of I just wanted to drop you a line and invite you to be a link partner for our website

I found your website with the \"reverse google pagerank algorithm\" which indicates that we both would get better google rankings, when we exchange links.

I will go ahead and add your site
to our link directory at, could you please verify the description before it goes live at

W. Blake Gray said...

OK, King, you win. I bow before the randomness of that connection.

Anonymous said...

Nice collection of "great" experiences & business opportunities :-)

tom barras said...

You can also tell how popular you are when aspiring bloggers post to your comments hoping for visibility!

charmion said...

Is it OK to post a late comment on the 100 point scale issue? I like the +2, +1, 0, -1, -2 scale. I know it has no chance of being adopted by for-profit magazines. I wonder what you think of it. I use it in my own ratings when I am doing tasting. I work in the retail world and use it occasionally to describe my opinion to my customers.

W. Blake Gray said...

Charmion: You should post the comment on that post, but it's OK. I actually got into a conversation tonight that made me realize I should clarify my position: I'm not saying the 100-point scale is the best, but I do think wine ratings are more useful than tasting notes without ratings.

Re your scale: There's no difference between that and 5 stars, right? Why not just do 5 stars? Seems easier to understand, and it is the same thing.

Unknown said...

mann i love bird's nest soup too even IF its made from spit!!! <333

i eat it like once every monthish and used to bought from website sometimes, my mom went back to hong kong and bought a full suitcase of it cause its cheaper there XD