Monday, January 4, 2010
The WBC Scholarship And What It Means To Wine Bloggers Like Me...
In 2009, I found myself staring at an ad for the North American Wine Bloggers’ Conference, which took place in the heart of Napa and Sonoma wine country. WBC09 was an event which would bring together members of the wine industry with the average citizen wine blogger. The event would provide an excellent opportunity for each wine blogger to interact with winery sponsors and other bloggers, sample and blog about wines, soak in the atmosphere and perhaps gain the knowledge (through presentations and break-out sessions) to start and run a successful wine blog on the internet. As a fledgling wine blogger, I wanted to attend but it was already May and the conference was taking place in July. I had absolutely no time to budget for such a trip and I panicked as I looked at my finances and realized it would not be happening for me. Then, I found a link on their website for the WBC Scholarship.
The WBC Scholarship fund was started in 2009. It gives needy citizen bloggers the financial assistance to be able to attend such a great and unique function. I applied with my short essay basically spelling out my needs and a month later, I received word that I would be receiving assistance. The 2010 conference will take place June 25-27 in Walla Walla, Washington. Bloggers will be traveling from all over the world to experience this conference. Some bloggers will need financial help to be able to achieve this goal.
Our tough economic times can be even tougher on a citizen blogger. I blog about wine as a hobby, for the sheer love of it, with the goal that someday I may be able to make a living at it or something similar. But for now, I am just like most other bloggers. Most citizen wine bloggers have regular, non-wine related jobs, or are students. Some may have lost their jobs. With the success of social media comes awareness and as we forge on through this decade, the need to help out citizen bloggers will become larger. Social media is becoming the norm and wine blogging on the internet is the wave of the future.
The WBC Scholarship has impacted my life in so many ways it would take hours for me to thank everyone. Since the conference took place, I have forged friendships and relationships with many wineries, winemakers, citizen bloggers and other industry people. I am getting more comfortable in being able to successfully blog about my favorite subject—wine. My blog has become popular with many followers and appreciative wineries. The experience has proven invaluable. Their generosity gave me the extra boost I needed to forge forward. What more can I say? I wish every wine blogger could experience this! The WBC Scholarship Fund appreciates and needs your help so they can assist all the needy bloggers who apply this year! You can make a difference that will come back to you hundreds of times over!
To make a donation to the fund (whether you are a winemaker, winery, wine industry professional, citizen blogger or just enjoy great wine and great reading!), please go to http://wbcscholarship.wordpress.com/. For more information on the conference, please check out their website at http://winebloggersconference.org/america/. Only five more months to go! As a citizen wine blogger, I thank you in advance for your help and hope to see you in Walla Walla in June!