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The Gods must be crazy.

If you thought Murphy-Goode was playing high poker with their $60K gig, then have a look at these grapes:

We believe [Murphy-Goodes social marketing take] 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 of the applicants as “our picks” (one for each partner) and if any of “our picks” are 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 these people for their hard work and for helping wine succeed online!

That is what I call a really goode game!

VinTank has already declared their first two picks, so there ain’t much time left.  If you are a candidate and want to tell the guys at VinTank why they should choose to support you, please email in 250 words or less why you qualify to info@vintank.com.

VinTank, in partnership with wine industry consultant Derek Bromley, has released a whitepaper profiling social media companies impacting the wine industry (click for the free pdf report).  Researched and written with the intent of helping wineries make sense of a vast and confusing medium, the paper looks at the largest social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) as well as the almost 30 wine social networks battling for the attention of online wine consumers, ending with an overview of the wine blogosphere.

If you are seriosly interested in the job, then go read the report, VinTank is right on with thier observations.  The only thing which I find to leave a funny after-taste is the fact that the ever insightful VinTank is only willing to offer this help to one of their top 4 picks.  Don’t get me wrong, with such a generous offer they really are allowed to do as they choose.  However what if the metrics of this who application process really pulls someone fresh and unknown into this position– and yes, someone NOT on the VinTank pick list?  No support coming from them then?  I find that hard to believe.

Here are some points you will find in the VinTank whitepapter:

  • According to Compete.com, the top 20 wine bloggers in aggregate represent a larger audience than the Wine Spectator online, and are growing at a faster rate. However, the wine blogosphere is highly fragmented and difficult for wineries to navigate.
  • Wine social network memberships number in the hundreds of thousands, although it is near impossible to determine how much overlap exists across networks.
  • The two top-rated wine social networks, CellarTracker and VinCellar, started as wine cellar management tools that over time have added social networking functionality. This deeper level of value has paid huge dividends in terms of customer loyalty.
  • A key challenge for all wine social networks that have achieved any kind of scale is data quality. Duplicate and incorrect data affects all of these sites to varying degrees.
  • Online advertising models for the wine industry have more challenges than other verticals due to outdated alcohol regulations.

It is estimated that social media is generating twice the online content of traditional media, and wineries have been struggling with how to engage their current and potential customers in this medium. Cruvee.com (a VinTank portfolio company and contributor to the whitepaper) estimates that each day in April 2009 there were 153 blog posts, 1,420 forum posts, and 7,896 microblog (Twitter) posts on the topic of wine. This whitepaper offers some practical tactics, recommendations and best practices on how wineries can begin to engage in those conversations.

As Todd Havens notes, this 100K support is a great way to integrate the wealth of VinTank research into the Murphy-Goode Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent position and to push the Web 2.0 adventure to the extreme.

Wanna read the whitepaper?

Interested in applying for one of those two open support positions with VinTank?

Have you read the posting that VinTank popped up there declaring this $100K gig?

Wanna tell me what you think of it all?

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