Sunday, March 2, 2008

Home from a conference and a nice bottle of Cornas

Yesterday I returned home from a 2-day conference down in San Diego. The conference was not about wine, but about..... a piece of computer software. It's a merchant software program for e-commerce. Ah, e-commerce. So exciting and so futuristic, and the future is now. Since I think e-commerce is so important for wine retailing, I asked my boss to be responsible for the web store, and he put me in charge.

And sent me to this great conference!

I am a layman when it comes to computers. I'm a user of computers like I drive cars. I don't have any training in fixing cars, nor do I have any in programming computers. But I have been driving for a long time, and have been using computers for a considerable amount of time, and I admire what a computer can do.

Hopefully, this is enough to make me Super Computer Maven for our online store.

The conference put me in touch with a variety of people who were from all over the United States and Canada as well. I met people from South Carolina, South Dakota, Vancouver, and the local area. There were web designers, coders, and merchants in the group.

I learned a lot. It was great. I'm particularly excited about Google Analytics and Search Engine Optimization. Google Analytics shows you how well your site is being received, where your traffic is coming from, who is buying what, where they live, and what works and what doesn't. This is the most information one can receive when it comes to market information. Long live the Internet!

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the delicate art and science of getting search engines such as Google, Yahoo, msn, aol to show your website when people do a search of something related to you. In other words, if you sell a particular German wine (or any widget), if someone does a search for this German wine, hopefully you will show up on the search on the first page, and as high up on that page as possible. How is this achieved? Well, I don't know everything there is to know about this subject, but it has to do with your page content (internal factors) as well as the links to your site (external factors). There's also a lot of business about your "ranking." Interesting stuff that I'm sure I'll have plenty to learn about in the months and years to come.

So after a conference of 2 days of this, I drove home yesterday and enjoyed with Johan a bottle of 2002 Domaine Courbis Cornas La Sabarotte, a bottle given to us by a friend. This was a very nice bottle of Syrah, dense with red and black fruits, silky with its slight bit of age, but of course still very youthful. This was very enjoyable and went well with some cheeses and fresh baguette. The bottle finished very quickly because it was so good. Shortly afterwards, we went out to our favorite sushi bar for some nice fish and things. A nice Saturday, and great few days in all.

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