Breaking News: Murphy-Goode Picks Hardy Wallace For Wine Social Media Job

dirty_south_wine This is the saddest news I’ve ever had to break!  Sir Hardy of Wallace, known around these bits as Dirty South Wine, is leaving us (at least temporarily).  Thanks in large part to community support, Murphy-Goode Winery chose Wallace to take over their social media position that I’ve talked about many many times.

The announcement comes on the heels of quite a little brew ha-ha.  For those unaware, one Martin Sargent decided to throw his hat into the ring rather late in the game.  Sargent is well-known to geeks like myself who spend our time frolicking around the world wide web on a daily basis.  Though he was admittedly unqualified to talk about the topic at hand, Murphy-Goode’s decision to exclude Sargent from their top 50 was met with quite a backlash (examples here and here).  I say kudos to MGW for not bowing to the pressure from people like Kevin Rose, Digg founder and Sargent fanboy.  I for one, am glad they decided to hand the job to someone who actually knows a thing or two about wine… but what do I know.

Anyway, enough with the negativity.  Congrats to Hardy, we’ll miss you and boy do we hope you return.  You can visit Hardy directly at his website, dirtysouthwine.com

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  • Well, thanks for the link… sort of. Though I think you missed the point of my article. I clearly stated that Murphy-Goode can pick whom ever they like. It’s just my opinion that Martin Sargent would have been great.

    My issue with this little contest was that they harvested email addresses from people to vote, and then disregarded the vote. It’s just seedy. But whatevs… you just keep being condescending, man.

    • I did not miss the point of your post at all. In fact, I didn’t even comment on the legitimacy of your claims or your perspective on things.

      But now that you ask … I simply don’t agree. Your claim that MG is run by “dicks” is pretty unfounded considering that it is clear you didn’t read the rules and guidelines for the contest. Plus, if you’re going to call someone a dick, it helps to at least know them.

      Murphy-Goode clearly stated that the person with the highest votes was not guaranteed the position. Sargent would have been great at getting the winery some attention simply because of his widespread presence on the internet. He was, as he admitted in his video, completely unqualified to speak about wine.

      Your claim that the votes were disregarded entirely is without merit. Last but not least, this idea that they were sneaky and “harvested email addresses” is equally as bogus.

      You don’t have to like their decision and your dissatisfaction with Sargent’s omission is fine; but, it would help if you actually researched what happened before you blogged about it.

      • TheCatWhisperer

        Well, I’m not sure you can be so sure they weren’t harvesting the email addresses of the voters. They probably did, they would be silly if they didn’t.

        What I believe is that they missed a great opportunity to educate the “wine-noobs” out there (like myself) about wines, the wine industry and their region. They could have given Martin the job and had him do a kind of Wine 101 course, showing how he was learning the wine industry, about different types of wine, how to taste, choose wines, etc.

        And since we all know he knows next to nothing about wine, it would believable.

        I’m sure the guy they picked will do an ok job for them, but I think they missed out on a great opportunity with Martin. Just my 2 cents.

        • MG did not harvest emails. For more information on what the term means, you can read the wiki article on it. What they may have done, was obtained emails for direct marketing. A totally different scenario.

          I’m not sure why you think that Martin was qualified to help educate people, whereas, Hardy is not. I understand that people wanted Martin for the job; however, the basis for the argument that everyone is making doesn’t hold a great deal of water.

  • William McDuff

    The real problem is that they asked for votes then disregarded it and also recruited saying that voting didn’t matter. What I can’t understand is why they didn’t give the top ten vote getters a place in the top fifty? Even if Martin was completely wrong for them (which, while he brings “internet power” to the position, it’s questionable what else he might or might not bring) that still gets them forty others that they do like; more if there’s someone they find interesting in the top ten.

    • William,
      They did not disregard the votes. They clearly laid out the rules and process beforehand. Then, they followed those rules. Any argument on the contrary is specious at best. The reason for establishing the rules in that fashion was so that they weren’t required to hand the job to someone who was clearly unqualified for the position … aka Sargent.

      • William McDuff

        I think you missed my point there; I don’t think Martin should have gotten the job. I think it was an error on Murphy Goode’s part to not include him in the Top 50. He did manage to mobilize his network to vote for him, and in droves, which is a rather useful asset. Of the applicants, he was the most exceptional at it.

        Not giving the job wouldn’t have been a surprise; I doubt he would have fit with wine country business culture. Not putting him in the Top 50 was the problem, and has turned into a big public relations error (which I’d think you’d have to admit it turned out to be; there has been a severe ‘geek’ backlash against Murphy Goode, deserved or not).

        Murphy Goode was gaining a lot of attention from Martin’s campaign, and while the rules did say the votes didn’t really matter, I think not including him in the Top 50 left a lot of voters feeling that their opinions didn’t matter either. Which, according to the rules, they didn’t; however, it wasn’t a good idea to say that to potential new customers.

        Customer service, after all, is all about feeling like you matter. A good waiter makes you feel important, even if you’re just the twenty-second table of the twelfth night of the third month of the fifteenth year that he’s served. You don’t, but he gets more money if he does. It’s the difference between suggesting a better bottle of wine and being dismissive of the choice entirely to me.

        • William McDuff

          Er, “he gets more money if he make you feel like you do.” Where’s the edit feature when you need it?

        • I don’t think I missed the point of your comment at all. I think to cut Sargent out of the running earlier was inline with their goals and in the spirit of what was right for the competition. Martin’s fanboys would have been pissed regardless of when he was “cut” simply because of their association with him.

          In fact, they serviced their customers quite well as the longer Sargent remained a candidate, the more farcical the competition would have become. Just because some people were pissed, does not mean they did anything wrong. For people like Kevin Rose to cry foul was ludicrous.

        • William McDuff

          So the people who discovered Murphy Goode due to Sargent were not customers?

          I suppose they’re mostly not now, but I think there was the potential there that was lost. For example, I seem to remember Martin plugging on Leo Laporte’s This Week in Tech, which has a rather wider audience that just ‘Martin fanboys’. (Dvorak seems to know his wine, at any rate, though it’s hard to tell from the snippets you get.) And it should be said that being a Martin fan and a wine lover is not mutually exclusive, of course.

          Admittedly, I’m Monday morning quarterbacking just like everyone else, but I believe it would have been possible to keep the additional positive attention while cutting Martin from the list. Murphy Goode seems to think this too: in the San Fransisco Chronical article, Caroline Shaw, senior vice president at Jackson Family Enterprises and a winery spokeswoman is quoted as saying “Yeah, we screwed up.”

          (Link for the quote: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/07/10/BUJM18I79M.DTL#ixzz0XoykEROF )

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