Has Gary Vaynerchuk Completely Lost His Mind?

Has Gary Vaynerchuk Completely Lost His Mind?

So if you don’t know who Gary Vaynerchuk is you are not a wine person and have not payed any attention to the social media buzz over the last two years.  Gary is Director of Operations at his family owned wine business Wine Library and in 2006 started Wine Library TV – a daily video blog on wine.  Gary used the power of internet video to spread his infinite knowledge on wine in a common man’s language as well as leveraging social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler and Ustream to grow his personal brand.  Gary is also a best selling author with is first book Crush It! and his latest release The Thank You Economy (which I just received from Amazon and will post a review in a few days).

After two years on his 1000th show, Gary announced that he was retiring from Wine Library TV and would only be doing “special” shows a few times a year only if there was something special to offer.  WHAT??  So let me get this straight, you pour your heart and sole into your passion and become the leader in your industry as well as becoming the benchmark of every blogger no matter what industry they specialize in.

But I thought that wine was his “passion” and the thing that he lived and breathed every day and now his is abandoning his passion??  Doing something that you are passionate about is one of the fundamentials that Gary talks about in his books and also in any of the speaches that he gives.  I am not a wine guy, but to me the news was just shocking and I saw it as a huge dissapointment also wondering if the people that said that blogging is dead were actually correct – and I am just getting started with blogging, ARGH!!!

But have no fear Gary is simply ending another chapter in his book of life and starting a new chapter – DailyGrape.com.  Daily Grape is more like Wine Library TV version 2.0 – Gary is taking everything that he learned over his first 1000 episodes and launching a better video blog with heavy focus on mobile access and a customized user experience.  And for his loyal watchers have no fear, it is still the same Gary, just getting out of Wine Library and bringing new video blogs from his travels around the country.  His first episode has been posed so go check it out and have a Sniffy Sniff…

Has Charlie Sheen Had A Negative Impact On Social Media?

I was on a phone call with a client today discussing the need for him to take his business online and that is was time to embrace the social web.  His first reaction was, “I am not going to act like a jackass like Charlie Sheen!  That social crap is not for me!”  I admit that at first I laughed and we briefly talked about the craziness and the “winning” that happened two weeks ago.  Then like a ton of bricks it hit me – did all of that insanity actually have a negative impact on social media?

OK, so I know that most might think that this actually brought social media into the spot light and exposed it to more people – especially if you are an investor in U-Stream!  And it did gain more exposure, even my non-computer using mother asked what U-Stream was all about, but I fear that some will see this as part of another reason to believe that social media is just for crazy celebrities wanting to brag about all the different ways that they waste their millions.  But then again, celebrities have been crazy for many years prior to social media and we all read about their antics in the newspaper, website, we hear the stories on the news and the gossip shows, so this is really nothing new.  And we also must not forget that Charlie Sheen also took to all the airways in a combo of TV and radio (he did live interviews on all the major morning TV shows).

If we remove the crazy rants and “winning” comments we have at the heart of the issue a guy who felt that he got screwed over by his employer and he was not going to simply lie down and accept it. He took to any means possible and got his message out to as many people that would listen. If we were put in that situation by an employer (or a restaurant or other business) would we not want to take similar actions and let all the people that will listen about the negative experience that we had? I think most people would say yes, and with social media today, things like this will get spread to a much larger group of friends.

There are people everyday complaining about bad service that they received from a restaurant or car wash or dry cleaners and they do it at the water cooler, by email, by phone and now by social media also. I think this is just another shift in society and should help put businesses on notice that they must actually care about their customer.

If the age old saying, “there is no such thing as bad publicity” then in the long run this was a good thing.  After all Charlie Sheen got over 1 million Twitter followers in less than 24 hours, and still has over 3 million followers.  And he defiantly has figured out how to monetize his online brand, but I guess I am still of the opinion that this was a positive thing for social media since there was more media attention on Twitter and U-Stream.

What are your thoughts?