About Me

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Dublin, Ireland
Hi, I'm Dermot Nolan, and I became a Master of Wine (MW) in 1997, and resigned from the Institute of Masters of Wine in 2023 after being an MW for exactly 26 years. I opened a wine shop in DĂșn Laoghaire, Ireland, called The Wine Library, which closed in 2018, and this is my personal wine blog. I will do my utmost to be fair and responsible in my posts – please read my Who Pays article in re the ethics of wine trips and writing. I have worked in wine education, retail, and consultancy since 1990. I was a Director of the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) from 2008 to 2014 and was also a member of the Events Committee, founder of the Trips Committee, and member of the Governance Committee. Having had problems with potentially libellous comments from unidentifiable posters, I now require that if you post a comment, you must identify yourself properly or it won't be published. Please note that I do not review products or services on request so kindly don't ask. I value my independence and I believe my readers (few that they may be) do so also.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Comments to blogs

I have an issue with people commenting on blogs. Mainly it's about the whole anonymity of it all - my Google ID is DermotMW so it's fairly clear who I am and my profile is open to all to view. If I leave a comment then you can check who I am. However a lot of people leave comments without any way of checking who they are; further, the quality of many comments is poor. Let's look at one I've just deleted from my blog, made in response to an article about the cost of wine in Irish supermarkets.
The comment was from the completely anonymous CJ and PK (by the way, that link is to their "complete profile" and tells us nothing about who or what they are) and read as follows: "How much wine do those supermarket loss-leader offers actually shift? Strikes me that they are largely bought along with a weekly shop when they catch the eye of a casual customer - NOT the person who would go to a wine merchant and buy something decent. So in fact, they do not hugely harm the retail industry.
How low can we go? As our redoubtable CJ once pointed out, "One of the greatest of all book titles is Reach For The Ground, by the late Jeffrey Bernard. Says it all.""

So, in response to an article exploring the very real problem of below-cost (or heavy discounting) selling causing real loss of jobs, their response is to assume that people who shop in supermarkets know little or nothing about good wine (hmm, since I have to admit buying plenty of the quoted wines, what does that say about me?) and that decent wine is only available in wine shops. Pretty insulting all round.
Then, it's topped off with a quote from a "redoubtable" anonymous person about a book where the relevance is hardly explained at all.

Do me a favour, if you're going to comment please make it worthwhile and at least have the courtesy to identify yourself - my name is on my blog so you all know where I'm coming from - why should it be different for you?


Anonymous said...

I thought the main reason people commented on blogs was to draw traffic back to their own blog, and you can't do that while hiding your identity.

I think that, strictly speaking, people can be anonymous if they so wish.

But it does undermine what they say on an issue, as it makes it look as though they may have vested interests or, even if they don't, like they don't have confidence enough in their own argument to attach their name to it.

DermotMW said...

Aha, I've never thought of commenting as a means to get traffic to my blog - ingenious!

Will said...

So commenting here will drive traffic to my blog, brilliant move pinky, first stop 'traffic', next stop 'the world!'

At least you are provoking people enough, Dermot, so that they feel like they need to make a comment. The one nice thing about the comment function on these blogs is that it's easy to delete them...