And so it starts! What a cool journey, and we're only near the beginning. Very proud of this product. It's a version 1. There's plenty to do, plenty to iterate - but it's out there. That's the important part.
Crowdsourced rating app set to shake up the wine industry
Deciding which wine to buy can be a daunting experience, says Real Time Wine (@realtimewine) founder Andy Hadfield (@andyhadfield) – which is why the 140-character wine blog has now become a fully realised mobile product, including free smartphone apps. “It’s a smooth, sexy and extremely useful mobile experience,” says Hadfield, “a giant leap forward from the blog-style pilot we started with”.
“Most wine buyers are not wine experts,” Hadfield points out. “The challenge of discovering new wine at the right price is so great that we tend to stick to the old and familiar. Real Time Wine makes the process of choosing, drinking and sharing wine easy. It’s a real tool for a particularly fun hobby!”
The free app allows users to browse short reviews by other everyday wine drinkers, check prices, contribute their own pictures or reviews and share the experience on social media.
“The more reviews a wine has, the more reliable the rating will be,” says Hadfield. “So we’ve made it as easy as possible for people to contribute their own opinions. Just tap an icon to add a Yum, Hmm or Yuk rating, or if you feel moved to say more, you can check in when you’re drinking the wine and add a review.”
There’s a catch, though: Real Time Wine bans wine review clichés and jargon. “Words like ‘bouquet’, ‘compote’ and ‘sweaty saddle’ are just wine snob waffle,” says Hadfield. “If one of our users tries to slip in a banned word we’ll gently suggest an alternative. We want real words from real people.”
Real Time Wine is available free for most smartphones at http://realtimewine.com, or as a standalone app for iPhone and Android users. It can be found on the Apple and Google Play stores currently. Downloads from other local app stores (Samsung, Vodacom) will be available soon.
Hadfield says the app will ultimately become a “social wine discovery” tool. “People can track and explore their own tastes, find others who have the same tastes and discover new wines to try. Wine is one of the pleasures of life – we want to take away the anxiety and focus on the fun.”
The app has been developed in partnership with Prezence Digital (@prezencedigital) and with support from AngelHub (@angelhubza).
http://realtimewine.com (for mobile web version)
http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/real-time-wine/id537695945?mt=8 (Apple app)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.real_time_wine (Android app)
QUOTES FROM THOSE INVOLVED
Michael Jordaan (@michaeljordaan). Bartinney & Investor. “Anything that marries the power of the consumer voice with smartphones and wine - makes me pay attention. Excited to see how everyday wine drinkers use this new tool!”
Mike Ratcliffe (@mikeratcliffe). Warwick Wine Estate & Investor. “It’s like Trip Advisor for wine drinkers!”
Keet van Zyl (@angelhubza). Cofounder AngelHub. "Real Time Wine is a good example of a venture that operates at the intersection of technology and consumerism - an exciting space for growth in emerging market economies. The gamification element is infectious - it draws you in to contribute, but also adds value to your wine experience via your interactive profile."
Tim Bishop (@timprezence). CTO Prezence Digital. “From a technical point of view, using the "web app approach" gives a product like Real Time Wine a foot up in a market like South Africa. It allows app-like user experience and functionality, built on a scalable core - which means it's accessible to millions of handsets via the browser. The product can also be "wrapped up" and delivered via app stores. Perfect for a South African ecosystem where we see a huge range of devices being used.”
SOME USER FEEDBACK SO FAR
@zeroinne: The plot thickens… Guys, @realtimewine is cooler than a Che Guevara T-shirt at a 2007 high-school civvies day. Soooo excited!
@darranstone: Just uploaded my first couple of reviews on the new @realtimewine mobi site. Its fantastic!!
@marcforrest: Geez. The @realtimewine web app is awesome and amazing !! Nice one @andyhadfield @deonheunis @timprezence
@richardjwalton: Loving the new @realtimewine beta mobi site, it's a real game changer…
@MrDragon182: Yes please! @realtimewine app looking good! Distracting me from studying though...
@eBooze: Have you seen the @realtimewine app yet? Very cool way of rating and finding new wine.