Possibly Excerpted From The Economist, February 1, 2013
Inside-Sonoma, laid to rest January 30, 2013. She was 4 ½. Her contents were subsumed by SonomaCounty.com
At its conception it was to be named “Extreme Grape Juice.”
Originally discussed as a one of the Skunkworks projects of an over-caffeinated and under-regulated marketing department of a brand-new tourism organization, it was never really going to see the light of day. Rather, it was bandied about as a way to reach “millenials” or to “crack the whip on the long tail” or “other marketing terms yet to be named.”
Birthed with a little bit of money and a lot of naiveté, she started off quietly enough with the first post, innocuously titled “Goat Cheese Revolution!” Fellow travelers and in-the-know foodies took notice, but outside the realm of comrades-in-wine and other SonomaSymps, few took notice.
The little blog had one mission, and one mission only: to cover things of interest to Sonoma County aficionados. And to post something roughly every day. In the early days there were one or two lonely writers, usually banging out some purple prose while heavily Pinoted late at night at their homes, or reworking old press releases discovered in the archives, the purple prose in this case being the mimeographed type that was rapidly fading from the paper.
No subject was too racy, too outlandish or too controversial for the blog, which had a way of scooping the bigger, fancier guys. The story about the caged-death match between chefs and a cuddly lamb was first unveiled on its pages, and it was the first (and possible only) to have not only a food-and-wine tattoo contest but to have an actual polling place where voters could choose the winner. The blog took sophomoric delight in achieving ever higher google rankings for ever lower topics. A simple google image search for Bruce Willis still yields to a post about the appearance of his Yippikayyaness at the Sonoma International Film Festival. And, of course, the blog mentioned that the acronym for said festival is still one of the best around, if only because it is so catchy.
After a while, Inside-Sonoma grew far beyond the dreams of its creators. Professional writers were hired, topics were formalized, there were talks of “editorial calendars” and “content fluidity.” While the quality went up, and the awards from the industry piled up with it, it became evident that the blog could not keep up with the breakneck pace of multiple posts daily on several different topics. It was like the last 10 minutes of a “VH-1 Behind the Music” special, but without anyone getting arrested for indecency whilst hanging out the roof of a limo.
She hopes to be remembered for what she was – a bit of humor and irreverence and love letters to and about Sonoma County. She was birthed out of a crazy idea, raised by manic parents and stumbled through her adolescence with help from her friends: Carey, Miguel, James, Duane, Keri, Andrew, Suzie, Jen, Tina, Tyffani, other James (the one with the beard), David, Serena, Lynda, Siouxsie, Jenntern, Matt, Travel Andrew and the anonymous cast of thousands.
The best of Inside-Sonoma will be moved to the new and improved SonomaCounty.com, which will take the essence of the blog, the rebelliousness, the delight in the absurd and joy of living and preaching about Sonoma County, to an ever greater audience. And the rest, the posts about King Lear, or in praise of doing nothing, or picking a fight with a blimp, or lamentations about Pluto’s fall from grace… they will live on in the hearts of the readers. And hopefully archive.org.
In lieu of flowers, please send coffee.