One of New Zealand's best known wineries if Kim Crawford, makers of excellent Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay - among many others. The winery is pushing the social networking principle further than the usual suspects by creating their own "The Artists' Lounge" - an "online community as a place for emerging artists and those who appreciate the arts to share inspirations and artwork with each other for the chance to inspire." The site consists of two lounges, The Artists' Lounge and a Music Lounge. The first contains an "Artists in Residence", a community of emerging artists representing various artistic categories: fashion, music, photography, print making and poetry. There is also a forum which allows members - anyone who registers - the ability to post ideas, "a work of art, or anything to ignite and inspire The Artists' Lounge community". Finally the The Artists' Lounge contains a Member Gallery where both members and resident artists can share their artwork.
Whereas this lounge will undoubtedly interest many readers, our focus and interest are in the Music Lounge. Every few months the lounge selects a handful of artists to showcase - some from Oceania, some from North America. We felt the site legitimize themselves immediately by selected The Greencards and Sarah Bettens as one of the initial artists. The remaining artists were unknown to us - one important rational for visiting the site - to find new artists. I really liked the soulful vocals of Daphne Willis, Nathan Gaunt, and the jazz sound of Weather Pending and Sutro. The others were also good: Boh Runga, John Zambricki, Leftover Cuties, and Van Risseghem. Now, the goal of any good social networking site is to draw traffic and promote their brand. Kim Crawford's "The Artists' Lounge" has perked our interest. Not only will we be regular visitors to this site - we plan to look for Crawford's wines during our next trip to Norm's Beer & Wine.