BREWPUBLIC is pleased to participate in The Session, a unique opportunity for beer bloggers from around the world to chime in on a specific topic of their choosing and to write from their own perspective on said topic. The idea for the Sessions began with fellow beer writers Jay Brooks and Stan Hieronymus to gather a variety of perspectives in the craft beer blogosphere. Each month, a different beer blogger hosts the Session, and as Brooks puts it he/she “chooses a topic and creates a round-up listing all of the participants, along with a short pithy critique of each entry. Over time, it is the hope — of me, at least — that a record will be created with much useful information about various topics on the subject of beer.” For Brewpublic’s session, it was difficult to come up with a topic initially since so many interesting ideas have already been put on the table. So in our Session, we are going to get a little “meta” on this and look at what drives beer bloggers. If you are a beer blogger, you are encouraged to participate in joining us on April 6, 2012 and post your own thoughts and insights on this introspective topic.
The title question really gets to the heart of the matter: “What Drives Beer Bloggers?” It is apparent that blogging in general serves the authors in a variety of means. First and foremost, it is important to look at what a blog really is. A portmanteau, or a blending of two words, “Web” and “log”, blogging is defined as “a Web site containing the writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other Web sites.” Sounds a tad narcissistic to some. In fact, the popular, often humorous collection of modern day colloquialisms and turns-of-phrase that offer a somewhat democratic glance into our culture known as UrbanDictionary.com has an interesting series of takes on the matter. Submitted definitions on the site are rated by readers and ranked according to popularity. Here, the most popular definition of “blog” is: “A meandering, blatantly uninteresting online diary that gives the author the illusion that people are interested in their stupid, pathetic life. Consists of such riveting entries as “homework sucks” and “I slept until noon today.” You can see what we mean.
Angelo and Oregon's original beer blogger John Foyston of The Oregonian
So is narcissism really at the heart of what it means to be a blogger? Perhaps on some level it is. After all, one of the underlying reasons any of us construct our blogs is to be read. Still, is this to prop our own egos or to contribute to the general betterment and proliferation of that which we seek to project? With Brewpublic, we have always seen our blog as an opportunity to first and foremost serve as a platform to promote the culture of craft beer. You may have noticed the recent rise of craft beer culture in what many dub “the Craft Beer Revolution.” The fact that so many beer blogs have emerged in recent years is a testament to the advancements that quality and innovation have served in our society. Further it is a nod to the ever growing acknowledgement of the prominence of the Internet and social media. Wine bloggers were pioneers in the evangelistic efforts of craft beverage drinker, likely due to the preconceived notion that wine is a drink of social importance, whereas beer has continued to position itself as more than just a lowbrow tipple. As made evident by the staggering growth in craft brewing in our country (more than 1,700 breweries now in the United States), craft beer is beginning to garner the respect is has so long been neglected. In 2012, the third annual Beer Bloggers Conference will be held in Indianapolis (the first two were held in Boulder, CO and Portland, OR) and is another exemplification of this division’s growth. According to the conference’s blog, today there exists close to 900 citizen beer blogs in North America. From “A Beer A Day” to “Zythum-An Ale Analogy“, each blog poses a unique glimpse into craft beer and what it might implicate.
But why do people decide to start a blog (Okay, so not all “blogs” are personal. Many breweries have recognized the value of social media in modern society)? One thing seems true of most blogs: they are easy to start. All you need is a a computer and a rudimentary understanding of the Internet to initiate your meanderings. The difficulty resides in keeping up with content and reaching an audience. What draws folks to your site? And, what makes you think people want to read what you write?
Your mission as a craft beverage blogger reading this post, should you choose to accept it, is to compose a post on the topic of “What Drives Beer Bloggers.” There are no rigid guidelines about how to write about this topic but we’d certainly love to hear about the history behind your blog, your purpose in creating it, its evolution, and/or what your goals in keeping it going.
In order to partake in “The Session”, either link back to this blog post in your article, or post a link to it on Brewpublic. The following Monday, I will collect and present a summary of all the Session #62 blogs. As mentioned, on Friday April 6, 2012, we’ll assess this matter in further detail and recap your responses. We look forward to reading your take on this! Cheers!