B.C. Beer Blog

The who, what, where, when, why, and how of B.C. craft beer

Future of the B.C. Beer Blog

with 2 comments

Drinking Angkor beer on the Tonle Sap

Tolerating some local refreshment on the Tonle Sap, Cambodia.

My fellow blogger and B.C. Beer Blog contributor, Muskie McKay, just brought to my attention a blog post entitled, Why bar/restaurant owners should NOT blog. I completely agree with what the writer said. It then made me realize that if you don’t know me personally or follow me on Twitter, you may not know why my posts have become far less frequent. My apologies for not informing you.

Related to why I resigned as President of CAMRA Vancouver, a friend and I started up a travel company with focus on small group travel to Asia, called Adventurocity. Having started two companies previously, I was well aware of the amount of time it takes to create a business. Unless all the stars are aligned and a plum opportunity with a chunk of change attached falls into your lap, it consumes you. So, realistically, I had to pass the helm of CAMRA over to someone with the time to continue building the movement.

Having a background in electronic publishing, I was also well aware of needing to find some way to maintain the momentum I built with this blog. As The Bar Blogger rightly states in the aforementioned post,

I can’t count more than a handful of owners who would have the time, the expertise, the interest or the discipline to be able to maintain a blog. A blog… only works if it is regular and consistent.

So how to keep this blog regular and consistent to serve the readership I had built up? Contributors. I sent out calls for contributors, mostly through Twitter, and was contacted by a handful of interested people. Unfortunately, only Muskie had the time, the expertise, and the discipline to follow through. More than just musings, he delivered the excellent So You Want to Open a Brew Pub series. While it was far more than I expected, the downside is that postings on this blog are no longer regular.

This eventually translates into the loss of a valuable readership, as there is little to offer them any longer. It’s a shame because all that would be needed to maintain the B.C. Beer Blog is, say, six writers posting twice a month to keep things humming along. Ideally, the contributors would span different regions to offer a true province-wide picture of the state of craft beer. With sufficient writing quality, it could even become a commercial undertaking developed to be the leading source of information on B.C craft beer. How nice would it be to make a little money off of one’s impassioned efforts? This wouldn’t be particularly difficult, given how scattered the information currently is; mind you, don’t quit your day job just yet.

I see this lack of a focal point a handicap to advancing the cause of craft beer here. Yes, we’ve come a long way in the last five years, but there is the potential to do a lot better if we worked together in a more co-ordinated fashion. If those of us in the craft beer community who publish aggregated our content in one location, it would make it far easier for people to follow us and develop a conversation around advancing our mission. This does need to happen because as the comments generated from my post on tied houses showed, a unified vision of the future does not currently exist.

With the liquor law changes being contemplated, it is particularly important for this conversation to happen now. We do not have the money the wine people are able to wield in lobbying the government. However, if we utilize technology to efficiently organize and disseminate information, we can make up for this shortcoming. If we do not do this, and there is no one clearly articulating all of the concerns of the B.C. craft beer community to the politicians and bureaucrats, we will lose out.

So if anyone wants to be a contributor to the B.C. Beer Blog, please e-mail me at bodger{at}uniserve{dot}com. In the meantime, I remain active on Twitter. And if you want to have an adventure in Asia, I’ll have found the good beer if there is any to be had.

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Written by BCbrews

June 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Posted in beer

2 Responses

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  1. I have computer problems right now so I only just got around to reading this post. At first I thought you were shutting down the blog… As it is freely hosted on WordPress it should never shut down. I’ve never been a believer that you have to blog everyday or every week, certainly not for a hobby blog. Obviously professional columnists have to produce copy to meet a publishing deadline, but they are A) getting paid and B) likely in print. Online journalism is very much a publish it when you have it finished industry, being first may be more important than being accurate and is certainly considered more important than being thoughtful.

    The best blogs are unique, even quirky, they are usually the work of one person, or at most a small group of dedicated people, they don’t necessarily have a publishing schedule, let alone an editor in chief. One of the advantages of blogs is you can do an end around certain obstacles to publishing information people don’t necessarily want to hear. Blogs are not all good, all the time. Sometimes you need to step away from the keyboard, to calm down, or clear your head, or just live your life. The series of posts I did should remain relevant for a long time, given the pace of liquor law changes and the inflation rate. Even just adding 3% to the costs should more than account for inflation over a year or two.

    I have my own personal issues and I don’t really have any top secret BC Craft Beer content I didn’t share, perhaps in the future the stars will realign. One thing I have to recommend is maintaining a high level of quality control. There are more than enough crappy blogs online.

    Good luck!

    muskie

    June 18, 2012 at 10:14 am

    • No, I won’t actually shut the blog down. I think the content — e.g. SYWTOABP, the recipes — has some evergreen value, so it will remain accessible. I’m just hoping to develop the blog to its potential as a quality, collaborative effort that will advance the understanding and cause of craft beer in BC. As a group effort, it can be much more, with more impact. And with only having to maintain one brand, more time can be devoted to creating content and generating discussion. I think it can also serve as neutral ground between the brewing & hospitality industries and consumers where their interests may diverge — e.g. FUSS, BYOB.

      BCbrews

      June 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm


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