I’ve just received the first email from the new BeerPulse service that Adam Nason is putting together and it sort of captures the new world of the online blogosphere in my mind, one in which original content is largely aggregated from other sources, including mainstream media. It also immediately raised to mind a few issues I hadn’t previously considered.

Perhaps it is my own self-selection, but it seems (and I am largely without empirical proof on this one) that the cause of beer blogging has slowed considerably in the last year or two. I’m not sure whether you’d see this reflected in the attendance logs for the Beer Bloggers Conference, but that zealous crowd might not be particularly reflective of the larger amateur beer writing community. You can, however, observe the creeping inclusion of corporate beer bloggers into the conference’s attendance ranks, so that skews attendance upwards.

The Sessions beer writing project turned 5 in March, having now endured 64 sessions (I have somehow escaped ever having participated). Oddly enough, BeerAdvocate Magazine is now celebrating its 64th iteration as well. And as one of its columnists, I can honestly say that some months the ideas do not come without a fight. Perhaps writing online about beer has just grown stale (I still hate the term ‘beer blogger’ as it comes across as a pejorative when uttered by most people, myself likely included. I still correct people when they apply it to me, especially as this article constitutes only my second original post on this site in the last 6 months — so I figure real bloggers would object). I’m coming upon 10 years of having published articles about beer online, having registered BeerScribe.com in July 2002. But my website even back then was largely about reprinting my previous print writing. So I’m not sure I have ever really adopted or adapted to beer blogging in its traditional sense.

It also seems that the number of contributors to the Session seem to have dropped off some over the years. But, again, that is a small, hard-core crowd, as it is with the Beer Bloggers Conference. So it is hard to judge whether that has any merit. In the end, it just feels to me as if the quantity and content of beer blogging has diminished in the past year or two. Perhaps the novelty has worn off or people have just gone back to just drinking beer.

So back to BeerPulse (formerly BeerNews.org). I briefly had the chance to meet Adam while in San Diego for the Craft Brewers Conference and his site is a valuable addition to the craft beer information marketplace, especially his original reportage. But beyond his original material, BeerPulse has received some criticism for being an aggregator service, namely one that simply republishes/redirects to content and original reporting on craft beer found elsewhere on the net, with only a quick aside or comment lead-in.

Thinking about the new BeerPulse service and direction, I’m left with one question:

Has the news aggregator killed beer blogging or has it just run its course?

It does seem to make the whole process of engaging with the world of craft beer a lot easier (and frankly lazier for the receiver of information). I wonder whether such services have a negative impact on the participation by so-called citizen or amateur bloggers, who now compete with local television affiliates, newspapers, and corporate media purveyors for scoops about their favorite breweries.

To be clear, BeerPulse certainly provides a service in its aggregation efforts. I could of course set up hundreds or thousands of Google Alerts for every conceivable brewery, beer, bar, or event combination and then sift through the results, but that sounds like a horrible way to spend some time. So I’m happy somebody else does it for me. Back when the mainstream media spent little time covering the craft beer segment, one only had to keep up with individual beer blogs. While that seemed like a chore, and in the days before Google Reader, beer tech saint Jonathan Surratt put together the excellent but now-defunct Real Simple Beer Syndication. I still miss RSBS because it didn’t allow me to filter which blogs I reviewed. They were all there for the perusing. While I once at least scanned the headlines for hundreds upon hundreds of beer blogs, I now self-select and only take a look at about 20 beer blogs.

Of course, I could be very wrong about the current health and continued success of beer blogging. I do receive a couple of emails every week from aspiring beer bloggers asking me to take a look at their blog. So, for once, check out the blog from today’s emailer, Ben from Toronto (whose post recounts how someone I’ve never met called me an idiot a few times regarding my thoughts on beer cocktails).

And there are of course plenty of beer bloggers who have been at it and stayed at it for a considerable length of time, including my Internet brother-by-another-server Alan McLeod. Why not check out what his bedside table beer book library looked like in 2003, comprising his first beer blog post. It’s pretty amazing that he has been able to continually write a handful of posts every week, often in an entertaining and engaging fashion. I couldn’t have done it for a month let alone nearly a decade.

And I think Alan summed it up best with the last line from his first post:

“Funny, suddenly I can think of something I’d rather be doing than typing…”

-Article for once was not previously published in BeerAdvocate Magazine.

28 Responses to “Is The Beer Blog Dead? And Did The Beer News Aggregator Kill It?”

  1. Joe Stange says:

    I can’t and won’t speak for others, but my blog has slowed for a reason: I no longer feel the pressure to post something every day, or nearly so. Why? Twitter. I can put the quick stuff there, leaving the theoretically more thoughtful stuff for the blog when I get around to it. Even better, I can save it for paid work.

  2. Adam says:

    Steve Rubel put it best nearly 3 years ago: http://adage.com/article/steve.....rs/140674/

    Curation example for the unfamiliar: a small Eugene, OR, newspaper reports that a large craft brewery is doubling capacity with a big expansion. Sure, I’ll ‘curate’ that (or aggregate or whatever) so that beer people outside of Eugene see it: http://www.beerpulse.com/2012/.....ion-video/

    In addition to curation, there is the community management/inbound marketing piece of it (engaging with the community & making sure you’re driving enough people to your site to make your revenue model work). Then there is the sales piece. I take time each day to talk to customers and/or manage banner ads, etc. Those three pieces easily take up more than an 8-hour day, generally always more (maybe I’m just slow).

    So when I finally had a ‘holiday’ weekend, what did I do? I sat down and re-listened to a couple hours worth of CBC interviews that I did 3 weeks ago, took notes/transcribed and got that stuff up on the site. The “original reportage” is an important compliment to curated content.

    Re: criticism, I’ve received exactly one email from someone with a subscription-only publication asking me not to curate their work & they acknowledged they felt I was doing so under ‘fair use.’ The number of requests I’ve received from other publishers to curate their work has easily passed 100 at this point. Maybe 200.

    And here it is past 1am and at what time will I awake to start it all up again?

    Adam (BeerPulse)

    • Andy says:

      And it’s after 2 am so I’ll keep this short til the morning. No question you work hard and provide a service, both through aggregation (not sure what curation is, seems like too cute a word for it; perhaps aggregation is an unlikely pejorative) and original reporting. My point was only that I’ve sensed a drop-off in blog content running parallel to the rise of the aggregation services. On the other hand, Joe is inevitably right about the role Twitter plays in all of this.

      As to criticism, I can speak from experience when I note that critics love to complain to other people about the focal points of their critiques (or as often is the case in the beer world, sniping gossip). I’ve heard from others. Frankly, I’m not sure what the complaints are really about. I think the service is valuable.

      Andy

  3. Bailey says:

    In the UK, new beer blogs keep emerging even as veterans hang up their WordPress logins. They continue to find new angles and present new experiences — the guy from the wine trade who’s learning to love beer; the woman who is learning about beer from scratch with massive enthusiasm; the apprentice brewer recording his training from day one.

    What has perhaps passed is the sense of ambition and self-importance: when we started blogging, there were more people who seemed to be after a book deal or a TV spot, or wanted to create the ‘one place on the internet to come for all things beer’.

    Blogs, en masse, remain important; but no individual blog is massively so; and they’re part of a mix of media including books, magazines, ebooks, Twitter and YouTube.

  4. According to a tweet (of course) from the Beer Bloggers Conference the number of beer blogs in the U.S. and Canada either just passed 1,000 or is about to. Beyond the obvious question of how you define them – Brew Like a Monk appears blog like, but isn’t really and is never updated – this (to me, at least) signals still growing interest in talking about beer.

    They may not interest you – because many of those conversations are the same as 5 years ago, and the names of the beers may or may not have changed, and you’ve been there, done that. But they do interest the people involved, who I am guess – totally guessing – find a few blogs to hang out with and don’t care about aggregation/curation.

    • Andy says:

      Hey Stan-

      That is an interesting number but I wonder, as you you note, how often those 1000+ are actually updated, if ever. And my level of interest in blogs, while perhaps an unfortunate aside in my post, is actually irrelevant to my question. I genuinely feel as if there is less beer blogging lately. And while I may squabble with bloggers from time to time, at the core of it, I am looking for solid content and interesting information and a multitude of blogs can provide this. So they are vital to a thriving beer writing ecosystem, however small a role each individual blog may play, and I would like to see them succeed. Perhaps I am just not looking in the right places but I think the follow-up issue is that even the bloggers that I follow seem to have largely given up on providing any real content. It all seems like filler. I find myself, more often than not, clicking on Reader links to Adam’s work, which inevitably re-routes me to some mainstream media source (however small and distant, as with all of his links to the local Asheville news outlets). That is different than two years ago and so I think the aggregation services, of which Adam provides the most notable player, have changed and influenced the beer blogging game.

      Cheers,

      Andy

  5. Alan says:

    Thanks for the very kind words. Google reader has certainly shifted the rules as not only has it rerouted readership but in doing so it scooped the hope of advertising that peaked in late 2009. But was that why I do this? I do a lot of stuff. I am a municipal corporate lawyer – but not one with a 100 hours a week practice fortunately. I have 3 kids. We also foster parent very young children, something I don’t write about but actually wish I could. We are graduating our 21st guest today and could have triplets born last week by the weekend. I garden. I was running a vintage baseball team. But I am not handy around the house, do not jog, haven’t taken to pro writing, couldn’t be bothered with a nightlife, spending a lot on clothes or keeping up with the neighbours. Blogging fits me because I have a day dreamy sort of life that means I look forward to spending the day writing one long purchase of services RFP. Bit of a word nerd. Or maybe an idea nerd.

    I just can’t imagine there are that many people who share the sort of mental state and life circumstances that allows for 45 minutes in the easy chair as the kids watch DVDs of 1970′s UK sci-fi so I can think little thoughts about a business I have nothing to do with. Beer is a theme in our society that leads to history, trade, law, health, politics and a whack of other things. Plus it is inordinately tasty AND gives a mild buzz. It is the soma from Brave New World. It is immersive. Like slipping into a bath or listening to radio. It is a player in the market but at all levels has its own unique perversions of the market. It is not worth noticing yet a huge percentage of the population spend part of the work week whistfully thinking of having one or more on Friday. It may well kill me.

    What isn’t aggregated and so far not capable of aggregation are all those thoughts over all those 2700 posts or so of mine and all those thousands and thousands of posts of others and millions of comments. You are right to not love “blog” but the collective body of writing now eclipsed by twitter and soon to be eclipsed further by the next big thing must count for something. Just not sure what.

  6. Brian says:

    You raise a good point, but it all depends on the type of blog.

    BeerPulse is my number one place to go to for Beer news and press releases. Anyone can repost the news or a press release that is sent to them, but Adam does it right, and it works for everyone.

    I shy away from posting the news because there are 1,000 (probably more) blogs and sites that post the same news. Bloggers should strive to set themselves apart from others and write about their experiences and thoughts. That’s how I operate. I do help local bars/breweries by posting their press releases, but if I don’t add my own commentary or style to it, I’m just a robot.

    So to go back to your questions: “Is The Beer Blog Dead? And Did The Beer News Aggregator Kill It?”. The answer is, if all your blogging about is the news, then yes. That’s not a blog. If you are a blogger like myself and many others, you will continue to return to our blogs to read viewpoints and experiences that you will not find in any other blog.

    • Andy says:

      Hi Brian-

      You make an excellent point regarding news versus the personal observational nature of blogging that I had not really considered. I think that is perhaps the heart of my disconnect with the act of blogging and bloggers themselves. As a reader and a writer, I’m looking for news/information and not the personal observations. Good point.

      So I’ve seen a drop off in news in recent years clarifies my point.

      Cheers,

      Andy

      • Brian says:

        I hear you. I just wrote a quick post about my writing style and how I don’t want to read certain bloggers post’s who I deem “Mark as Read” bloggers. You need to stand out from the rest of the crowd otherwise you just writing to yourself.

        But we all organized our feeds differently. I have BeerPulse and FullPint as my go to news sources. The rest are bloggers who I seldom see the same press release from, unless its a local brewery.

  7. Alan says:

    Yes, that is an excellent point and one I have not seen aired for years, frankly. What is a blog? I am pretty sure it is not a group or corporate effort. It should be the log of things one person experiences… and hopefully with a decent level of web related content and context. It is not a diary which is another word for “log” used by the dry footed. It is a set of HTML links or whatever we call them these days. If I am not cross referencing through links when I write a post, I have failed. Also, it should be fairly informal, dashed off and allow for comments in reverse chronological order. It should be someone’s place. If you crap on my lawn I get to delete you.

    Are beer blogs dead? That definitely requires consideration of what is a blog.

  8. Ben says:

    Far from killing the beer blog, I feel like news aggregating websites feed the bloggers. Speaking from my own experience, I tend to read numerous beer “news” sites a day and often I catch something that I have an opinion on and want to write about, which becomes a blog post. I guess I fall in the category of those that feel blogging is more personal opinion-based than news aggregation.

    Incidentally, thanks for the link love–and the rather dubious distinction of having my beer blog mentioned in a post lamenting the death of the beer blog…

  9. Maureen Ogle says:

    Although only tangentially connected to this “community,” I find all this interesting.

    First, as always, I fall over in a dead heap of admiration for McLeod’s thoughtful reply (and then fall over again in exhaustion at his detailing of the “rest of” his life beyond beer. Uff.) Those blogs about beer that are most interesting aren’t exactly “about beer,” but, as Alan points out, other stuff……

    So perhaps what needs to be sorted here comes down to Brian’s thoughtful point: what’s a blog? News or ponderings??? I’m not even slightly interested in reading “news” as “reading” (if that makes sense). Rather, I turn to blogs like those from Andy, Alan, Stan, Jay because they’re mostly about everything except “beer.” Beer is only the vehicle for larger commentary.

    And people like Adam, and most especially Adam, provide a significant service (one missing, as noted by Andy, since the demise of Jonathan’s rsBs service.

    So if “blogging” has fallen off, perhaps it’s because those interested in Pondering Large are doing so, but there’s some kind of natural limit to the number of such folks, and MOST online providers are more interested in gathering news (an immensely valuable service) than in Pondering Large. (Again, hoping that makes sense.)

  10. Zac says:

    Beer blogging is going the same direction as all blogging. Interest is waning for those who are not that serious about blogging (or can’t make money off it). We’ll settle at a reasonable number which may be more or less than where we are today. If you can’t think of anything to say about beer, someone else will come up with something to fill the void. Beer blogging, like blogging in general, is not dead.

  11. olllllo says:

    Something that I have noticed about blogging is that many get into the game and start out by reviewing beers. There are very few people that can do this in an engaging and interesting way. Couple that with the fact that Ratebeer and BeerAdvocate have made the beer review a commodity and it’s clear why a blog dies off after 6 or 8 months.

    A Pliney the Elder review from a neophyte blogger seems to be the Stairway to Heaven of the beer review world. Played out.

    To me the real service the bloggers provide is the first hand accounts of experience and analysis ans the things that Maureen Ogle and others commented on. There is also a need for hyper local blogging. The real super-heroes will be the one that can pull together he dozens of sources of event information and pull it into something digestible ala http://stlhops.com/ or http://brewpublic.com/. There is a need to take the information that Adam distributes and thoughtfully opine on what some other brewery is doing in New England impacts what is happening in AZ.

    The point about big media and TV covering beer is a point lost on me. It’s so very often incorrect or superficial. I caught our state’s largest paper aggregating their own material in a completely nonsensical way– Top 10 list of breweries, many of which were restaurants. I broke the story on a growler law change here about a montha ago that took even the brewers guild off guard. I’m almost positive that it has not been covered by any other news outlet other than another blog.

  12. olllllo says:

    I’ll also add that there are somethings that if I didn’t write about it, no one would. I find that those are the blogs that I read. I know that no one else is writing about the things that Alan, Stan, Jeff, Ron, Martyn are writing.

    There are few blogs like Boak and Bailey that transport me instantly to some other place. You can’t beat that.

    To Zac’s point. Maybe blogs are right-sized. In any case, twitter can’t kill blogging because twitter’s been declared dead 95,300 times according to google (dead also 33,600 results).

  13. Tom Riles says:

    With any form of writing, it takes time and effort. Are bloggers, for beer or otherwise, willing to put this into their writing anymore when you have the ability to quickly post short comments on Twitter, as Joe commented above? Perhaps. Maybe the wave of the future is for audience-specific websites, such as Life of Dad (the first social network for Dads) employing the use of their own beer blogger. We’ve been lucky to having our very own Beer Guy, who has put in the time and effort to blogging about beer, in addition to his much more important responsibilities of being a Dad.

    In the short two months we’ve had him on board at Life of Dad, we’ve received a number of visits at the site and exposure from various parts of the country because of the beers and breweries that were highlighted. Sure, some of the content “is aggregated from other sources,” but as long as it’s written in a way that brings our community of Dads “into the know” about a beer-related subject, I’m for it. I find nothing wrong with using other sources, when cited properly. Original content is always preferred, though. Either way, having an audience-specific following and bringing topics such as beer to folks who wouldn’t otherwise read about it might just be the way to go.

  14. Another Alan says:

    I appreciate and subscribe to Brian’s point of view about the differences between a blog and a news site. I quite like Adam’s work because it helps me keep up with the big picture beer world. At times it gives me something to poke fun at. Other times, the news is too tedious to sift through. I really don’t care about the new beer label approved for a brewery in Maryland that will never be distributed in Montana. I do care about Adam’s thoughts and highlights when some curious controversy sparks cross the wires.

    The beer bloggers conference is an interesting dynamic. I struggled mightily with the decision to go last year (where I met Brian). Why? Because I’m just a guy, with a full time job and other commitments who keeps sane by writing a beer “blog” which is not even remotely close to my day job. What I found at the conference was 90 other people just like me (and a handful of industry bloggers) with day jobs and other commitments and a similar interest in beer. Sure, some are “hard core” bloggers, but most of us simply saw an opportunity for a fun conference and a chance to learn some new stuff. I am curious to see if the conference loses some of that dynamic and becomes more “corporate” now that it is gaining popularity.

    I am not interested in recycling news releases, but am glad someone else does so I can keep better informed. Certainly, the blogs I read most are the ones which provide commentary about beer related subjects and personal observations more so than a beer review or a news release. I rather enjoy reading about McLeod’s pilgrimages across the border to find beer because, living in a giant state with a small population, it is something I can identify with.

    No, the beer blog isn’t dead. It’s evolving along with our tastes and interests.

  15. Jeff Alworth says:

    Blogs are definitely on the wane. Social media is the main reason–blogs are no longer the only way to offer opinions.

    This is unfortunate. Blogs occupy an important niche in the mediascape, and they can’t easily be replaced by Facebook, Twitter, or BeerAdvocate. This January will mark ten years of my blogging. Like Alan, I got started with politics and my beer blog came a few years after A Good Beer Blog. But even when I started it in ’06, it filled an important role of putting out information about beer. Local media have essentially abandoned beer, and there’s no way print magazines can keep up with the explosion of news that happens in a country with 2000 breweries.

    No one has to turn to blogs now–and indeed they increasingly don’t. Yet to offer an example from Beervana (just one in a series!) this week, we can still provide a level of reportage that no one else is doing. I could rattle off another dozen blogs where people do distinctive, interesting writing you don’t find elsewhere.

    Andy, I’m glad you don’t identify as a blogger–you’re not one. It’s actually a fair amount of work and you do it without the imprimatur of a publisher. You do it because you like the topic and you like to write (or can’t stop yourself). I’ve done “real” writing for 15 years and I’m on my second book, but I always identify myself as a blogger, no qualifications. Unlike most writers, I’m a blogger who does a bit of paid writing on the side.

    Viva la blog!

  16. Speaking from the perspective of an author and editor of a blog, the one concern I have about aggregators like Beer News is how much click through traffic they actually generate for the original source? Adam can boil down an entire essay into three or four essential sentences and generate an immense amount of traffic, which contributes to his ad revenue and sponsorship interest. Where does this leave the original author or original news source, who spent a lot of time gathering info, editing photos and writing the story?

    Curators are certainly important and valuable, but they also thrive on actual authors. Without authors they’re potentially just an extension of a breweries PR machine.

  17. Sol says:

    Andy,

    good post and this is what Beer Blogging is about, putting in a point of view that has different commentary on it. I write on beer as I enjoy analysis, and I love looking at trends, in what started out as a blog on Festivals.

    I dont tend to go to 5 or 20 same bloggers every month, I will go onto links via Twitter & Google Alerts that tell me articles that are on topics I’m interested in. For articles its the comments sections that I enjoy reading as this is Web 2.0 that didn’t really exist 5 years ago. This is what enriches articles for me over reading stories in Beer magazines, or newspapers that rely on paid advertising.

    Similar to the other guys, I make no money on beer blogging, but find its my creative side that somehow gets people to click on my pages. I travel the world for fun drinking beer, and I’m lucky enough to do it, so I write about it. I dont care if I offend in my views on topics. As mainstream media can’t do it. Bloggers can.

    Good topic mate.

  18. Adam says:

    Brian,

    To re-iterate, I do plenty of my own original reporting in addition to curating. As to the brewery PR machine remark, while you don’t post verbatim press releases from what I’ve seen, your content propping up craft breweries effectively achieves a similar end so I’m not sure where that comment is coming from.

    There are fundamental differences in consistent daily news content vs. feature content (a la Bay Area Craft Beer). I need to play off of the hot topics of the day that are being covered elsewhere. I’m lean and don’t have a consistent writing staff yet so curation is the only way to do that. So how best to do this to benefit both myself and the original reporter? Still learning the answer to that question.

    I’ve linked to you 5x over the life of BeerPulse/Beer News and sent 258 clicks (per Google Analytics – take it for what it is worth). Some of those were ‘beer notes’ style where I linked to a lot of articles so I don’t know how to accurately count up the total traffic I got from you.

    I can isolate it for the most recent though. I linked to you in an article about FiftyFifty’s barrel program expanding. That was my headline and I essentially pulled one sentence from your article that had information in it. I then added context for a national audience that wasn’t present in your article (as it is a locally-based blog).

    The two links:

    http://beerpulse.com/2011/12/f.....g-program/

    http://www.bayareacraftbeer.co.....8ttbNVDySr

    I got 360 clicks and sent back 9 to you. Those 360 clicks maybe made me 70-80 cents in ad revenue for what probably took 15-30 minutes or more of work. And if I’m doing close to 500 posts & 300 beer labels a month, I’m not sure how to allocate the proceeds from the other sponsored posts that I run. For the intensive amount of time it takes, it just doesn’t seem that parasitic to me.

    I could have referenced your article & linked in < 140 characters with one sentence and re-framed the whole thing around the Eclipse release instead though I'd guess that the amount of clicks would be the same to you.

    What's in it for you? Out of those 9 clicks (or the other 250), how many of those people turn into occasional or full-time readers? How many people see that article and link to it on Reddit or Beer Advocate or RateBeer later. Not always but generally, it is the original link that I'm sharing that gets shared. It's probably the last point that is why I get submissions from other beer bloggers to share/curate their content on the site.

    Eventually, I'd like to streamline the process a bit and would be happy enough just pushing the headline itself through the site. It's certainly a developing thing and there are some technological challenges in making that work. Not to mention, challenges in finding time to break away from adding content and do development work.

    Cheers,
    Adam

    • Adam,

      I know you do original reporting in addition to curating, and yes, there are big differences between what we do as you stated correctly.

      Although I do publish occasional news and reviews, I try to concentrate primarily on feature content, because in my observation, most beer blogs focus on beer reviews and personal narratives, not behind the scenes stories. Unfortunately, as you most certainly know, this isn’t a good business model, but it’s critical to the industry. Even the Brewers Association has been emphasizing this to breweries in the context of their own PR initiatives. There is a need for narrative.

      My PR machine comment was rooted in a desire for substance, but it also blows my mind every time I see a brewery issue a press release via email and twitter, and how many blogs race to spit it out verbatim as fast as possible so they can generate traffic for their individual site. While this does disseminate important info on occasion, the source simply becomes an extension of the brewery’s PR department, providing free advertising without filter or context. All blogs, even mine, prop up the industry to varying degrees, but I believe balance of content is important, depending on the content model of the site.

      Now for the traffic part of this discussion. Thank you for sharing your the data by the way. I’ve seen similar numbers in my analysis. While you are providing me value with the click throughs, why not acknowledge your sources more or better?

      For example, when applicable, why not share the Twitter handle or Facebook profile of the original source when you promote the news that appears on your site via social media? On your site, why not credit the source before the quote instead of after? Also, why don’t you host a blog roll on your website of sources you think are valuable? These suggestions don’t represent a technological hurdle and would be a nice gesture.

      I say this because I don’t think the original link often gets shared on Reddit or Beer Advocate, because it’s much easier for the reader to simply hit your share buttons or copy the URL. Why would they click through to another site and then do it? Also, based on my observation of social media streams, I suspect your tweet and Facebook posts get shared more often than the original source.

      Lastly, why can’t you simply share the headline in a blog post? What technological leap does this require? It doesn’t need to be automated.

  19. Adam says:

    Press releases generally contain enough context in my opinion but there are some cases where they don’t. It’s obviously a judgment call.

    The issue of quality versus speed has definitely crossed my mind many times. I post up label approvals similarly without any context. Volume is the name of the game in an online environment where Adsense pays scraps. I’m working toward building enough revenue by other means to be able to ditch Adsense but part of me thinks speed will always be critical, even more going forward.
    Reporters in more developed industries often blurt things out by Twitter first and then write articles with content later.

    It’s here to stay.

    why not share the Twitter handle or Facebook profile of the original source when you promote the news that appears on your site via social media?

    It’s a good idea in theory though as Andy pointed out, I link to newspapers more often than beer blogs at this point. And many of the beer blogs I link to are because they were submitted to me via email. And if they’re submitting to me by email, they are perfectly happy with the link as it is. A custom field can be added with the Twitter user’s handle and/or Facebook page but that’s technical work that, again, just isn’t high on my priority list of 100 things I plan to do.

    On your site, why not credit the source before the quote instead of after?

    I honestly never gave it thought. The plugin I use automatically puts it at the bottom of the highlighted quote. I never thought to cut & paste it the other way.

    Also, why don’t you host a blog roll on your website of sources you think are valuable?

    In the database somewhere is a link to the sources I’ve shared on the site and likely the number of times I have linked to each domain. I haven’t decided whether to share that info publicly yet. I used to have a blogroll but favor the cleanliness of not having a bunch of links on the sidebar. I want to get rid of the sidebar altogether to be honest. It’s also tough to say no to blogs asking to be added to the blogroll. I got a lot of requests way back in the day. I’ve thought about adding a links page, too. Too much to do and not enough time in the day. I work 7 days a week as it is.

    I say this because I don’t think the original link often gets shared on Reddit or Beer Advocate, because it’s much easier for the reader to simply hit your share buttons or copy the URL. Why would they click through to another site and then do it?

    BA removes my link and puts the original there 100% of the time. I’ve seen many shares on Reddit of stuff that I’ve linked to (obviously, it’s not always because they found it from my site either). The reason they do it is so that people don’t have to click through my site to get the original article.

    Lastly, why can’t you simply share the headline in a blog post? What technological leap does this require? It doesn’t need to be automated.

    Partly for aesthetic reasons, consistency and to help inform the reader as to why they may want to click through to the original post. Google does something similar though they limit what they ‘scrape’ at 160 characters. I’m not against it but would need to add a new template or two to the site. It would take time.

  20. This has been an extremely enlightening discussion. I just want to say, I do not in any way think beer blogging is gone. I love beerpulse and simply do not see a problem with these “aggregators”. I can not sum my inconsequential thoughts better than olllllo earlier in this discussion “There is a need to take the information that Adam distributes and thoughtfully opine on what some other brewery is doing in New England impacts what is happening in AZ.”

  21. anti beergeek says:

    Frankly I quit reading beer blogs several yrs ago because it seemed most of them were either ball -washing/cheerleading tomes or “journalism” masquerading as industry insider nonsense (with related conflicts of interest) .

    I’m much more interested in collection sites like Beerpulse nowadays. I think I can sort through the drivel myself & appreciate the raw news.

    That’s not to say I don’t appreciate a good opinion site like Andy’s now & then. talk about ball-washing. :0)

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