Happy New Year to everyone who has (or will) stumbled across this blog. To be honest, when I started this in 2011 I really didn’t know what to expect. I had a basic idea of what I wanted to do, but the real goal was to find out if I could fit blogging into my life and to what extend I would enjoy it. To that end, I’ve decided that, yes, I do enjoy it. And although I’ve accepted the fact that it’s fine if this never goes anywhere beyond a few readers, I have enjoyed the interactions between them and the fellow bloggers that I’ve met.
But as you’d expect over the past months I have been looking at this blog with a critical eye, looking at other peoples blogs and asking myself “where can I improve”. So with that in mind, it’s only appropriate at this time of year that I run down some thoughts and goals going forward in 2012. I hope you’re all around in 2013 to see how well (or not) I did.
THE BLOG :
#1 – Improve it visually. Yeah I know, blogging is a written medium, but a blog should still look good. So I plan to take time to look around and see what’s out there as far as blog styles and get this thing looking a little more professional (even if it isn’t). And to that end…
#2 – Improve picture quality. You don’t have to tell me that the pictures aren’t that good, I take them LOL. And for every picture on here that looks like it was taken with Vaseline on the lens, you should see the other 10 that I deem “not good enough”. Sadly my BlackBerry no longer seems to want to take good pictures. So I must improve in that department.
#3 – Decide what this blog is about. If you’ve never blogged you’d think this would be easy. But sometimes it’s not. You start with an idea, but if you don’t step back and take a look once in awhile, you can find you’ve veered away from what was your original intentions and into something completely different. As the tag line says, I wanted this blog to be about life and beer. I’m heavy on the beer I think. My goal going in was more to discuss the impact on the music scene of Pearl Jam’s album “Ten” with a slight nod to Dogfish Head’s “Faithful”, or discuss how much I love the Christmas Carol movies with the pros and cons of each with a mention that Samuel Adams “Old Fezziwig” is a good beer to enjoy with them – rather than just talk about the beers themselves.
#4 – Write less, write more. Yeah, that doesn’t make any sense. But right now I’m averaging 4 posts a month with an average word count of ~1200. And while I think these posts are fine, what I’d like to start doing is also writing smaller, more to the point posts (write less), thus giving me the ability to post more often (write more).
FOR ME :
#1 – Step out into the light more. I’ll be honest, I love being The Dogs of Beer. When I first started doing social media I was glad to find the name available on every site I signed up on. But it’s not really who I am. It’s just a name. So with that in mind I want to step out from behind the curtain so that my readers know me….not just the name. And speaking of social media…
#2 – Get a handle on the social media I’m tied to. As I wrote on my first post on my Google Plus page, “how much social media does one beer drinking idiot need?” I have this blog, Twitter, Google Plus, and Untappd. I use a Posturous “tumblr” account to post pictures in Twitter (as if Twitter’s picture upload just wasn’t good enough), and feed my blog into a Facebook page where I also post beer news in our Tri-State area. Google Plus is just like Facebook (only better because it hasn’t been bogged down with all the stupid overhead stuff yet) but few people are using it. I need to take a hard look at all of this, figure out what works best and get rid of the things that I truly don’t need. Of course I’ve already broken this one because just before New Years I was asked to participate in a Beta Test of a new Facebook beer review application. More on that in an up coming post.
#3 – Get out more. I need to get out to more local spots and beer events. I missed some good ones last year, and I just need to try harder to make more. I want one part of this blog to be about local events and places as I feel that’s a need component to any beer/food blog. On the flip side, when I do get out – write. I left a few posts for events on the floor this year because I didn’t do the up front work, or find the time to write. Can’t let that happen.
#4 – To brew or not to brew. Very often someone I follow on Twitter will comment on the batch of beer their brewing and as someone who used to brew many moons ago, it makes me long for the days when the house smelled like wort and hops. Unfortunately, the fact that my mash tun has been catching my AC run off for the better part of 15 years, is a cold reminder of just how far out of the game (and how far I’d have to climb back) I am. But I’m tired of being pulled back and forth about it so this year I’ll either pull the trigger, or I won’t. If I do – you’ll have some interesting posts to read I’m sure. If I don’t – then it’s over. Move on, Ed.
So there you have it. I believe that’s a nice set of goals to work on over the year. Of course, I’ll also be working to keep some things about the blog that I think really worked. Look for more food related posts in the future, including more BBQ stuff once the season kicks back in again. The beer reviews will continue, but only if I find ones that I really believe have a story with them or are just so good I have to share. Finally, I’d like to keep up what I call the “Beer Mythbusters” posts. I find the posts about the misquote from Ben Franklin, or why the name 4 Calling Birds isn’t quite right the most interesting to write. But to be honest, I’m not sure how many “myths” like that there are out there. But I’ll keep an eye out.
So again, if you’ve read this blog in 2011 thanks I really appreciate it. If you’re new in 2012, well then welcome aboard. If you ever have any thoughts or ideas about this blog, don’t hesitate to drop me a line. I’m always willing to hear from my readers. Have a safe and happy start to 2012.
Time for another beer………..
Ed Morgan (aka, The Dogs of Beer)