This month’s Session was notably our second-to-last, and I chose the appropriately forward-looking theme, The Future of Beer Blogging. With only around six submissions, I think we’ve proved the point that interest in The Session has been waning and that it is time to, in the words of the Disney ice queen character, Elsa, “let it go.” Here’s what the most loyal and ardent beer bloggers still playing along to the bitter end had to say about the future of beer blogging:
Appellation Beer Blog – Long Live Beer Blogging: In his post, Stan, who created The Session, is ever hopeful and while he believes The Session is ready to be put out to pasture, he’s confident that beer blogging itself is not dead, but just one of many tools in the writer’s toolbox of ways to reach an audience. Like any technology, it’s continually evolving and happily a “diversity in beer storytelling” will go on. Hear, hear!
The Beerverse – Goodbye, Session. Hello, Something Else??: Dean has been writing about beer now about five years and is a true blogger in Alan’s sense of the word, meaning he’s blogging for blogging’s sake. (Full disclosure, Dean was a student of mine when I taught my beer class at Sonoma State University, although I’d met him before that.) While he never did host (although he came close a couple of times), he did participate and even reached out about what he could do to keep it going. He’s come up with a plan to do something similar through a bi-weekly newsletter he publishes, so give his post a read and see if that’s something you could get behind.
Boak & Bailey – The Penultimate Session: B&B understandably winced a little at my navel-gazing topic, but decided to play along anyway since the “news that the Session is expiring” made it a reasonable enough moment to weigh in. As with the majority of opinions expressed, Boak & Bailey also agree that blogging itself is not in decline, and continue to “find plenty of great posts that we think are worth sharing, and those pieces seem more adventurous, stylish, erudite and varied than much of what was around a decade ago.” They also remark that “the feeling of global community has diminished,” replaced “by many active, more locally-focused sub-communities: the pub crawlers, the historians, the tasting note gang, the podcasters, the social issues crew, the jostling pros and semi-pros, the pisstakers, and so on.” In a nutshell, it’s evolved, and evolving. They conclude with this hopefulness. “[O]n balance, we see the future of blogging as being much like its past – sometimes supportive, sometimes bad-tempered, over-emotional, churning like primordial soup as blogs are born in fits of tipsy enthusiasm and die of ennui – but also more fractured, more varied, and less cosy.”
The Brew Site – The Future of Beer Blogging: Jon Abernathy, who’s been a host multiple times, continues Stan’s line of reasoning, more forcefully perhaps, that beer blogging isn’t going anywhere. A point which I actually agree with, but which I just stated less elegantly, opening the door for him to rightly school me (us) about how ubiquitous the blogging platform is, it’s just that it’s morphed into many different, sometimes unrecognizable, forms. And while in part I was referring to the traditional standalone blog of one person writing from their perspective, I take his meaning and “get his point.” As he concludes, “Beer blogging continues on.” And so it goes.
A Good Beer Blog – The King Is Dead! Long Live The King!!: Alan also points out that “beer blogging is one type of writing in a broad range of formats,” but believes “[i]t’s the only one that provides for long form creative writing on anything that strikes the author’s fancy, without concern for pay or editorial intrusion.” And I agree with him that that aspect was certainly one of its hallmarks and likewise agree that “there is a place for such things.” The simple idea of us all taking up a discussion of a single topic was, simply, genius, and has been a highlight of the last decade. Like Alan, I hope we can find something to replace it that truly gets a lot us wordy types energized and excited.
Yours For Good Fermentables – The beer blog is dead. Long live the beer blog.: Thomas provides a run down of how beer information online is changing by detailing the decision to shut down The Session and Jonathan Surrat reviving his old beer blog aggregator in a more modern form called ReadBeer. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Or as Thomas puts it, “The beer blog is dead. Long live the beer blog. Or, at least, long live the beer journal, public or private, online or pen-and-paper.”
If you know of any Session posts I missed, or if I missed yours, please drop me a note at “Jay (.) Brooks (@) gmail (.) com.” Happy Holidays.
The final Session will be hosted by the man, the myth, the legend, Stan Hieronymus at his Appellation Beer Blog. His topic will be “One More for the Road” The date for the next Session will be a day which will live in infamy, December 7, 2018, although Stan will give everybody a few more days and won’t be posting his roundup until the 12th. It’s only one more, why not help us go out with a bang and participate in the final Session?