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WRITER, CONSULTANT AND BROADCASTER SPECIALISING IN BEER, PUBS AND CIDER. BEER WRITER OF THE YEAR 2009 AND 2012

What's new?

What's new?
We've just launched the first ever Beer Marketing Awards - click here for more details!
I'm doing beer and music matching at the wonderful Wenlock Arms next week! Click to find out more
Just added links to my stuff in All About Beer, prompted by my latest piece on Tuscan beer and food.
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Saturday, 3 July 2010

Wikio Rankings for June 2010

Yes, it's that time of the month again, that time when people get grouchy and irritable and are prone to sudden mood swings, when something inconsequential gets blown up into an object of genuine anger...  no I'm not talking about pre-menstrual tension, I'm talking about the Wikio blog rankings!

1Pete Brown's Blog (=)
2Pencil & Spoon (=)
3The Pub Curmudgeon (+3)
4Called to the bar (+6)
5Brew Dog Blog (-1)
6Tandleman's Beer Blog (+1)
7The Beer Nut (-4)
8Boak and Bailey's Beer Blog (-3)
9Woolpack Dave's beer and stuff blog (=)
10Spittoon (+1)
11Zythophile (+1)
12Beer Reviews (+1)
13The Bitten Bullet (-5)
14Rabid About Beer (+12)
15Reluctant Scooper (-1)
16Real Brewing at the Sharp End (+2)
17Travels With Beer (=)
18`It's just the beer talking` ? Jeff Pickthall's Blog (-3)
19Brew Wales (=)
20Taking the beard out of beer! (+1)

Ranking by Wikio

Nice to see a few movers and shakers in there.  Glyn at the Rake has been devoting a lot of time to his blog when, as a newlywed, you'd think he had better things to do.  And Adrian Tierney Jones' lyrical West Country musings deservedly enter the top five for the first time.  Also, it's worth noting that there are now only two wine bogs in this top twenty of 'beer and/or wine' blogs.  

Last time I posted the results - at the beginning of May - I suggested that beer blogging had become boring, introspective.  Too many tasting notes, and too many in-jokes for other bloggers.  It's a difficult path to resist, because other bloggers tend to comment more often than readers who don't blog, but I think we ignore a general readership at our peril.

A couple of people have asked "Well, how did we do?"

I thought about this for a while and the question made me a bit uncomfortable.  To answer it in a way that discusses individual blogs would be to make myself some kind of self-appointed judge of what's good and bad in the blogging world, and I don't think I should do that.  We're all entitled to a personal opinion and I'll offer some general thoughts that are just that - purely my opinion, to be agreed or disagreed with.  

If you do want me to judge your work, there is an opportunity to do that: custom dictates that the winner of the British Guild of Beer Writers' Beer Writer of the Year chairs the judging panel for the following year, and this year that responsibility falls to me.  There is a category for Best Communication Online, celebrating the best beer writing, and/or the best use of V-Blogs, social networking sites, etc.  In its first year Zak Avery won the award and went on to win the overall Beer Writer of the Year title on the back of his excellent blog, and I was runner up.  Last year Mark Dredge won, with Dave Bailey coming second.  It's definitely worth entering.  But I think you should enter your work and ask for it to be judged before I start making any comments on what's good and what's bad.

So with regard to my challenge to the blogging world two months ago, just a couple of general thoughts.  Lots of bloggers didn't seem entirely happy with me for laying down the challenge in the first place.  Sorry about that - no one had any right to tell you what you should or shouldn't be doing with your blog.  

What I did remain firm on though was that if the reason you're blogging is to attract as many readers as you can, with a view to improving as a writer and perhaps making the transition into paid-for writing, then you have an obligation to constantly try to improve - we all do, no matter what level we're at.  And I took my own challenge, realising that I too had been starting to toss off quick posts that were really for the entertainment of the people listed above.  I've gone back to writing more thoughtfully, never assuming that people are 'in' with the world I'm writing about.  I hope I've succeeded in making it more interesting for the kind of people who never leave comments.

For the rest of you, I think many people did rise to the challenge.  You may not have liked it, it may have been "Yeah? I'll show you writing, who do you think you are?" rather than "Hmm, good point, Pete", but many people did something different.  It caused a lot of introspective articles about why people blog, why they write about beer, and most of those were great to read - not too navel-gazing at all, but thoughtful and articulate and above all, passionate.

Beyond that, I felt the range of writing increased, people did try to do different stuff, take a few risks, and think about what they were writing.  

All I'm saying is I've enjoyed reading beer blogs much more.

But a few people said "Why are we now writing about blogging when we should be writing about beer?" and I think that's an excellent point, and a good argument for finishing this post right now.

11 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

Wow - I must be doing something right :-)

Of course, I'm well aware that the reason my blog consistently scores higher than some people think it should is that it gets lots of inward links from non beer blogs.

We really need to get Cooking Lager on that listing too.

Tandleman said...

I still feel uneasy that many good posts go completely unremarked. I try and comment as I feel encouraged by them a and need to do more of it.

If everyone just commented more often it'd be good and as a corollary to that, I note many people who commented in the past - non bloggers that is - don't any more. Too much is written for and by the "in crowd" in my view and don't get me started on Twiter which has just become a love fest.

We do need to reach out more.

ZakAvery said...

Tandleman - I think you've got it spot on - we do need to reach out more. And I've been trying more to comment on anything that I've read and enjoyed.

Anonymous said...

How about this for a 2nd half of the year resolution... If you read a post leave a comment, that way everyone wins, hats of to Zak who appears to be a comment whore at the mo, keep up the good work!

Ed said...

If I tried commenting on every post I read I'd end up writing even more inane drivel than normal.

ZakAvery said...

I'll happily misconstrue "comment whore" as a term of endearment.

Rabidbarfly said...

I feel like I should comment on your comment Pete but being hungover can't think of anything appropriate or witty as a comeback(it's all the white horse's fault).

Northern Snippet said...

I often read posts but don't leave a comment,so here it is.

DJ said...

Comments? I would love to get some comments left on my blog, in fact I would like to get it read! I am not looking to make it as a beer writer but my passion for beer does make we want to talk about it but it only seems worth it if you know people are listening.

Tandleman said...

I might comment if you link to me and include me in your blog list?

In fact, here's an offer, I'll do it first!

DJ said...

Cheers Tandleman I have added you to my blog list!