Interesting criticism of blogging sites: "Why Beer Blogging is Crap"

Reads 2916 • Replies 13 • Started Thursday, October 13, 2011 10:06:46 AM CT

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GT
beers 10001 º places 672 º 10:06 Thu 10/13/2011

One of the most-hit columns I’ve ever written on ratebeer.com was a “Beer Blogger vs. Chinchilla” thread. It raises ire. Some people like the fact that I attempted to [poorly] apply statistics to compare the IQ of the beer blogger on “Top Fermented” with a runt chinchilla. Other people have bitched and moaned about how it’s a steaming pile of turd, which I won’t necessarily argue with – it has flaws. I’m pretty sure I even say that in the thread itself.

Anyway, I see all of these links on the Google point here and I read them all and contemplate them and never really say anything because.. hey.. it’s like a two and a half year old thread at this point, and it’s kind of meaningless now. Chinchillas are continually evolving rodents and bloggers continue chase after them when they refuse a dust bath. Likewise, the bloggers still over-appreciate lewd, generalizing, poorly researched arguments and scroll past the well-thought- out chinchilla adaptive skills.

I’ve thought about it a lot and I am now of the opinion that beer blogging is really to a point that it is no longer useful and, in fact, might even be detrimental to the world as a whole – and I don’t just mean Top Fermented or Zymology, which closed due to lack of funds, but all people who take little part in beer culture besides complaining about how Bud Light is not the most loved beer in the world by all humans and chinchillas alike. The bullshit-to-something tangible ratio is just out of whack and their internet search ratings are being given gravity that they don’t deserve.

Before the flames and trolls show up, let me state my case:

People blog about beer by measures that are too subjective

Plain and simple. By and large, people post shit on the internet based upon whether they had sex the night before or not. Doesn’t matter if it was good or bad sex. Believe it or not those are two different things. I can’t stand Top Fermented, but I won’t tell you that it’s a poorly made blog. It’s an excellently made blog if you want to lower your intelligence quotient (yeah, I spelled it).

Example

But it gets a 0 on a 0-100 scale (a 1 in chinchilla scoring) and a D- on an A-F scale, even though it is essentially the definition of the “post random crap that bugs me” style. Why? Because it lacks technical writing skill and is rife with typos? No. Because the bulk of the people who are reading it, like me, hate it. Rather than disconnecting ourselves subjectively to actually answer whether or not it’s technically well-written and matches the style stated above, we score our own opinions like every other thing that matters in the world like The Bachelor, Top Chef, and America’s Next Top Model.

 
GT
beers 10001 º places 672 º 10:07 Thu 10/13/2011

I do think that there is value in being able to have a list of blogs that you have enjoyed for your own reference. It’s one of the reasons that I like the “Bookmarks” add-on for Firefox 7- because it gives me a list of my own favorite blogs for me to reference later. I don’t always remember a blog three months later. Have I read this? Did I like it? 5 stars says, “Yes! Or was it out of 10 stars?” But just because I like it doesn’t mean that somebody else will. Opinions are subjective. I like a really wide range of blogs (Anime, Hentai, Manga, Japanese School Girls), but give me something with a load of turd Nuggets and I will always, always hate it. 1 star-only and man did that suck. But! That doesn’t mean you won’t like it, so why should my personal opinion mean anything to you?

If opinions are useless, we shouldn’t be using them to judge others’ writing, or really anything for that matter. Lord knows the New York Times book reviewers don’t have subjective opinions, they have OBJECTIVE knowledge. Much like me as an expert beer rater.

There’s an easy way to tell if you are reading a good blog

One look at an excerpt from Top Fermented really says it all:

//…some people have an asshole for a mouth.

Indeed, young padawan. I will now take your blog more seriously because I know you put a lot of thought into it for those 4 seconds while it was passing through your brain and into digital permanence through your keyboard strokes. The fact that I almost threw up because it reminded me of round worms from middle school biology class warranted my blog review of a D-.

Now, granted, I could be reading a blog whist voiding diarrhea or while accidently eating my morning cereal out of my cat’s old food dish. Clearly I am in a foul mood already….keen to dish out a D- on my blog review blog with a comment akin to “reading this made me choke on a hairball”. Thankfully, no one reads my reviews and they just get aggregated into the thousands of others so that my hairball comment becomes statistically meaningless. Of course, the aggregate score is a composite of unreliable opinions such as my diarrhea/hairball-influenced review, making all aggregate scores unreliable.

The internet is untrustworthy in general

A significant portion of this country believes that science and math are just these things that the educated elite make up to try to perpetuate grant funding because paying yourself off of grants is sooooo awesome. For instance, I just made that up just now. So why on earth should I trust you, internet, to know anything about anything?

In Summary

Fact: You can’t measure something with an unreliable tool. Unless you account for measurement error, which happens 100% of the time in any sort of well-thought-out analysis.

There’s no good way to cut through the noise of beer blogs to find out which ones are worth paying attention to and which ones aren’t. Since there’s no way to calibrate the readers to make sure that they’re all reading with the same objectivity, then there’s no way to say that any given blog is even reasonably reliable and I won’t waste my time with them. Until we have some sort of Big Brother/1984 system or something like that, I’m calling shenanigans on blogging, especially wholesale blogs like Top Fermented and that other one that went down in flames. Their writing is no longer worthy of consideration, by my estimation.

Make your own blog and spout out bullshit for yourself. It’s far more valuable in the long run.

 
kmweaver
beers 3208 º places 116 º 10:11 Thu 10/13/2011

That about sums it up.

 
drinkrealbeer
beers 47 º places 2 º 10:15 Thu 10/13/2011

I realized this about three years ago and changed my focus to local events and advocating for great beer through blogging. Very rarely do we post any actual beer reviews and, in the past, it has always been aimed at encouraging folks to try a new style or venue here in DC.
As a local beer blog I’m quite proud of the growth we have sustained over the past 3 years.
Our goal continues to be informing our readers, rather seasoned beer drinker or new to craft, about events and breweries in the DC. Its has been infinitely more rewarding that reviewing any beer..

 
sebletitje
beers 11869 º places 491 º 10:18 Thu 10/13/2011

Isn’t ticking or beer rating a form of beer blogging or just plain dichotomy? After all, type up the name of a beer in Google search, and you’ll see the RB line pop up in the top 5.

 
oteyj
beers 2138 º places 14 º 10:31 Thu 10/13/2011

Hahahaha nice post GT

 
Cletus
beers 6351 º places 233 º 11:30 Thu 10/13/2011

Thread of the decade! Well said, GT2!

 
kryptic
11:33 Thu 10/13/2011

too long, didn’t read

 
yngwie
beers 18640 º places 393 º 11:38 Thu 10/13/2011

Chinchillas are cute!

 
drowland
beers 11026 º places 424 º 11:42 Thu 10/13/2011

Nice post(I didn’t read it all), but I can’t believe you took the time to make it!

 
drowland
beers 11026 º places 424 º 11:44 Thu 10/13/2011

Originally posted by drinkrealbeer
I realized this about three years ago and changed my focus to local events and advocating for great beer through blogging. Very rarely do we post any actual beer reviews and, in the past, it has always been aimed at encouraging folks to try a new style or venue here in DC.
As a local beer blog I’m quite proud of the growth we have sustained over the past 3 years.
Our goal continues to be informing our readers, rather seasoned beer drinker or new to craft, about events and breweries in the DC. Its has been infinitely more rewarding that reviewing any beer..



I also keep my blog as a local venue... but also write some honest posts about local places and beers... it’s gotten me some turned heads upon entry to those places...