Friday 9 February 2018

When Did It Stop Being Fun?

Prompted by the tweets above, the last few days I've been pondering, well, what the bloody hell happened to the online beer world while I was "away" (he typed euphemistically).  They're right.  It isn't as much fun as it used to be.  This has been a common theme on this blog for many years - I originally started it up nearly 5 years ago because I thought everything was too serious. 

Sadly, despite my (and a few others) best efforts, the Serious Business of the online beer world rumbles slowly uphill.  A major reason is the increased Professionalism on social media.  Whereas once my Twitter feed would be dominated by people having a joke and a laugh about various beers, the brewers, the pubs and the other people online, now it's about Promotion.  There's THIS event going on somewhere; there will be SOMEONE there and there will be a PARTICULAR beer to drink there. 

This, of course, is SERIOUS stuff.  This is someone's livelihood here, and social media is a way to get the word and the personal brand out.  That's all well and good - everyone needs money to live.  But for those who go onto social media to unwind and be irreverent, the constant in-your-face plugs can be wearing.  

I'm even seeing the odd "blue tick" on the more famous Beer People's accounts.  For those who don't know, a blue tick is displayed by holders of "authorised" accounts.  And for those who have one, they can use Twitter to simply not display anything from "non-authorised" accounts, thus becoming an echo-chamber of the Awesome to which the plebs are not admitted.

Such things divide the once relatively easy-going world of Online Beer into tribes.  THERE are the Brewers, THERE are the Beer Communicators and Authors, THERE are the Pub Bloggers and THERE, god help them, are the drinkers.  The occasional flaming arrow will be fired from one camp to another when someone gets irritated or upset, but mostly the tribes keep to themselves.

It's sad.  But it's a testament to the fact that social media has done far more to divide people than it's done to bring them together.


  1. Fun and humour in beer are now unacceptable. Didn't you get the memo?

  2. I've never understood people complaining about content on Twitter. You know it's self-curated, right? That you can unfollow accounts that don't produce things you want to read, and follow ones that do? Turning off retweets for specific users and muting particular words and hashtags make it incredibly granular. There's absolutely no need to tolerate sub-standard content on Twitter, unless you want to.

    If all you get from a radio is static, you don't complain that radio is a rubbish medium; you turn the dial until you hear something you want.

    1. But the point is, not unlike listening to international shortwave broadcasting*, the fun jokey content has been fading. There are not many blogs left. I excepted this going in, of course, but it is the way of things.

      [*A hobby only to be mentioned once safely married...]

  3. It stopped being fun around the time the culture wars began. Whenever that was. Unless you enjoy that sort of thing.

  4. No pastime or hobby is legitimate nowadays unless it can be monetised.

  5. Fortunately I don't have a "Twatter" account, and neither do I want one. I've far more important things to be doing with my life than reading what some "famous celebrity" had for lunch. The same applies to various beer bores and their increasing degrees of "awesomeness".

    As the Beer Nut says, if you don't like what you are seeing, change the "radio station".

  6. Meanwhile on another blog, someone points out their favourite telly show isn't as good as it used to be now it's on its 8th series.

    Cue the sanctimonious punting up with "of course i never watch anything as vulgar as television but why don't you simply change the channel"

    At least beer bloggery has consistent characters that act true to type and remain believable. Better script writers on blogger.

  7. I just want to outlast all the quitters and sellouts. Only beer blogging goal left. The Beer Nut stands in my way.