You may or may not remember a post I wrote back in *adjusts spectacles, squints at screen* February, in which I proposed an end-of-year celebration of the best beer blogs and blogposts, The Golden Posts, in a similar fashion to The Golden Pints.
Whilst we all generally get along and say “good post!” and argue in each others’ comments feeds, there’s not that much actual feedback in the blogoshire, or indeed any formal celebration of particular blog posts. Bloggers can submit their work to the annual awards held by the British Guild of Beer Writers (whether they are members of the Guild or not), but I don’t think that this (currently) adequately caters for the diversity of beer blogging, or indeed the sheer number of us.
The other reason I want to do the Golden Posts this year is because I’m really interested in what everyone’s personal tastes are when it comes to beer blogs, and whether, year-on-year, any identifiable trends emerge. Each tired sigh from the crypt of “is beer blogging dead?” (accompanied by the rattling of chains, creaking of doors and so on) suggests to me a suffocating, numbing ignorance of just how many great beer blogs are out there, so I hope The Golden Posts could help people find new, great blogs.
My suggestions for categories were: Best History Post, Best Impassioned Rant, Best Pub Post, Best Palate Post, Best Beer Travel Post, Funniest Post and an Open Category.
Initial feedback was positive, though there were several requests for a video category. I’ve thought about this a bit and decided that whilst there’s a lot more video bloggers these days, I’m not sure there are really enough to compete against each other on a level playing field. Most are trying to be different to each other, or are hard to compare directly.
However, there are several that are still more than worthy of praise, so I’ve decided to make the Open Category even more open: it can now be ANYTHING posted online about beer that you think is worthy of everyone’s attention and praise. Abstract blog posts that don’t fit in the other categories, tweets, Vines and indeed videos of any kind. If loads of people pick different videos, I’ll take that as evidence to include a video category next time, or something.
I’ve also adjusted the descriptions and names of a couple. Impassioned Rant could also be a professionally written Op-Ed sort of piece that firmly nails the author’s colours to the mast on a specific issue, and the Best Palate Post can also be one that shows off some beer and food skills whether in recipe/pairing/description etc.
So, the Final Categories are:
- Best History Post (a post that covers, explains, or unveils a fascinating bit of beer or pub-related history)
- Best Impassioned Rant/Op-Ed (a post that has JUST ABOUT *HAD IT* with a particular issue, but makes some damn good points too)
- Best Pub Post (a post that shines a light onto a particular pub, and makes us want to be there with the author)
- Best Palate Post (a post that showcases the dazzling, laser-accurate palate of a gifted taster and bring the description of a beer or beers to life. This might also be a post that demonstrates a masterful food and beer pairing/recipe)
- Best Beer Travel Post (a post that really takes you somewhere and gets well-refreshed/rowdy/locked up in a foreign jail to boot)
- Funniest Post (a post that… *giggle*…I mean, the way it… it… *guffaws*… it’s just absolutely *sobs, falls off chair*)
- Open Category (anything posted online about beer that impressed you – whether it’s a video, tweet, Vine or photo, or a beer blog post that inspired you, amazed you, had great photos, personal significance or otherwise is deserving of praise but doesn’t fit in any other category)
One winner per category, please, but feel free to note any honourable mentions/runners-up. Most importantly, tell us why that post is a winner, and what the blogger in question did right. Tell the world about your Golden Posts in a blog post around the end of the year, or by tweet/Facebook/series of Vines stitched together, and I’ll do some kind of round-up. Hashtag your tweets #GoldenPosts and/or send an email with a link to cshallwriter[at]gmail[dot]com.
But wait! some of you cry, I want to take part in the Golden Posts but I:
- didn’t know you’d suggested doing so;
- can’t think of any posts to give awards to; and/or
- saw you say something about this but totally forgot.
No problem. I’ve thought of some prompts to help you remember posts you might have particularly enjoyed this year to get you rolling. Make some notes on them, use apps like Pocket etc., or perhaps start a draft blog post now that you add to as the year goes on. Here are some little prompts:
- What beer festivals/beer launches/dinners/tasting events have you been to this year, or really enjoyed reading about?
- Which are your favourite blogs to read, and why?
- Have you bought any books by beer writers this year, and do you like their blogs?
- Did you read a blog this year that inspired you to write something yourself?
- Did you read a blog this year that convinced you to try a new beer, or revisit one you don’t like?
- Have you planned to go on a beery holiday or trip somewhere because of a great blog post you read?
- Did you start following someone on Twitter/Facebook etc. on the strength of a post you read?
I hope those help. I’ll be doing my Golden Posts at some point in December, and I’ll try to remind everyone again closer to the time. I’m really looking forward to seeing what people pick this year, and thanks in advance to everyone who wants to participate. Cheers!
UPDATE (20/11/14): I’m planning to post my #GoldenPosts blog in the first week of December. Feel free to join me in the opening week, or wait and have a read to get the idea before taking the plunge.