Drunken Speculation

Drunken Speculation Annual 2014

DrunkenSpec_Logo_Portrait_WithSloganThis could be Drunken Speculation’s last post. Or not. I don’t know yet.

That’s an awkward way to start the last post of this year at least. Let’s try that again:

Regular readers will have noticed a drop off in the quantity of new content and those with a particularly keen-eye will note that ammo hasn’t contributed anything lately. We’ve gone our separate ways and this is not the appropriate forum for discussing the details but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t take some fun out of things. Suffice to say it has lead to some significant changes in circumstance for me, which hasn’t left a lot of time for thinking or writing or even giving the remotest of shits about beer or, for that matter, whether I’m drinking industrial solvent or craft beer.

To be quite frank, I haven’t missed it. The kicker was when I skipped doing my usual skimming through the mountain of beer blogs that constituted Monday Reading. After a week, there were hundreds of unread posts and the thought of slogging through it was too much to bear. Monday Reading was the last regular post the blog had and while I know people enjoy it, I knew I wouldn’t have fun putting it together like I once had. I managed to force out the last post but there have to be changes because the way the blog was run isn’t fun anymore.

Some have already occurred:

  • My Feedly has gone from ~200 beer-related RSS feeds down to about 25, although these feeds represent about 50% of the content. Prolific buggers they are.
  • I trimmed a lot of dead wood out of who I’m following on Twitter, largely cutting non-local breweries’ marketing but keeping actual people and interesting bloggers. Consequently there’s more followers than followed for the first time ever. The account will be renamed at some point as well.
  • I suspect I will never log in to the Instagram account again because I can’t think of an app that gels less with my personality and I’m certain it has never driven a single hit. If I have something interesting, I’m more inclined to post it to Facebook or Twitter

That’s not to say that this year hasn’t been great for the blog. Traffic continues to grow, as long as something gets written, as does the Twitter followers and Facebook likers, although the latter is much slower than I’d prefer. The biggest feather in the cap was being archived in Pandora, the National Library’s web archive. I had ambitions of continuing my prodigious output until Drunken Speculation was re-archived next year (or the year after) but fuck me if it didn’t get old quick. Most writers fall into one of a few camps of opinion on the dozen topics that everything boils down to. Once you’ve had your say and read everyone else’s, what else is there to contribute to posterity?

Perhaps that’s just me. I take up a new hobby, lust after it obsessively for eighteen months and then get a dose of changed circumstances, which makes me wonder exactly what it was I was doing. Some I’ve given up on entirely – I used to be massively into obscure online RPGs, mostly political in nature – and some just take a backseat, e.g. this year’s relatively gentle approach to cycling compared to 2008 when I would race every weekend, sometimes still drunk from the night before because you can do that when you’re 21 and have no concept of risk or awareness of your lack of talent.

I’m entertaining contenders for the next eighteen month stint (or I could always put more into my career – ha!) but the pertinent question for this post is whether the blogging stops entirely or just takes a backseat?

(Let’s be honest, I’m not going to stop drinking, or even making, beer but I might be less anal about which glass it goes in)

Personally, I’m a big fan of not doing things half-assed: I either go full ass or there’s no ass at all. I’m very reluctant to become a blogger who starts every post with “Sorry it’s been a while” or “Who can believe four months have passed since my last post?”. If I’m not going to post regularly (or at all), then I’m going to admit that to myself and you as the audience, so I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons for continuing:

Pros

  • Improved grammar, syntax and communication skills
  • Very rare freebies
  • I’ve spent the better part of two years and hundreds of man-hours developing a platform and this soapbox reaches a large medium small audience which I would like to keep to further my political commercial beer agenda
  • Gives me an excuse to drink

Cons

  • Doubtful whether beer blogging is the most effective way to extract fun out of my leisure hours
  • Run out of good ideas to write about, although I’d like to draw a line under SEQBeers with Hipwood, Scenic Rim and a post about our friendly local contract brewers still to go
  • There’s over a dozen beer blogs in this city alone
  • I don’t even have the guts to admit that I write about beer to beer people, let alone complete strangers. This suggests some embarrassment about this particular hobby.

However, blogging is a social medium which means that at least two people need to be involved. I’ve said my piece about how I feel but what of those of you who have used your precious spare moments to scroll through this post?

If Drunken Speculation were to return in 2015, what do you want Drunken Speculation to be?

There’s a million beer blogs out there. Most do reviews of one form or another. There’s even four I can think of off-hand doing weekly links posts. So what can I offer you?

Would you prefer monthly posts that are 2000 words long or weekly 300 word bite-sized posts?

Does beer history get you excited? What about the science of beer? Or should I spray my ill-conceived beliefs across cyberspace like an opinionated machine gun? Is Monday Reading that important you literally cannot start your week without it?

What about paying me to write fluff pieces for your brand? Or paying me to post media releases?

I’m just spit-balling but I’m definitely interested in getting some feedback. Comments, tweets and Facebook messages are welcome.

7 comments

  1. I hear you with the idea of getting really into something for a period of time and then burning yourself out. I tend to do that to. In fact I keep expecting the good beer fad and the blog to be one of those things. That I’ll wake up one day and go “ah, fuck it. I’m done”. But to my surprise it’s been two and a half years and it hasn’t happened yet.
    But I’ve always said to myself I would stop doing the blog when I was no longer enjoying it. I don’t make any cash out of it at all and I only do it for fun. So it makes sense to stop if it’s not fun any more.
    For what it’s worth, I liked the weekly links post every Monday – it’s why I totally swiped the idea for my Six-Pack thing on Friday. I like to read your stuff but, at the end of the day, if it all feels too much like work then perhaps you should wind things back a bit.

    • There’ll definitely be some winding back I’d say, but I can see a situation where I set myself the goal of writing one decent post a month (for example) and I’ll either end up phoning it in which case it’s not worth doing, or I’ll keep skipping it to do something more productive. Then it’ll be a year before I realise I haven’t written anything.

  2. I’ve got two words for you: Mead Blog.

    A world without DrunkSpec, hey? As much as I relish the idea of moving up a rung on the blogger ladder, I think Brisbane would seriously miss the eloquence and unique perspective that you bring to the table. Your weekly reading was something I looked forward to every Monday and your articles spur me on to try and be a better blogger myself.

    Life, as they say though, is life. It can be a pain in the backside and get in the way. It doesn’t really matter what your readers think in the end, it’ll be your call whether that is worth it for you or not. Maybe drop to one a month? Maybe drop to a social media presence only? In the end, you’re the one making the call.

    If, by chance, this IS your last post, and somewhere in the future, an idea sparks for an article, B & B would be happy to have your articulate prose for a guest spot (and to bring up the quality of the content :p).

    All the best, either way.

  3. Sam

    It will be a shame if this is indeed the end — you’ve done a great job with the blog and keeping the content rolling. But as the other commenters have noted, if the motivation and personal enjoyment have dried up, it is a sensible decision to re-assess the future.

    Having said that, if you’ve got it in you, I’d strongly encourage you to finish up the SEQ Beers series as you’ve suggested.

  4. As much as I like having someone else round up a whole lot of notable beer stories every Monday I reckon your more longform articles are your best work. It’s also something that others in Brisbane aren’t really doing. But obviously writing a large article involves a lot more work than pumping out 5 rewritten press releases or a blow by blow account of a night out at a pub. Just do what you feel like, dude. If it takes 3 months to put out something of worth then so be it. It’s a hobby, not a job.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: