That Was 2012: Stepping Out
One thing that seemed to occur 2012 was a certain number of Bloggers ‘stepping out’. In our group discussion at the Beer Bloggers Conference in May, I made a point that, in order to truly connect outside of your regular sphere, you do have to step outside it – and speak to people not necessarily living in ‘The Beer World’.
Now, this isn’t for everyone. Some bloggers simply want to share ruminations and connect with the like-minded. I’m not particularly enamoured by public speaking to be honest (despite blogging, I’m actually fairly shy and – confession time – possess a slight stammer) – but if you want to try and get people to buy and enjoy beer, then surely you have to get out there, right?
It’s not just me: Boak and Bailey spoke at Eden this year, and loved every minute of it by the sounds of it. Baron Orm has a great relationship with Source Deli and even Tandleman spoke at IMBC alongside professionals – James Watt, Zak Avery and Toby McKenzie of RedWillow – and, of course, we had plenty of turns on the mic from Bloggers such as Mark at the EBBC itself. Rick Furzer collaborated with Create Restaurant and another handful of local bloggers in Leeds and hosted an Open It! meal (and subsequent piss-up!). Brilliant. I was also really pleased to see that veteran blogger, magpie and all-round nice guy Andy Mogg reached the final of the Sharp’s Cook-Off final with an excellent display in Nathan Outlaw’s kitchen.
Myself, I carried on from late 2011 and hosted some Beer and Food nights at Dough Bistro and BeerRitz this year, which are always immense fun, and getting positive feedback from people as well as helping the industry in my small way is incredibly rewarding. The point is, I guess – if you think you have something to offer – a way with words, a way to get people talking, then do. It can be scary. But afterwards, you’ll be surprised at the good you can do.
This post is aimed squarely at Bloggers. Pro writers and journalists have to get involved; they have publishers to please and livings to make. But, despite the term ‘Blogger’ still seemingly somewhat of a dirty word in certain circles, I really think we can still offer something to someone.
Stepping out from behind the screen is a big deal, and I applaud all of you who do so.