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Friday, November 21, 2008
On A Roll
I occasionally get asked if I have a blogroll. And, I say...uh, yeah, um, kinda. Actually, it's a separate page of links to various beer-related sites. I'd say that it's barely maintained...and that's where I fall down. See, I've never been a big proponent of cluttering up my home page with a "sidebar" that goes on for screens and screens with nothing but un-vetted links to everything under the sun. Some do, and it works fine for their approach; it's just never been mine. If I could have a homepage with a feature "something" on it and 5-10 links on it, that would be just perfect. Nice and clean. On the other hand, I believe (honestly, I do) that it's important in the online world to have websites that play nicely with others...if for no other reason than it enhances and makes more efficient the web surfing experience. In other words, this whole "linking" conversation. Many people with websites/blogs/whatever you wish to call them, choose to place links on the homepage in something of a blog roll. I dunno, maybe that's the generally-accepted approach. I, perhaps being a bit contrarian, believe that it's more important to link to other sources within the body of my writings that will help to enrich what I write. At the end of the day, What I write may or may not, at the end of the day, make much of a difference. I do feel, though, that I am contributing value in the sense that I'm bringing awareness through more formal-type writings, less formal-type postings, reviews, activities, etc. around an industry and product(s) that I fervently believe in. So, where I don't claim to know everything (and sometimes very little), I link in expertise and perspectives from others that are writing about similar topics. Okay, let's bring this to a conclusion. I'm sticking to my guns and not starting a blog roll on the homepage. But, what I do plan to do is wipe the slate clean. Get rid of the links page and begin to add something along the lines of a new Brew Lounge Hall of Fame page (don't hold me to that title, but it sounds good right now). I will add over time to this page, not simply by just placing a link but by writing a short description and bringing to your attention why I'm linking to a particular website. There's so much information about beer available via news agencies, freelance writers, full-time bloggers (who take it seriously), part-time bloggers (who take it sort of seriously), trade boards, portals, forums, social networks, consumer publications, public relations firms, and the brewers and owners of the beer and bar businesses that are actually making the stuff that I write about....and on and on....that I feel it's time that I take a step back and ask the question: "Where can we find the best information about beer on these here Internets?" I'll get started on this mini-project no later than the first of the new year. Many of you already drop notes to me asking if I will make mention of or link to your site. Chances are, if I already link to you, you'll wind up in the Hall of Fame, or whatever. If you'd like to see your website featured, please drop a private e-mail to me for my consideration (now that sounds arrogant, doesn't it?).