The latest round of The Session has rolled back around this month, and it’s something of an angsty one. Alan McLeod is hosting this month, very last minute, with a topic that spun out of Jay Brooks’ rumination on whether the Session has run its course; Alan says, Quick! Write… And Make It Good!!
I was going to tell you to write anything you feel like whether it makes any sense or not… but then I realized that’s what you do anyway. Especially you. Yes, you!! So you are going to write about this: if we just “take the philosophical approach, that the Session has run its course” aren’t we really admitting that beer blogging is a massive failure? I say no. I say this is a fabulous way to cover up problem drinking with anti-social internet addictions. Maybe you know of another reason we should keep writing and try to make some sense of the beer and brewing world. Well, goodie for you. Write about it. Explain yourself. Because if you can’t you are really admitting (i) you’ve wasted the best part of the last decade or (ii) you live in a fantasy world where think you are a beer writer and not a beer blogger and that’s soooooo much more important…
Can’t get around my track record on The Session in recent months, where I’ve missed the actual first Friday mark and end up posting on the weekend… yes, life intrudes and I suppose some might take that as a sign of, well, something. Not really; I don’t think The Session has run its course any more than I think blogging, beer or otherwise, has. It’s certainly nowhere near “massive failure” except perhaps on an individual, blogger-by-blogger basis, which is simply reflective of real life anyway, where there’s always a certain percentage of people who start projects only to lose interest after awhile and their project dies off.
And for those people that do persist, especially the ones more recently entering this online world, there are many more options for online expression than there used to be than just blogs. Some are blogs of a different color or directly derivative. Some are entirely different. You know the ones (or maybe not?), like Tumblr, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on. So while it might seem that blogs (or beer bloggers) are a dying breed, or a passing fad, or whatever… I don’t think so necessarily, I think it’s just moved into other platforms and social media.
But I’m old-school, I am a blogger; I’ve been writing this particular blog since 2004 and blogs in general for longer. I’ve been homebrewing and interested in beer for far longer, so starting a beer blog way back when was a natural progression. 12 years on I don’t feel like I’ve wasted anything by writing this, and I will keep writing on this blog no matter what, I think, but perhaps I’m an edge-case.
As far as The Session: yes, attendance and interest has waned over the years. Perhaps there’s not as much interest in collaboration as there used to be. Perhaps there less overall (beer) bloggers in the world. Perhaps it’s bloggers like me who aren’t as timely as that first Friday and they slip through the cracks! Or maybe even it’s as simple as there is a whole new field of beer bloggers and media folks who simply aren’t aware of The Session or if they are, the “beer blogging” part deters them. Whatever the reason, it has slowed down and lost momentum.
But, it should go on. My reason is basically a selfish one: I enjoy reading the diversity of posts and opinions that The Session generates. Alan’s entreaty to offer other reasons to continue contains the answer itself—to help “make some sense of the beer and brewing world.” No, not all beer blog articles do this, I know mine certainly doesn’t all the time, but that’s just the nature of the post in question. Overall, what The Session (and beer blogging as a whole) does is make sense of what’s going on out their in this beer world. Or maybe more accurately, it’s the conversations they generate that do this.
We’re not solving the world’s problems here, but that’s okay—one thing at a time.