Is being a blogger nowadays all about simply being an online advert for a specific company or whoever’s giving you a freebie on that day?
While recently scrolling through my twitter feed, I happened to notice that several eminent writers in the local bloggerati world were posting about the same company on the same day.
Before you all start pointing the finger at me, let me state that the vast majority of what I blog about or put up on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram is paid for by me with cash from my own pocket. I have absolutely no problem with this – I prefer it. It gives me a feeling that if I write about a beer I can be impartial. Having said that, there have been times a brewery has donated a beer or 3 but I’ve felt no pressure to be glowing with praise. In fact there’ve been times (thankfully very few) when I’ve written a less than complimentary review of a beer that’s been donated.
It’s called the truth – and it’s what I’m proud of doing these past few years.
My blog or social media is not a paid advert. Where is the fine line of when a blog becomes an advert? Or maybe my blog has always been an advert for local breweries?
Most bloggers who advertise company freebies on their social media are, naturally, going to be complimentary about the items they’ve been given. Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong. Am I going wrong? I don’t think I’m going wrong. No, I’m definitely not going wrong.
But whatever happened to critical opinion?
And don’t even start me on the word ‘influencer’…
10 thoughts on “Opinionated So and So”
I don’t know which beers or writers you’re alluding too, but it is a feature of the beer media ecosystem that when a new beer comes out, it generates simultaneous content. That a brewer would want to focus this by sending new release beers out instead of waiting for writers to find them makes sense. As a consumer of beer writing, I like it when everybody’s talking about the same thing: it’s a more engaging conversation. Without wanting to sound like a freeloader, I think more breweries on this island should take advantage of the commentariat by sending them beers they’d like covered.
And of course you’re under no obligation to read anything by those who just fellate the brewers to get more freebies, or who can’t write no good, or both.
The thing is, they aren’t beer bloggers. It’s everything from restaurants to supermarkets to new mummy bloggers.
Ahh. Well the first two are straight-up marketeers doing advertising for the purposes of their own profits. If they’re calling themselves “bloggers” they’re just not, and shouldn’t be treated as such. I wouldn’t be madly familiar with the new mummy blogosphere, but I get the impression that a lot of “lifestyle” blogging is very PR driven. It’s the reason I wouldn’t read a “lifestyle” blog, regardless of how close the lifestyle covered is to what passes for mine.
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As a ling time beer lover, (I even worked at the first 3 Belfast Beer Festivals), I am glad to have found your blog. I can see Beer Nut’s point that when a new beer comes out like the recent heavily advertised launch of Rockshore (Irelands answer to ultra-bland larger like Bud IMHO), there will be a surge in comments on it as a result. I think you are right though, the freebies buy good commentary, and that is wrong. You should put up a disclaimer warning breweries that want to send samples, that they will get coverage, but that you will tell it as you find it. Keep up the good work.
I understand Rockshore is a very direct equivalent to Bud as Diageo is set to lose the right to brew it in Ireland and it will pass to C&C as AB InBev’s local agent.
I know most of all the NI brewers personally so they know how that I call it as I find it. As mentioned in the post I’ve written unfavourably about some samples in the past. Justifiably so.
To @the Beer Nut’s comment, I have recently been told I’m now a lifestyle blogger…@Roy I’m gonna write something of a reply blog and include a link back…😉🍻👍
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Honesty in blogging is important and any writers that smack as advertorial won’t last on my blog roll for long.i see your blog as having picked up the torch where I left off, there’s still room for more in Ireland, particularly ooop north.
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I haven’t noticed it much myself, but maybe I’m following a different crowd. Maybe time to cull a few “bloggers” to free up space for others. Didn’t notice anything obvious on twitter either, but I’m not on there a lot.
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