Since we moved this blog to WordPress from Blogger three months ago, we’ve had over 200,000 reads! When I go to an event like the Hop Growers of America convention, Brau or CBC, people say things like, “I love your blog”, or they tell me to “keep up the good work”. I am happy to hear that people enjoy it … Thank YOU for reading! I enjoy writing it.
If you looked at the comments section alone, you might imagine that nobody reads the blog. The hop industry is very opaque and secretive. In such an industry that is very cloak and dagger by nature, it can be dangerous for anybody to publicly comment using their real name. With anonymous comments, though, the dark troll side of people comes out. When I was Executive Director at Hop Growers of America over 10 years ago, we had that problem with the Coffee Shop, an online forum back in the day. Apparently, there are some serious trolls in the industry that are emboldened when they’re anonymous. That’s not good for anybody. I’d like to keep this blog free from trolls so the next 200,000 reads are as enjoyable as the first. Everybody in the industry is very careful to never commit to any position in writing. I get that.
That doesn’t mean you can’t comment though. I hope you’ll continue to reach out to me the ways you have been, by email and Facebook messages, to let me know your thoughts … positive or negative. Constructive criticism and debate is always welcome here. There have been a few people who have been a little too nasty or self-aggrandizing in the comments section of the Facebook or the Twitter. Honestly, I’m quick to ban or block those people. I see social media like a big elevator. Ideally, it’s taking us to a higher level together. If somebody passes gas while we’re all riding in the elevator though, they should have to get out and should not be allowed back in the elevator again. One strike and you’re out. Nobody wants to stand in an elevator breathing somebody else’s gas! Maybe there are special places on the Internet for those people.