Looking to 2008

Darcy O'Neil :: January 1, 2008 12:01 PM

Another year has passed and as always it is a good time to look forward. Even though, like most people, I have big ideas for the coming year, they don't always pan out. But, if you set the bar too low, you'll never accomplish anything. Set the bar way too high, and by the end of the year you may not succeed in reaching that lofty height, but you'll probably end up going higher than you thought. So as per my usual, I have big plans, but don't hold me to them.

Going to Tales 2008
Just like last year I’ll be showing up in New Orleans in July for Tales of the Cocktail. This year I’m presenting “Sensory Perception and Mixology / What Your Tastebuds are Telling You”. Once everything is finalized I’ll give you more details, but it should be a great presentation and if you attend, you’ll defiantly learn something about yourself.

Drink & Cocktail Blog Trends
In 2007 the growth of cocktail related blogs grew pretty fast, but by early autumn the trend plateau’d and may have even dipped. Many of the blogs that looked promising in 2007 have slowed their posting, and the number of new blogs showing up has dwindled. Blogs seem like fun at first, but eventually they become work.

New Site Design
My goal for 2008 is to continue to post my normal dissertations on all things drink related, but I also want to include more frequent, but shorter updates. The current site design isn’t really setup for that, even though I’ve hacked some of the features into the design, it doesn’t work well. I’d also like to expand the topics a bit, or at least cover other topics in short updates. So, hopefully I can get something done, time permitting.

Better Photography
This year was a vast improvement in the photo’s included on this site. Thanks goes out to Rick at Kaiser Penguin for upping the ante for cocktail blogs. However, my photo’s have a way to go before I’m really happy.

Some new photo equipment is on my post 2007 Christmas list. New equipment isn’t cheap, so it may take a while. Was I that bad in 2007 that I didn’t deserve to get everything on my Christmas list? But then again, you should have seen my list!

Possible Name Change
To be truthful, I’ve never really liked the name “Art of Drink”. It was the best I could come up with, in a moment of spontaneity, when I needed a domain name for this weblog. I never really thought the site would become as popular as it has. Now there is an “Art of Insert word here” everywhere. But, I’ve created a “brand” so the question is should I live with it, or take the plunge and come up with something more original?

Eternal Projects
As usual I still have projects from last year on my plate. I’m still adding stuff to my Liquor Inventory page and the other things (cocktail database, bitters, vodka research, etc.) are still being fiddled with. It’s just an issue with time and money. I’d love to spend more time working on this site, but…

One of things I’ve discovered, and so has my wife, is that writing this blog is expensive. Everytime I decide to write about a cocktail, I always seem to be missing an ingredient, such as fresh limes, velvet falernum, assorted exotic fruit juices, miscellaneous bitters, not to mention liqueurs and spirits. Besides the frequent trips to the grocery store, and the regular trips to the liquor store, the costs add up. This doesn’t include the website hosting fees, photography stuff, books, glassware, tools and all the other things I need to make a genuinely interesting site. I’m still looking for ways to generate revenue, but I’m still committed to honest methods only, ie. no advertorials. Everything you read here is genuine. If I like a product, I have no qualms espousing its greatness. If the product sucks, I’ll be gentle but firm. Just because it doesn’t fit my preferences doesn’t mean it is crap.

Product Reviews
I may have mentioned this before, but it never hurts to repeat. I have been reviewing products in the Eternal Projects sections. Even though free booze is fine, it doesn’t really benefits me, because it’s usually something I don’t need (vodka). Most of it usually just gets tasted, then it sits on the shelf until it is covered in dust and I can pawn it off on my family. I don’t mind receiving products, but getting them on the front page requires that it be very good. If I buy a product, and it is exceptional, I usually write about it.

The drink blogosphere has a lot of participants and there are a lot of great articles being written, which makes it hard to stay original. But, the upside is that when topics like the Aviation come up, there are lots of differing opinions, which makes for interesting reading.

Part of the reason I'm contemplating a new site design is so that I can have more options when I write, hopefully improving inspiration. Currently, I usually like to do a full post (500 words plus) with at least one picture. This usually takes about 2 or 3 hours, depending on what I need to research. Maintaining the motivation to write gets a little bit harder each year.

Well, that is about it for 2008's goals. As usual, I always take suggestions and want to know what you think. But if I just go by statistics and the growth of this site, I'm going to assume most people are happy with their free content. I hope everyone has a great New Year, thanks for reading.

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