Archive for March, 2008

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Freeing the Hops

March 21, 2008

I have been involved with the Free the Hops organization for a year now. For those who don’t know what Free The Hops is about (from our FTH website):

Free The Hops | Alabamians For Specialty Beer (FTH) is a
grassroots, non-profit organization whose mission is to help bring the
highest quality beers in the world to Alabama. Commonly referred to as
craft beers due to the skill and artistry required to brew them, they
are also appropriately classified as specialty or gourmet.
….


The world’s finest and most expensive beers are prohibited in Alabama
as result of the state’s current alcohol by volume (ABV) and container
size limits for beer. Beverages defined as beer under Alabama law
can contain no more than 6% alcohol by volume (ABV) and can be sold in
containers no larger than 16 ounces.


Meanwhile beverages defined as
wine can contain up to 24% ABV and have no container size restrictions.

(Note: Under Alabama law, wine is further divided into “table wine” which has a limit of

14.9% ABV and “fortified wine” which has a limit of 24% ABV.)

Likewise, liquor can contain up to 100% ABV and can be sold in any size
container under Alabama law.

Well,

just a few weeks ago, the first step in HB195 (the Gourmet Beer Bill in the House of Rep’s in Alabama) passed. The next step is to pass the other house, then be signed by the Governor. But we didn’t pass without a spirited debate. I am not going to say anything about the video below other than this:

1. It’s highlights of this years debates

2. it contains serious “jumping to conclusion” by bible thumpers who want us to return to prohibition

3. And at exactly 5:33 into the clip, Rep. Alvin Holmes of Montgomery is un-freakin-believable. How someone like that can get elected to the State house is beyond me. It’s an embarrassment to the state of Alabama.

enjoy…

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Finally, a use for twitter.

March 18, 2008

Ok, I admit it. I have been a serious hater on twitter. All the geeks love it, but I just didn’t get it. Even techcrunch, which rarely becomes fanboys of anything, has PAGES of posts on the twitter, tweets and twittering. But or me, I just didn’t see the value in it. I mean, its just the latest evolution of the AIM away message. Its a short blurb that you spit out of your mind so that others can see it. It could be your mood, where you’re going, what you’re doing… anything.

And don’t get me wrong, I loved the AIM away message back in college, and I have been an avid facebook status updater for a while now. But I didn’t see the value in twitter, which was basically facebook-type status updates that sat in a stand alone site with no connection to the network of people I had built on other social networks. Why would I use that when I can just use status updates on facebook and people would actually see them?

But I finally found a use for twitter (at least for me). Twitter has taken the world by storm because of it’s ease of use with mobile devices. Thanks to twitter, I can now post simultaneous updates to my facebook status, to my blog, on my myspace page, and on my twitter page. How? Lemme show ya…

I send all of my updates (or tweets, to twitter addicts) to twitter. That updates my twitter page.

Then, my facebook status is updated using the twittersync facebook app. Blamo. Now, my friends see what I just said.

Next, I have a twitter badge on my blog and myspace page. Now its updated there too!

And best yet, you can tweet using google talk, but IMing twitter@twitter.com. G talk has a rocking good app for my blackberry, so I can now update twitter, facebook, my blog, and myspace, all with 3 clicks.

So for those who follow my updates, this is why you will see some strange ones, such as the ones last Friday night that I sent out, updating everyone on each of the great beers I was drinking at Hop Jacks in Pensacola. It wasn’t like I snuck away to a computer, I simply typed the update in 5 seconds while I stood at the bar waiting for the bartender to come back..

Its mobile applications like this that will be the next big wave of innovation on the internet. And this type of thing is catching on too. Robert Scoble blogged about how a huge party broke out at SXSW just because one guy twittered that he was going to start a party at a certain bar. He walks in a bar, whips out his phone, tweets that “the party is right here”, and people start flocking in. That, my friends, is the future.

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The 3 Post Rule for Bloggers

March 13, 2008

I have a new rule that I would like to throw out there. I read alot of blogs; several from people who claim to be “professional bloggers”. But you cannot have a professional blog if you do not have three updates per day. Why three? Because your average RSS feed defaults to showing the last three entries. So, if you only put one update per day, on the third day, I still see a two day old entry on your RSS feed. There are no exceptions. If you want to hold people’s interest and build up steady traffic, then you must post three times a day.

Maybe this makes no sense to some people who don’t read blogs, but it makes perfect sense to me. For the record, I have NEVER intended this blog to be a professional blog, so there is no need for me to live by the 3 post rule. But for those who do want to be pros (i.e. people who want to make a living blogging) then three posts per day (excluding holidays and weekends) is a minimum.