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Les réseaux sociaux

There’s been an awful lot of talk about construction in our updates recently. Which is because construction is pretty much done (hooray!), so it’s been a big focus for us. I admit, however, that I am not the person who knows about that sort of thing. Greg and Dave told me what to do when we were building coolers and I did it, and in many cases that took the form of holding something up while they did the actual work.

This week, let’s take things into my realm: the internet. I’d like to talk about social networks.

Obviously we blog, which I quite enjoy, and we also tweet and Facebook (the latter of which I do not enjoy nearly as much, so if my friends haven’t posted something on a Thursday afternoon when I go to link to the Thirsty Thursday post on our page then I just don’t see it. It turns out one of my friends is pregnant!). Are there other areas you think we should explore? Should we be Pinteresting? I’d sort of like to Tumbl, but while their resharing seems nice it’s too close to a blog for me to justify having two, and we like WordPress. I’m pretty sure we can avoid Orkut and Cupidtino.

The cooler for the kegs we fill growlers from!

I like Reddit, at least when its users aren’t being predictably and terribly misogynistic, but beyond a planned AMA when we open I don’t think there’s much there for us. There, I said it, so now we have to do it.

The biggest question for us now is where to go in the realm of beer related social networks. Up until now I’ve personally used Untappd, though I can’t exactly tell you why since I ignore all its social features and am just in it for the badges. Carrots on sticks like badges and achievements trigger the reward center of my brain in ways that are kind of shameful. Pintley also seems promising, and not just because it actually includes all of its vowels.

Ideally we’d like to use the sites that the people who drink our beer use, or also venture down new territory and tell you about it because I’m the sort of nerd who does that on his own anyway. But if we overextend ourselves then that gives us too much to update and you too much to check: jack of all trades, master of none. Pintley and Untappd are the two sites I know of for “checking into” beer, and so if there are other beer social networks please let us know. There are also forums and rating sites like BeerAdvocate and RateBeer, but I see them as slightly different.

Pintley

I’ve been meaning to look into Pintley for about a year now, but only actually did it last week. I’m very impressed with the site from the perspective of a brewer: the potential to interact with the people who drink our beer is pretty amazing. There are no badges but you do have a “level” that goes up as you get points for writing reviews, spreading the word via social networks and the like. It also acts as a sort of beer Pandora, in the sense that it takes what you rate highly and will recommend other beers that you might like and not that you have hair sex using it. (That I know of; like I said, I’m just getting started.)

There’s an ongoing contest: whoever can accumulate the most points in a month wins a gift card for $500: “free craft beer for a year.” Unfortunately, you will never win this because the site is home to crazy people: the current leader for February has more than 35,000 points. You get 100 points for writing a review of a beer. So, yeah.

We already have a brewer’s account on Pintley, albeit nothing listed because we don’t yet have any definite beers (even In C’s name is just a working title, after all).

Untappd

Untappd is the same general idea, but you earn badges for things like drinking 10 different beers in a row or (my favorite) “Drinking Your Paycheck” for five beers on a Friday night. You can add a comment and a rating but there are no in-depth reviews like on Pintley. You can comment on and “toast” (like) others’ checkins, but I’m a social networking introvert and never do.

Where Untappd has an advantage is that it’s homebrewer friendly: you can create your own “brewery” and check in to beers you made yourself. This probably explains why my Twitter friends (primarily homebrewers) seem to favor the service.

We’re still waiting on our brewery verification with Untappd (to be fair, I only tried to sign up as CBW this morning), but I doubt I’d be able to speak to the services’ relative strengths as, well, we still don’t have any beer for people to drink. We’ll definitely be on both, whatever your checking in tastes are.

Have we missed anything? Are there sites we simply must check out?

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