Erin Thompson. Who she? She's the Head of Window Display & Merchandising at Selfridges, and it's her 2010 Christmas windows in Oxford Street and their misappropriation of Frank Sidebottom's image, that provoked the shitstorm which led to this blog receiving as much traffic in one weekend than its had since I started it. The story helped to compel an apology and "donation" to Chris Sievey's estate. For being part of that, I'll probably die happy.
Thanks also for the good wishes. I didn't set out with an agenda beyond occasionally poking the odd part of the beer-loving community with a stick, so what happened this month has never been part of my thinking about where the blog could go. December will likely see normal service resumed with Pete Brown or Mark Dredge at the top. Now that Cookie has abandoned Zak Avery to join "Team Boggle", that's a given. He's a Jonah. Given I don't tweet (and Twitter was the engine for what happened at the weekend), I imagine I'm destined to be the Bolton Wanderers of the beer blogosphere - fighting relegation successfully each season, with the odd foray into nosebleed territory and a place in Europe. Good enough.
I noticed that Wikio has started to publish rankings for the US beer bloggers, which has prompted the same type of navel-gazing we have here. Stan Hieronymous noted the current rankings here, with a nod to our own listings. US beer writer Andy Crouch (with whom I'm slightly acquainted) posted some thoughts on beer blogging on his website, Beerscribe.com. He has some interesting views. Then there's Ron Pattinson's post on why he does it.
I suppose there's something to what Andy is saying. I don't generally agree about the state of 'amateur' blogging but admit I'm not well-acquainted with the US blogging scene. If it's anything like BeerAdvocate or HateBeer fora, it'll be mind-numbing fare such as 'what's in your fridge?' If professional beer writers want to blog, they step into that pool knowing what it's like. Hopefully though, the best writing is aspirational. I feel that's the case over here. Some of the debate about leveraging blogs into PR vehicles has been had in the UK, led by Melissa Cole. I can say I've never been offered anything, and don't expect that to change. Cookie has that market pretty well stitched up, I feel. As for motive? Meh. It's the interwebs.
Still, the rankings got a kick up the backside for a month with Rabid Barfly making a prodigious leap, and the other big mover being the Adnams blog. Now to find another Frank story...