What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

the specialty coffee association of america

What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby onocoffee on Thu May 08, 2008 10:13 am

While in Minneapolis, I heard some rumors that a certain southern journalist blogger wasn't invited to participate in the SCAA Blog because of a certain post on said blog that was critical of a previous barista competition. Any truth to these discussions?

I would think that a take from an actual journalist would be the kind of critical, third-party viewpoint this community needs over than the strictly insider perspective offered.

Thoughts?
Jay Caragay

Lono
new explorations in coffee + cuisine.
onocoffee
 
Posts: 1209
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:30 pm
Location: Towson, MD
full name: Jay Caragay
company: spiral jetty
: www.sprocoffee.com
: onocoffee.blogspot.com

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby Jason Haeger on Thu May 08, 2008 10:44 am

onocoffee wrote:[snip] because of a certain post on said blog that was critical of a previous barista competition. Any truth to these discussions?[snip]


You know... I REALLY hope that's not the case. :(
Jason Haeger
 
Posts: 558
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:07 am
Location: Allen, TX
full name: Jason Haeger
company: AJ Coffee Company | EspressoTrainer.com
: http://www.ajcoffeeco.com

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby nick on Thu May 08, 2008 12:08 pm

I had preliminary discussions with Ben Szobody about joining the blog team. When the list of people was finalized, the fact that certain SCAA member(s) were angered by Ben's certain specific blog post(s) came up, and to try to minimize controversy about the blog project, we didn't include him on the final list. I was sad about it (as was Ben), but it was in the interest of the good of the project. Ben was understanding.

I resent the insinuation of "strictly insider perspective," Jay. This was a pilot-project to see how such blog-coverage would work and be. We "only" used baristas. There was an understandably barista-centric perspective to the blog. This could be seen as a flaw. No roasters, green-buyers, traders, "allied services" people, growers, etc. If we used only non-industry people, they wouldn't have known what questions to ask, or what people would want to know about.

Also, Erin Meister is an "actual journalist," who writes and edits for BUST Magazine and TimeOut NY. That's a bit of a slap-in-the-face, no?

Jay, you yourself are free to provide or facilitate as "critical" or "third-party viewpoint" as you wish. The purpose of the blog was to provide more coverage of the SCAA Conference than before, and lay the groundwork for future conference coverage. Mission accomplished, or so I've been told. Apparently there wasn't sufficient muckraking for your tastes. That wasn't the point of the blog. However, the blog team was trying to be as fair as they could.

More attention was given to USBC, for instance, because with our small crew, providing live-feed of the USBC was a fairly labor-intensive job. I hope that in the future, we will be able to work together with the Roasters Guild for ongoing coverage of the COTY and Roasters Choice competitions, as well as the other activities and goings-on that many who attend Conference might miss.

I think that our volunteer blog-team did a great job, and I am frankly disheartened by the implications here. Thanks Jay, for taking something that I and others saw as a great step in the right direction, and shitting on it. I guess this is what you believe is "what this community needs."
Nick Cho
nick
 
Posts: 1335
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: San Francisco, Coffeefornia
full name: Nicholas Cho
company: Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters
: http://nickcho.com
: http://wreckingballcoffee.com/

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby Mark Prince on Thu May 08, 2008 1:09 pm

I thought the SCAA blog was amazing. I'm still getting caught up on all the posts, all the videos, the works. It's an amazing job, and afaik, there's no controversy to stir up, except for those who just like to stir it up.

I do have suggestions for next year, and one minor complaint that I'll keep private between Nick and I, but other than that, congratulations to everyone who did it. It's a quantum leap over previous years efforts by the SCAA.

Mark
Mark Prince
Just in it for the espresso and coffee, Vancouver BC
Mark Prince
 
Posts: 1064
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 10:13 am
Location: vancouver bc
full name: Mark Prince
company: CoffeeGeek.com
: www.CoffeeGeek.com

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby Matt Riddle on Thu May 08, 2008 1:31 pm

I'd like to echo the sentiments of both Nick and Mark.

As someone who has attended the conference for the past few years and was unable to make it this year, I found the blog to be an amazing undertaking. It was informative, current and covered many of the relevant portions of the show (for me). I really missed being there to support my Barista team and coworkers in our booth. This afforded me the privilege of knowing what was going on without having to wait until the next day or for someone to get back to me in a text when they had a spare minute.

In addition, Jon Lewis, myself and several other vets were on the chat room over the weekend and there was amazing conversation going on between people like us and those who had never seen a competition before. We gave help and answered questions to make their viewing of the comp. make more sense and they were very appreciative. People's families signed on, parents, loved ones - the whole gambit. I thought that was an additional bonus that probably wasn't initially in the cards upon creation. I can totally see additional feeds for the COTY, and roasting portions of the show.

The "in between" sections were entertaining as well. Nick or James pulling around the macbook around the floor and just talking...that could totally be expanded into a whole section of the blog.

As with any first-time undertaking, there were minor issues, some things that might have been overlooked, and things to be improved upon. But overall I found it to be amazing work done by a small group of individuals.
Matt Riddle
Intelligeesta
Matt Riddle
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 6:48 am
Location: Chicago, IL
full name: Matt Riddle
company: Intelligentsia Coffee
: http://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby Ric Rhinehart on Thu May 08, 2008 1:41 pm

I would like to take a moment to thank Nick Cho for conceiving of, planning and executing our first attempt at live blogging, a long overdue and not-so-bold step into the 21st century. Obviously this first attempt was not perfect, but it was pretty darn sweet nonetheless. I am so very grateful to the team of enthusiastic and colorful bloggers, and I hope we can entice them to grow and improve with us over the next few years. It is my sincere hope to substantially widen the scope and raise the quality of coverage as we progress, but in all sincerity, the results this year far outstripped my expectations and all credit is due to Nick and the team.

Please keep giving us constructive criticism and ideas for improvement. As always, you can reach me at ricr@scaa.org or by phone at 562.624.4100. Thank you to all who came to the show, and congratulations once again the entire blog team on an excellent debut.

Ric Rhinehart
Ric Rhinehart
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 11:23 pm
Location: Long Beach

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby Aldo1 on Thu May 08, 2008 1:48 pm

fwiw, I didn't read jay's post as critical of the successes of the effort.

I'd like to join the others applauding the blog, the video,and the chat. Like a blog can extend the walls of a business like a coffee shop, the initiative certainly expanded the walls of the conference and the USBC, and the chat feature expanded the community aspect.

I know at one point Rich was sitting out in the convention center cafe area watching the competition and chatting rather than having to sit still and be quiet inside of the competition area. (a tough task for him).

I thought it was terrific, I hope to see it continued and expanded, and thanks to all who participated. We have heard from many who joined in from afar during the weekend and all were impressed and appreciative.
Melanie
Managing Owner, Aldo Coffee Co.
Pittsburgh, PA
Aldo1
 
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:37 am
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
full name: Melanie Westlerfield
company: Aldo Coffee Company
: http://www.aldocoffee.com

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby bz on Thu May 08, 2008 2:01 pm

it's sort of nice to be able to say that i affirm pretty much everything posted above: nick, jay and mark. which means that i have a sort of nuanced view of this that may affirm or offend your point of view. of course, i never intended to discuss this publicly.

jay, you're right. i angered an scaa dues payer with some criticism after the southeast regionals. since i'm not a dues payer, especially, my presence on the official scaa blog team was deemed potentially offensive, and so i was removed from the team to avoid an entirely avoidable controversy.

of course, i got a lot of private support from industry/competition people for my previous criticism and stand by what i said then. it was easily a majority view.

nick is also correct in that i was disappointed to leave the blogging effort, but understood the rationale for the decision. i'm a nobody. i don't have a real stake in this industry/convention/club, and as such no one is obligated to pay one whit of attention to me. the original invitation was an honor, and i appreciated the gesture from nick.

i'm not going to question scaa executives here, but i will say that i have since been glad i didn't go to the convention with the team. an outsider's voice (even a hack, part-time, snarky and messy approach like mine) is probably a good thing to maintain, and the little removal incident was something that illuminated again to me how this community works. as you know, there are things i love and hate about this third wave thing. it is what it is, and i'm more convinced than ever that i don't need to become an insider.

that's NOT to say that the blog team didn't do a lot of great work. a quantum leap was made in terms of opening a very cool barista drama to the public -- and the rest of the convention too. the video guys obviously are very good, and erin and james wrote some very informative dispatches. streaming video, which is an idea i pushed early on, was awesome, and i'm glad to see they ran with it regardless of my absence. it truly expanded the convention community online in a dramatic way.

so mark is right -- the blog was amazing. had i hoped to add the perspective of a coffee lover and outsider? absolutely. do i think it was a bit promotional and clubby? sure, and i've said as much on my blog. but that's probably what the "official" blog is always going to look like anyway, and you can hardly blame the scaa for wanting to maintain message control where it can. i would've "played nice" had i been on the team, because that was part of the deal. in the end, they paved the way for more expansion in the future.

which still leaves room for the indies. twitchy, me and others. look, i started blogging for my friends and never imagined an industry readership. it's all been a total accident. but since readers appear to place a great value on a humorous, wacky, independent viewpoint, i'll keep doing it in my non-journalism hours. but i don't have real rights here, and never got mad about my removal (though some friends in the industry did).

what "insiders" need to ask is what they want coverage to look like. who should be on the team? who should do color commentary in the future? should there be an independent, journalistic perspective in your trade pubs, or not? and what are you going to DO with all of us fanboys out there, blabbing like we do?

it's up to you.

so, whatever you think about my role, it does seem like jay raises a legitimate point.
bz
 
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:49 am
Location: greenville, sc
full name: ben szobody
company: n/a

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby nick on Thu May 08, 2008 2:53 pm

from Erin Meister (coffeed-account-less):

    I'm grateful Jay is questioning the coverage; that's the point of the whole thing, I guess, and that's how the hard stuff gets done. For the record, though, we talked about the intention of our work quite a bit, and struggled with how to present certain aspects that maybe we weren't thrilled about (yes, there were things that came up). Zachary's was the voice that made it the clearest to us as a team: "We have our own blogs to write about that shit." We never intended to merely gloss over any issues, we were just being cautious in the face of what we thought was our larger and more useful purpose at the time and in that context.

    I can also tell you that I personally walked away from the event with my head spinning, full of changes I'm itching to make both of myself and in the industry that I love. Would it have been right for me to air those concerns on the SCAA-sanctioned blog, to a far-flung audience that may have been unable to come to its own conclusions based on my criticisms? I didn't think so, even as an "actual journalist." Does that mean I'm just some robot with a press pass that isn't capable of absorbing the event and being critical of it when and where it's appropriate? Hopefully the answer to that will be apparent once I write my individual account on my personal blog. In any event, I'm happy to hear the comments and concerns of people who were reading and following the coverage, and I hope at least that it's clearer now that we did weigh our tone and our angle carefully, with respect to the industry and our function at the event, and decided as a team to err on the side of cautious.
Nick Cho
nick
 
Posts: 1335
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: San Francisco, Coffeefornia
full name: Nicholas Cho
company: Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters
: http://nickcho.com
: http://wreckingballcoffee.com/

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby Rich Westerfield on Thu May 08, 2008 3:57 pm

Aldo1 wrote:I know at one point Rich was sitting out in the convention center cafe area watching the competition and chatting rather than having to sit still and be quiet inside of the competition area. (a tough task for him).


And now I can say that I watched a bit of the competition with )on and Matt.

I gotta say, while the live feed was great, the chat room was brilliant. Even when there were feed glitches, we could entertain ourselves quite nicely.
Rich Westerfield, Co-owner
aldocoffee.com
I'm just here to regulate funkiness.
Rich Westerfield
 
Posts: 565
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 8:23 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby barry on Thu May 08, 2008 5:23 pm

Rich Westerfield wrote:I gotta say, while the live feed was great, the chat room was brilliant. Even when there were feed glitches, we could entertain ourselves quite nicely.



The whole thing was well done. If I'd known about it ahead of time... or, perhaps more specifically: known that it was going to be so freakin' cool... I would have hooked up the store computer to the video projector and put the live feed up on the big screen for everyone to watch. As it was, I understand there were three or more computers in the shop running the live feed for the finals so staff/customers could watch. June says the chat room was brill... very lively and entertaining, especially when the laptop was being walked around the show... or not walked around. :D

The blog was cool, and I used it every evening to try to keep up with what was going on in the rest of the show.
barry
 
Posts: 1137
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:33 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
full name: T. Barry Jarrett
company: Coffee Projects Inc.

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby Peter G on Thu May 08, 2008 5:27 pm

I love the SCAA blog. I love it so much. I have been attending this conference for a whole buncha years, and this blog allowed me to see it through a new set of eyes.

Nick put together a bunch of internet all-stars, all of whom brought their unique voices and styles to the blog. James Hoffman's direct, classy, science-minded reportage; Erin Meister's sharp, witty, professional photojournalism; Zachary Carlsen's trademark quick-edited, hilarious-but-deeply-illustrative video pieces; Katie Carguilo's quirky, creative, revealing ingenue character; Cho's morning radio interview style.... I loved it all and it deepend the experience for me. Every night, I would watch videos and read updates using my slow-ass wireless signal at the Hyatt. Thanks you guys. You made my conference, for reals.

As for Ben, his TMZ-style rapidfire snark may have not worked in this context. The bloggers seemed to be celebrating and exploring the event, and Ben's trademark conspiracy theories, open -ended speculation, and direct criticism might have added an unpleasant dimension to the coverage. At the end of the day, it's a matter of style, and the SCAA owns the blog, so they get to decide who to invite to do it. No controversy here, try again Jay. You'll find some shit to stir up somewhere, I wager!

Peter G
Peter Giuliano
Specialty Coffee Association of America
Peter G
 
Posts: 367
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:11 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA
full name: Peter Giuliano
company: Specialty Coffee Association of America

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby onocoffee on Thu May 08, 2008 8:22 pm

Whew - ask a simple question, go back to working the bar for a day and this is the resulting discussion???

Well, let's see what had to be said:

nick wrote:I resent the insinuation of "strictly insider perspective," Jay.


Resent it all you want, I didn't "insinuate" anything. I wrote it straight and simple. Direct and to the point. The rest is just your paranoia.

nick wrote:Jay, you yourself are free to provide or facilitate as "critical" or "third-party viewpoint" as you wish.


Since I was a competitor and the focus of some of the blog posts and videos, that makes it impossible for me to offer a "critical" or "third-party" viewpoint of the event.

Strangely enough, I recognize that fact. Why can't you?

nick wrote:Apparently there wasn't sufficient muckraking for your tastes. That wasn't the point of the blog. However, the blog team was trying to be as fair as they could.


Muckracking? I'm finding it quite interesting and telling how you (and others) so desperately want this to be about me and less about your decisions as a director on the SCAA BoD.

nick wrote:Thanks Jay, for taking something that I and others saw as a great step in the right direction, and shitting on it. I guess this is what you believe is "what this community needs."


I posed a question and now I'm "shitting" on it?

Seems to me that you're setting it up that the activities of the SCAA cannot be questioned. That kind of "leadership" led the association to the verge of ruin in 2005.

And a challenge of that kind of thinking and "leadership" is most certainly "what this community needs."

nick wrote:I had preliminary discussions with Ben Szobody about joining the blog team. When the list of people was finalized, the fact that certain SCAA member(s) were angered by Ben's certain specific blog post(s) came up, and to try to minimize controversy about the blog project, we didn't include him on the final list.


What you're really saying is that an SCAA member was pissed off about the blog entry that Ben Szobody wrote, complained and you decided to exclude him from the blog panel because of it.

So, it really doesn't have anything to do with me or my "muckracking" and everything to do with you pacifying an SCAA member.

I think it's so much simpler and convenient if you stick to the facts.

nick wrote:Ben was understanding.


From what I gather, that's because he's a professional, comports himself reasonably well and doesn't take this too seriously. Kudos to him.

Aldo1 wrote:fwiw, I didn't read jay's post as critical of the successes of the effort.


Finally, someone who actually read the original post.

Fact remains that I didn't comment either way on the successes or failures of the blog experiment. Truth is that I'm very pleased with the results overall. The refusal to archive the preliminary rounds was extremely short-sighted and it would have been most excellent to be able to review the online commentaries, otherwise I thought it was very nicely done and a great expansion on the original efforts of the ZacharyZachary.com team from their 2007 WBC coverage.

bz wrote:of course, i got a lot of private support from industry/competition people for my previous criticism and stand by what i said then. it was easily a majority view.


Personally speaking, I like the fact that you're providing an "outsiders" viewpoint through your blog. I read it quite frequently because it isn't a coffee industry "love fest" (and I'm one who's been skewered on chemicallyimbalanced.org more than once).

bz wrote:what "insiders" need to ask is what they want coverage to look like. who should be on the team? who should do color commentary in the future? should there be an independent, journalistic perspective in your trade pubs, or not? and what are you going to DO with all of us fanboys out there, blabbing like we do?


What I want is outsider perspective to let us know when the emperor is missing his clothes. By the tenor of the responses here, it seems that the powers that be would prefer we just follow along blindly.

Sounds like the "old" SCAA to me.

Erin Meister wrote:...even as an "actual journalist." Does that mean I'm just some robot with a press pass that isn't capable of absorbing the event and being critical of it when and where it's appropriate? Hopefully the answer to that will be apparent once I write my individual account on my personal blog.


Apologies to you, Erin. I had forgotten that you were now writing professionally.

Look forward to reading your blog.

Peter G wrote:As for Ben, his TMZ-style rapidfire snark may have not worked in this context. The bloggers seemed to be celebrating and exploring the event, and Ben's trademark conspiracy theories, open -ended speculation, and direct criticism might have added an unpleasant dimension to the coverage. At the end of the day, it's a matter of style, and the SCAA owns the blog, so they get to decide who to invite to do it.


While I had never read his professional work, I somehow find it difficult to believe that his "real" writing would be similar to the blog persona. In fact, I took a moment to Google his name and came up with this:

http://www.greenvilleonline.com/apps/pb ... /301240002

Doesn't read like much of his "trademark" conspiracies theories, open-ended speculation and direct criticism to me. Like the Greenville News, I would have expected Ben to remain within whatever boundaries were set for him. He is a professional, after all.

Peter G wrote:No controversy here, try again Jay. You'll find some shit to stir up somewhere, I wager!


Don't worry Peter, we're talking about the SCAA - there's always going to be controversy. I guarantee it.

I just hope you won't be caught in the middle of it again.
Jay Caragay

Lono
new explorations in coffee + cuisine.
onocoffee
 
Posts: 1209
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:30 pm
Location: Towson, MD
full name: Jay Caragay
company: spiral jetty
: www.sprocoffee.com
: onocoffee.blogspot.com

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby bz on Fri May 09, 2008 5:30 am

there's a fascinating discussion going on here -- without bringing me into it. i'd really rather not be the subject of this thread, not because i dislike scrutiny but because, for this topic, the bloggers who DID something at the usbc should be getting the attention instead of someone who DIDN'T do a thing this year.

if you give a flying whit about my response to peter and jay's characterizations of my work, then scroll down to the small asterisk (*) paragraph below. otherwise, i think the more interesting debate here is what people want in their scaa and competition coverage.

erin and zachary very deliberately tried to strike a balance, apparently, saving the personal feelings for their own blogs. that's a thoughtful, legitimate approach.

jay has long called for an "outsider's" viewpoint in the mix -- and there seems to be some value there, based on the readers indie blogs attract.

peter and barry loved the scaa blog, and peter is not of the demographic that appreciates much skewering or snark in his information. people universally seem to have adored the live feed.

at an atlanta party last night involving some members of this forum, the highest reaction by far was to the live stream. the blog and other coverage seemed to appeal mostly to insiders who know and "get" the people doing the work. covering those same events for a largely clueless public -- introducing them to terms and personalities and elaborate inside jokes -- would be hard, you know?

to dramatically expand the scaa audience, beefier and better live streaming -- with color commentary, backstage interviews and maybe even downtime programming -- would seem to be the obvious route. meanwhile, indie bloggers can provide whatever niche they want.

any other thoughts on how coverage should change? the WBC will be in atlanta next year, so there could be a jillion niches to fill.

*peter's description of my work as "snark" and "conspiracy theories, open -ended speculation, and direct criticism" is fair. obviously, there are some aspects he did not mention. jay is correct when he realizes the distinction between private blogging and my professional life -- mostly politics and investigative writing in buttoned down, tenuous political environments. you might say, "that's the opposite of how you blog." exactly. the coffee blog has always been a release, a way to gleefully WRITE BADLY. as many big words and obscure references as i want. knee-jerk reactionism, snark and poor jokes. it started as something for my friends who "got" the joke -- the third wave readership was completely unexpected and not remotely pursued. now i'm constantly having to explain myself to people who don't dig it, and sometimes wish for a return to anonymity ... but only sometimes. warts and all, i respect this crowd.
bz
 
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:49 am
Location: greenville, sc
full name: ben szobody
company: n/a

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby Robert Goble on Fri May 09, 2008 7:20 am

bz wrote:.....jay is correct when he realizes the distinction between private blogging and my professional life -- mostly politics and investigative writing in buttoned down, tenuous political environments. you might say, "that's the opposite of how you blog." exactly. the coffee blog has always been a release, a way to gleefully WRITE BADLY. as many big words and obscure references as i want. knee-jerk reactionism, snark and poor jokes.....[/size]

Colour me less than impressed. I think we deserve better. I've no problem with an outside perspective, or a critical perspective, but the bz "character" is a powerfully destructive writing form in which the character shields the writer from accountability and allows biting criticism to be launched as a salvo without a clear point of origin. This industry needs a critic - many critics, but it needs fair-play as well. Yet I think my biggest criticism would be the lack of authenticity in your prose. Seeing you address Peter (who writes here as himself in his authentic voice) really hammers that point home. When you write on this board - start writing as yourself. You can start by including more details about who you are and what you do for a living (like everybody else here) so we can better hold you accountable for the things you say in this forum. If you are a journalist or a professional writer - I want to see that made very clear and be able to connect you to your body of work (as it is so easy to connect us to ours). Do what you want on your blog - but keep your blog character out of these forums and write here as yourself.

R.
Robert Goble
Elysian Coffee
Robert Goble
 
Posts: 551
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 11:13 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC
full name: Robert Goble
company: Elysian Coffee
: www.elysiancoffee.com

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby bz on Fri May 09, 2008 7:35 am

robert: not sure where your wires got crossed, but that's exactly what i'm doing here - writing as myself. you don't see me bringing the other stuff to this forum. not ever. this is a professional board, and i've always honored it as such, leaving the bloggy snark behind. if you want to talk about some other "destructive writing form" then let's do it privately, not here. because i don't bring it here, and i'm continually distressed that people on this thread keep bringing it here. enough already.
bz
 
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:49 am
Location: greenville, sc
full name: ben szobody
company: n/a

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby Robert Goble on Fri May 09, 2008 8:07 am

Fair enough Ben -- we'll explore this off the forum.
Robert Goble
Elysian Coffee
Robert Goble
 
Posts: 551
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 11:13 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC
full name: Robert Goble
company: Elysian Coffee
: www.elysiancoffee.com

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby nick on Fri May 09, 2008 8:23 am

Clearly, the only way to fight fire is with fire, so I'll make my attempt:

onocoffee wrote:Whew - ask a simple question, go back to working the bar for a day and this is the resulting discussion???

Your questions were "Any truth to these discussions?" and "Thoughts?" Not simple questions by any stretch.

onocoffee wrote:Resent it all you want, I didn't "insinuate" anything.

B.S. The insinuation was that the blog was lacking because it didn't include what YOU, after the fact, decided what it lacks.

(I'm not doing a very good job at fire-with-fire. Let me try again:)

onocoffee wrote:Since I was a competitor...

Here we go again with the, "I hereby absolve myself because I was too busy" defense. :roll:

onocoffee wrote:I recognize that fact.

You don't want facts. You want fiction.

onocoffee wrote:Muckracking?

No. Muckraking. Rack up your own "mucks" if it suits you.

onocoffee wrote:I'm finding

You are? Where?

onocoffee wrote:I posed

And you looked lovely holding that beer.

onocoffee wrote:a

Wha?

onocoffee wrote:really

Yes, really.

onocoffee wrote:about

What do you mean "about?" You're the one who brought this up, Jay!


onocoffee wrote:blog

Yep.

onocoffee wrote:blog

Now you just sound like Zachary.

onocoffee wrote:blog

Enough with this.

onocoffee wrote:Google

Use it every day.

onocoffee wrote:Don't worry Peter, we're talking about the SCAA - there's always going to be controversy. I guarantee it.

You sure do guarantee it Jay. :|
Nick Cho
nick
 
Posts: 1335
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: San Francisco, Coffeefornia
full name: Nicholas Cho
company: Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters
: http://nickcho.com
: http://wreckingballcoffee.com/

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby onocoffee on Fri May 09, 2008 8:30 am

Robert Goble wrote:...the bz "character" is a powerfully destructive writing form...




Wow, isn't that giving more credence to chemicallyimbalanced.org than perhaps it merits?

The guy writes a blog. Some people hate it, others love it. Some people like the writing, others don't. As with anything on the Internet, one chooses to read chemicallyimbalanced.org.

First and foremost, it's a blog. It's not a publication or organization. It's one guy in the Carolinas writing his perspective on the Third Wave and coffee. Are we, as a community, unwilling to consider the scrutiny of an "outsider", or a media critical of our wave?

You're right, we do deserve better. Perhaps we ought to pressure our "press" and media outlets to be a bit more critical and scrutinizing of our industry than merely being content with everyone being "friends." While we deserve better, it behooves us to recognize the fact that it was Ben Szobody, through chemicallyimbalanced.org that actually questioned and criticized the handling of the SouthEast Regional Barista Competition. There was no commentary or review in any of our "traditional" media.

As a regular reader of chemicallyimbalanced.org - not to mention a figure who has been skewered, made fun of and nearly burned in effigy by that blog, there is nothing that is "shielding" the writer from accountability. He is not writing under the guise of anonymity, he writes under his own name - one that can easily be Googled.

Perhaps what rankles some of the people here is that Ben is an "outsider." Meaning he is outside their sphere of influence and control. He doesn't comport himself as an industry friend or want to hob nob around with the "cool kids." More importantly, he's openly critical of things "Third Wave" and that probably just pisses off some of you.

As for me, I'm open to his continuing critique and commentary on this thing of ours - even if it means that I'll be the focus of the barb from time to time. Or didn't you see the video featuring me wiping my sweat time and time again from the 2006 USBC?
Jay Caragay

Lono
new explorations in coffee + cuisine.
onocoffee
 
Posts: 1209
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:30 pm
Location: Towson, MD
full name: Jay Caragay
company: spiral jetty
: www.sprocoffee.com
: onocoffee.blogspot.com

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby onocoffee on Fri May 09, 2008 8:54 am

nick wrote:B.S. The insinuation was that the blog was lacking because it didn't include what YOU, after the fact, decided what it lacks.

nick wrote:Here we go again with the, "I hereby absolve myself because I was too busy" defense. :roll:

nick wrote:You don't want facts. You want fiction.

nick wrote:No. Muckraking. Rack up your own "mucks" if it suits you.

nick wrote:You are? Where?

nick wrote:And you looked lovely holding that beer.

nick wrote:Wha?

nick wrote:Yes, really.

nick wrote:What do you mean "about?" You're the one who brought this up, Jay!

nick wrote:Yep.

nick wrote:Now you just sound like Zachary.

nick wrote:Enough with this.

nick wrote:Use it every day.

nick wrote:You sure do guarantee it Jay. :|


Wow. It's obvious that you are unable to separate yourself from your personal involvement with the blog and answer simple questions without this level of extreme paranoia.

The simple answer of: "We decided not to go with Ben Szobody on the blog panel because we needed to placate an SCAA member" would have sufficed. But you wanted to go off the deep end and I think it's because you like the fact that I'm willing to speak my mind - just like you wanted me to go off the deep end on Podcast 75 about the sale of clover to Starbucks. The problem is that I won't go off on a subject when it no longer matters or is unimportant.

The bottom line is that some people had mentioned that Szobody was asked and then removed from the panel. I'm asking here if that was true. It's a 'yes' or 'no' answer and not some big hoopla as you're trying to make it out to be.

This paranoia worries me. Maybe it's time to separate yourself from the SCAA and refocus on yourself, your family and your business.
Jay Caragay

Lono
new explorations in coffee + cuisine.
onocoffee
 
Posts: 1209
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:30 pm
Location: Towson, MD
full name: Jay Caragay
company: spiral jetty
: www.sprocoffee.com
: onocoffee.blogspot.com

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby Matt Riddle on Fri May 09, 2008 12:48 pm

onocoffee wrote:The bottom line is that some people had mentioned that Szobody was asked and then removed from the panel. I'm asking here if that was true. It's a 'yes' or 'no' answer and not some big hoopla as you're trying to make it out to be.


If that's the case, why didn't you just call Nick and ask him, avoiding the possibility of "hoopla"?
Matt Riddle
Intelligeesta
Matt Riddle
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 6:48 am
Location: Chicago, IL
full name: Matt Riddle
company: Intelligentsia Coffee
: http://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby Mark Prince on Fri May 09, 2008 1:14 pm

The ultimate irony for me here is that Jay somehow sees himself as the final arbiter over what should be covered and who should cover things, and shouldn't. When not enough muckraking is covered in the SCAA blog, that's "wrong" and there's a controversy there, because he wants more shit disturbing or as he puts it, "outsider" coverage.

But when, as an example, I write about SCAA things, or have a poll to see where people would like an SCAA show, that's "wrong" too because in his determination, CG's not the place for industry discussions and industry talks... IIRC, because we're, by similar definitions, "outsiders" and not part of the industry (the readership).

You can't have it both ways Jay.

Again, I'd like to reiterate that I think the SCAA blog overall was fantastic and did exactly what it was supposed to do - get interesting information and news out there to those who couldn't attend, and help promote the SCAA and the USBC in a positive way. The feed was a prime example of "build it an they will come" thanks to the awesome efforts of many chatroom participants, not the least of which are Jon and Matt, who, IMO, should be given honourary "scaa blogger" titles for really making the chat room awesome.

Mark
Mark Prince
Just in it for the espresso and coffee, Vancouver BC
Mark Prince
 
Posts: 1064
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 10:13 am
Location: vancouver bc
full name: Mark Prince
company: CoffeeGeek.com
: www.CoffeeGeek.com

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby barry on Fri May 09, 2008 1:38 pm

Mark Prince wrote:not the least of which are Jon and Matt, who, IMO, should be given honourary "scaa blogger" titles for really making the chat room awesome.



I nominate them for "color guys" for future events. June was tickled pink with the whole thing, and that's saying a lot. You should have heard her going on and on about the chat room and how folks were "saying" this and "shouting" that... For her to rave about anything at a conference as being cool is significant; for her to rave about something at a conference that she didn't even attend... well... good on ya'.
barry
 
Posts: 1137
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:33 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
full name: T. Barry Jarrett
company: Coffee Projects Inc.

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby bz on Fri May 09, 2008 2:47 pm

agreed. the streaming video would have been awesome by itself. with the chat, it was downright communal, like the trade show floor or an informal party. it was democratic, and guru input from anette, jon, hoffmann and others made it sterling.

in the end, people couldn't let go. they were hanging around, chatting about nothing like kids outside the mall after closing. it was the closest thing we've seen yet to capturing the drama in a way that's compelling to a broad cross-section.

with some cross promotion, added shows and the like, it could really become powerful, in my view.
bz
 
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:49 am
Location: greenville, sc
full name: ben szobody
company: n/a

Re: What's Missing from the SCAA Blog?

Postby onocoffee on Fri May 09, 2008 4:15 pm

Matt Riddle wrote:If that's the case, why didn't you just call Nick and ask him, avoiding the possibility of "hoopla"?


Are you asking this because this topic is so sensitive that it needs to be kept secret?

This is a simple issue with a seemingly simple answer: Ben was not included to placate an SCAA member. Is this such a hard thing to comprehend?

I think a number of you need to actually read the original posting. There's nothing denouncing the blog effort. Merely a question asking for clarification about something I heard discussed in Minneapolis.
Jay Caragay

Lono
new explorations in coffee + cuisine.
onocoffee
 
Posts: 1209
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:30 pm
Location: Towson, MD
full name: Jay Caragay
company: spiral jetty
: www.sprocoffee.com
: onocoffee.blogspot.com

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 0 guests