Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The State of the Blogs

The latest post “Two Name Bear” on the whiskey blog got me to thinking not only about the state of this here bitters blog but the general overall condition of our hobby.

Miller’s Extra’s opening comment on his “Two Name Bear” post, and I quote, “It seems like few collectors are in the mood to post anything lately, but myself. Not sure why, maybe folks are "going underground" for some reason” sums up what is happening to the bottle blogs lately.

I might have a clue to the lack of interest and participation in the blog sites. With the nation’s economy pretty much in the toilet and our local economy in shambles my earning power, as a self employed building contractor, has evaporated. It now takes a lot more of my time to try and keep my business on track than it did when times were flush. A few years ago I was turning down work, now I am devoting a lot of the time I spent on my love of the bottle hobby trying to make a living. Things have changed so drastically that I am now changing occupations after 40+ years in a business that provided well for our family. To make a long story short, at the present time, I am focused on my future. My collecting interests, unfortunately, are on the back burner.

Other reason's for the presumed “lack of interest” in the bottle blogs is it’s finally summer. After a “normal’ winter (that lasted until the end of May) folks are outdoors celebrating the beautiful weather rather than sitting in front of a computer reading opinionated comments from disgruntled bottle collectors. Anyone that digs bottles is taking advantage of the wet winter and the extended digging season. An old digging buddy from Dobbins is busy putting a late garden in the ground and already working on next winter’s firewood. Another friend from Auburn has been so busy working to keep the foothills in power this spring he hardly has time for anything else. And so it goes, it’s the time of year that almost everyone is busy with one thing or another.

Another aspect of the bottle blogs that has received mixed reactions are the negative and sometime vulgar comments by anonymous bloggers. Some of the followers of the bottle blogs think that we should censure or prohibit anonymous bloggers from adding comments to the posts. I have always felt a person has the right to speak his mind and express what he or she believes in. These rights are guaranteed to all Americans and I don’t feel that the bitters blog is a place to deny anyone the right to say what he feels. As one of the administrators of the bitters blog I will continue to let anonymous bloggers comment on articles that are posted on this site.

A recent comment by an anonymous blogger “I think the blogs (and hobby) are dying due to a few bad apples who can't keep their mouth or minds shut. It’s sad and I think it is going to hurt the hobby in the long run with less new collectors entering the hobby. Oh well, its fine with me, cheaper bottles will be the result. I predict a gradual crash in the western bottle market, although the eastern/western appeal of bitters will fare better.” deserves a response. In my opinion, the bottle hobby is stronger than ever. Take a look at the realized prices in the last American Bottle Auction # 50 and take into consideration the unstable economics’, the uneasy “feeling” we are experiencing and the beginning of a beautiful summer and you can understand the temporary waning of the interest in the bottle collecting hobby in general and the bottle blogs in particular.

That’s my take on bottle collecting, at this point in time, and this supposed blog debacle and I’m sticking to it. Can't wait to see all of your smiling faces at the Reno Bottle Show in July!


  1. Bravo Rick ,Well stated You have aired your counter viewpoint to some recent postings by others that do not have the same viewpoints,without anger that degenerates in to personal put down or attack.Civility in disagreement needs to make a comeback to many of the blog sites on the internet in general.Your viewpiont carries more weight when the main point of discussions remains the topics...Thank you..robgarb.

  2. Ill go on here to as I did on the whiskey blog.....I appreciate the articles and pictures of the bottles that you professional collectors post here, because that is the way I can actually see and enjoy info on most of the rarest bottles that i would never otherwise get a chance to see, other than on the catalogues that jeff puts out for American bottle auctions, so just ignore the anonymizers dumb ass postings and continue onward and upward....Andy/ fleabay user djsoldstuf....courtland calif