When I first created the Homebrew Dad website, the idea was pretty simple - I wanted a place to chronicle my own growth as a brewer. I had this idea of sharing the steps that I took from complete and utter beginner to... well, to wherever I might take this hobby.
Along the way, the website has grown and evolved with me. I learned that recipe sharing is a pretty big aspect of brewing; rather than post a recipe once, as most blogs do, I decided to set up a central repository to keep them in, which would allow me to embed the recipe again and again, and would also allow people a simple, convenient way to refer back to a given beer recipe. I then had an idea about perhaps expanding that repository one day, so I set it up in such a way as to make the recipes fully searchable - for instance, if you had, say, Munich malt and wanted to see all of the recipes that I had posted that used it, you could do so with a simple search.
I became interested in some of the more technical aspects of brewing, and have always enjoyed programming. I ended up creating a series of utilities - the priming sugar calculator, the ABV calculator, the beer calorie calculator, the grain and hop databases, etc. Wherever possible, I have tried to keep an eye on scalability and flexibility for these, as well.
I set up an area of the site for articles, which in my mind would be place for more factual-based data in an easier to organize manner (as opposed to the timeline organization that blogs have).
In short, I've come to realize that I don't just want to be a guy who blogs about brewing beer at home. Instead, I'm more interested in administering a site that can be a useful resource, period, to homebrewers.
With that in mind, I would like to announce what I feel like is some pretty exciting news. In the coming weeks, Homebrew Dad is going to undergo some growing - and, to a degree, some transformation.
The blog feed will still be the feature on the main page of the site. However, I will be revising the sidebar to move some of the data there, as the site will no longer just be about me.
I'll be adding a fully featured community forum to the site. The forum will be organized (like any good forum) into areas of interest - i.e. an area for newbie questions, an area for people to post photos of their carboys and first beers, an area for recipe discussion, etc.
That forum will integrate fully into every aspect of the site, which means that any interested member of the community will be able to contribute content as they see fit. Have a recipe that you would like to share? Post it here for everyone to see. Recipes will gain a couple of new features, including images and the ability for the community to comment (and perhaps rate) them.
It might be that you would enjoy making your own blog posts periodically, but don't have the know-how or inclination to set up a blog of your own. Rather than having to start with a blank slate, you could simply use our straightforward interface and get going right away - as often (or as infrequently) as you like... and your posts won't just languish away in some forgotten corner of the internet - we have existing reader base (and some decent search engine placement) that will see them from day one.
Maybe you have some great knowledge about some aspect of homebrewing, and you'd like to write an article on it. Maybe you'd like to post a DIY guide to building a kegerator, or write an article teaching others how to get started in growing their own hops, or you'd like to teach others the best way to make your own invert syrup. The idea for this section of the site is that these are the kinds of things that will be referred to again and again, and while they will be subject to editorial input (we don't want, say, a troll publishing an article about how you can make great beer with an 80% crystal malt bill without even needing to crush the grains), any member will be able to publish an article on the site (and they will receive full credit for said article).
There are others ideas still floating around, some of which may take longer than others. New utilities for the site? True, natively translated foreign language support for the site utilities? A cross platform brewing app? All of these fall (and more) fall somewhere on the list.
I have this vision of this amazing community that has the potential to rival BYO, the Brewing Network, and similar professional organizations in terms of the quality of content that we provide. The fact is that regular homebrewers happen to carry around an amazing wealth of knowledge. By and large, homebrewers also happen to be some of the most helpful, most friendly people you could ever hope to meet. So, why not tap into that knowledge and create a resource that could be of benefit to any homebrewer?
Please note that membership - and access to all of the content created by the community (including the ability to create your own content) is, and always will be, free. I am fully aware that there are message boards that offer premium memberships, and that there are content providers that likewise charge for access to large portions of their own content. That will never be the case at Homebrew Dad.
Do further note that membership in the community will be predicated on the tenets of mutual respect and consideration. While there will absolutely be disagreements and such on the message boards, members will be expected to comport themselves with the kind of decorum they would use if we were meeting face to face at a homebrewing club; trolls and troublemakers will quickly find themselves uninvited to participate. There will be no exhaustive list of rules and regulations - I envision a community that embraces Wheaton's Law as the core directive for interactive with one another. If you can handle that, we'll get along just fine.
So, that's it for now. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks as features are added to the site. There will likely be a dry run to get most of the bugs out, but soon enough, this golden dream of this amazing homebrewing community/resource will take the first steps to becoming a reality. Of course, for it to actually become that reality, I'll need participation from some amazing brewers.
You know, people like you.
Tags for this post: homebrew, brewing, beer, community, forum, content
Can't wait to see what you do with your site!
Wheaton's law is a great reference. I find that this is ignored too often out in the wilds of the interwebz.
posted by madmatt1974 on 7/28/2014 at 04:49:45 PM
Great news, and I wish you the best of luck. your site has and will continue to be a valuable resource to my brew days.
posted by jetskeez on 7/28/2014 at 09:21:48 PM