While the 2012 cigar year began the day after Thanksgiving for me, the calendar year marks a change to this web-site.  The change won’t be in layout – just yet, but more of a change of approach. 

Over the past year, I have gotten a lot of wonderful feedback stating “I really like your blog”.   My response is always “thank you”, and I cannot tell you how great it is to receive feedback.   I have a little confession to make; those who know me, know that I prefer not to use word ” blog”.  This has been an interesting topic I’ve had with some other cigar reviewers over the past year – and it has sparked some spirited debate.  My personal feeling is that the term “blog” does not do justice to my web-site and many of the other online cigar websites.  My vision is for Cigar Coop to become a collaborative web-site around the technical aspects around cigars and I feel this will go beyond what a blog is. As a part of this vision, I’d like to have more of a true journalistic feel.  Therefore, I’m implementing the first set of changes for the year 2012.

First up, numerical ratings will now be joining the assessment ratings.  This is in direct response to retailers that told me “I love the way you break down a cigar, but ultimately I need a numeric rating to tie it together”.  Therefore as a part of the cigar assessments, you will now see a numeric rating.   Numeric ratings will also be done at other times of the month as well.    Several months have been spent building a formula that is in-line with the “100 point” scale the industry looks to.  I hope you will appreciate it and look forward to feedback.

The structure of the assessments will start to change too.  I will be adding additional sections to the assessment.  This is an attempt to make this a more comprehensive information source for cigar assessments. I might consider bringing on additional contributors as well, but this is in the visionary state right now.

The writing style will somewhat change.  I’ll look to clean up the style a bit.  The idea is to create a more serious, professional feel to the web-site.  Some say I may take this too seriously.  I respond back with “thank you”.   I consider this industry serious business.

We will still keep an eye on legislation as this impacts every cigar enthusiast.  I eliminated cigar event and cigar shop reviews earlier this year, and I do not have plans to bring them back.

As I look toward the post 2.0 world, I am looking to implement a more interactive and collaborative experience for the reader.   This is still in the visionary phases.  The goal is still to keep this web-site ad-free – as it always has been.  Of course, Cigar Coop will abide by our published code of ethics.

Finally, while I will be posting a 2012 Year in Review, the “Month in Review” articles will be replaced by this category – “Editor’s Corner”.   This will have some messaging, some thoughts, and some reflections on the previous month.

Again, thank you to the readers and the cigar community.

Yours in smoke,
Founder, Editor, and Publisher