This past month, we introduced several obvious changes and some less
obvious changes to the content on Cigar Coop.  We started out with the
roll-out of our numerical scoring system and are keeping a quick reference page for these scores.  This was a direct response to
feedback we had from retailers and consumers.  We also introduced an
“Appearance” section, and added a “Finish” rating to each our our
assessments.  We appreciate the feedback on the changes and hope you
have found them beneficial.

One change we quietly rolled
out was a new header logo.   The image of the editor in a
tuxedo showcasing cigars has been removed.  The goal here was to take
the focus away from
myself and more on the content.  We have also retired the slogan ” It’s all
about the Cigars; namely the Smoke, the Craft, and the People.”  
While this is a mantra we continue to subscribe
to, we wanted a new slogan to
be focused on our mission – “The Comprehensive Cigar Information
Resource”.   Additional changes will continue to be slowly rolled out
will support this mission.

One less obvious change is the style to the content.  
There has been a conscious effort to make our content have a more
journalistic feel.   In the process, the content may seem less personal,
but in the end it is our sincere hope that it will give our content
more creditability and ultimately become more useful to our readers. 
We’re not there yet, but hopefully it will continue to allow us to serve
you better.

Some of the goals in the upcoming months will
be to add a contributing writer or two.  The goal would be to expand
what this web-site can provide as a cigar information resource.  Stay tuned for more information.

On the legislative front, battles against smoking bans are continuing to wage nationwide and the state and local levels.  Meanwhile, momentum continues to grow for the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act (HR 1639/ S 1461).  The clock is ticking to gain momentum.  The first half of 2012 will be important to gain momentum – before Congress recesses for the summer and the election season starts.

Certainly on the industry end, things heated up the last week of the month.   This included the retirement of the legendary Jose Seijas from Altadis and Eddie Ortega leaving EO Brands to launch Ortega Cigars.

As February comes upon us,
things start to get more exciting in the cigar world.   We are on the
dawn of the spring releases for cigars.   In January, we previewed information on ten upcoming releases.  We hope to continue to do so and have a lot of good content
for the readers in this upcoming month.

Finally, we have put some FAQs below.   These have been more questions we have gotten from word of mouth.  We may formalize this and consider making it a regular feature, but if you do have a question, go to the About page and send an email.

Yours in smoke,
Founder, Editior and Publisher.

FAQs (January 2012) 

1-Have you considered running contests and giveaways on your blog?

On our web-site, we have decided that this is not going to be something we are going to do.  We’ve documented this in our code of ethics.  While we recognize this is a fun aspect to what a cigar web-site does, we feel by not doing this, we can maintain our manufacturer and retailer neutrality.  There are plenty of web-sites that do run these promotions and they are listed on our “Trusted Web Site” links and certainly would encourage our readers to check these web-sites out.

2-What about more Cigar 101 stuff?

We did some stuff in the early days of this web-site.   Ultimately, we decided to discontinue this along with cigar events and shop reviews.  This is strictly an issue of streamlining our content.  Our mission is to focus around cigar assessments, cigar previews, and legislation.

3-You aren’t very active on Twitter – why is that?

We certainly recognize Twitter as an important medium to get real-time information. We do feed all links to our new content on that.  What we have noticed is that there is a nice community where cigar enthusiasts can communicate in real time – almost like a virtual cigar club.  Ultimately, the day job demnds limit time to follow Twitter “tweets”, but to be honest, the editor Cigar Coop has never got comfortable expressing thoughts in 140 characters or less. Email or facebook is a preferred medium to communicate with us.

4-Why don’t you include Factory information on cigars assessments?

Fair point, and some good feedback.  We are looking at ways to be more diligent on this.