Today on Cigar Coop, we celebrate our nine year anniversary. This means tomorrow we begin the start of our tenth year of cigar industry coverage on Cigar Coop which culminates one year from now when we hit the ten year mark.
Each year, I use this forum to look at the previous years on what worked and what didn’t. At the same time, I look to what the future could hold.
One thing I always look back on is the first article on Cigar Coop “Worth it for an Iced Coffee”. This goes back to 2010 when I was working with a retailer and had an opportunity to do some buying for the retailer. Before the actual trade show started, I walked with a group of guys up Decatur Street in New Orleans (where the trade show took place) to get an iced coffee at Cafe du Monde. This was my first time in New Orleans. The heat and humidity were so brutal that I remember the sweat on my forehead and the salt in my eyes. After complaining and dragging my feet, I was treated to one awesome iced coffee, After the show, the first official article was about that experience called Worth it for an Iced Coffee? Cigar Coop was born.
That first year – the writing was weak and the photography was awful, but it provided a foundation to build Cigar Coop into something that hopefully fills a niche in the audience. As things progressed, I was motivated to improve things each and every day – and there still is plenty to improve on.
The IPCPR Trade Show of 2010 was very important to the launch of Cigar Coop, and each year it has played a very important role in what we do. I now look at 2019 and we are closing in on nearly 300 stories devoted to the IPCPR Trade Show. Part of me looks at that and says Cigar Coop and online media as a whole has come a long way. We were called bloggers in 2010, and now we are called “Collective Cigar Media”. “Collective Cigar Media” coverage is more than than the written word – it’s live streaming and podcasts along with a mix of video and audio coverage. Taking print media out of the equation, I estimate there had to be 1000+ features by the Collective Cigar Media on the 2019 IPCPR Trade Show.
Despite the growth of coverage of online media over the nine years I have been a part of it, we still have a long way to go. Go to most cigar company web-sites and its the print magazine ratings that almost always have the precedence. It perplexes me because I continually hear how it’s an online media world, yet when I see the ratings published, online media is still very much a nonentity.
The past three years have been very exciting on Cigar Coop. 2017 saw us launch our Prime Time and Prime Time Special Edition. Last year we made changes to the structure of our written content, particularly around our reviews. This year saw the edition of a new live streaming platform to allow our programs to be seen on Facebook. While there have been challenges along the way, it’s certainly the most fun I’ve had on Cigar Coop.
Thank you to our sponsors, strategic partners, and audience for the incredible support. Today’s iced coffee is dedicated to you.