Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. This is our first Thanksgiving together and probably the last. I’ve been told that if they have to keep editing out some of my “language” I might not be doing the column as regular as I have been. I’d love to say tough [expletive deleted] but they are most likely right. This is a public web site.
If You Don’t Know What Your Talking About . . .
This past Saturday we got the biggest laugh form an article titled “Top Ten Best Pipe Lighters“. It’s not the fact that I don’t agree with the author’s choices, it’s the fact that this was obviously written by a computer. Probably some algorithm that spits out the top amazon hits when you search for a certain key word. They probably make their money by people clicking on the links and buying crap. If I made a list of the Top Ten most useless websites (which I should) these morons would be on it.
Now let’s look at their list. The #1 best pipe lighter is a can of Zippo lighter fluid. So the best lighter there is isn’t even a lighter. When we discussed what should be in that spot I suggested a match, which is the best pipe lighter. It was pointed out that isn’t a lighter either, so my list would be just as bad. Hmmmm, that might be a good point. It’s still a lot closer to a lighter than a can of naphtha. At least I didn’t say sulfur.
What else is on their list? An actual Zippo in spots 2 and 3. Number 4 is a Mr. Brog Pipe. If that’s not confusing enough, the photo that goes with it is that can of lighter fluid again.
Number 5 is a gas appliance lighter. The rest of the list is an assortment of Plasma lighters, Torch lighters, one other soft flame lighter and another Zippo, this time a pot leaf design.
So the numb-skulls are trying to make some money without working for it, what else is new? My point is that the internet has made an expert out of everyone, or I should say and expert in their own minds.
Anyone can google something and read an article or two and the next thing you know, they think they have a PhD on the subject. I’ll be willing to bet the [lady] who wrote this article never smoked a pipe in her life. Well, not counting the kind she probably used that one Zippo on.
When we talked about what to include in that article last week about the biggest blunders pipe smoker’s make, I wanted to include not listening to experts. I was talking about taking advice from people off the internet that don’t know their [back side] from a hole in the wall. My idea got dumped because they only needed 11, so mine didn’t make the cut, but it’s still a good point.
What’s Are Those YouTube Videos About Anyway?
Now, I’m not just picking on the person who wrote such a ridiculous article, I see it all over the place. I noticed this awhile ago while I was watching YouTube videos. I have a bunch of channels I’m supposed to keep track of and I saw some where a guy is making a video saying he was new to pipe smoking, then two weeks later he’s making “how to” videos. Hey Mac, you haven’t even built up any cake in your first pipe yet. Probably doesn’t even know what cake is besides what his Mommy makes for him. Now he’s an expert.
Don’t get me wrong. I like it when new people get excited, no matter the subject. Usually the biggest zealots are the newest people, that’s just the way it is. It’s also hard to think of original content. I’m guessing they have dreams of a huge following and want to put out videos. I get it.
The problem isn’t that they are new, it’s just that their thinking is too small. They are stuck in the mindset of the only videos there are to make for pipe smokers are Reviews, Opening your package from the Tobacco Store, Hold a give away, Responding to a give away or making a How To video. They think that’s all there is to choose from. I have a feeling that’s one of the reasons live videos have become so popular lately. Just go on and start shooting the bull with your friends. What can be easier than that? But in that case it’s more of an online pipe club. Not trying to create content but rather just talking to each other.
Things like reviews are great for new people. You don’t have to be an expert to know if you like something. Your palate might not be developed but you are also unaware of any biases that came before. Your reviews are just as valid and may even be more honest than what’s out there.
People need to think outside the box to come up with content that is unique to them. I’ve noticed a little more of that lately, so that’s a good sign. It can be done.
For every person struggling with ideas there is one who really delivers. Including people doing blind tastings, teaching history, developing tobacco recipes and even singing songs.
Those are the channels that people should look to. Not to copy their ideas but to see that there are as many good ideas as there are people. You just have to find your niche.
I know there isn’t much to smoking a pipe, but please, don’t be that content creator that makes a Top Ten list of the best pipe lighters and doesn’t even have the sense to realize that you have made a complete Jackass of yourself.
Bill is the Managing Editor of www.stogiereport.com
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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