One of the beauties of the Internet and Social Media platforms in particular is the ability to connect with people around the world. It’s easy for us to get caught up focusing on local events as our own lives often dominate our perspective. And yet, when I sit down at the computer I can explore the rest of the world.
This week’s Weekly Wonderings highlights some people and organizations from outside of the US.
Real Ale Craft Beer
Simon Martin is a prolific video beer reviewer. Residing in Cardiff(a city who’s name is instantly recognizable to the Doctor Who and Torchwood fans), Simon Martin reviews craft beer from all over the world on his Real Ale Craft Beer YouTube Channel. If you are looking for that one craft beer reviewer then Simon is your guy. His absolute love of craft beer shines through in his reviews as well as his knowledge. He makes you want to run right out to your local craft beer shop and buy that beer.
Besides reviewing craft beers Simon also brews collaboration beers with breweries in the UK.
Simon has been a long time friend of Craft Beer Nation(the craft beer group I belong to) and he never fails to entertain and enlighten.
Head over to Simon’s Real Ale Craft Beer YouTube page and watch some reviews. And don’t forget to leave him your comments and let him know I sent you his way.
Here’s one of my favorite reviews (and a personal favorite craft beer):
Week 3 of Weekly Wonderings brings me to Google +, a perhaps overlooked, but incredibly valuable Social Media platform. My wanderings return me back to the Social Media arena where I have enjoyed the best interaction. There I’ve made new real life friends, expanded my knowledge and have a blast interacting with so many different people in so many different circles.
In all of my interactions over on Google + it is in the craft beer arena where I first began to engage and where the bulk of my participation still resides. I’m a Craft Beer Nation Moderator and Hangouts On Air Technical Producer. I also handle some graphics and blogging for our Friday Night Hangout (about to reach Episode 167 as of the typing of this post). For how I went from stumbling across other craft beer drinkers on G+ to my current roles with Craft Beer Nation read My Road To Craft Beer Nation
We have a lot of fun as Craft Beer Nation over on G+. We run a Community that is currently over 18,000 members. We have an active group in there sharing pictures of what craft beer they’re drinking. or of their beer haul. And others share their reviews.
Our main presence on G+ however, is in our weekly Hangouts On Air. Every Thursday night at 9:30PM Eastern we host Pints and Quarts, our weekly Craft Beer Current Events show. Pints and Quarts features a live interview with leaders in the craft beer industry, from head brewers to brewery founders. We also cover topical craft beer news as well as touch on upcoming new releases and festivals. We aspire each week to give you an insight into how craft beer is doing.
Our other weekly Hangout On Air is our oldest and longest running show: Friday Night Hangout. Every Friday at 10:00PM Eastern some of our Moderators and Contributors gather together and dive into a different style of craft beer. We drink and review and discuss the style at hand. Friday Night Hangout is a very relaxed and laid back affair, and on rare occasions, can devolve into shenanigans, especially on Barleywine night. Where Pints and Quarts is professional, Friday Night Hangout is a freewheeling fun time.
You can view our most recent episode of each of these shows (as of this typing) here:
Some of our Moderators also traveled to Savor 2015 in D.C. this year where they wrangled up a list of craft beer who’s who and ran a live on air hangout for three hours, doing quick interviews with some of the top craft breweries in the US. Don’t worry though. We combed through all those hours of footage afterwards and chopped them down into each short interview session. You can find our interviews with the likes of Sam Calagione, Founder and President of Dogfish Head Brewingand everyone else here on our Savor 2015 YouTube Playlist page.
While I am there on most of our Hangouts On Air, my participation is mostly behind the scenes handling the technical aspects of the hangout so our Host and Panel can concentrate on providing an engaging show. Overall, I’m loving every moment with Craft Beer Nation.
Since this is a G+ centric post this week I’m going to give a short list here of people on Google+ who got me paying attention to social media and its importance to having an online presence in any arena.
Jeff is all about how to succeed on Pinterest by to quote his page: “adding testosterone, one pin at a time”. He hosts his weekly Manly Pinterest Tips Show and Podcast on Google+ via Hangouts on Air. You can also visit his main website for links to all of his shows.
Jeff’s beard. Go check it out.
Some people are utilizing Google+ Hangouts (whether as Event pages to gather attendees, or full blown Hangouts On Air) to tie into Twitter Chats. Here are a few that I see do this quite successfully:
Via an Event Page (without a live HOA) Buffer sets a calendar reminder for their followers to head on over to Twitter to participate in their weekly #BufferChat every Wednesday. As of the writing of this post, today was my first time participating in this Twitter hashtag chat. And going forward I plan on participating every week.
The My Community Manager G+ Page hosts the #CMGRHangout Twitter hashtag chat every Friday at 2:00PM Eastern. This is a G+ live Hangout On Air where the viewers all engage with their commentary and input over on Twitter.
Music has a strong presence on Google+. There are many to choose from but for this week I’m going with my favorite Google+ Music Page and that is Friday Night Sessions.Founded by Sean Cowen, this G+ Page is run by a great group of people, hosting different themed music nights on Google+ where they post a slew of music videos. Their main featured night is Friday night and each week they pick a different musical theme and post videos starting around 10:00PM Eastern and they keep going, often into the wee hours. Every Friday Night is a different musical theme.
And the host doesn’t just post what he/she wants to hear, they take requests and post those videos as well. Every Friday night is a great musical journey and a great way to end of the work week.
If you’re into Metal than their Sunday night show is for you. Into Indie music? Then stop by their page on Wednesdays for their Indie Spotlight theme. Whatever music you like there’s a good chance it will show up on one of their theme nights at some point.
ScannerDrome could easily fall under many of the Weekly Wonderings categories but for me it fits the most into Science Fiction. ScannerDrome is a Google+ Page and also runs the ScannerDrome G+ Community
Run by Buyer Brown and Lola Lariscy (who is also one of our Craft Beer Nation Moderators) ScannerDrome delves into Enterntainment, Television, Movies, Books, etc, mainly from a Technology and Science Fiction viewpoint. Every week you will find Lola on Twitter under the ScannerDrome account live tweeting a whole host of science fiction television shows. Head over to their website and you will see all of the various topics Buyer and Lola contribute to. It’s an impressive list.
Over on G+ in particular, besides their G+ Community, ScannerDrome hosts a bi-weekly Hangout On Air called ScannerDromeTV – Best Part of Being Odd. This show is broken into two back-to-back HOAs. It used to be one long one but the Internet gremlins swallowed one of their shows whole never to be seen again so they’ve since taken precautions to break the content up into two shows back-to-back every other Saturday. It’s entertaining. If you’ve ever wanted some people to geek out with over science fiction shows, movies, books, etc. then this is the show for you.
Here’s their most recent show:
And that’s a wrap for this week’s Weekly Wonderings 003 – Google Plus edition. Let me know what you think of this week’s Wonderings, curated after years of wandering around Google+
If you have any G+ people, pages or communities or even collections that fall into any of the above categories that you would recommend, drop a comment below and I will be sure to check them out.
Week 2 of Weekly Wonderings is all about learning. One of the beauties of the Internet is its use as a platform for sharing knowledge. And in my wanderings this week I was fortunate to come across a series of items that certainly expanded my knowledge and thought process.
Weekly Wonderings – Craft Beer. While I am a moderator and technical hangout producer for Craft Beer Nation, I explore the craft beer world from all sorts of sources. One of my favorites is The Craft Beer Channel from overseas in the UK.
Among their many YouTube videos they have a running series called Beer School. Their most recent entry is all about barrel aging beer.
Check out the rest of their Beer School series for other entertaining and instructional shows. They also have a host of other great videos revolving around Craft Beer.
Weekly Wonderings – Social Media. I recently joined LinkedIn after years of telling myself I’ll get around to it. And now that I have I realized I really needed to dive deep into LinkedIn as a professional social media platform. Luckily for me Ande Lyons Possibility Partners, weekly Hangout On Air over on Google + (are you on G+ and if not, why not?) this week featured Laura Virili who is masterful at breaking down LinkedIn and its power as a professional medium. And along the way she’ll teach you some tips and tricks on leveraging the technical setup of your profile.
How to Make Your LinkedIn Network an Introduction Machine
Ande Lyons has quickly become a weekly favorite show of mine. She always brings such a positive experience to her shows and never fails to entertain and enlighten.
Weekly Wonderings – Technology. As part of Craft Beer Nation I am involved in Hangouts On Air, which also get turned into podcasts. And the clarity and consistency of audio levels among the various participants can vary greatly. Over at the always fantastic Geeks Life is this excellent – and quite technical – breakdown on how to fix uneven audio levels.
How To Fix Those Uneven and Wonky Voice Levels in Your Podcast
Weekly Wonderings – Music. This one could easily fall into a few categories. Terry Britton‘s weekly show has been running for 15 weeks now and it has to be the most interesting and unique weekly show out there. There’s technical tutorials involved, poetry, and discussions about all sorts of topics. But I’m placing this here under music as each week opens up with about an hour of instrumental music. And then there’s Terry playing some live flute. Be forewarned, plan to spend 3 plus hours on Sunday afternoons with:
Terry Leigh Britton’s Blue Juice Jubilee Variety Show! 
And that’s a wrap for Weekly Wonderings 002. I’m off to NYC for a long weekend am I’m sure next week’s post will include some of my time there, Expect pics of pizza and beer, among other things!
Do you follow any of the people/groups above? What are your thoughts about the videos presented here? Let me know in the comments below. And if you have any weekly shows you’d like to share let me know. Also, are there other Weekly Wonderings categories you would like me to add?