We would like to thank CigarPass for giving us the opportunity to introduce Briar Report to a new community of readers. The Briar Report is a news aggregation website that has been around for several years. Our goal is to provide our readers with a snapshot of the latest news in Pipe Smoking, Premium Cigars and tobacco from around the world.
You may recognize the site’s format. It is no-nonsense with many links to websites of interest. With no pop-ups or annoying ads, it has become a favorite website for pipe and cigar smokers to check often for news and information.
Almost exactly a year ago we began a sister site on www.briarreport.org, which we called our magazine. This format is much more open. It allows us to publish articles and reviews written by both us and our readers. We have an events calendar that is open to anyone who would like to have their event published.
The most recent addition to the site is BRTV. This was born out of a discussion we had at one of our weekly staff meetings. The de- monetization of tobacco related videos on YouTube has become a reality. That much was obvious, but we thought what if the day comes when there is a complete de-platforming of this type of content?
We wondered that if this did, in fact, happen where would people go to see pipe and cigar videos?. Just going to another platform may not be a good alternative since the same thing will likely happen. The type of website needed would not only have to be pipe and cigar friendly, but if possible, owned and operated by the people who produced the content.
When we looked into seeing if this was even possible we found out two things. First, we were warned that this was not a good idea. The amount of storage and processing power needed would be too much for such a small website. We were told to forget it. The second thing we found out was it would be too expensive to even try. Not very encouraging, I can tell you that.
We thought about it and said that if we waited until the big tech. companies decided to pull the plug on tobacco content, it might be too late at that point. We were not in a position to make a massive investment but not doing anything was just as bad. We needed the time to be able to develop the site at our own pace. To grow our viewership and attract advertisers which would allow the growth we needed.
We also thought that if the technology couldn’t support what we wanted to do at our level, it was only a matter of time before it would. When that day came we want to be first in line, so pipe and cigar smokers wouldn’t be left out in the cold.
Early this year we did a study and found that if we started out very small, grew at a manageable rate, and attracted enough advertisers we could keep the site going while we worked out the design considerations and server limitations. The whole time growing and being able to host more and more content. Where we stand now is the very first steps of brtv. We are not completely moved over to our own server. The reason being is so that the viewer can get the kind of experience they are used to without interruptions or buffering.
This may not ever be a completely open platform where anyone and everyone can have their videos hosted with us. But if the day ever comes when pipe and cigar content is no longer welcome on the major websites, we hope we will be in a position to help as many people as possible.
If you go on to brtv, which I hope you do, you will notice that there are a lot of features that you are used to that we don’t have yet. Our plan from the beginning was to grow at a pace we could keep up with, and also not overwhelm our server. A server which we’ve already had to upgrade in our very first month. One example is being able to leave comments on the videos. That is on the sidelines right now, but as soon as we can we will integrate it into the site.
One final thing I would like to mention. Since we have no easy way to notify people of upcoming videos, besides annoying emails, we developed the BRTV Guide. This has already become one of the most popular additions to our new network. A new issue comes out every Friday for the upcoming week. In it we list all of the new videos on brtv and include small articles and items of interest. Since we currently only have a small number of brtv shows, there is quite a bit of extra space. We fill that with shows that appear on YouTube. Also included is some other “filler material” which some find somewhat funny. If you have a YouTube channel and are producing pipe or cigar related content and want to be added to the listings, we would be happy to do so. Any show submitted for consideration must be in to us on the Wednesday before the following issue comes out. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit inclusion. That includes articles you wish to have published or events you want on our calendar. We are always happy to help promote anyone in the pipe and cigar community.
If you are interested in getting a notification when we publish each new issue of the BRTV Guide, you can sign up for a free subscription here.
We hope that you take a few minutes and go to our news website www.briarreport.com and to also check out the content we have on www.briarreport.org especially the brtv section. In it we have some of the most popular hosts making the best content on the web. We even have our first Cigar Show, The Cigar Society hosted by John Lofland.
The show is already very popular and it encourages us to add more Cigar shows in the future. I’m sure that’s of great interest to readers of the CigarPass.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about our websites and we look forward to seeing you there.