In the last few weeks, we here at The Real Dram have been saddened to read of a number of high profile issues floating around in the online whisky world. Those issues have varied in seriousness, but all seem to have left people wanting to not be part of the #whiskyfabric any longer.
During the last few years of attending whisky based events, we have only ever met lovely, friendly people, who are full of generosity and kindness, so we figure that this must be an exclusively online issue. Now we are definitely not saints here at TRD and have been known to grumble about the conduct of others and to feel pangs of jealousy when people post pictures of their latest exclusive purchase, but we want whisky to remain one of the positive places in our lives,
So for the last few days, we have been meeting in high level board rooms, ideating through blue sky thinking and getting our people to talk to your people and we have finally managed to prepare WWBLCOC (Whisky Writers, Bloggers and Lovers Code of Conduct) for your reading, discussion and formal adoption.
The Eight Themes of WWBLCOC
Be Objective – Even if a whisky isn’t enjoyable to you, there will be people out there that enjoy that flavour profile, (Unless its Fujikai – no one likes the flavour of burning rubber tires) so write about what you taste and nose, instead of just your complaints.
Be Open – All whisky has something interesting to be said about it, so make sure that you only judge when you actually get chance to try something.
Be Positive – When you comment, blog or vlog, remember that other real life, actual people are involved in the whisky creation/whisky writing process. If you are slagging someone off for what they do to put food on their family’s table, then maybe its time to question your motives.
Be Transparent – If you have been sent a free sample, or asked to promote a brand for payment, then let your readership know. Readers have a right to know if those thoughts are your own or if they are potentially coloured by brand allegiance.
Be Humble – Not everyone can afford to pay £1000 for a bottle of whisky and not everyone gets the chance to fly around the world for whisky fun trip joy, so try to be self aware.
Be Kind – When you disagree with an opinion, practice or article, make sure that you do it in a constructive and if possible private way. No one deserves a public demolishing.
Be Original – Even if your deadline is close and you didn’t get chance to write something, please don’t plagiarise the words of others. If you use an image or the words of others, then give them credit.
Be Generous – Whisky is always better shared, so where possible open that bottle and share it.
These are just our thoughts and are by no means an exhaustive list, but we reckon if the whisky world wants to stay a friendly, welcoming place to all, then these should be our eight grand commandment, which we agree to stick to, abide by and promote as writers in what ever format that this occurs for us.
As remember as the mighty lords Bill and Ted said “Be Excellent to Each Other!”