Monday, May 19, 2008

Local CAMRA Sites

The internet is a marvellous thing for keeping up to date. I'll use it for everything from checking a train time for a local beer fest to finding out the very latest on the search for Ivory-billed Woodpecker in the swamps of Louisiana (a bird long thought to be extinct but apparently heard again recently don't you know!) And, by and large, I get the info I'm after and wonder how I ever managed before the world wide web arrived to enrich, educate and entertain. Researching is now so simple and convenient that we can cram previously wasted grey matter with a whole host of information that obsesses, fascinates or simply intrigues us. It seems there's nothing that isn't covered by someone somewhere, so even if your passions are as 'minority' as mine, you can get the full skinny at the simple click of a mouse. Brilliant!

But how is it that every time, and I mean every time, I go to my local CAMRA sites to see which pub has picked up what award or check on a festival date or look for some micro's phone number I'm faced with the most unsightly looking pages of poorly put together out of date dross since the web began. I mean how on earth is it possible to give your site the look of something designed twenty years before the internet was even invented Huddersfield?! It just looks pants fellas and a major face-lift with extra tucks is now way overdue.
Calderdale, why haven't you updated your pub of the year, or season for that matter, since 2006 for crying out loud?! How time consuming can it possibly be? And why oh why is the local beer festival section always empty? Last September I had to phone up to find out whether certain festivals were still going ahead, and nothing's changed! You're supposed to be supporting these pubs and their efforts! As for Wakefield - I get a hangover without so much as touching a drop looking at your site. Sure it seems reasonably up to the minute but I instantly forget what I came on for and have to exit very quickly and lie down in a darkened room before the nausea wells up - truly disgusting! I would like to say something unkind about Heavy Woollen branch too but it looks like someone beat me to it as their site has completely vanished - making it slightly more user-friendly I hasten to add!

So come on CAMRA, buck your ideas up and start portraying the local real ale scene with a little more flair and imagination, 'cos quite frankly the image you portray has bugger all chance of attracting or informing a new generation of drinkers who might one day go on to care passionately enough about pubs & beer to save them going the way of those aforementioned birds!


Paul Garrard said...

You make some very valid points here. Camra sites are truly a mixed bag.

Olthwaite said...

Have you seen Conditions of Use on Wakey's site?

"This site promotes alcoholic drinks. To use this site you must be of legal drinking age in the country in which you are resident -if you are not, please leave this site now" followed by detailed conditions. I would copy a link but there's warning about copying

Anonymous said...

A very attractive and informative blog - must take some significant time to write.
Re Heavy Woollen branch website - it has not vanished, nor ever did as far as I know. A new site is in preparation, meanwhile a temporary site (as stated on the home page) provides the essentials, including an area map pointing the way to a selection of local pubs.
It has a link from the national CAMRA website, so it should be easy to find.

joe kenyon said...

I think the comments on the quality of some camra websites are very unfair. these sites are run by voluteers in their own time, some branches are blessed with members who are able and willing to put good sites together so any one who feels they can do better, the branches, I am sure, would be gratefull for thier time and expertise