I’ve been quiet of late because of work. It’s had me fairly busy and with an hour and a half commute, has limited my smoking time this week (hoping to get some reviews in this weekend). So, tonight as I smoke a Short Story to wind down, I’ve been pondering some “going on’s” in the cigar community at large.
As you may have heard, Davidoff bought out Camacho cigars. I find it interesting since Davidoff tends to use DR tobacco and this will introduce Nicaraguan tobacco into their market, under their auspices. It may bring in some new aficionados to their brand that previously didn’t like the taste of DR cigars (although it’s hard not to like at least one Davidoff somewhere). For Camacho they get a boost with the help of having a big name like Davidoff behind them. I do think it is something to watch for and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some new brands from this new Davidoff-Camacho combination.
The other thing I’ve been watching has been the recent cigar forum amalgamations. Jon Caputo recently purchased and combined a few of them together, most notably: Club Stogie, Top 25 Cigar, Cigar Live, Cigar Review and Cigar Smokers. One deal, Cigar Smokers, is rumored to have fallen through. Still, with 4 major forums combined together, along with their existing names and existence on various search engines, it’s still a pretty major coup. It hasn’t been without it’s problem. At least one forum has lost all it’s moderators, who all quit en masse. It’s claimed that they will start their own forum but, at the least, it does show something. Most moderators are chosen for their dedication to a site and their ability to keep a cool head when things get heated.
This will have an impact on the community that is there. A community is a long term thing and means repeat customers. Kill that good will and the ones that the community knew as their pseudo-leaders and it’s likely you’ll lose a lot of money with it. As a geek, I know the principle and financial model that’s being used. I’ve seen it, been a mod/admin through it and thus far have yet to see true success with it. It tends to kill the community and that’s not a good thing. Forums are more than just people talking about their favourite topics or posting funny pictures. There is a kinship that is created over the wire that people find a bond with.
And given the onslaught that many cigar smokers face in regards to taxes, anti-smoking discrimination, etc. we have to have that community to survive and grow. You can join two great companies together to make even better cigars but take a bunch of communities, ignore their members and join them together doesn’t make for good smoke. It just tends to leave a bitter, nasty taste there.