Firstly - let me answer that burning question... WHY doesn't CANTEROS.nz or The Cigar Merchant of New Zealand "do" Social Media?
Simply put the Ministry of Health considers the use of social media as "advertising" or "marketing" - so, if you have always wondered why you don't see me posting photos everyday of the cigars I am enjoying; this is sadly why...
Now, please let me introduce you to some of my favourite sources of cigar information and WHY I enjoy them...
Why I enjoy/hate HalfWheel.com
Yes, with equal parts I enjoy and hate HalfWheel.com - but I am not alone; HalfWheel.com have a reputation for being opinionated (like someone else I know); this is why I enjoy the site and hate the site.
But at the end of the day, I do use their cigar-reviews as a steady source of info on new cigars and more-so, the blends of those cigars; however sometimes we can be poles apart; but largely their tastebuds are on point... even if they describe some 1,000 different flavours from certain cigars (groan).
Cigar Reviews - worth the read, but don't trust them to always be right
Cigar Industry News - always on their game
New Cigar Product News - always on their game
This one I owe to Mark from Timaru, Mark was a regular customer who happens to come up to Christchurch every week and (I can't tell you how many years now) he generally ends up at our place on a Tuesday for dinner and a cigar and a movie - great friendships are forged through smoke!
Anyway, I digress - Mark put me onto The Cigar Authority early on and damn, it is like a religious experience listening to their Podcast every week.
Informative in terms of cigars, industry, personalities, business and so much more - in fact the current Podcast I am listening to just lit a fire under my butt to get Auckland up and running.
You will learn so much about cigars (not always accurate, again, everyone has an opinion), friendships, new products, the characters within the cigar world and business and life from this crazy panel of guys (who are from Two Guys Smoke Shops)... always check out the Aftershow!
There were two factors for this blog-post today:- the first being (for me) the great Podcast "Succession Plans in the Cigar Industry" and "Because I'm in the Cigar Industry" with Skip Martin & Mike Rosales of RoMa Craft Tobac, great business info and great cigar smoking info in the RoMa Craft Tobaco Podcast.
Longest Running Cigar Industry Podcast - yes
Funniest Podcast I follow - yes
Entertaining and packed with all sorts of knowledge - yes!
Cigar Journal magazine - Europe's finest, and now the worlds!
Since 1994 the Cigar Journal magazine has been reporting on the cigar-world, albeit largely in Europe; some 8 years ago we finally got the magazine for New Zealand and haven't looked back.
Personally I feel the cigar reviews are not heavily weighted like another publication; the product and industry news is also very good.
And let's not forget they are happy to report on cigar happenings from right here in New Zealand. This magazine is published quarterly in hard copy and the online website is a constant source of information for myself..
Cigar Aficionado magazine - once the word "cigar" was a lot more prominent
To be fair, I really only seem to use Cigar Aficionado (online) for cigar ratings these days and am subscribed to their mailing list, so if anything breaking happens in the industry I get the email and go read.
This magazine is attributed to the Cigar Boom in the mid-1990's and I'd have to agree; Marvin R. Shanken is quite rightfully owed a lot of credit by our industry for creating this publication and quite literally setting fire to the aging cigar industry.
At a time when sales were stagnant and the consumer base was getting older not younger; Marvin took his publishing powers and created the Cigar Aficionado magazine, focusing on the LIFESTYLE of cigar enjoyment and, well the rest is history.
To this day, I am fortunate to have every single magazine published and I still very much enjoy reading the magazine in hardcopy format, even if it is now a broader life style magazine...
And we will refrain on discussing their cigar review policies vs marketing budgets and back-handers from bearded central american dictators...
The Cigar Dojo was originally a Social Hub for Cigar Aficionados...
But boy has it grown up or found a bigger purpose - now a well respected Cigar Review site, blogging and news site, Podcasts, Virtual HERF's and also Cigar Producer... well, Cigar Collaborator would be a better description!
They have an App, they have Merch and most importantly, they have a lot of deep respect in the cigar industry for being a very balanced source of cigar knowledge.
Eric Guttormson owns the Dojo and is now in its 11th year online.
This is the second factor for this blog-post today:- the Cigar Dojo made this cool post on March 17th - "AI takes on the Cigar Industry", now that's a catchy title and of course I raced off to read it; turns out it was more of a pisstake of merging real-world photos of cigar legends and adding a twist with some AI; they're actually really well done and a good laugh for a Sunday morning!
If these five Cigar Info Sources are not currently on your radar, then I am sure you will enjoy checking them out as much as I enjoy browsing them every day to ensure I am ontop of my game to keep New Zealand cigar aficionados up to date with the latest and greatest offerings from the cigar industry...
This is a great watch, especially for us that have had the pleasure of vHERF'ing with Master Rubin...