Continuing the Smoky Drinky Bar saga:
I was rather exhausted yesterday, and spent a lot less time at the Smoky Drinky Bar than I had the day before. I left at about 8 pm. Apologies to all concerned for unanswered emails, etc. But I at least managed to get a 4-minute video of the proceedings yesterday afternoon around 5 pm (with my microphone muted, for some reason). It shows, from top left clockwise, me, Emily, Kin_free, and John Buck. At one point John Buck presses some button to show a pink Cadillac(?), and towards the end Twenty Rothmans enters the bar.
Brigitte, who arrived at about 6:30 pm, left a comment here at 10:30 pm:
“I only dropped into the online pub for a minute – that was at about 18:30 hours tonight. Just got off for letting my phone charge for a bit – gonna dive right back in. It’s been wonderful to chatting to quite a lot of people tonight!! Great pub! Not going home yet!!!! It’s the good old times back with loads of laughter!!! Thoroughly enjoying it.”
It’s helpful getting such feedback. Brigitte had spent 4 hours in the bar, and was going back!
And Emily emailed me later to say she’d spent 8 hours in the bar, and sent a bunch of screenshots, including one with her, Brigitte, Junican, Gary, and someone (tobacco-chewing Apollyon?) on audio only, sometime around midnight:
There are now something like 10 – 15 members of the Smoky Drinky Bar. Where possible I’ve added people as members more or less as soon as they walked in.
I’ve been wondering how this is likely to develop. I had the thought last night that something like this needs to achieve “escape velocity” if it isn’t going lapse back into being empty all the time. Membership needs to be built up so that, at any one time, there are always at least one or two people in the bar. I think a membership of 100 or so may be required.
But for people to keep coming back, they need to have had a good time. And people do seem to be having a good time. Comment yesterday from Joe L:
I thoroughly enjoyed my brief visit to Smoky Drinky yesterday, Frank! It was a pleasure to finally (virtually) meet you, Nisakiman, GaryK, Kin_Free and Ross.
The video chat room is a great concept and gives new depth to the idea of ‘social media’. As for me, I found it very pleasant to be associated with such fine folks.
In fact, people have been getting along amazingly well. Maybe that’s because smokers are usually friendly, outgoing people. Or maybe it’s because of the sheer novelty of Americans and Brits and New Zealanders chatting to each other across the planet. Or maybe it’s because us smokers are all outcasts, and so all in the same boat. I’ve been astonished at the ease with which complete strangers have been chatting to each other within seconds of meeting.
I suspect that “regulars” (if we ever get them) will tend to arrive in the bar in their free time. So that’ll mostly mean the evenings, whatever time zone they are in.
And I’m an unlikely pub landlord. I’m the kind of guy who goes to pubs in their quiet times, to drink a beer and smoke a few cigarettes, while just sitting gazing out of the window, or writing equations in a notebook – as I try to figure out: how many regular pub-goers, each of whom visits a pub for half and hour each day, are needed to ensure that there are always a couple of them in there?