What just happened? Don’t worry, I share that feeling as well. Before any readers start freaking out about the loss of SmokingStogie or TheCigarFeed, we thought it might be a good idea to explain why we shut down both sites. So without further ado, an introduction to halfwheel.

Every cigar blog starts with the same mantra: (I) know there are a lot of cigar blogs, but this one will be different because… The end of that sentence, more often than not, is nonsensical, utterly unrealistic and flawed from the start. The status quo is rife with cigar blogs with the number growing everyday. The reason behind the increasing flood is simple: everyone thinks they can do it better. No one has ever challenged the decade old formula to online publishing. No one has asked how they can improve, they just decided they were going to do it better. Quite frankly, itʼs a jungle out there. And it is with that criticism of the status quo we begin to explain why we made the decision to shut down two of the most popular and innovative cigar blogs, and start over. The concept of halfwheel is simple on face. The reviews of SmokingStogie and the news of TheCigarFeed in one place. But in the words of the late Steve Jobs, “sometimes simple is harder than complex.”

Over the last six months, the staffs of SmokingStogie and TheCigarFeed have spent thousands of hours to put together halfwheel. It was beyond just moving over hundreds of pages of content, but it was about an entire paradigm shift for our work and medium.

Cigar blogs get a bad rap. To some degree it’s about being misunderstood, but really it’s a problem that at the very least is self-perpetuated, if not self-inflicted. We are a different cigar blog. Plain and simple, halfwheel’s content is unlike any others. Our focus is different, our approach is different and our extent is different. With halfwheel, we hope to bring blogging to a new place in the industry.

When we began the creation of this new blog, we asked at every step of the road, how can we make our content unique and better. The roots of this self-reflection are evident throughout. Our name was developed out of a desire to be different, a desire to get away from cigarblog this, stogieweb that and various permutations. Steve Valle translated media rueda, which refers to bundles of fifty cigars found in aging rooms at factories or in classic cabinets, and halfwheel was born. We created a theme that was clean and made it easy to navigate our years of content. And then we looked at the work itself.

These past six months have been a referendum on ourselves. We have implemented a laundry list of technical and editorial changes that will ensure better content. For the past few years, both sites have delivered groundbreaking work, but it hasn’t been without error. At halfwheel, we think we will still break earth, but in a much cleaner manner. The first true new post of halfwheel will be published in a few hours, we imagine it would qualify as groundbreaking, but in the mean time, take a while to look around the site and get acquainted with the newest cigar blog.

We know there are a lot of cigar blogs, but we promise to be different.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.