Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Teacology: A New Tea Blog

Today I published the first full post of a new tea blog. The blog is called Teacology, communicating how I like to talk about tea together with ecology, and take an ecological approach to my thinking and writing:

The first full post is titled Locally Grown Tea and Herbal Tea – Sustainability, Ecology, Economics, and is a rewrite or derivative post of my original post on this blog, Locally Grown Tea.

I am looking to have a higher standard for the posts on Teacology. I will likely update much less often, but I am hoping to put a greater amount of effort and care into each individual post.

Wordpress vs. Blogger:

The main impetus for this new blog is a switch from Blogger to Wordpress. I explained my reasons for making this switch in my introductory post Teacology – A New and Old Tea Blog.

But here's an explanation anyway:

  • Wordpress.com is really on top of spam blogs. Blogger isn't. I think this devalues blogs hosted on Blogspot domains, and I'm concerned both about the eyes of the public, and impacts on search engine optimization. I want to blog on a more reputable blogging platform that has higher standards for keeping out spam blogs.
  • The Wordpress.com team is extremely responsive about bugs. For example, when setting up my blog, I encountered a glitch in the CSS of a theme that I wanted to use. I posted on the Wordpress forum, and within a matter of hours, I had a response from staff that the problem had been fixed. This level of service is outstanding for any online service, and almost unheard of for a free service.
  • Wordpress.com offers better options for networking in new blogs with an audience. For example, when posts are tagged on Wordpress.com blogs, they are interlinked in with a master site feed, and new blogs will be shown in this feed even before they have established an audience. As example, check their master feed for the "tea" tag. This helps new blogs quickly reach a broader audience, and it also helps anyone (including bloggers looking to engage with other bloggers) locate posts on specific topics.
I basically have come to see Blogspot/Blogger as a semi-dead blogging platform for some time now. It is owned and administered by Google, but the company clearly does not put as much effort into it as their other products, like Google+ or Gmail. Over the past year, I've been irritated as I've seen chronic problems go un-addressed, problems as diverse as a lack of crackdown on spam blogs, the terrible spam filter for comments, and bugs in the default themes. Without addressing these problems, the Blogger admins have forced changes on us without our consent, like updating to a new back-end system, while doing so in a piecemeal manner that for a time left some components in the old system while we were forced to use new interfaces on others.

I do not plan on updating this blog regularly any more, but I will leave it here for reference, and I may post periodic updates if I ever feel a compelling reason to do so.

I hope that I will continue to see all of the readers who have been so engaging here in the comments, on my new blog Teacology! I look forward to interacting with all of you!