Steepster.com appears to be a relatively new site (beta) dedicated to what I’m finding to be a hot trend among the tea savvy and uber-geeky…the need to constantly update others of what we are sipping at every moment of the day.
I know this is completely lost on most of my non “tea enthusiastic” friends. They don’t understand that we’re not just drinking this stuff. We cherish our sources, and love to share information about our favorite teas and how we prepare them. We also like to tell others about experiences that aren’t so good, so they can avoid a lousy cuppa. I thought I had found my ultimate tea update crazy-place in Twitter, where I’ve been enjoying a casual back and forth with my new found tea birds. That was, until I discovered Steepster.
Steepster has an easy sign-up process, and is relatively intuitive in design. No big questions here as to where to go to update profile information, upload a picture or start “logging” teas. It’s also easy to search out different teas from various companies and suppliers via search bar, as well as explore what others have entered. What’s nice about Steepster (and what Twitter does not really support) is the ability to create a personal log, complete with pictures and reviews if you wish. Members are also given the ability to follow other tea drinkers within the site.
I’m happy to see a few familiar profiles on Steepster. I look forward to giving it more of a run past the initial “Wow, this looks pretty cool” phase. But I wonder how long the thrill will last. In terms of building an alternate “tea community”, it will be interesting to see if it will be as successful as Twitter at this point seems to be. In Steepster’s favor, the ability to log teas in short form online is pretty fantastic. It’s great for people who want to tell others what they are enjoying but don’t want to put the time into a full-time blog.
As an aside,
I was disappointed that Steepster’s “Contact Us” buttons appear to be down (it’s working – my outlook on the other hand is not), and there is no “About Us” page. Would love to know more about the developers of this site, and what their goals were and are for this format. Judging from certain design elements on the site (clean, simple, “classic web 2.0″) and the vast selection of Adagio Teas which appear on Steepster that are not yet reviewed, could Adagio Teas have had a hand in the creation of the site? Please note this is 100% speculation on my part – and that I have nothing but love for Adagio (4/2 note – please see comment below from Steepster.com). Adagio Teas has developed offshoots to their retail site such as TeaMap, TeaMuse, TeaChat, TeaChef, TeaCritic and TeaV. A social network would be a natural for them.
If they are not backed by a tea company or product, and if they become successful as a tea community, I wonder how Steepster will eventually address the $100 question Twitter is dealing with right now - whether or not to monetize, and if so how.
FYI: My Steepster user name is AJSchwarz if you’d like to follow. As always you can also follow me on Twitter @AJSchwarz.