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.
April 1, 2009 at 3:10 pm
Hey, thanks for the great write up on Steepster. This is a little project that two friends and I have been working on for a little while now. We thought it would be great to help passionate tea drinkers track their drinking habits so they could share their opinions and experiences with friends and members of the larger tea community.
To address some questions raised in the post…
No, we currently don’t have an “About Us” section but are looking into getting more info about us and the site’s general goals out there in the near future (we have a lot in our cups right now).
No, we do not have any partnership/affiliation with Adagio or any other tea company for that matter. However, we would love to connect with any and all tea companies, tea communities, tea experts, and general tea enthusiasts to help promote teas and the experience of drinking tea.
Thanks again for the post. We’re glad you like the site and feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any other questions.
April 2, 2009 at 2:21 am
Thank you to Cogblog for the mention!
And a special thank you to Jason from Steepster for replying to the questions in my post! I’m enjoying the site quite a bit, and look forward to logging more teas soon. Best of luck as you develop Steepster.com further – I hope everyone checks it out!
December 31, 2009 at 11:12 pm
It’s a tremendous website that’s for sure, something the internet really needed! Very glad that someone came along with this idea 😀