News, Updates & Announcements

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Sep 2nd, 2010

Review Pages & RSS Feeds

Screenshot of Review Page

Review Pages:

We have restructured our site so that each review now has its own individual page (view a random review page). The new page highlights the reviewer, including how long they have been a member and how many teas they have reviewed, and also shows the brand, style, and region of the tea being reviewed. The reviews are still listed on the page for each tea.

The URL's for these pages, just like the pages for each tea, will remain valid as a permalink. This makes it easy for you to share your reviews or link to them from other websites.

RSS Feeds:

We also added RSS Feeds. These feeds allow people to be notified of newly added tea reviews. RSS Feeds are noted by the orange rss icon icon. We have three types of feeds:

How to Subscribe to Feeds:

There are many different tools available to facilitate subscribing to feeds. Google reader, bloglines, and My Yahoo are a few online services that can be used to subscribe to rss feeds; various applications on your local computer are available to read feeds as well. The web browser Mozilla Firefox can subscribe to feeds directly using its live bookmarks feature. People who wish to subscribe to feeds by email may check out the feed my inbox service.

May 14th, 2010

User Comparisons and Top Rated Teas

Screenshot of Compare Users Feature
Screenshot of the new user comparison feature

Comparing users:

Now, when you are logged on, you can compare your taste in tea to that of other users. For any users with whom your ratings overlap for at least five teas, RateTea.net will calculate a similarity percentage. The calculation takes into account the fact that some users tend to rate more highly than others, and will give a more accurate representation of the degree to which your preferences really are similar to this user, even if you rate teas on a different scale.

Also, when logged on, the bottom of your profile will now show a list of users with whom there are enough ratings to compare your tastes. The more teas you review, the more likely you will be to benefit from this feature. If you're in a hurry to check out this new feature, you can check through recent reviews or browse the site to locate teas that have been reviewed by other users that you have recently tried or would be able to easily try.

Top rated teas:

There is great demand for using rating websites to locate the "best" products. While this concept is questionable in the world of tea (tastes are inherently subjective and one person's favorite might not even be enjoyable to another), it can still be interesting to see which teas are getting the highest ratings or the most ratings. Because RateTea.net is so young, we don't currently have enough overlapping ratings to say with much confidence which teas are considered best among our users, but we're quickly getting there.

We now have a page on highest rated teas; while it is doubtful that this page (or any page on any website) could ever capture the (preposterous) notion of the "best teas", it will give progressively more meaningful rankings as the ratings roll in. Also of interest, we list the most often rated teas...which will tend to list more mainstream teas, since these will be the teas that the largest number of users have tried. As much as these pages may be interesting to some people, we strongly recommend that you not spend too much time viewing them or thinking about them.

The mission of RateTea.net is to encourage each person to develop their own taste, not to simply seek out teas that the masses have decided are most popular! See what people like, but form your own opinions.

Apr 21st, 2010

Profile Pics & Linking to Tea Blogs

Tea Blog Link

Promote your tea blog!

At RateTea.net, we do not want to replace tea blogs or get people to stop writing longer reviews--quite to the contrary, we want to encourage bloggers to write more about tea, and to help people locate bloggers who write about tea. We have thus added a new feature allowing users to link their ratings to more detailed reviews on an external blog.

Blogs are organized so that newer material is more prominent. RateTea.net is organized in a different way, cross-indexing teas by brand, style, and region. Linking to your blog from reviews on RateTea.net can be a way to help people discover older posts on your blog that they might not otherwise find.

Don't have a tea blog?

Do you have a blog or website that is not primarily about tea? You can still feel free to write a tea review whenever you like, and link to it from your RateTea.net reviews.

Tea Bloggers on Twitter:

If you use twitter, you may find our twitter list of tea bloggers useful, whether you're a blogger yourself or just want to watch or join in on the conversation. If you do have a tea blog and you're not on the list, make sure to @-message us so that we can add you to this list.

Profile Pictures:

Also, if you notice from the screenshot on the right, we have added profile pictures. You can upload a picture or you can select an image from a list. We hope this will help make our site more personal and help people to quickly identify individual reviewers.