Categories
Business News Series

Selling Surplus Food

community shop

This week I want to add a post to my food series and related posts from earlier this year.

One of the posts in the series was about wasted food.

The Scale of Waste

Just to give you an idea of the content I opened with the following: It is estimated that in the USA between 40 and 50% of all food produced is wasted. There are about 320 million people in the US, so we could safely say that this wasted food could feed at least 100 million people.

And the shocking thing is that nearly all of this wasted food is edible. It is close to its sell by date, the packaging is damaged or incorrectly labeled, Christmas pudding in January. Much of it never even gets to the shops, it fails a quality test because the label is not correctly attached or the packet printing is wrong, and it is discarded.

This week the first UK based Community Shop opened, and in this shop they only sell discarded food. Sounds like a great idea, they take food that is lost during the preparation stages, on its way to the supermarket, and food that is discarded once it has arrived or sat on the shelves for a while, and they re-sell it. Very cheap (70% less), you can make a profit and waste problem resolved I thought. Great!

But of course it is not that simple.

Supply and Demand

One problem is that if you sell this food at a fraction of the previous price, people will buy it and not the full price food. This means that for every tin of beans bought at the community shop, a supermarket sells one tin less. So they might not like that, and that is why in many cases they prefer to destroy the food than to pass it on.

This problem can be seen in this case on a local scale, but it also happens on a global scale. How do you think the farmer in South Africa feels when she sees thousands of tons of free US grown grain distributed for free in a neighboring country? She cannot compete and sell her food any more. Feeding a population without charging them directly destroys surrounding markets.

This is not just a food problem. When we donate our old clothes and they turn up worn by kids in Kenya (Manchester United shirts come to mind), that means that those kids did not buy their clothes, and the local clothes suppliers, and makers, and distributors, don’t work.

So the community shop have found an answer. You have to be a member to buy food there, and to be a member you have to be receiving benefit from the government and live within a local postcode area. Only 500 members at a time, and membership is not for life. The shop also offers free courses in food preparation, CV writing, and many other things that help to manage the household and improve quality of life. Sounds great, but we should remember that many people are working poor that do not receive benefits, or have fallen through the benefit net, what about them? What we need is more of these shops, so that the entry rules can be broader.

This is a great idea. Let’s use the stuff instead of throwing it out. And to be honest I have little sympathy for an industry that is so wasteful and non-sustainable.

If there were a community shop of this type on every corner we could all benefit, and I for one wish them well with their endeavour.

Categories
Updates

A new theme as Technology Bloggers turns 3!

A chocolate cakeImage Credit

Three years ago today, on April the 13th 2011, Technology Bloggers was born. The blog has changed a lot over the years, however we have always stuck with the same theme. Today everything changes.

Technology Bloggers new logo
A new logo (version 2.5) for our third birthday.

Today’s theme change is clearly the biggest visual change the blog has ever had.

We are now using a theme called Celebrate. There are many things I do not like about the new theme, but there were many things I didn’t like about TwentyTen, (our old theme) but slowly, over time I ironed out most of the creases.

The font is my main bugbear at the moment, but at least it is legible – Celebrate’s default font was very thin.

Feedback and suggestions are very welcome.

Anyway, watch this space.

Looking Back

Once in a while it doesn’t hurt to take a glance back to see how far the blog has come – in fact I believe it is probably quite healthy to review how we got to where we are – so here is a quick snapshot of Technology Bloggers progress, three years in.

Visitors

  • In February of this year, we received our 150,000th visit
  • This month we hit a quarter of a million pageviews
  • Earlier in the month we also received our 135,000th unique visitor
  • The average time spent on the blog is 1 minute and 29 seconds – just enough time to read an article

Community

  • Over 80 people have written articles on Technology Bloggers
  • Together we have published 499 articles – post 500 will be the first of a new era
  • We have received over 4,400 comments from hundreds of different readers
  • It is now possible to comment on articles through WordPress, Facebook and Google+

External Interaction

  • In the last year we have gained hundreds of subscribers
  • We now have almost 400 Twitter followers
  • Over 300 people receive updates from Technology Bloggers on Facebook
  • More than 230 people subscribe to our feed – with over 50 people subscribing via email

Looking Forward

I want Technology Bloggers to be more author focused from now on. The blog was founded as a community blog, to be focused on a strong base of authors – not just a lot of guest posts which is what we have seen in the past. I will be developing the theme to help promote the people behind the content. As always your suggestions and ideas will drive the blog forward.

Very soon we are going to be introducing a whole new wave of guest bloggers and authors – and maybe an editor or two as well.

I leave you with this: just look how far we have come…

Two images of Technology Bloggers
Technology Bloggers shortly after it launched and three years on – before the theme change.

Over and out. 🙂
Christopher

Categories
Updates

Technology Bloggers turns 2!

Today, Technology Bloggers turns 2!

Happy Birthday Technology BloggersMany blogs get abandoned within the first year, blogs that last more than a year are rare. Blogging is said to have died and been reborn so many times, with millions of blogs, big and small falling by the wayside. But we haven’t!

Amazing growth, a growing social influence, and ranked in the top 275 technology blogs on the internet by Technorati, Technology Bloggers has had an amazing two years; and there is loads more to come!

Always striving to improve, every day we are becoming a bigger name in the technology industry.

Lets have a look at what’s happened in the last year…

Traffic

The blog has undoubtedly grown in popularity since last year. Here are some interesting visitor statistics which show the extent of our growth.

  • In year two (2012/2013) we had 65,000 unique visitors, 20k more than in year one (2011/2012)
  • Overall the number of visits were up 88% year on year
  • Year one saw 70,000 pageviews, whilst year 2 saw a staggering 64% increase to 115,000!
  • On average people spend 100 seconds (1 minute and 40 seconds) when visiting the blog

Social

Our presence on social media has significantly grown in the last year. We now post every article (title, excerpt and link) to Twitter and Facebook, as well as interesting things we find across the net, and developments – like my recent visit to the Gadget Show Live – more to come on that soon.

  • Our Facebook page has gained 246 new likes, which is a 473% increase in the last year
  • We now have 275 followers on Twitter, which is 299% up on the year 2011/2012
  • Since last year we have joined Google+ and now have 33 followers

Want to join our followers? If you subscribe you can get updates from the feed. We will only ever post something additional if we think it will interest you.

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Achievements

As a blog we have achieved far more than traffic and a strong social presence, here are some of our other great achievements:

  • Almost 4,000 comments have been posted by around 500 different commenters
  • We have 175 feed subscribers 63 of whom subscribe via email
  • We are ranked in the top 300 technology blogs in the world by Technorati (we are currently ranked 261, which is in the top 0.6% of all technology blogs in their index)
  • We were awarded British Gas’s blog of the month last April
  • We have a Google PageRank of 4 (although this doesn’t really mean very much)
  • The blog has attracted 71 different writers 24 of whom have written more than one post
  • Of our writers, 4 of them have 10 posts or more and 2 authors who have written more than 50 articles
  • Many of our writers are now claiming Google Authorship, strengthening the names behind the content on our blog

Community Awards

In the last two years, we have awarded 12 community awards in total. These awards have been given to 7 different people, with notable award winners including: Alan Tay winner of two awards; Peter Lee also winner of two awards; myself, (Christopher Roberts) winner of two awards; and Jonny Hankins who has won three awards.

2012 Community Award WinnersWinners of Technology Bloggers Community Awards - 2011

The Future

Our current growth seems to be showing no signs of slowing down, everything is just accelerating at the moment – which can be hard to manage!

In the pipeline for next year there is already a series, a competition, and loads of ideas for new posts!

Thank You

As always, thanks for playing your part in the community. Without you we couldn’t operate. Read, write or comment, everyone is important and everyone is part of the community.

Thank you everyone, here’s to another great year 🙂

By the way, this is our 400th post!

Categories
Blogging Updates

One blog, two perspectives

Technology Bloggers has two types of community members, those who read and those who write – some people do both.

For a long time now, those who contribute articles to the blog, and those who read those contributions, have seen the blog in the same way.

Not anymore.

Thanks to a clever bit of coding and a plugin or two, logged in users, now see a different blog to those who are logged out.

One of the major differences is advertisements. As you know we sometimes host advertisements on the sidebar or in the footer of the blog, in order to help fund the maintenance of the blog – someone has to pay the bills!

Logged in users still see sponsored editorials and writers personal AdSense units, however they no longer see sidebar/footer promotions. Also, logged in users get ‘behind the scenes’ information an updates that normal users don’t need to see.

For an example, see the image below.

Logged in vs standard users footer view
What Technology Bloggers homepage footer currently looks like for normal readers and logged in users.

For search engine optimisation reasons, I have been trying to remove links from the blog’s design (specifically sidebar and footer) as too many links can look spammy, and throw PageRank in all directions. Fewer links means those pages that are linked to (both internal and external) carry greater authority.

So, if you are a writer, check out your sidebar and footer, as it is different to when you are not logged in. Even if you don’t have an account, take a look at the sidebar and footer, as there is some really interesting stuff which you might find useful there!

On a slightly different note, our prodigy (well he did win the 2012 ‘Rising Star’ community award) Jonny Hankins is currently learning more about our commenting systems, via Technology Bloggers Progression Academy – a new initiative I am developing – with the aim to have him modifying comments, and therefore being promoted to the status of Editor (Level 1), in the very near future.

Hopefully we can get more writers moderating their own comments too soon. Technology Bloggers Progression Academy material is currently being tested on our guinea pig – also Mr Hankins!

Categories
Updates

Technology Bloggers community awards 2012

Slightly later than last year (I was on holiday in Italy over New Year this year), I am now going to announce the winners of Technology Bloggers community awards!

This is the second year of community awards, and this year, the awards were democratic. I gave you (the community), the opportunity to suggest awards and nominations, and then you voted on who you wanted to win each of the six awards.

This year each award had 4 nominees, meaning that there were 24 nominations; which were filled by 13 different people.

You have voted, and the results are now in. Here are this years winners.

Top Commenter

Nominees:

  • Lillie Ammann
  • Peter Lee
  • David Jamieson
  • Neil Duncan

Runner Up

Lillie AmmannThe runner up for this years top commenter community award is Lillie Ammann! Congratulations for Lillie for her nomination, she doesn’t comment very often but when she does, it is always kind words and useful feedback 🙂 You can find out more about Lillie by visiting her blog.

Winner

Peter LeeWith 57% of the vote, the clear winner of this years top commenter award is Peter Lee! My thanks go out to Peter for his fantastic contribution to the blog. Peter commented on the blog around 60 times in 2012, which is quite a lot! Never were his comments bland or meaningless though, they always added value to the article, which is a credit to Peter and the community. Peter has a website which you can visit called Computer How To Guide.

Top Writer (Contributor)

Nominees:

  • Alan Tay
  • Hayley Anderson
  • Nick Sotos
  • Chadrack Irobogo

Runner Up

Hayley AndersonHayley Anderson took 29% of the community vote, putting her in second place. Hayley likes to write about nanotechnology, a very interesting industry which is advancing all the time. Hayley maintains a website herself, which is about Microscopes.

Winner

Alan TayThe winner of the top contributor category of the community awards 2012 is Alan Tay! So far Alan has contributed 7 articles to the blog, and displays many of the characteristics of a good writer. Alan often replies to people who comment on his articles, and generally writes thoughtful and useful material. Alan is a specialist in IT Security, which he blogs about on his own site too.

Top Writer (Author+)

Nominees:

  • Christopher Roberts
  • Jonny Hankins
  • Steve August
  • Ron Fletcher

Runner Up

Jonny HankinsIn a very respectable second place is Jonny Hankins. Author and innovation and responsibility researcher for the Bassetti Foundation, who currently resides in Boston (USA), Jonny has been a great author this year. His posts have inspired, amazed and amused, making him a true credit to the blog. Check out more of his work by visiting the Bassetti Foundation website.

Winner

Christopher RobertsIt is with the utmost pride that I announce that the winner of the top author award 2012 is me – Christopher Roberts! It was a close fought contest between me and Jonny and myself, with 37.5% and 62.5% of the vote respectively – I am honoured to have won. Personally I feel that Jonny’s posts are often better than mine, but I shall acknowledge to the public vote and declare myself the winner. Thank you everyone 🙂

Rising Star

Nominees:

  • Steve August
  • Jonny Hankins
  • David Jamieson
  • Chadrack Irobogo

Runner Up

Steve AugustWith 25% of the vote Steve August is the runner up for this award. Steve is relatively new to the community, and yet in the 5 months of 2012 that he was part of the community, he posted 7 app reviews – his preferred area of writing. Steve also contributes to Alpha Digits where you can read more of his work.

Winner

Jonny Hankins63% of the vote saw Jonny Hankins take the 2012 community award for rising star! My heartfelt congratulations go to Jonny for his fantastic contribution to the blog. With 59 posts and a series under his belt already, who knows where 2013 will take his ever progressing blogging career!

Most Friendly Member of the Community

Nominees:

  • Tammi Kibler
  • Peter Lee
  • Lillie Ammann
  • Chadrack Irobogo

Runner Up

Lillie AmmannLillie Ammann was also nominated for this category, and took 25% of the vote, making her the runner up for this award 2012. Again, well done Lillie for the nomination and votes, you are a truly valued member of the community.

Winner
Peter LeePeter Lee took his second award this year by winning the most friendly member of the community award. Huge congratulations to Peter, as willing two awards is quite something! I look forward to your participation in 2013 🙂

Top All Rounder

Nominees:

  • Christopher Roberts
  • Jonny Hankins
  • Alan Tay
  • Chadrack Irobogo

Runner Up

Jonny HankinsNow for the big one, the top all rounder. In the past I have referred to this as “Technology Bloggers ultimate award” as it is for someone who is an example an outstanding community member, which is why it is very deservingly that Jonny Hankins was nominated for this award, which he claimed runner up status for. One community award and runner up for another two, not a bad 2012 Jonny!

Winner
Christopher RobertsI am truly humbled to have received 91% of the vote for this award. I love this blog and the people who make it as great as it is, which is probably why I put so much time and effort into posting content, moderating comments, tweaking things and generally just doing my best to make it a fantastic site to visit. Again, I would like to thank everyone who voted for me, I am truly grateful.

Well that’s 2012’s awards over, 6 categories, with 7 unique winners and runners up, democratically chosen by you: the readers of the blog.

2012 Community Award Winners

2012 was a brilliant year for us, and our visitor numbers prove it. Here is a sneak peak at some traffic stats that I wouldn’t usually publicly release.

Technology Bloggers Traffic
The number of visits the blog has had (per month) since it started on April the 13th 2011.

Happy New Year everyone, here’s to 2013!

Categories
Updates

Community awards nominations 2012

In around three weeks time I hope to reveal the winners of Technology Bloggers 2012 community awards.

To do that, there are a few things that need to happen, one of which is for you (the community) to vote as to who you feel deserves each award.

The aim of the awards is to recognise key and valued members of the community, and to celebrate the brilliant personalities that make up our blog.

Here is a quote from my article on the awards last year:

“…at the end of the year, we shall celebrate the people who have helped make this blog the huge success it is today.”

Last week I asked for your award suggestions and comments, and from the response I received, I am assuming that everyone pretty much liked the awards we had last year, so we are going to stick with them.

So, without further ado, let the voting commence!

Below you can find the 6 awards that are up for grabs, and the nominations for each award. Read the description of the award, consider the candidates and then cast your vote as to who you feel should be claimed victor.

Top Commenter

Who do you feel posts the most valuable and interesting comments, which you always enjoy reading?


Lillie Ammann's AvatarPeter Lee's AvatarDavid Jamieson's AvatarNeil Duncan's Avatar

Technology Bloggers Community Awards 2012 - Top Commenter


Top Writer (Contributor)

Which writer do you feel has made the most valuable contribution to the blog in the last year. Who’s articles do you love to read?


Alan Tay's AvatarHayley Anderson's AvatarNick Sotos's AvatarChadrack Irobogo's Avatar

Links to writers archive pages: Alan, Hayley, Nick and Chadrack.
Technology Bloggers Community Awards 2012 - Top Contributor


Top Writer (Author+)

Who has been your favourite author (including those of editor and admin status) this year?


Christopher Roberts AvatarJonny Hankins AvatarSteve August's AvatarRon Fletcher's Avatar

Links to writers archive pages: Christopher, Jonny, Steve and Ron.
Technology Bloggers Community Awards 2012 - Top Author


Rising Star

Who do you feel has great potential and in the future will become an ever more important member of the community?


Steve August's AvatarJonny Hankins AvatarDavid Jamieson's AvatarChadrack Irobogo's Avatar

Technology Bloggers Community Awards 2012 - Rising Star


Most Friendly Member of the Community

Who do you feel deserves this years award for conducting themselves in the most friendly, and supportive way they can?


Tammi Kibler's AvatarPeter Lee's AvatarLillie Ammann's AvatarChadrack's Avatar

Technology Bloggers Community Awards 2012 - Most Friendly Member of the Community


Top All Rounder

As I said last year, this is Technology Bloggers ultimate award! Who do you feel is the bet all round community member?


Christopher Roberts AvatarJonny Hankins AvatarAlan Tay's AvatarChadrack Irobogo's Avatar

Technology Bloggers Community Awards 2012 - Top All Rounder


I will be adding voting widgets to the sidebar to make sure that we get a reasonable level of votes in.

Voting closes on the 30th of December 2012. The winners will be announced in the community awards article hopefully on December the 31st, or soon after.

Congratulations to all nominated, happy voting!

Categories
Updates

2012 community awards suggestions

Next Saturday I am going to open voting for this years community awards.

Last year the awards weren’t democratic. I had the idea a bit too late in the year to be able to open up a democratic system, therefore I choose what awards there were, who was nominated for them, and who won them. A fix, I know. That said I didn’t win a single one! How did that work?

Technology Bloggers logo (2.0)Before I open up voting I wanted to get your opinion as to what we should do this year.

Here is how I hope it will role:

  • This article will get comments and feedback from people (you!) suggesting awards we should have
  • The admin team (me at the moment) will select the awards we are going to run with and then suggest nominations
  • Next Saturday, voting shall commence and the community shall decide upon who wins the awards

Like last year, there is no physical or financial prize. If you win you get recognition and a lovely paragraph written about you, linking to your site (if you have one).

Last year, the awards were:

  1. Top Commenter – Someone who posts valuable and interesting comments which you like to read
  2. Top Writer (Contributor) – The contributor who has made the most valuable contribution to the blog – in terms of articles published in the last year
  3. Top Writer (Author +) – The author (editor or admin) who has been your favourite writer this year
  4. Rising Star – Someone with real potential who is becoming an ever greater asset to the community
  5. Most Friendly Member of the Community – The person who has been the most pleasant and kind person on the blog this year
  6. Top All Rounder – The big one! Technology Bloggers ultimate award, who is the best example of a good all round community member?

So, what awards do you think we should have this year?

If you have anyone in mind for a particular award, please let us all know!

Are there any awards above that we don’t need? Do you want to see any return this year? Would you like to see any new ones?

Let me know below ↓

Categories
Charity News

Blog Action Day 2012

Today is Blog Action Day! In 2010 I blogged about water. In 2011 I blogged about food. This year I am going to blog about the Power of We.

So what is Blog Action Day? For a quick recap, here is an extract of my article from last year:

Every year (for the past four years) on the 15th of October, there is a global Blog Action Day, where bloggers around the world write about one common problem in the world today, in order to try to raise awareness of a pressing issue.

Today is the 6th Blog Action Day in internet history, and tens of thousands of bloggers around the world will today be blogging about the Power of We.

The Power of We came about as a topic after bloggers were asked to vote on what topic they thought Blog Action Day 2012 should cover. Topics such as community, equality, anti-corruption and freedom (as suggested by yours truly) were all very popular, so the Blog Action Day team decided to make the theme the Power of We, a topic that encompassed community, equality, anti-corruption and freedom.

What To Blog About

Blog Action Day - The Power of WeThis year I am really at a loss as to what to blog about. Not because I have no ideas, but because the topic is so broad that I could write 10 posts on all different areas encompassed by the Power of We.

Here are just some of the ideas I had

  • Focusing more on the freedom side of things, I could have discussed the power of people when we all act together and the influence we can have. The Arab Spring is a fantastic example of this, when people act together they can crush oppression. Libya is probably the best example of how this happened, people worked together and eventually managed to bring down the Gaddafi dictatorship. Yes lives were lost and change was not without suffering, and that is wrong, however now Libyan people are in the process of forming a democratic state. The country now has an elected General National Congress, and is moving forward.
  • If I had gone down the equality route I could have talked about how equal rights are becoming recognised as important across the globe. A great example I could have talked about would be the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The London 2012 Games were the first ever to see every competing nation have both men and women competing, a massive step forwards in terms of gender equality. Also the global recognition the Paralympic Games received was a fantastic achievement. For the first time, the Paralympic Games had big sponsorship, like the Olympic Games has, suggesting that discrimination against disabled people has decreased, and people are now more open an accepting. Someone is no less a person just because they have a disability, and it would appear that more people are starting to understand this.
  • I could have discussed how every single person on this planet has the ability to make a difference to the world we live in. Maybe not everyone is capable of revolutionising the world, however we all have the ability to influence and affect others, and it is what we choose to do with that influence and how we decide to interact with other people that makes us who we are. Everyone has the chance to be kind to someone else at some point, some people more than others. If we were all to seize every opportunity imagine what a better place the world would be.

There are so many different ideas and topics that I considered writing about, however in the end I decided to focus on an area much close to my heart.

The Power of We means community, what we can achieve if we work together. Co-operation for the greater good.

The Power of We is everything Blog Action Day stands for, relatively small and powerless bloggers from across the globe, uniting on one day, all posting about the same topic, to try and change something by raising awareness. In the past the day has been used to raise awareness about the environment, hunger, poverty and other critical issues. Blog Action Day has led people to donate to charity and has created a better understanding among many of pressing global issues.

I have no doubt that Blog Action Day has improved the lives of people around the world. The project has managed to get some fantastic associates such as Oxfam and ActionAid, because of the great work it does.

Blog Action Day's logoSo, what about my post?

I am going to talk about the community we have here, the one you are a part of. The Technology Bloggers community. Okay we aren’t changing the world on a global scale, however we play our part.

The key word is community. We are all here working together in order to build a better blog, from which we can all prosper. Fantastic writers from all across the world contribute to our blog, giving readers a diverse range of material to read.

Why do we read? To enrich our lives, to learn new things and become knowledgeable on a topic. Reading makes us smarter, it opens up our mind to new ideas and concepts.

In return for their work, our writers get exposure to our hundreds of loyal subscribers and our thousands of monthly of readers.

Ultimately there only needs to be two people for the system to work. The writer writes the content, the reader reads and comments. The reader learns something and/or is able to take a new perspective on something, whilst the writer receives valuable feedback on their work. Just two people, and yet so powerful when working together.

Man kind wouldn’t be where we are today without co-operative work. When we work together as a team we can achieve more. It says it in the name: Together Everyone Achieves More.

Co-operation has built society as we know it. Every day, billions of people across the world go to work and co-operate with each other, to enhance and improve our world.

Ultimately I think this year I may have gone a little too broad in my choice of topic. I had so many ideas, and wanted to write about everything, and I think I have sort of tried to. I am not sure how well it has worked, this certainly isn’t your conventional post.

What are your thoughts, and will you be blogging about the Power of We?

Categories
Series Technology

Stepping into the future of smarter living

Technology Bloggers is getting bigger and growing day by day. When the community was founded in April last year, our readership was just a few hundred people a week. We now have tens of thousands of visitors a month.

With size comes opportunity, and recently we have been gifted a fantastic opportunity by British Gas. In the past Technology Bloggers has been British Gas’s blog of the month, demonstrating that they understand the work we are doing.

A few weeks ago I was offered the chance to step into the future of smarter living, becoming one of the first people ever to have a Remote Heating Control system fitted. How could I refuse such an amazing offer?

On behalf of Technology Bloggers, I am to test and review an innovative new technology which is going to be making its way into all of our homes very soon.

British Gas’s Campaign

There have been some great technological advances in the last few years in the energy sector, like for example smart meters and Baxi Ecogen boilers which can ultimately help us to be more efficient in the way we use energy.

British Gas are now starting to offer these innovative new technologies to me and you – the consumer, and in order to give the consumer an unbiased view of the technologies, they have asked a handful of bloggers to test out the technology. This handful of bloggers (including me from Technology Bloggers) will then blog about their findings, in order to help people better understand the new technologies available, and the potential implications of upgrading/installing the technologies.

Here is a television ad British Gas have launched, to raise awareness about smarter homes.
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During the campaign, my aim (as always and as stated in our privacy policy) is to remain impartial and give you my honest feedback and views on the technology. As with every technology, there are always positives and negatives. I will be exploring both the advantages and disadvantages of the technology I have been selected to test.

Series

Testing a new technology is a journey, and therefore I feel as I am going to be writing about my journey and experience of the technology, it would be appropriate for me to write in the form of a series. Our blog has had two series before, making this its third. If you are unsure what a series is, please check out our writers guide to writing a series, which gives an explanation.

I feel that if I write the posts in a constant flow (i.e.) a series, it will feel less fragmented then were I to write the posts individually.

The series will post fortnightly on a Friday, meaning that every other Friday, you will get an update as to how my experience and understanding of the technology is progressing.

The next post will go live on Friday the 7th of September.

About The Technology

The technology I am to test and review is known as Remote Heating Control, and really it does what it says on the tin. It is an innovative new technology which gives you better control over your heating, whether you are in the house or a remote location.

Heating control via smartphone
Controlling your heating via a smartphone – Android and iPhone

The technology is programmable via three methods: on the device itself; via smartphone; via an online account – accessible anywhere you have an internet connection.

The technology also has a very advanced and programmable timer system. You can set exact temperatures that you want your house to be at, at exact times. From what I understand it is very easy to set up a reasonable complex heating scheduled, to make sure your comfort is maximised, whilst you potentially save money at the same time, by reducing unnecessary heating.

More to come on the technology over the course of the series.

About Me

If you have been a loyal reader for sometime now, you probably know a lot about me, my views and the way I like to operate. If you don’t, below is an extract of my profile on the British Gas user reviews site, which can hopefully help you understand a bit more about who I am.

I am a techie at heart and love to follow the latest innovations and developments in the industry. I specifically take an interest in green (sustainable, efficient and renewable) technology, and always consider the environmental implications of new innovations.

I have always thought heating systems are inefficient, and this ultimately leads to big waste of resources. Therefore I am really pleased to be testing a technology that could potentially revolutionise the way we control our heating.

I couldn’t refuse the opportunity to test a new technology which is set to revolutionise the way we all use energy in the future, ultimately changing and hopefully improving our lives!

I really look forward to having better control over my heating, by having Remote Heating Control installed in my home and am really excited to test and review this new, innovative, green technology!

Promotion

As British Gas want to get the word out, the have said that they will be promoting the content myself and the other bloggers involved write via their website and social media. This means that the content published on our blog, could potentially help hundreds of thousands of people (maybe even millions) in formulating their opinion on these new technologies. My hope is that this should also help speed up the growth in our readership ever further.

Who Benefits

As a community blog, we are very used to analysing who benefits from a given activity, but who will benefit from this project?

  • Me – I will get Remote Heating Control installed in my home, giving me better control of my own heating
  • Technology Bloggers – I hope that the promotion British Gas can offer us will boost our readership, helping us grow the community further
  • The consumer (you) – The information and reviews of the technology I provide, I hope will benefit anyone who is a potential install candidate, make their mind up about whether or not to embrace the new technology
  • British Gas – British Gas will be getting impartial reviews which they can show to consumers, potentially boosting their sales

Your Thoughts

What are your thoughts on the campaign? Do you think it will be beneficial for the blog? What sort of things would you like me to mention/discuss in my series? Are you interested in getting a smarter home?

Throw your comments at me below 🙂

Categories
Updates

Friday the 13th and 1 year for Technology Bloggers!

Some would call today an unlucky day, as it is Friday the 13th, a day renowned for its link to bad luck. It is not an unlucky day for Technology Bloggers though, as today we are celebrating our first birthday!

First birthday candleI want to use this post to thank everyone who has been instrumental in creating this fantastic community blog we have, and also to showcase the blogs fantastic achievements, just 1 year in.

Traffic

The first thing I want to say about Technology Bloggers, is how blow away I am by the traffic we have received. Excluding December, every single month, the number of people visiting the blog has grown.

In June 2011, we received just over 1,200 visitors, in October 2011 we received around 3,400 visitors, and last month (March 2012) Technology Bloggers had almost 7,000 people visit the blog. Don’t believe me? Check out our Google Analytics:

Technology Bloggers traffic statistics from April 2011 to April 2012
Technology Bloggers traffic statistics from April 2011 to April 2012

Awards

Top blogs often receive awards, and I am proud to announce that Technology Bloggers recently received it’s first award. Last week Technology Bloggers was named the British Gas Blog of the Month!

We were awarded the British Gas Blog of the Month for our work on educating people about smart meters, and how they are changing the way we use our electricity, along with our work on environmental issues. Special thanks go out to Jonny regarding his series Can We Improve the Health of the Planet?

Other Achievements

After just two weeks of the blog being live, I wrote an article about our achievements, I did the same four months in. As today is the blog’s first birthday, I thought it right to do the same sort of review today, and compare it with our past reviews.

Two weeks in Technology Bloggers had 14 articles, which had been written by our 4 writers, four months in the blog had 65 articles written by 15 writers. 1 year in, this is Technology Bloggers 205th article, and we currently have 47 writers! That means we publish an article, on average every 1.78 days, and each writer has written on average, 4 articles. Many of our writers have written just one article, whilst some like myself, Jonny and Ron have written significantly more – we average 47 articles each!

Two weeks in, Technology Bloggers had had 85 comments posted by 22 different commenters. By 4 months, we had had 788 comments posted by 120 commenters. When this article went live we had had 2,849 comments contributed from over 500 commenters! That’s a lot of comments! Special kudos to Jonny, Alan, Anna, DiNaRa, Peter and Neil, for their outstanding contributions to Technology Bloggers commenting community 🙂

14 days in, and at 4 months, I wrote about Technology Bloggers Alexa rank. To be honest, it isn’t very accurate, and I have given actual traffic statistics for the blog, but I thought I should mention it anyway, as I have done in the past. 2 weeks after its launch, Technology Bloggers was ranked in the top 1,400,516516 of sites on the internet, by Alexa. By August 2011, Alexa believed we were in the top 165,351 of sites on the web. Today our rank is 85,826, which is a very respectable rank, but nothing to become to obsessed about.

Technology Bloggers is still a Google PageRank 3, which is very credible for a 1 year old blog, however again, is nothing that accurate or to be obsessed over.

Across social media, since August we have had 41 new likes, taking our Facebook page up to a total of 52 likes, and 45 more Twitter followers, taking us up to 69 Twitter followers. Our RSS feed is also well subscribed to.

Basically, Technology Bloggers is doing really well, and that is something we should all be proud of!

Dofollow

Technology Bloggers started out as a dofollow blog, and it will remain dofollow for the foreseeable future. It is a community blog, and so that everyone can benefit, the blog should be dofollow.

Thank You

Now it’s time for me to say thank you to everyone who has been a part of the blog this year. Thank you to everyone for your contributions and efforts, which have helped make this blog the fantastic community blog that it is today!

We have already had community awards, and will have one every year. In this article I would like to pay special thanks to Jonny, Ron, Alan, Chadrack, David, Marc and Peter who have all played a massive role in ensuring Technology Bloggers is where it is today. I have no doubt that without these people, the blog would not be as good as it is today, and the community would be noway near as strong.

Here’s to the future success of Technology Bloggers!

Well done everyone and thank you, lets keep this community alive, so we can all continue to benefit 🙂

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