Planted tank Blog

Discussion in 'Off Topic / Chit-Chat' started by Thomas McMillan, 10 Sep 2008.

  1. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

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    A few months ago I was sitting here and thinking, and noticed that there wasn't a popular blog online that is devoted to planted tanks. I know that there's the PFK blog but that doesn't have a sole focus on planted aquaria.

    So I decided to set one up. I've been into web design for a couple of years now so I've got the knowledge to get the website up and rinning, got the hosting and everything. I've only just started actually creating the site and it's coming along pretty well.

    Since then I've been planning it alot and which direction I would like it to go in. Obviously, the main focus will be planted tanks. I'd like to get a wide range of articles up on how to set up a planted tank, different techniques, the equipment you need - everything from the beginners to the advanced stages. Stuff to help newbies. There'll also be fun stuff like interviews and journals.

    My main aims are to attract more people to the planted tank community, to bring existing bobbyists from around the world together and like UKAPS promote the UK as an ambasador the the planted tank scene. I would also like to get a lot of UKAPS members involved, people who maybe aren't as experienced or as old as some of the people who write for PFK, but people who know their stuff. I think there's a lot of people on this forum who can write good quality articles.

    I'm just wondering what you think? Going through the forums I've seen the idea of a blog mentioned several times so hopefully you'll all agree that it's a good idea. Tell me what you think, what you expect from such a website. I'm open to ideas and of course I'm looking for willing contributors too. What other features would you like to see? What sorts of articles would you like to see?

    Maybe we could even sort out some kind of sponsorship with UKAPS nearer the time too. :D
     
  2. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    A blog is a site with a lot of posts, a forum is a site with lots of posts! Am I missing something?
    There are already so many blogs out there, and people keep starting more and more, don't get me wrong, a blog to show off your tanks might be a good idea, but I would rather see all the information in one place, there is an article forum on this site and that should be the place to put articles in ;)
     
  3. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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  4. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

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    I fully understand what you're saying but there's a difference between a blog and a forum. A forum is more of a discussion board where anyone can come an post on a given topic, and it's quite informal. A blog is more formal and tends to be more an article, or interview, or opinion etc., and then has the option for people to leave a comment on that entry.

    As far as the articles forum goes, the articles there are great quality and very informative but they are only written once in a while and there are only about ten or something. On a blog, there is more of a structure where the site is updated with a new article say, twice a week or something and there will be more of a series. I know what you mean about keeping all of the information in one place but this forum/site doesn't have all of the information in the first place. Don't get me wrong, the information it has is the best you can get but there isn't a site on the internet with that much information on planted tanks. If there is, it must be well hidden because I've looked many times.

    @Aaron - What do you mean by a free version? I already have the the hosting and can get a domain name (http://www.whatever.com) and I can construct my own layouts. I'm not sure what there is that I haven't already paid for.
    The blogs you linked are alright, I've seen them before. The only thing si they seem a little hard to navigate and one is on a free website which is a turn off for some. They aren't updated that regularly either and don't look too attractive.
     
  5. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    well with a free version you dont get as much options available. also you dont get your domain so it is like

    Code:
    www.freeversion.com/blog
    whereas a paid domain you get:

    Code:
    www.blog.com
     
  6. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

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    Yeah, on a freeserver you would only get a subdomain that's hosted on the freeserver's root directory. It also means you wouldn't get cPanel or anything and would have to use their own software which isn't ideal. A domain only costs about a tenner anyway.
     
  7. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Also understand what you are saying, but the main difference is the structure, other than that is about the same, you just post and comment in different ways.
    Why not speak to the admins and propose a blog for UKAPS? to be integrated into the ukaps domain? and then just post links in the forum to the blog articles. I am not sure what the admins think of this but would be an ideal solution to keep it all in one location. Specially if there are people like yourself keen on promoting the planted scene.
    Thats my opinion and in no way meant to offend anyone :) keep up the good work.
     
  8. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

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    Hmm... That's actually a really good idea. I never thought of that. Thanks! That would actually be ideal, I'll have a chat and see what we come up with.
     
  9. bugs

    bugs Member

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    365
    I see blogs as an evolving record of personal opinion and expression rather than an authority on any given subject. What you're describing sounds more like the latter which, to my mind, is more a site with very strong authoritative content. Which is, erm, UKAPS - this site which should be the focus of knowledge for anyone genuinely interested in promoting the UK arm of the hobby?

    I'm still living that internet dream... Remember the old Scotch videotape advert "Re-record not fade away"... Link not recreate.
     
  10. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

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    Yeah, I totally understand what you're saying. A blog is exactly that but you could say that with anything. Just because UKAPS has articles and they are seen as true and authorative, it doesn't always mean that they are. Also, I don't think variety is a bad thing.

    Maybe blog was the wrong word to use, more like a website that gets updated regularly I suppose.

    Anyway, it doesn't matter because I have PM'd Dan Crawford as JamesC advised me to with the idea.
     
  11. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Yep good start, there is some discussion going on in the moderator forum which is not available to everyone regarding articles, the idea is for users to submit them, then the mods, experts and admins look at them, discuss and amend whats necessary and then publish them in the article section. This way there is no mis-information for users. I really think thats the way to go forward, anything in the blog would need a certain level of verification also to ensure there was no misguidance to users too, to ensure that no UKAPS credibility was lost.
     
  12. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

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    1,127
    Okay, so I'm going to go ahead with this idea. I don't know if I posted before, but I spoke to the admins and they said UKAPS isn't in wayof a blog. I'm going to go ahead with it anyway, just not for UKAPS.

    It's probably not going to be a blog as such, just like a website with regular updates. To begin with, I'm going to start off with some articles, step-by-steps etc and eventually lean more towards more visitor interaction when the site takes off a bit more.

    So far these are the ideas I've got:

    - Interviews with well-known people in the aquascaping community
    - Step-by steps
    - Plant/fish profiles (just the usual size, origin etc and also recommended tankmates)
    - When the site grows a bit more, I'm planning to produce a few 'products' to sell for small donations to the site. so far i've thought of a book with exclusive step-by-steps, interviews etc and also a dvd with video step-by-steps, interviews etc / calendars / notepads with aquascaping photography / just a general inspirational photography album
    - General articles (e.g. algae types and how to get rid of etc etc. just articles that haven't really been done that much before)
    - Price comparision/tips etc
    - Resources - e.g. links to aquascaping-related useful websites and shops
    - Shop reviews
    - FAQ Section

    so those are my ideas so far. please feel free to give more ideas, especially on the visitor interaction side. obviously there will be commments on the articles etc. i'm also thinking of a rating system on the articles so you can reate how useful you found them. but what type of visitor interaction stuff are you looking for? like, pfk have the 'your tanks' bit, something like that but hasn't been done before?

    thanks :D
     
  13. Superman

    Superman Member

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    I think maybe a one stop shop of information would be good as usually I have to look through lots of different websites for information.
    Hope it works for you as you have planned it.
     
  14. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    you could also have an article on different aquascaping styles, product reviews - this could be where visitor interaction comes in. ;)
     
  15. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

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    1,127
    That's the master plan, hopefully when all of the articles, interviews, everything comes together that's how it'll be.

    Aaron - nice idea, cheers. :D

    Keep those ideas coming, guys.
     
  16. Goodygumdrops

    Goodygumdrops Member

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    Deffo for that.A place where you can got to get any info you need on the planted tank,plants,styles,equipment,fish etc,with no chat to mess it all up,like and encylopedia.(Sometimes it can be quite hard looking for a certain solution on here when you are presented with 200 threads after you put your search words in).
    Then obviously,you could have topical items etc.
     
  17. scottturnbull

    scottturnbull Member

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    I'd like to see a proper plant database. Tropica's website is okay up to a point. But they use terms like 'difficult', without giving any explanation. Sometimes 'difficult' means it requires a lot of light, other times it's the plant's delicate structure which makes it 'difficult'. There's no information on pruning, or planting, for that matter. Does the crown need to be above the substrate? Will it tolerate its roots being trimmed? What happens if I cut this stem between leaf nodes? The answers vary.

    It wouldn't require a lot of work to expand on the Tropica database model. If the information selected was based on sound principles - and not just random experiences - it could be a very useful resource.
     
  18. Goodygumdrops

    Goodygumdrops Member

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    I like the Aquarium Gardening site as it has photos,not watercolour paintings.I HATE how they don't put width and height in though,as a midground plant in one may be a background in another.
     
  19. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

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    1,127
    ^ That's the idea, thanks for the suggestions on the profiles, I'll try to sort it out.
     
  20. Goodygumdrops

    Goodygumdrops Member

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    278
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    What a mammoth task,I imagine you'll be very,very old before it's even anywhere near finished :lol:
     

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