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Aquascaping blog

Discussion in 'Off Topic and Chat' started by GillesF, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    Hi guys

    I graduated last year and I've been working as a Search Engine Marketeer for half a year now. Lately, I've been thinking about creating a blog that focuses on aquascaping and the Estimative Index. This would create an opportunity for my to develop my SEM skills and contribute to our community.

    My main goal is to support the EI community in Europe (most aquarists here still use the old methods) and to help beginners with their aquascaping problems by writing understandable articles, backed up by official research. Most of the articles will be based on topics found on this forum. The blog will be in English and maybe also in Dutch since that is my native tongue and would give some "authenticity" within the Dutch community.

    What do you think? Is it worth the effort? I still have to do research on important keywords and internet trends to find out if there's a demand for this. And what do you think of me using articles on this forum for my blog (either a resume or rewritten)?

    The blog might also allow guest writing for users of the Barr Report forum but I still have to determine how that will work, especially if I want the articles to have some "SEO juice" (jargon for good findable articles on the web ;)).

    And what would you think of having Google Ads on the blog? This would help me pay the hosting bill but it might not be well received by some users since I'm using Barr Report articles as my main input ... I don't want to be regarded as someone who wants to make some bucks by copying someone else's articles ...

    Just wanted to share this and hear your opinions about it :)

    Thanks!
    Gilles
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    EI is not really my idea or really all that "New", the general concept has been around since aquarist started keeping fish.

    Arguing in favor of it for a simple management method, is more the rational behind EI.
    Not that I or someone came up with soem novel concept.

    I just question the utility of testing, the cost labor benefits, calibration and interpretive analysis.
    I have no issues with your blog hosting ad space, it's your blog and server.
    My view is more about promoting the method, if someone wants to write about it and repost it, this is fine, just give credit.
    I am not looking to make a profit on EI:)

    Never have been.

    I am concerned about the Dutch gardening style being lost. While so called Nature style is more en vogue today, many of the better Dutch style scapers are not getting any younger and few newer aquarist are filling their places.
    Nice sizable well ordered and contrasted plant groups is a very nice style for the person who truly loves the plants themselves.
    It is the reason I got into the hobby, long long before Amano even started keeping plants.

    I would like to see a historical article done on Dutch planted aquarium.
    Wim did a presentation for the AGA years ago, I have his email, it was one of the best presentations I've ever seen in planted aquariums still to this date.

    Linking the articles here and to in your blog has no conflict with myself, just cite where the information is coming from.
    While we have no ads or vendors here, other sites are free to do what they need to and like.

    I would suggest keeping the focus of your blog in Dutch, French, German etc.
    There is ample articles in English already, the UK group is well on it's way there.

    Russian is another area of focus.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    Hey Tom

    Thanks for the input, appreciate it.

    I think I was unclear in my opening post. What I meant with the "old method" was not the Dutch style scaping but rather the nonsense such as "more light, no NO3/PO4" or "40ppm NO3 will kill al your fish" ... often found on the Internet (and unfortunately also in books). I never meant to "impose" the nature style on the Dutch style, I think both styles have their own interesting aspects. In fact, I too started with the Dutch style but eventually shifted towards nature style because I found it more interesting.

    Good point on the English, I didn't take into account the UK community. I think it is indeed better to start in a niche segment and then look at the results and go on from there.

    Thanks,
    Gilles
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You might pop over to the UKAPS and see how they are doing and what they are up to.

    As far as those myths, these need illustrated with example sof tanks where those same confirmed and referenced against known standards show that the claims are "false". Results show this very well and there's little to argue about at that point.


    If what they say is true, say 40ppm of NO3 kills fish, you chose something like Discus or some rare wild caught catfish and then you breed them ina planted tank while dosing 45ppm a week and feeding them well.
    When they breed, you can laugh at the claim and post the fry and eggs all over the web.

    They pester them about it, why are my fish not dead?
    Where's their examples to show you are wrong?

    Scaping does not imply a superior method, only superior scaqping skills and perhaps better photography.

    Keep that in mind.
     
  5. jerrybforl

    jerrybforl Lifetime Members
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    Tom I agree. Dutch style is so beautifu and you just don't see a whole lot of them. It's my favorite style and is what really got my excited about our hobby. I think the Amano setups are nice but nothing on a nice Dutch aquarium. I'm currently scaping my 95gallon wave front with a Dutch style in mind. It has some hardscape but mostly plants. Will post pics of my journey with this tank.
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You can and many do add elements of the style in nature aquariums. I do think putting one above the other does not do us any good, only that they a distinct and different goals.
    There is more rigid rules contained within the dutch style than the nature aquarium.

    If the hardscape is fine, then a single plant species is good for the nature style or 2-3, this is virtually NEVER the case for a dutch tank, you must master the pruning and timing for ALL species that tend to be quite different.
    This is a lot more difficult that merely growing several species.
     
  7. Hallen

    Hallen Guru Class Expert

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    I've been wanting to put up a blog with very similair subjects, due to my limited time I haven't yet and probably will not in the nearby future. I could help you co-write if you want, I have some articles in basic form and alot of sources to fill up a blog. I love to falsify myths in our hobby since there are plenty, especially in the Dutch school of aquaria. I'm also an IT student, have also followed a seminar in SEO and SEM for what it's worth.

    I agree to what has been said above, there's ALOT being written about scaping all over the world. Focus on a more wide public with articles about the many aspects of our hobby. For example, you'd be amazed on how many people desire a good article about pruning and planting. Also interviews with the expierenced folk from the Benelux also draw quite a bit of attention.
     
  8. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    Hey Hallen

    I thought you alraedy had a blog since I'm following the twitter account of someone from Aquaplant Exchange who has his own blog, must be someone else. Thanks for the offer by the way, some help in writing is certainly appreciated, especially since I'm not that experienced in EI.

    I'd like to create a blog that is primarily educational (articles on EI, dosing, pruning, ...) and comprehensive for beginners but it should also have a creative and "fun" part (aquacaping, pictures, ...). The creative part will also function as "SEO juice" (but I still have to do a keyword analysis on that one). I'm pretty sure I can get a ton of information from this forum and on Aquaplant Exchange.

    The first thing I'll have to do is create a list of important keywords and then set up a "content calender" with interesting articles that people would like to read. Then choose the design and determine the social aspect of the blog. I'd like to post about 2 articles a week (or several smaller articles). Of course, it will take a few months for the blog to be ready and "worthy" the upload.
     
  9. Hallen

    Hallen Guru Class Expert

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    It isn't me haha. I post alot on different ducht fora but I don't have a blog, twitter or something in that way. I rarely distrubute pictures of my aquaria since I'm not that good of a photographer and my tank is always changing.

    I like the idea for the blog quite a bit! I'm familiar with writing SEO friendly articles and I know a thing or two about plantcare, so feel free to give me a shout whenever you're up and ready to go :)

    2 articles a week is quite alot if you need to do research aswell, proper citing of sources can take quite a while. I can realy advise you to go online when you have quite a bit of content, better for your ranking and mainting people's attention. But you probably know that aswell :)
     
  10. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    That's why I want to use a content calender, it gives you a clear view of what to write, when and how much each text will take. The blog posts don't have to be academic articles but should have good references, especially those regarding nutritients. I'll probably build the blog offline first and then launch when the first articles (probably the more important ones) are written.
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Much of what we do cannot be applied to research articles often times. AQUARIUM ECOLOGY IS UNIQUE IN MANY RESPECTS.

    We can compare some things to natural systems, lakes, streams etc.........but many things regarding horticulture, it is something that the aquarist sort of needs to try it and see and explore the bounds.
     
  12. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    Keyword list is ready and the content calender has about 30 articles and growing. What do you guys think of this theme?
    http://www.wpzoom.com/themes/magazinum/

    I think the black/dark grey background will make a nice contrast with the pictures. I also like the minimalistic style and "cleanness". The homepage does focus more on pictures and less on content but those nice pictures will act as "bait". Any feedback?

    I'll start writing soon, can still use some input!
     
  13. Hallen

    Hallen Guru Class Expert

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    I like the layout, normally I prefer loads of white and a minimalistic approach but this black one will give more focus to good high-res pictures :)
     
  14. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    The site was "officially" launched today, check it out (everything in Dutch): www.aquascaping-blog.com.

    Many thanks to Tom Barr, Dutchy, Hallen, Ceg (UKAPS) and lot's of other helpful people!
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Hi Gilles, you may use the "articles" section in the BarrReport if you wish to translate to Dutch and/or French.
     
  16. GillesF

    GillesF Subscriber

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    Hi Tom,

    I've used some of your articles as a source for mine, good stuff! There's still a lot to write about, especially soils, hardness, ...
     
  17. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Gilles,

    Looks good. A great help for every aquarist.
     
  18. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Best not to try and overwhelm yourself.
    Just add a new one every month or two etc.....

    Little by little, something new each month etc.
     
  19. jerrybforl

    jerrybforl Lifetime Members
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    Keep us informed...Looks great
     

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