Relax on Tech Patio with Klaus

Technology and gadgetry used to represent the realm of geeks, but as it turns out, being geeky is increasingly mainstream. Whether or not you’re technologically inclined, there’s a good chance that you’re lusting after a new smartphone, a new computer, or a new camera. We all want one, two, or all three.

There are innumerable sites on the Internet that cater to this market and one such website happens to serve as the subject of today’s review. We’re taking a quick look at TechPatio, a tech blog run by John Chow dot Com reader Klaus. He only has a first name and no last name, kind of like Prince or Madonna. πŸ˜‰

What Is Tech Patio?

According to the about page, Klaus envisions Tech Patio as a “decent and respectable blog where people will feel at ease, at home – like on their own patio.” He aims to “write articles that most tech interested people will find interesting and hopefully educational.”

This doesn’t really separate it from the masses of other technology websites, but it’s good to see that Klaus does put a little of his personality forward. For instance, while it is a tech blog, the site focuses mostly on Apple-related products. He does deviate from this, but that is a prominent theme.

Klaus mentions two other things in his about page that I feel are worth noting, if only for his upfront honesty. First, he says that he will have ads, not because he needs to make a living, but because he wants to see what kind of money he can make from the blog. Second, he lets us know that English isn’t his first language.

A Look at the Content

I was going to cut Klaus a little slack, because English isn’t his first language, but I have to say that the writing is generally quite good. It’s definitely better than some native English speakers that I know.

The shorter news pieces don’t offer much other than a brief news snippet, but slightly longer reviews can certainly come in handy for people shopping for new technology. Klaus didn’t write it (Emily did), but the Samsung Epic 4G review article is a good example of this.

In discussing the hot new smartphone on the Sprint 4G network, Emily acknowledges the Samsung Galaxy S platform as its base and says that the “Epic possesses the best keyboard” with keys that are “nicely spaced” and “have a good clickiness to them.”

She goes on to discuss the user interface, camera quality, multimedia functionality, and overall performance. My one major suggestion would be to use real photographs of the product, since you already have it in front of you, rather than use the stock press pictures that the PR people give you.

General Layout Feedback

Tech Patio makes use of the popular Thesis WordPress theme platform, so you may already be familiar with some of its elements. Even so, there are at least a couple of things worth mentioning.

You can see in the first screenshot in this review that Klaus has embedded a series of social media icons along the left side of the screen. These are “docked” so they follow you as you scroll through a page. They’re not intrusive and they could serve well to encourage readers to share.

I also like Klaus is providing two options for comment subscription. You can get email notification only if someone responds to your particular comment or you can be notified of every new comment on the post. The top commentator widget, complete with avatars, is a nice touch too. I’d only suggest limiting the text length so that a single person doesn’t wrap onto a second line.

Relaxing on the Deck with Tech

Tech Patio doesn’t really stand out as a premier tech blog, but it wouldn’t be completely fair to compare it to the much larger sites with much larger budgets. As an enthusiast blog, it’s definitely better than most.

The general layout is a little cluttered, but that’s to be expected in the tech blog realm. Updates are frequent enough and the content is generally well-written. If you’re looking for more on tech, it wouldn’t hurt to give Tech Patio a second look.


49 thoughts on “Relax on Tech Patio with Klaus”

  1. Thanks for posting my review, John πŸ™‚

    I’ll see what I can do about that top commentator widget and optimize the layout a bit so it’s not as cluttered.

    1. Alex Dumitru says:

      I’ve just dealt with the top commentators widget for the first time and it’s pretty easy πŸ™‚

      1. Essays says:

        Top commentators widget increase number of comments at your blog and you will see loyal visitors are keep coming for commenting.

    2. Abhik says:

      It’s easy like 1-2-3
      1. Install it using default add new plugin option
      2. Activate it
      3. Set it up at Widgets section

      πŸ™‚

      1. Hey Abhik … its nice to see your photo instead of Keanu Reeves … πŸ™‚

    3. Vik Tantry says:

      I like it, and not all sites have to be too minimal, a bit of cluster is fine as long as it’s all useful infomation in some way.

      I don’t see why bloggers sometimes seem apologetic about having ads on their site. It’s no different from any other type of media doing it.

      As long as it is not over done then it won’t stop people coming back any more than ads in newspapers or magazines stop people reading them.
      Of course it’s not all about making money though, you seem to have a real passion for your subject which is really all the motivation you need.

  2. d3so says:

    The blog looks pretty good. The articles are pretty well written.
    I wonder how much he makes from that blog.

    1. Hi d3so. I do montly income reports, so just stick around and in about a week I’ll post the one for September. Older reports are in the archives as well, just search for “income report” and they’ll appear.

      1. Wow.. I never do income report. By the way why do you show your income report? You are not teaching people how to make money but still you have your report there..

        1. There’s a bunch of blogs out there that does income/traffic reports even though they don’t teach others how to do it. I do have some blogging/marketing-related articles from time to time and the monthly reports also helps keeping other bloggers interested πŸ™‚

          I have, however, considered stopping with the reports, but so far I don’t think it’s necessary to “hide” them.

          1. Abhik says:

            $351 in August is cool..
            But, with alexa 95K, I think you should look into optimizing your ads.

            Just my thought.

          2. d3so says:

            I don’t do income reports myself but it’s an interesting idea. You should be making more now that you’re ranked top 100k on Alexa.

          3. If you realize in his report he is using few ads channel. I think he is testing the best channel that can make money and will use it for his future project.

          4. This is the best way to force your readers to come again … at least once in a month to see the income report.

            With such alexa rank I think only $47 from adsense is really low and that also for tech related blog.

            But I can see that your growth is quite superb – $56 in May ’10 and $351 in August ’10

            Best of luck.

          5. d3so says:

            Isn’t this how John chow drew readers in by sharing his income report?

          6. Yes many bloggers do in such fashion …

            This is the best way to attract new bie.

  3. I think it is a nice example of a mostly specialized (Apple products) tech blog. I had a short look around and definitively liked what I saw! Nice review as always Michael! SY

    1. d3so says:

      There are a bunch of apple specialized blogs out there.
      This blog is definitely good though.

      1. This one is beautiful, well organised.

        I think this is favourite baby of owner.

  4. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this blog. Liked the content and the layout is great. The “patio” concept is clever. Very inviting. Anyone use his advice to make a purchase?

    1. Christie says:

      I have! Last year he recommended a camcorder which has proved to be the best thing I’ve ever purchased. It zooms in and takes extremely clear video even in low lighting, and that’s what I need, with kid concerts and games. The post is “Top 10 Gadgets I Want For Christmas – And Maybe You Would Too?” Klaus seems to be very good at tech stuff and very honest. If something has flaws, he tells us straight up.

      1. Affiliate marketing is about trust, trust and trust, your experience does proof this! SY

        1. d3so says:

          tell that to the people who run rebill offers πŸ˜‰

          1. Yes, but they still used trust in order to sell the deal the first time round! SY

          2. d3so says:

            lol I bet who ever trusted them lost respect after they saw the rebill.

      2. Great to hear that Christie. Honest review really attracts reader to be with you. I never review much but I am interested to do much more review in the future. And well since most people prefer honest review, I will be on that side as well.

        1. Wow … a true fan came here to give her review about his blog.

          Now this is really impressive.

  5. kdchozhan says:

    I would like to share my ideas to reach your goal and I want to know about How to avoid Google Adsense banned.

    1. d3so says:

      To avoid being banned from adsense don’t click your ads and don’t tell your visitors to click your ads.

  6. I like the design of your website @Klaus. Especially the social bookmarking button on the left of the site. Does the button came with the theme or you use plugin to put it there?

    1. The buttons on the left of the site are from the WordPress plugin called “Cute Profiles”. Check it out!

      1. Thanks for the tip, I will check it out also, space is always at a premium on my sites! SY

        1. Thanks for the plugin. Will check it out. I think I will use it in one of my site if it don’t slow down the load. Will test it first..

          1. Yes this is on thesis and I am sure he is having great time with thesis and trying different things.

  7. I used to use “Cute profiles” and the response was really good from my viewers. It is a great plugin and very simple to set up.

    1. Why don’t you use it anymore? Any problems? Found something better? SY

      1. Abhik says:

        I also used to use that plugin.. But no more
        It adds like 3 additional javascripts calls and one CSS call.

        I did the same with simple php and CSS which added 3 points to my Google Page Speed.

        1. d3so says:

          Where do you go to check your google page speed?

          1. PPC Ian says:

            ZK, thanks for sharing this link! I actually didn’t know about that – this is very helpful.
            All the best,
            Ian

          2. Hey Ian … any time for friend.

  8. Abhik says:

    Your blog is really cool..
    Care to share the CTR on that larger rectangle adsense on single posts?

  9. Boy he runs on thesis … and this is great.

    Nice, simple and beautiful.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      I really like the logo and design of Site Patio. For that matter, I also really like the design of your blog too, ZK!

      1. Thanks Ian for those nice words.

        Glad that you like the design and if you have any further suggestion than you are always welcome.

  10. PPC Ian says:

    Great review! I think this is a really crowded niche, but at the same time there’s always room for a new player to shake things up. I like the name “Tech Patio”.

    1. Tech is always favourite. From teenagers to big boy, every one love tech and tech tips.

  11. Mitch says:

    Klaus is good people, and I’m glad he’s getting some press with this post. I’ve been following him for the last 6 months or so and he definitely writes about a lot of things I’ve been learning about, as I seem to miss many technological advances these days. Congrats Klaus!

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