When Ted, Ryan and I got together and started working on RoastLog, it was very clear from the beginning that we all wanted to form a company which treated its customers like people with valid and important feedback, rather than like people who just paid us.  Our whole product is born from our conversations with roasters, and hearing them tell us what they’d like to see.

Nowadays, it seems like everything online is becoming social.  Twitter and Facebook are household names, and the coffee community has a pretty strong online presence on sites like baristaexchange.com, coffeegeek.com and coffeed.com, just to name a few.  Since RoastLog is a hosted service, we’re able to provide the ability for roasters to share their roasting data.  During development, the feedback we received was encouraging, yet some of our testers still were a bit uneasy about their roasting data being publicly viewable.  Even though you may have 5,356 “friends” on Facebook, you probably don’t announce your deepest darkest secrets to them.

Our initial pricing structure provided two levels of data privacy.  Our “mico” and “macro” packages came with complete privacy, where only the users in your account would be able to see anything.  The “mini” package, at $49/month, had less strict security where your roasting curves would be available for anyone to see.  The idea was to encourage some social sharing, and of course to provide value between the different levels of service.

Since the SCAA show, we’ve received feedback on this model.  The bottom line is that this is a deal breaker for many roasters.  We’ve heard this loud and clear:

Your roasting data is the heart of your business, and you need to have control over who sees it

Effective immediately, users in our “mini” package will be treated exactly the same as those in the more expensive packages…your roasting data will always be private.  For users who have signed up at the higher levels of service in order to get roast data privacy, you’ll be able to downgrade your subscription immediately.  We still think there is a social aspect to RoastLog which will provide value to our users, but we want to better understand it and build it the right way rather than forcing something on people.

We like to thank everyone who emailed us about this or posted a question on our Get Satisfaction feedback system.  Feedback is critical to the success of RoastLog.  It helps us to help you, so please keep it coming!


Tim Wendelboe · April 29, 2010 at 8:40 am

I think this is a bit sad. Why should we not be shearing our roast logs. It is impossible to copy anyway as all roasters are different, all chimneys have different diameters, lengths and airflow. All coffees are different an most roasters have a personal opinion about how things should taste and be roasted.

It would have been fantastic to see where the open sharing would take us. Just look at what internet has done by being an open information source to coffee.
I know I have gotten most of my coffee knowledge through sharing information with others. So I was thrilled to see Roastlog being on top of it.

Well, well. Maybe in 20 years??

    brianz · April 29, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Thanks for the note Tim. On a personal note, I agree. However, it’s not for me, or the other RoastLog guys, to decide. It’s up to you and the other roasters in the community.

    We definitely would love to foster an open environment where roasters share knowledge to improve the craft across the board. But, we need to do so in a way where our users are comfortable. Change takes time, so with a bit more time and some new social features I’m hopeful that there will eventually be a strong social component to RoastLog which everyone can benefit from.

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