Vaping With Julia – The First Week of February 7, 2013

The Feedback Imperative!

Lots of very cool Vaping things happened this week my fellow Vapers. From finishing some eLiquid reviews to starting others, from trying out various new pieces of hardware to falling back on trusted old friends (hardware I mean). And a bit of personal news too, so let’s get crackin’.

And by the way… the photo above? That’s Spinfuel New Hampshire HQ back in 2011/2012. It now houses the new company, our old partners. Yea, its snows ☺

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On the eLiquid Front

Vaporetti V-Drops – The eLiquid review we published back in late January was a review we actually did back in late November. Vaporetti V-Drops is the name, and although it may appear to have been a new review, it was merely polished and published when the time was right.

I wondered how you guys would feel about the V-Drops review. Vaporetti, while not exactly a brand new company, isn’t as well known to our segment of the vaping community, and their eLiquid V-Drops even less so. Still, once we learned that Vaporetti did their own mixing and used 100% American Made & Sourced ingredients instead of relying on some Chinese eLiquid company we decided to review some of their flavors. I’m glad we did.

Vaporetti V-Drops depends a lot, maybe too much, on sweet flavors, especially Vanilla, and for people that like sweet-tooth eJuice these are good products and worth having around.

The reason I bring the V-Drops review up is because yesterday John and I had an intense discussion (a cooperative discussion, not an argument) about how to really dig into all the claims eLiquid manufactures make about their product, especially where they are mixed and how they go from the mixing bowls to the bottles. John is publishing something on it today, I think. Anyway, we had no idea that Vaporetti made their own eLiquid so it pays to dig into every company that sells eJuice.

Despite Vaporetti V-Drop’s excellent sweet flavors, its American made ingredients, and the excellent packaging consisting of triple protection wrapping, it was our least read eLiquid review to date. I’m wondering why that is.

Feedback: I’d like it very much if you would let me know in the comments below if you read it, if you didn’t read it, if you bought a flavor, which flavor and why, if you didn’t buy a flavor, and if not why not… you know, help me understand why the V-Drops review had a 50% less readership than the last least read eLiquid review.

The Vapor Girl – The eLiquid review we published on February 4th was one of our more popular reviews and that wasn’t what I expected at all. Yes, I know The Vapor Girl is a premium eLiquid, and very popular among many Vapers, and Victoria has to be one of the most ‘entertaining’ eJuice vendors out there (she is wicked funny!), but this selection of flavors was, as I said in the review, very esoteric. Out of the mainstream, certainly, yet it garnered a lot of readers.

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I haven’t spoken to Victoria about whether or not her sales saw a spike on the day of and days after the review, it would be very interesting to find out though. I wonder how many people ordered a bottle of “Nutmeg Tobacco” because we all thought it was the strangest flavor ever, or either of the two Spinfuel Choice Award winners, the Virginia Fire-Cured tobacco and the amazing Captain Black.

Feedback: If you’ve read the review let me know if you ordered any of the flavors and what you thought about them. If you didn’t buy any why didn’t you? If you hadn’t yet read the The Vapor Girl review, why haven’t you?

Mister E-Liquid – Coming up next week is Mister E-Liquid. A team of 4 reviewed something like 15-20 flavors and there were some lively debate during the discussion day meeting. Some of the flavors were out of this world, some not so much, but for the most part a very enjoyable review. We even got our hands on a couple of their secret beta testing flavors that I think is going to be a huge hit for them. Anyway, I don’t want to say too much until the review comes out, but I thought I would mention it because last weekend was the review period, the 72-hour vaping period where we vaped Mister E-Liquid and only Mister E-Liquid, and it was Tuesday that we met to talk about it. We’re ready to go, but we’re tying up a few loose ends with the Interview portion. Once we do we will publish both parts.

Surprise of the Month – Here’s something I debated (with myself) about writing about or just letting it go. Actually there are a couple of things I debated about, but the first one is the 3-part blitz I did on Molehill Mountain Art Drip Tips.

Spinfuel published a review, an interview, and in a previous Vaping with Julia column I talked a lot about them…yet… not a single email, comment, tweet or Facebook mention…at all. I don’t get it.

Feedback: Do you guys not care about custom Drip Trips? I fell in love with the quality of the drip tips by these guys and I use mine all the time. The one I got for Bossman (John Manzione) is used all the time. So, what’s the deal?

Did anyone order a tip? All three pieces were read by a little more than half our usual audience so there was “some” interest. But it created zero buzz, anywhere. That was a huge disappointment for me because I was very excited about these products. I guess that shows just how ‘out-of -sync’ I can be sometimes with the vaping community.

Hardware

This week has also seen a lot of hardware coming into the office. Yesterday we got a bunch of Kanger’s EVOD clearomizers. I can’t give you the bottom line scoop just yet, but I can say I have one good and one not so good observation to make after about 18 hours of use. The “good” is that unlike the T-3 and MT-3 the EVOD delivers a better flavor for the eJuice. That’s a major accomplishment.

Despite being somewhat smaller than the T-3 and MT-3, they will be my preferred Clearo until something better comes out, which will be any minute if the recent product releases keep up. The one negative I’ve noticed already is that the clear tip at the top forms droplets of moisture almost immediately. A normal puff or drag from the EVOD is fine, but if you take in a hard drag you suck in a few of the condensation drops.

Feedback: If you’ve picked up an EVOD and tried it out let me know your thoughts. Do you notice anything good or bad about these guys? Also, do you think you will buy an EVOD or let it pass?

Texas Tuff Tank – A few of the staff here have fallen back in love with the Texas Tuff Tanks from VapeDudes. We haven’t used them in a long time and one day Lisa discovered one in her desk, pulled it out, exchanged the cartomizer inside with a new one and after filling it and screwing it onto her Bolt she rediscovered the joy of Tuff Tank.

Lisa, and a few others now, absolutely love the amount of vapor they can get from a Tuff Tank. Tom has been able, with an eVic, to pump up the wattage to something like 8-8.5w and the voltage to 4.5v or so, and get back such a huge amount of vapor that he could easily win the Totally Wicked Beard Contest (he can’t enter it though). But what do they really love about the Tuff Tank? The crackling of the atomizer! Remember how your analog cigarettes would sometimes pop and hiss when you were smoking? Turns out the Tuff Tanks with a SR Cartomizer do it, a lot. I have to admit it IS a lot of fun to vape something that pops and hisses, and produces a ton a vapor.

Feedback: What is your preferred tank, if any?

STV Vivi Nova – I was gifted a new version of the Vision Vivi Nova from, of all people, someone in China who reads Spinfuel. He works for one of the hundreds of eCigarette companies over there and has taken notice of my love for Vivi’s. So, he was able to get his hands on one that delivers an amazing vape.

The Vivi is one of the STV variety, but a little different. First, the capacity is a little over 3ML, the metal tube slips off the plastic inner tube, it have the rubberized paint job of the STV’s and the two cutout windows for keeping an eye on the juice levels, but the atty heads are somewhat smaller than the STV version we get from MyVaporStore. It comes in the same black Vivi Nova box, has a total of 3 atty heads. He calls it version 5, but you know that goes, I mean really, what’s the difference between a Neptune and STV Vivi?

So anyway, I immediately filled that bad boy up with my current eLiquid Flavor and I’ve been vaping it like crazy. John and Tom are so impressed with it they are seriously considering branding them with our logo and selling them here on Spinfuel. Anyone have any thoughts about that?

Feedback: If Spinfuel decided to offer a few products that we absolutely adore, like a Vivi with our logo on it, or some very special eLiquids that we’ve fallen in love with, would you consider buying from Spinfuel? Do you think this is a proper role for Spinfuel or should we stick with strictly publishing? If we offered a few products that we’ve reviewed and found to be amazingly good, would you mind that we offered it for sale?

Future Projects?

We are already reviewing two other eLiquid brands as I type this (well, one at a time of course), and we have 2 others ready to go to the next step. I think you’re going to love what’s coming up.

There is also a secret project we’re working on that I keep telling John we should announce NOW, but he insists we’re not exactly ready to do it. I hope it’s soon because I am really excited about it.

The Giveaway by Mountain Oak Vapors (and Spinfuel) ends today… at some point. The prizes, a Joyetech eVic and 3 bottles of eLiquid is a fantastic prize and we’re looking forward to picking a winner and having Mountain Oak Vapors send it out to the lucky winner.

Feedback: We use RaffleCopter as our Giveaway gateway. Tweeting or “liking” our Facebook page, or making a comment or posting in the forum earns entries. Some people have expressed their dissatisfaction with this type of Giveaway. What are your thoughts on it? Do you mind this goal-oriented method or do you think we’re asking too much?

Which reminds me… Giveaways – I love doing giveaways. I think they do a lot of good for the vaping community, the companies who products are given away, and the company that does the giveaway. It’s a win-win-win-win situation so we’re not stopping anytime soon. But, while we did have a daily eLiquid giveaway going in the Spinfuel Forum we stopped it this week because it was becoming a situation where the resources, the eLiquid, could be used in a more productive way. The number of new people signing up for the forum and actually making a post dropped off considerably.

Feedback – I wish there was a magical way to turn our Spinfuel Forum into a huge success but so far the forum as been a place for a handful of loyal, great people, to come and hang out while the vast majority of Vapers ignore it. If you guys have any ideas on how to make the forum a more popular place please let us know. This forum is my baby, I insisted that we have one, and its looking like we’ve peaked and I hate that! So, ya know, ideas would be wonderful!

Personal Side – Snow!

All our friends and family in New Hampshire are going to be bombarded with what some are calling the “worst blizzard in history” tonight and tomorrow. This scares me to death because several friends up there are blowing it off like its no big deal and it is a BIG deal.

After being down here in Florida for a year now I can see the New England weather more clearly than my friends that live up there can. When you live there you have this sort of “I’m a New Englander, this is nothing” mentality. They drive in the snow and the ice, and they never think about the black ice that covers so much of the back roads up there. I am so nervous about this storm its like I’m there and not here where its warm and dry.

Feedback: According to our analytics we have a ton of readers up there, so if you’re reading this how are you handling this upcoming storm? How would you feel if I asked you to send photos of the storm with your smartphone so I could post them? You’ll get full credit for the photos and if I like them enough, and they are real photos of this storm, I’ll send you some eLiquid to vape in memory of the “Biggest Snowstorm in History”. How about it? Send your storm photos to “jbarnes AT spinfuel Dot Com”.

Movies, Books, etc. – There hasn’t been a lot of time for personal stuff in the last week, but there has been a little. Keira and I saw “The Hobbit” and loved it. I finally finished Hugh Howey’s “Second Shift” (the Silo Series, part of the WOOL universe), and just as I had finished someone told me about “Third Shift”, so I picked that up at the iTunes Bookstore ($2.99!) and will start it over the weekend if I have time. I probably will because I’ll worry so much about the snow storms back home I won’t be able to concentrate on writing much.

Feedback: Have you read any of the WOOL universe books? If so, what do like about them?

And Finally…

The Spinfuel Newsletter comes out today, our third issue! The Newsletter has been a big success so far. I love doing it, and it is reaching more and more people. If you haven’t yet subscribed you should. In addition to exclusive content we do a couple of cool giveaways in each issue.

There is nothing to enter, no hoops to jump through. If you subscribe you are entered, every time. As we put the finishing touches on the Newsletter we run a random number generator and match that number up with the subscriber number (when you subscribe the database assigns you a number.) If your number comes up you win, just as easy as that.

This time we’re giving away a cool 777 eCigs Starter Kit and 3 Bottles of Ginger’s eJuice, each one a 30ML bottle of Vanilla Sunrise or Blueberry Streusel, or Vanilla Iced Cupcake. Not a bad way to cop some free juice! That means there is FOUR (4) Giveaways in today’s Issue!

So, there you go. I’m called this the Feedback Issue, so please, take a few minutes and leave some comments on the topics I wrote about above.

With your feedback we can make Spinfuel even better. Since November Spinfuel has been the largest read, most talked about Vaping eMagazine, and January was a record-shattering month for us in pageviews and visitors, and we want to keep that going month after month after month.

Tell us how we can do that. Tell what you want to see. Tell us what you like, what you don’t like, and so on. Spinfuel is YOUR Vaping magazine. Help us make it even better.

Julia Barnes
February 8, 2013