August 22, 2005
This post is the third in a series of interviews with TypePad engineers describing the new features in TypePad, how to use them, and what motivated us to develop these features. Many of these features were developed as part of our recent Scratchathon.
Mark Paschal on the new Notes TypeList.
Q: What do you do at Six Apart?
A: I'm a general software developer on TypePad, so I design and write code to implement new features and fix bugs.
Q: What feature did you develop for the “scratchathon??
A: I built Notes TypeLists.
Q: What is the Notes TypeList and what can I do with it?
A: You can use the Notes TypeList to add any note, badge, or piece of HTML code to your sidebars without using advanced templates. Because it's a TypeList, not only can you post badges and content easily, but subscribers who use third-party services like MyBlogLog can now easily add sidebar content from those services.
To add a Notes TypeList to your weblog, visit the TypeLists tab. In the "Create a new TypeList" sidebar, select "Notes" for the list type and enter the name for your list. Use the "Add a new item" option, and paste your badge or bit of HTML into the "Note" field. That's it!
It's especially nice to use a TypeList instead of a separate kind of sidebar content or advanced templates, because then it shares our full Atom API support for TypeLists. That way programs you use outside TypePad can post content to your sidebars. (I wrote the “Shuffling Atom? article for the Six Apart Professional Network about building tools for posting to sidebars with the Atom API.)
With the Notes TypeList, it's even easier to post custom content like badges to your weblog.
Q: What motivated you to build this feature?
A: We've heard from a lot of people who have wanted an easier way of adding sidebar content, like the custom product links and pictures from Flickr I post to my Nintendo DS weblog. It's great that TypePad subscribers have been ingenious enough to use the Link TypeList for posting badges, but I wanted to make it easier with a simpler TypeList just for posting badges and HTML – and now you can!
 Badge: a badge is a button, image or link that you place on your sidebar to show your readers the causes, communities, and events you are interested in.