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Posts from April 2008

Photos from the Web 2.0 Expo & South Park Crawl

The Six Apart staff had a great time meeting everyone during the Web 2.0 Expo, especially during the mini-golf tournament held in our office during the South Park Crawl.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by, and for those of you who couldn't make it, here are some photos:

Nick, Bryan, JoAnn, David and Jane at our Web 2.0 Expo booth:

For the party, 6A staffers Stephane and Rahul doubled as deejays:
Stef Djrahul_2

Everyone ate, drank and played:
Miedrink Guests

Guests enjoyed the creative setups around each stop on the golf course:
Notebook Yann

Just follow the green tape and you could win a prize:
Giraffe_2 Prize

Calipidder stopped by and got a hole in one!

And of course, after it was all over, someone couldn't resist hacking the green tape to make everyone laugh:

We promise no one was harmed during the making of our golf party.  Thanks to Jamison, Garth, Yann, Calipidder and Mark for the photos!

Announcing the Winners of the “What Do You Have To Say” Theme Contest

Update: After the winners of the "What Do You Have To Say?" theme design contest  were announced, it was brought to our attention that the design of one of the winning entries was not an original work, as the contest rules required, so it was not eligible for a prize.  “River at Night" designed by Teresa Jones is now the First Place Winner and “Live and Learn” by Li Kim Goh is now the Second Place winner.  Our judges picked a new Third Place winner: "Vector Drips" by Terri.  The winning themes were selected from 355 entries based on outside voting and an internal judging by Six Apart designers. A People’s Choice Award was also awarded to heythisisnoah's theme “Shiny” which received a total of 1,733 votes.  Congratulations to Terri for joining the winners!


Terri Shiny
We talked to the winners to find out more about their inspiration to enter the contest. Second Place winner Li Kim Goh said that blog design was important “because it draws readers' attention and makes your blog stand out from the millions of other blogs.”  First Place winner Teresa Jones agrees that design brings readers to the ‘essence’ of the blog. She said, “Blog design is that first good impression, and it also usually gives us an idea about the blogger's personality and style. On a lot of occasions too, you get an idea of what kind of content you can expect during your visit...think about it - what good is a cone without the ice cream?”

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest.  The winning designs will be incorporated into TypePad as well as Vox and LiveJournal.  We'll keep you posted here when we add the winning designs to TypePad.  Congratulations again to all of the winners!

Six Apart: A Full Service Company For Bloggers

Since Six Apart was founded six years ago, we've watched the blogosphere expand and the influence of blogs grow exponentially. You've amazed us with where you've taken your blogs, from putting a personal face on big company like Coca-Cola or Amazon, to turning one great idea into a daily destination like Cute Overload.  As your needs and ambitions for your blogs have expanded, you've asked us for even more services to help achieve your goals, building on the great TypePad support that you already love. Since Six Apart is a company by bloggers for bloggers, our mission is to help you achieve blogging success, however you define it.

As we explained at the beginning of this year, 2008 is set to be TypePad's best year ever. And one part of that commitment is that, over the course of this year, we will be expanding our offering to include advertising and services that are designed to make your blog even more successful. 

Here's what to watch for in the coming months:

  • Design and Development Services for power bloggers, media companies and enterprises
  • An Advertising Program that will allow you to make money from your blog, while keeping complete control over what goes on your site
  • Blog Optimization and Tune Up Services that help you get the most impact from your blog, no matter how big or how small you are today

Design & Development
To augment our services offering to our enterprise customers and most influential bloggers, Six Apart has acquired the most accomplished social media design and development shop in the world, Apperceptive. The staff at Apperceptive knows blogging, and has worked with Six Apart customers including Major League Baseball, Huffington Post, Washington Post, Gothamist, and many others to develop beautiful websites with active communities.

Map In addition to forming the core team for Six Apart Services, this acquisition also establishes a New York City office for our company, adding to our locations in San Francisco, Paris and Tokyo. One great result of this new office is that, if you're passionate about blogging, we're hiring in San Francisco and New York!

An Advertising Program Tailor Made for Bloggers
Whether or not you started blogging with the intention to make money, everyone has the desire to devote more time to doing what they love.  Our goal is to make bloggers successful, and to that end, our newly-launched Six Apart Media team has plans to arm bloggers with the capabilities every publisher needs: distribution, web development, SEO and creative services.

The advertising program will offer the same level of freedom and control that TypePad subscribers are used to:

  • You choose if you'd like to monetize your blog; on TypePad we don't put ads on your blog without your permission
  • You have control of what’s on your blog, and the power to accept or reject campaigns and work with our team to build the right solution for you

With this new advertising program, we’re offering a favorable revenue share for the blogger, and the services included in the program are tailor made to bloggers' needs.  We also have the ability to connect bloggers and advertisers in ways no other network or digital media company can.

This advertising program is being launched initially to a select group by invitation only, but don't worry -- additional opportunities to participate over are just around the corner.   

If you’d like to be first in line to get information on how you can take advantage and join the program, sign up for an email notification as soon as we release more information.  The Six Apart Media team is poised to get you started as soon as possible.

Expanding Blog Services
In the coming weeks we will launch a suite of blog optimization and tune up services that will help you maximize the reach of your blog.  These services will be available to all TypePad customers for an additional fee, and will include custom enhancements to your blog such as domain mapping, banner design, feed and subscription setup and more.  Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks and sign up to let us know you're interested.

We've always known that blogging can change lives and change the world, and we continue to innovate and expand to make that happen every day. Today’s announcements are the next step in meeting your evolving needs, as we offer both the technology and the expertise that will give you the chance to be rewarded for your creativity, passion, and influence.  We can't wait to see what this community inspires next.

Got questions? Share them in the comments.

Connecting With TypePad's Amazing Bloggers

So many of us blog to connect, so today we'd like to focus on a few ways we're meeting up and connecting in real life. 

Join Us In San Francisco
If you're attending the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco from April 22nd - 25th, we'd like to invite you to meet up with staffers and fellow bloggers from TypePad and Six Apart.

Web20 Look for Six Apart's booth (location #245) at the Expo, where we'll have some demonstrations of our latest products and services as well as some goodies to give away.  We're holding a drawing to give away 5 Vudu boxes so be sure to stop by our booth!  You can also drop in on Six Apart staffer David Recordon's panel on April 24th from 2:40-3:30pm to hear him speak about Open Platforms in Web 2.0.

On Wednesday, April 23rd, we're participating in the South Park Progressive Party event from 7-10pm where companies and sponsors in and around South Park are hosting parties and opening their offices.  At Six Apart HQ we're hosting a miniature golf party. Come join in the fun to compete for prizes while you eat, drink and network!

  • Will you be attending Web 2.0?  Let us know in the comments.

Speaking of Meetups...
Bossy TypePad member Georgia Getz, author of i am bossy, is in the midst of an amazing road trip across the United States where she's meeting her readers in person.  She's on a mission to meet all her bloggy friends and has already stopped through Tallahassee, Los Angeles, Portland and everywhere in between.  Georgia's latest post is from Rawlins, Wyoming, with miles to go before her trip concludes.

We would have told you about her trip sooner, but we just got wind of it from a great article in the Seattle Post Intelligencer.  Georgia, we're sorry we missed you in San Francisco - drive safely out there and let us know how you're doing!

Read more about Bossy's Excellent Road Trip

  • Has your blog reading or writing inspired an upcoming trip, meetup or event? Let us know in the comments.

And Speaking of Amazing TypePad Bloggers...
Marthapawpaw If you haven't stopped by Martha Stewart's blog on TypePad, you should read her poignant post about the passing of her beloved Chow, Paw Paw

Six Apart co-founder Mena Trott described this post as the birth of Martha Stewart as a true blogger

"It was a real blog post, not something manufactured for a glossy magazine. It was a chronology of Paw Paw's last day. The captions, as written by Paw Paw, were brief and so not about perfection and good things, but about a good life."

Losing a pet is something so many of us can relate to, and sharing our personal triumphs and tragedies is just one of the many ways we all connect through bloggging.  Martha, our hearts are with you during this difficult time.  Visit Martha's truly up close & personal blog, and leave your condolences in the comments to her post.

A New Facebook Application: Blog It Powered by TypePad

Raise your hand if, in addition to your TypePad blog, you write and post about your life or business to several other places online. Yes, we all do it too. To make all this posting across the web even easier, Six Apart has just taken another step in an ongoing effort to create better tools for bloggers, no matter what publishing platform you use.

Blog ItWe’re excited to announce the launch of a brand new Facebook application — Blog It Powered by TypePad. Blog It brings some of the best social aspects of Facebook to blogging, making it easy to blog or micro-blog from within Facebook and let friends and colleagues around the web know what you’re posting. Unlike existing blogging tools within Facebook, Blog It is not limited to any one company’s blogging services, but instead works with nearly a dozen services including Blogger, TypePad, Twitter, Movable Type, Vox, and WordPress.

Blog It also offers the ability to notify friends and colleagues around the web about new posts. When writing a post, you can choose to automatically share it via Twitter and Pownce in addition to the Facebook Newsfeed. While many Facebook applications rely solely on the Newsfeed to share activity, Blog It is unique in that it helps bloggers share what they’re creating with people they know across the web.

A few TypePad users have already previewed the Blog It application to rave reviews. Michael Louie said, “No longer do I need to repetitiously input my updates into each separate social network. With one click from Blog It, all my friends from Facebook, Twitter, and the blog communities know what I’m doing.”

To get started, simply add the Blog It application on Facebook and take a minute to set up your account details — just like any other blogging client. From there you can create new posts and share them with friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pownce, all just by ticking a few extra boxes. Watch this screencast to preview how Blog It works.

Why not give Blog It a try? For more information about Blog It powered by TypePad, please visit

Updates to the PayPal Storefront Widget

Today's guest post comes from John T. Unger.  He's sharing some news about updates to the PayPal Storefront Widget:

When I first wrote about the Paypal Storefront Widget, I called it "the fastest, easiest eCommerce solution for blogs." If you're looking for a quick and easy way to add fully functional eCommerce to your blog (whether selling goods or services) you should definitely give the Storefront Widget a look. The widget works equally well for TypePad blogs using basic or advanced templates. You can add a storefront with a single click by visiting TypePad's Widget Gallery. Or, you can embed as many stores as you like, anywhere you want, by cutting and pasting a snippet of code provided by PayPal at the end of the set-up process. For a list of features and an overview of what the Storefront Widget can do for your blog, please check out my previous articles on Everything TypePad and my own blog TypePad Hacks.

I'm writing about the Storefront Widget again today to tell you about some new features and to congratulate Judy Chang and the PayPal Distributed Payments team on the fantastic effort they've put in to supporting widget users and continuing to improve the widget for everyone.

Here's a list of what's new for the widget:

Multiple Currencies: One of the most-requested features that was missing from the initial release was the ability to sell in currencies other than US Dollars. This has been addressed and you can now configure your store to sell using any of the 17 currencies that PayPal supports.

Product Options: Just like the original PayPal buttons, you can now customize up to two options for a product. For items that might come in different sizes, colors or materials this is certainly handy. Even better, you can now also include a surcharge for certain options if you want to. For instance, if you're selling jewelry, you could set different prices for the same ring done in gold or silver. Or you could use the surcharge to offer upgrades to services.

Inventory Control: For items that have limited quantities, you can now specify the available inventory. This can be broken down further to allow you to set inventory numbers for each item by options or combinations of options (ie: I have 9 red shirts, size xxl and 15 blue shirts, size xxl).

Store Reputation: We all know that favorable feedback from buyers is one of the best ways to increase trust online. Now, customers who buy from your Storefront Widget can provide written feedback and rate your store from 1-5 stars. Only one rating per transaction is allowed and buyers must provide the invoice ID that PayPal generates in order to leave feedback.

Shipping Options: Originally, shipping had to be included in the sale price. The obvious drawback to this approach is that it makes items look more expensive. Although the widget does not yet include a way to automatically generate shipping costs, the PayPal team has called attention to a clever hack developed by sellers using the widget: You can add shipping fees to your storefront and have buyers select the proper shipping rate as an item based on the order subtotal. This is still an imperfect solution for some situations, but should prove useful for many sellers.

Here's what the updated widget looks like in action:

For a more comprehensive overview of features and benefits, visit my PayPal Storefront review at TypePad Hacks. If you'd like to compare the widget to several dozen other eCommerce options that can be integrated with TypePad please check out my article: Blogs as Stores: A Comprehensive Overview of eCommerce Solutions for Bloggers.

-- John T. Unger

Reminder: Final Days to Enter the “What Do You Have To Say” Theme Contest

Hpcontestsite Designers, you have just two days left to submit your theme in the "What Do You Have To Say?" theme design contest. Be sure to upload your entry by Friday, April 4th at 5 PM PDT!  The top three winners, as selected by the panel of judges, will receive a cool prize:

  • First Place: $1000 gift certificate from Hewlett Packard
  • Second Place: $500 gift certificate from Hewlett Packard
  • Third Place: $300 gift certificate from Hewlett Packard

Community voting stays open for an extra week until April 11th, so make sure you have your say by voting for all of your favorite designs.  We’ll announce all the winners at the end of April. 

Visit the "What Do You Have To Say?" theme design contest site to read all the details, submit your theme and vote for your favorites

Happy April Fool's Day!

We decided to spare our TypePad members from any April Fool's ideas we might have dreamed up, but there are still plenty of shenanigans going on at Six Apart HQ (photos courtesy of Garth Webb).

Here's what Ben Trott, our co-founder and CTO, found when he arrived at his office this morning:


After he wedged his way inside the office, he attempted to sit at his desk to get some work done:


That really wasn't, er, working, so he had no choice but to let the balloons spill out into the hall:


And share the fun with everyone else.


Did you get fooled today?  Tell us about it in the comments!