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Posts from October 2008

Connect your blog to your LinkedIn profile with Blog Link

Whether you're searching for someone to hire, or for someone to hire you, you're likely gathering information both from LinkedIn profiles and also from personal and professional blogs.  You've worked hard to establish your personal brand via your blog, so it makes sense to showcase it right on your professional profile.  The TypePad team that brought you Blog It has created an application to bring your blog and your LinkedIn profile together:  Blog Link powered by TypePad.

Blog Link is a free, easy-to-use application that allows you to connect your blog to your LinkedIn profile.  The application displays a feed of your latest blog posts right into your profile, so you can extend your personal brand even further by sharing  your thoughts and insights with your professional network on LinkedIn.

One of the best aspects of LinkedIn is the network you can build, and Blog Link has you covered there as well.  The "Your Network" tab in the application shows the most recent blog posts of people in your network, automatically finding their blogs as listed in their “Websites” list on their profile.  And as more of your contacts add the Blog Link application, your own latest posts show up in more places.  It's another great way to broaden and enhance your network on LinkedIn.

Blog Link is powered by TypePad, and it supports all blog platforms, including TypePad, Movable Type, Vox, Wordpress.com, Wordpress.org, Blogger, LiveJournal, and many more.  To learn more, visit  typepad.com/bloglink and add the application to your LinkedIn account today.

For a demo and more details on BlogLink, watch the video with David Recordon. David's our Open Technologies Lead, who's known for leading efforts around OpenID and OpenSocial, which powers LinkedIn Applications.


Q. How will I know when I'm on the new TypePad?

A number of you have written in to ask how you can tell whether or not your account's been upgraded to TypePad's new, next-generation platform. We've added an easy way to check. Just sign in to your account and click the TypePad logo to go to the home page (aka the "dashboard"). If you see a message like this you're on the new TypePad:

New_platform_2

If you don't see the message, hang tight. As Ben explained in his post, moving accounts to the new system is a complex task, and we want to be sure we doing things carefully and methodically so you'll see little or no disruption to your service.


Updating your blog's design is now faster & easier

A few months our co-founder Ben Trott explained that we’re migrating TypePad to a next generation platform and that after the switch, we’ll be able to release innovative features much faster. Most recently, we've been working on improvements to the Design screens. Those of you in the Beta program have already been testing them and your feedback has been very helpful as we've put the final touches on these features. Now time to start rolling them out for all TypePad members. (If you want to know more about the Beta program, you can learn all about it on the Beta blog.)

A faster and easier Theme Picker and Theme Builder

We know how important it is that your blog's theme reflect your personal style, whether you've chosen from one of our hundreds of built-in themes, or use the Theme Builder to create your own. To make changing your theme faster and easier, we're introducing a new Theme Picker and Theme Builder. Hans-Joerg Stangor who writes the TypePad blog ME über IT, has been testing it with us, is extremely excited about it:

“Theme Picker: Brilliant and finally it is very fast to choose a design. Theme Builder: Love it!”. It’s now dead easy to pick a theme or to create a new one! Try it by yourself, by clicking on “Design” and them “Themes”.

To try it for yourself, go to Design > Theme and chose from either the Theme Builder or One Click theme list:

Typepad_new_theme_picker

A single place to select, modify and arrange sidebar modules

Many of you have asked that we make it easier to select and arrange your blogs sidebar modules and other content by letting you select and arrange them in a single place. Now, we've done just that. The new Content screen lets you see all of your option in a single glance, and configure and arrange modules with just a few simple clicks. To try it out, go to Design > Content:

Typepad_new_content_screen

Easier Advanced Template editing

You may notice that we've replaced the "Convert to Advanced" feature with the ability to start from a generic Advanced Template set. We made this change for a number of reasons, primarily to make it easier for you to get started customizing your template. Based on your feedback, we’ve removed the hidden configuration steps and tags. All the code is exposed to you to simplify making changes and we've launched a new site with detailed documentation on template tags.

There are more improvements to Advanced Templates coming soon, including additional Advanced Templates to start from, the oft-requested import and export function and much more.

 

There is a small group of you whose blogs are still in the process of being migrated to the new platform (we want to make sure we make the transition as smooth as possible for you) but we should be on track, as Ben predicted, to have everyone on the new platform by the end of the year.


New! Add a horizontal navigation bar to your blog

Today, we started rolling out the ability to add a horizontal navigation bar to your blogs (one of your top requests!). It’s dead easy to configure and can make your blog much easier to navigate. Look at how our own Michael Sippey used it on his blog:

Horizontal_navigation_on_blog_3

To set this up on your own blog, go to Design > Content and select the navigation bar and click the pencil on the right:

Navigation_bar_pencil_2

This feature will be made available to all users on the new platform over the coming week.

There is a small group of you whose blogs are still in the process of being migrated to the new platform (we want to make sure we make the transition as smooth as possible for you) but we should be on track, as Ben predicted, to have everyone on the new platform by the end of the year.

Update 2008-10-29: This Knowledge Base article explains how to use CSS to customize the style of the navigation bar.


Continuing TypePad's 5th Anniversary Celebration

As we continue to celebrate TypePad's 5th Anniversary throughout October, we wanted to fill you in on the ongoing activities.

Kandj Many of you have sent in your inspiring stories that we continue to showcase on the Celebrating 5 Years of TypePad page: from Katherine and Jon who met through their TypePad blogs and are now engaged to be married, to several successful business consultants, to mother of two Tara Frey who blogged her bliss all the way to a book deal.  Chantal Hubert, whose blog is approaching its own fifth birthday, even wonders if blogging might be a bit therapeutic.  You can read all their stories, in their own words, and submit your own stories and photos on the Celebrating 5 Years of TypePad page.

We're also celebrating here at TypePad HQ in San Francisco with a fun get together next Thursday, October 30th.  It's a casual gathering with Six Apart staff and bloggers on TypePad, Movable Type and Vox for snacks, music, meeting fellow bloggers and sharing stories.  If you'd like to join us, please RSVP by emailing your name and blog URL to anniversaryRSVP AT sixapart.com with by October 24th.  Space is limited, so please email us if you're interested in attending and we'll send you the details.


Help Us Celebrate 5 Years of TypePad

Pen_2 October is a big month of birthdays here at Six Apart:  TypePad celebrates five years, while Movable Type turns seven and Vox turns two.  Even future blogger Penelope Trott, daughter of founders Ben and Mena Trott, turned one year old this month! 

To mark TypePad's fifth anniversary, we'd like to celebrate the personal and professional successes you've experienced over the past five years.  In last month's TypePad newsletter, we asked you to share how blogging has changed your life, and we've collected a few of your inspiring stories on our anniversary page: Celebrating 5 Years of TypePad.  On this page you can also browse photos from Six Apart staff and TypePad bloggers.

We're lucky because every day we see how blogging changes and improves people's lives, and now we're thrilled at the chance to share some of these stories with you.  Whether you're new to TypePad or you're old school, you can't help but feel good when you hear how bloggers have achieved their goals and dreams. 

Do you have a story or photo to share?  It's not too late to get in on the fun.  Submit your stories and/or photos and we'll update the anniversary page throughout the month.  You can also celebrate on your own blog by grabbing the birthday badge widget below.

Powered by TypePad

Or, copy and paste this code:

<a href="http://www.typepad.com/about/celebrating-5-years-of-typepad.html">
<img src="http://www.typepad.com/images/promos/badge-typepad-5-year.png"
title="Powered by TypePad" alt="Powered by TypePad" border="0" />
</a>

Thanks to everyone who took the time to share their inspiration, and if you haven't shared your story or photos yet, submit them today!


Participate in the 2nd Annual DonorsChoose.org Blogger Challenge

Bchallengelogo

Want to make a difference in the life of a public school teacher and his or her students? Want to contribute to the education of the next generation of bloggers? 

Bchallengehow For the second year in a row, Six Apart is participating in the DonorsChoose.org Blogger Challenge. The challenge starts today and ends on October 31st, and we'd love for you to participate along with us.  Just as we did last year, Six Apart is sponsoring the award for the bloggers who reach the most kids.

The Blogger Challenge is a friendly contest among bloggers to raise money for low-income public schools.  Here’s how it works: teachers from all over the country post items they would like funding for, such as writing supplies for a journalism class, equipment for a science lab, or music instruments for a band class.  Bloggers choose their favorite projects, and link to their challenge page in a post or via a widget on their blog where their readers can donate. The bloggers who raise the most money or reach the most kids will win an award.

Congratulations to the many Six Apart community members who raised a lot of money last year, including NYC-based venture capitalist Fred Wilson of A VC, who raised $18,000 (see Fred's 2008 challenge), and a University of Minnesota biologist at science blog Pharyngula who raised $15,000.  Many more bloggers in the Six Apart family are participating this year, including Finslippy (who promises to reenact Pat Benatar's video for "Love is a Battlefield" in its entirety if she wins), Silicon Valley Moms, and Scienceblogs.com, to name a few.

Here’s how you can participate:

Donors Choose will announce the results in early November, and we’ll reveal the winners of the Six Apart award for bloggers who reached the most kids.

Are you going to accept the Blogger Challenge?  Tell us about it (and link us to it) in the comments!