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Favorite Blogs: Geek and Poke

June 16, 2009

6a00d83451fd0a69e200e54f9672cc8833-800wi Geek and Poke is a blog/comic strip about the slings and arrows of working in the tech world. 

Want to know what it is that geeks love? Or think about how the Facebook generation interacts on the playground?

There's a cool slideshow, interesting graphics, and a whizbang “geo counter” that shows where everyone is posting from, all over the world.

Visit Geek And Poke.

Announcing the Week One & Two Winners of the "Green by Design" Contest

June 15, 2009

Two weeks ago, we told you about the “Green by Design” contest sponsored by One Million Acts of Green brought to you by Cisco.

Today, we’re happy to announce the winners of Weeks One and Two!

Haven’t submitted your eco-friendly badge yet? It's not too late! The contest is going on for another two weeks, so there’s still plenty time for you to send in your design. Learn more about how to enter.

Now, without further ado… The winners!

Week One Winner:

Martin Holland: Our Everyday Earth

MartinHolland

Add this badge to your blog.

Week Two Winner:

Update: The original winner was disqualified, which makes our Runner-Up, Teresa Fields, the first-prize winner. Congratulations, Teresa!

Badge_litter

Add this badge to your blog.

First-prize winners receive a one-year subscription to MailStopper, a junk mail mail stopper service provided by Tonic. Plus, we will donate $150 to a charity of their choice. (For a list of charitable organizations the winner can choose to donate to, please see the contest rules.)

Show your readers how green you are by adding one of the winning badges to your blog. Read the instructions here.

Each badge links to the One Million Acts of Green brought to you by Cisco website. One Million Acts of Green is a collaborative environmental campaign encouraging everyone to go green. One act at a time. The goal? One million acts of green!

Plus, when these badges receive a million impressions, Six Apart will donate $1000 to The Climate Project.

Congratulations to our winners. Keep those submissions coming! 

Question of The Day comes to TypePad

June 12, 2009

We’ve been hard at work on features for TypePad that help you and your blog connect to your community. We’re adding in a favorite community feature from our sister service Vox: Question of the Day, making you (and your creativity) a feature in TypePad.

Screenshot QotD is one of the most fun aspects of blogging on Vox. It creates an innovative, interesting connection from you and your blog to your readers. As we're launching it today, it's exactly the same feature you see on Vox. However, we want your input to make this a feature you love in TypePad, too – so let us know what you think would make it even better in TypePad. Currently, you can see QotD answers from your fellow bloggers on blogs.com, increase your blog's traffic, and discover new ways to spark your creativity.

I’ve liked QotD the most when I need to break out of writer's block. Through exploring and answering Question(s) of the Day on Vox, I've found tons of good new books to read, laughed at stories from complete strangers, and learned things about my friends that I never would have otherwise. As one Voxer puts it: "I get excited by the chance to be more creative, to tell a new story."

Just as in Vox, QotD's in TypePad are suggested by everyone: you, me, our editorial team, and by some of our favorite bloggers around the web. The questions range from current events, to thought-provoking, to just plain silly.

If you’re familiar with Vox already, you might know that occasionally there are sponsored QotDs, always with a clear "sponsored by" message.  Our editorial team writes these questions so that they’re relevant to you and your blog. Want to know more about how QotD's are submitted, chosen, and promoted? Here's the FAQ.

We're trying lots of new ways to build your blogging community as part of the vision for where we see blogging going. We want you to tell us: how would you like the QotD to work with your TypePad blog? How would you design the Question of the Day? What's a question you'd ask?

This Week's Update: Blog Footers, bug fixes, and more

June 11, 2009

Hi everyone - this week was a really great one, with the release of some cool new features, as well as some TypePad Connect and other commenting fixes that we've been working hard on. 

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My new favorite is the blog footer: you can add a blog footer quickly and easily now to any standard template blog! This is awesome for so many reasons - giving you more options for navigating through your blog, and more creative options for customizing your blog without using advanced templates or CSS. 

Other highlights include....

  • In your manage “Other Accounts” section, Facebook is now the default, rather than 43 Things. We love 43 Things, too, but you told us it made more sense to have the default be Facebook, so that you can share your blog posts with your network more easily.
  • Guest/Junior Author’s email addresses are now displayed in the Authors page, making management for bigger blogs easier.
  • Improvements to billing administration, making it easier for both you and us to resolve any billing questions.

TypePad Connect:

  • Comments now show HTML - thanks to everyone who participated in our Get Satisfaction forum about how to get this sorted out.
  • Comment counts are now fixed (no longer including deleted or unpublished comments in the total number of comments appearing on a post) 

Previewing the new TypePad:

We fixed a lot of small but important issues that were taking place on the preview of the new design, including some billing fixes, compose issues, and copy updates to help make some actions and activiies more clear. The biggest hurdle we're working on there is still stats - stay tuned for more updates on the Beta blog.

Thanks again for all your feedback - we're looking forward to another great week.

Making The Most of Your TypePad Profile

June 10, 2009

You probably already know that your TypePad account comes with an About page, which can be used to tell people about you and your blog. But did you know that as a TypePad Subscriber or a TypePad Connect user, you can use TypePad Profiles to let the blogosphere know more about your public activity?

Your TypePad Profile is optimized to show off your basic information, any blogs that you contribute to, and your other accounts around the web. Depending on your preferences, it also features your profile photo, a list of your TypePad Blogs, and direct links to social networking services that you have added, like FaceBook, Del.icio.us, and Twitter. Your most recent Twitter update will even display as your current Status on your TypePad Profile.

Editprofile Tpcprofile

Your profile also features your activity around TypePad, such as recent blog posts and comments, so it's easy for your friends and followers to keep up with what you are involved in. Your unique profile URL can also be used as an OpenID on other sites, services and blogs, so it's a great way to promote yourself when leaving comments!

Ready to get started? You'll find an excellent guide to setting up your TypePad Profile in our Knowledge Base!

Don't Forget to Enter the "Green by Design" Contest!

June 05, 2009

The first week of the "Green by Design" badge contest is almost over, but it's not too late to submit your entry!

Cisco-Badge-Contest-Ad To enter, all you have to do is create a Green Badge with an earth-friendly design and/or message. We will choose one grand prize winner each week during the month of June. The winner's design will be featured on Everything TypePad for bloggers to put on their blogs, as well as on blogs across Six Apart Media's advertising platform.

This contest is sponsored by One Million Acts of Green brought to you by CiscoOne Million Acts of Green is a collaborative environmental campaign encouraging everyone to go green. One act at a time. The goal? One million acts of green because, as we all know, we’re more powerful together than we can ever be apart.

Learn more about how to enter the contest and don't forget to record your Acts of Green on the One Million Acts of Green website.

Gallery Furniture: Building Connections with Customers

June 05, 2009

When most people think of blogs, they think of them as a great way for people to keep in contact with one another and share their life with friends and families. While this is still true, they've evolved into so much more, especially as a way for businesses to get their message across to their customers. They're a great tool for making your company more personal and nowhere is this more apparent than on the blog of Houston business Gallery Furniture.

Ask any Houstonian and almost all of them will be familiar with Gallery Furniture and its owner, Jim McIngvale, affectionately known as Mattress Mack. Thanks to his commercials, everyone knows that Gallery Furniture "really will save you money" and his original store on the North Freeway - in the same location for 28 years - is an icon. Mattress Mack is also known for his charity work, including revitalizing over 130 USO Centers around the world and offering a Christmas Furniture Giveaway every year where furniture is given away to those in need.

On May 21, 2009, the 100,000 square foot warehouse behind the original store caught on fire. It was a gigantic blaze, with over 150 firemen struggling to keep it contained for two and a half hours. Fortunately, no one was injured, not even Post Oak the calf that had a pen in front of the store and the four macaws that live in the showroom, though one of the macaws did need to be revived by the Houston Fire Department. The damage is estimated to be between $15 million and $20 million dollars.

Gallery_furnitureEver since this tragedy, Gallery Furniture has been posting pictures and stories to their official blog to keep Houstonians informed how the rebuilding effort is going. The posts have also included inspirational stories of the outpouring of goodwill that Houston has directed towards the company. They've shared stories of school children sending in handmade cards. A high school choir group raised money to assist Mattress Mack, but he insisted that the money instead be given to Peace of Mind Foundation, a local charity. A young boy named Logan showed up at the store and refused to leave until the money he'd been saving for an iPod Touch was taken as a donation for the employees. This money was also given to charity and Matress Mack bought Logan an iPod Touch and iTunes gift certificate to thank him for his generosity. The comments have also been filled with messages from readers who want to let the Gallery Furniture family know that they are behind them.

While the fire was certainly a tragedy, Gallery Furniture has made their TypePad blog a place not only for the community to stay informed of what is going on, but to put a human face on their corporation. TypePad is a great tool for making sure your own company is more than just a faceless entity, allowing your customers to see the human side of your business and connect with you on a deeper level.

What's Your Biggest Blogging Tip? (Here's One of Ours)

June 04, 2009

31dbbb2  What is your biggest blogging tip? Tell us in the comments below and you might win more tips than you'll know what to do with!


We asked the ultimate problogger, Darren Rowse of Problogger.net for one of his juiciest blogging tips. He's co-author of the book Problogger: Secrets to a Six Figure Income and has just released a workbook with 31 exercises for bloggers to help them improve their blogs, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog.

Here's an excerpt from the workbook:


Ever Run Out of Things to Write About on Your Blog?

If your answer is yes, you’re not alone. One of the biggest challenges facing bloggers with blogs that have been around for longer than a few months is to come up with fresh content on a regular basis.

The key with this process is not to put yourself under pressure to come up with completely new and out-of-the-blue ideas for every post you write. Instead, this process taps into what you’ve recently written on your blog and helps you to identify ways to extend those ideas.

The beauty of this is that you actually end up building a sense of momentum on your blog, where your posts build upon and relate to what you’ve previously written rather than just writing a collection of posts that fail to grow in any one direction. Here’s the mind mapping method that I’ve used:

Continue reading "What's Your Biggest Blogging Tip? (Here's One of Ours)" »

Widgets: add the Etsy mini-widget to your sidebar

June 03, 2009

Picture 1We love guest stars here on Everything TypePad, especially when they're telling us how to do more cool stuff with our blogs. Here's a guest post on how to add the Etsy mini-widget to your blog, from one of our favorite bloggers, Sara, who blogs at All Things Girls Can TellWhat I Did With My Summer Vegetables. Take it away, Sara! 

Do you have a Typepad blog, love Etsy.com and want to include an Etsy mini widget (or three) in your sidebar?

1. Once you have the java script all cut and copied from your Etsy account for your Etsy mini (you can find it under "Promote" when you're logged in, under "Your Etsy"), go to Typelists in your Typepad behind-the-scenes screen (your dashboard when you're logged in). Click "create a new Typelist".
2. Choose "link" as the type of list you'd like to create.
3. Name your fancy new list (I call mine "currently at Etsy", but by all means, be more creative than that).
4. Now choose which page you'd like to display it on - your blog page, your about page, etc.  
5. Click on this new Typelist, and paste the javascript code you grabbed from Etsy into "link title" and then save it. (Leave the other fields blank).
6. Once that's accepted, you need to click to "edit your current design" (in the "Weblogs" tab).
7. First click "select content" to add it to your sidebar content.
8. Then click "order content" to arrange your sidebar items as you wish (most likely prominently displaying your fabulous Etsy Mini). It's all pretty drag and droppy, so have fun with it.

Once that's all done, you need to republish for it to appear. You can see how it looks all pretty and finished right here on my little blog. Rock it!

Simple changes that can make a big difference

June 02, 2009

I_discover_typepad_services Sometimes a few small changes can make a big difference for your blog. Adding an email subscription option means that many more people may be notified when you update your blog and will come back to read your new posts. Displaying social bookmarking tools beneath each post via FeedFlares allows readers to share your posts with others, drawing more attention and traffic to your blog. A favicon, the small icon that appears next to the URL in the address bar of your browser and in browser bookmarks, strengthens your visual branding, bringing your blog to mind when people see the favicon. The more memorable your blog is, the more likely people are to keep coming back to it.

These are just three of the nearly 30 tips and recommendations our Blog Tune-Up Service provides for you. Whether you would like to improve your blog to get more readers, but aren't sure where to start, or if you would like to have somebody else take care of tweaking your blog design and features so you can concentrate on writing great content, the Tune-Up Service has you covered! Sign up now!

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