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Posts from October 2009

Happy Halloween from your Community Manager. <3

It's Friday. It's almost Halloween. Let's blog about fun stuff, shall we? How about our latest TypePad Motion site: mmmeow?

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Join today to share your love for cuteness. And we're platform-agnostic when it comes to cute. Our favorite micro-dog has her own Microblog!

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While I'm telling stories and talking community:

Once upon a time about a month ago, we had a bug. The bug was not fun. The bug happened as a holiday weekend began. The bug caused a group of Angry Knitting Bloggers™ to take to the virtual streets and let us know in no uncertain terms that they were unhappy about it. As your intrepid community manager, I rolled up my sleeves, shooed my dinner guests from my laptop, and started talking, typing, commenting, blogging: everything I could do to listen, react, and change the situation for the better. It took a while. Sometimes, being front and center in front of people? It's a challenge, no doubt.

Once everyone was mostly happy again, I thought to ask one community member, Cookie, of Shut Up and Knit, if she had any ideas for something durable-yet-adorable that I could wear over my bike gloves for "lady-biking" through the city. SF has lots of microclimates (hot one moment, cold the next) and bike gloves can have a lot of ugly.

Lo and behold, I had a package on my desk with the PERFECT pair of pink hand-knit bike gloves.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I blogged about using social media to create social change. I saw the kitty-cat hat from blogger Soper of Uterine Wars and couldn't get it out of my head. So I bought it for her fundraiser, but also because HELLO? HALLOWEEN IS CATURDAY!

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: the blogger-powered outfit I biked to work in today (while making Tuff Bike Face the whole time, of course):


Seriously, you guys in the TypePad community are the best. Thanks for making my job, my day, and my outfit. Rock out!

This Week's Release: Bug Fixes, Beta, Share Comments on Facebook and more!

This week, we've made some cool new features available for everyone. We've made some dashboard improvements, like editing posts directly from the dashboard.

One of the most requested feature improvements was adding author profile photos to post. This is especially nice for blogs with lots of authors, and adds that special visual impact to your blogging.

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To add more cool stuff (like Favorites and Tweet This!) to the bottom of your posts, click on "design", then "content", and edit the "post footer" options.

We've fixed a lot of bugs with this release as well. Thanks to those of you who hung in there through some slowness and commenting issues in the past couple of days. If you're still seeing those issues, please let our TypePad One support team know by opening a help ticket. 

Other fixes of note:

  • Improving post by email: we've got great ways to post on the fly, and posting by email is straightforward and simple.
  • Images: we had reports of borders being cropped out in the wrong places. This is fixed.
  • Auto-Save: now it's more clear what's being recovered in the unfortunate case that you lose a post.

Take a sneak peek at our newest theme for our Beta testers after the jump!

Continue reading "This Week's Release: Bug Fixes, Beta, Share Comments on Facebook and more!" »

Two Upcoming Typepad Motion Events in NYC

About a month ago we introduced Typepad Motion and opened up the Typepad API. Motion is the first client for our cloud service and we're pretty jazzed about it. So much so that we want to do more than just send you to the documentation — we want to show you the service in person.

On Friday, we invite everyone and anyone to join us in the Six Apart New York offices to learn more about how these new technologies work. We'll be installing Motion and answering your questions about the platform. We'll also have a video conference set up with members of the team who developed Motion and the API.

If you've been curious about Motion, this will be a direct, informal way to voice your questions and reactions. It should also be a lot of fun (in addition to being informative). :) We hope to see you there!

When: Friday, October 30th from 3-5pm
Where: Six Apart NYC (38 W. 21st St., 7th Floor)
What: Lots of developers, snacks and pizza

Does the 30th not work for you? We'll also be giving a more formal presentation on Motion at the next Django-NYC Meetup on November 10th. Please visit the Meetup site for more info and to RSVP.

How blogging can change your life: Susannah Conway explains.

Hearing about the amazing ways blogging has changed people's lives is one of the best things about Susannah conway
working on TypePad. Incredible stories of breakthrough, success, connections, new friends, discoveries and much more.

One story I love is Susannah Conway's, which she kindly agreed to share with us along with some tips and tricks for others.

Susannah started her first blog in 2006. She had lost her partner a year prior and had moved to a new city, and she began blogging as a way to connect with others, discover herself more deeply, and heal.

Fast-forward three years. Susannah’s blog,Ink On My Fingers, has a devoted following around the world and has spawned a series of online courses called Unravelling that are now Susannah’s primary business. “I’ve always been a very personal blogger,” Susannah explains. “My blog is about the intersection between life, photography, and healing. The courses were a natural extension of that – taking my own experience and using it to help others.”

A skilled photographer and writer, Susannah’s blog is not only gorgeous, but is also a treat to read. Her posts feel like letters from a friend – warm, chatty and intimate. She writes candidly about her life, and her transparency has fostered a sense of community and trust with her readers.
When she launched the Unravelling courses in January of 2009, she set up a separate private TypePad blog, where participants can access course material and interact with each other. “People form friendships during the courses,” Susannah says. “They often stay in touch afterwards.” In less than a year, Unravelling has attracted participants from over 25 countries, and has turned into Susannah’s full-time job. “The success was unexpected,” she muses. “I’m really delighted; I’m on my path here, and it’s so nice to mix my passions together as a business.”

Susannah kindly shared with us how she builds her blog traffic and provided some key tips for other bloggers:

Susannah’s Methods for Building Blog Traffic

-    Building relationships with other bloggers. Susannah regularly reads and comments on other blogs, and spends time building relationships online. “Connecting with others is absolutely vital,” she says.
-    Featuring other artists on her blog. Susannah runs features on other photographers, designers, and artists, which expands her blog focus beyond herself and adds a rich layer of content that readers value.
-    Giving back to the blog community. Susannah often participates in giveaways on design and photography blogs, offering photographs from her Etsy store as a way to raise her own visibility and contribute to the culture of sharing in the blogosphere. She also frequently links to other blogs – giving back in another way.

Susannah’s Tips for Other Bloggers

-    Be yourself. “Don’t waste time trying to copy other bloggers,” she says.
-    Be authentic. How much you choose to reveal about yourself is up to you, but readers can always sense whether you’re being real or not.
-    Check your grammar, spelling and punctuation. “There’s nothing worse than reading a post by someone claiming to give business advice and finding all sorts of spelling and punctuation errors,” Susannah says. “Craft your posts well, and take pride in your work.”
-    Have a good "About" page, and give people a clear way to contact you.
-    Keep it simple. Don’t clutter up your sidebar with every widget that has ever existed. Keep the focus on your content.
-    Use images to add interest. If you don’t have your own photos, use some good stock photography images to keep your blog interesting.
-    Focus on a few social media sites to grow your readership. Don’t try to join everything – it spreads you too thin. Focus on 2 or 3 that deliver value to you – such as Twitter and Facebook – and use them well.
-    Remember that your blog is your home online. Of all the activities you do online, your blog should be your top priority.  Contribute worthwhile content everywhere you go, but put your best into your blog.

We’re so glad Susannah took the time to chat with us – and we hope you’ll discover her blog if you haven’t already: Ink On My Fingers.

Let us know how blogging has changed your life in the comments below.

Customers can book appointments on your TypePad blog with BookFresh

Ever spent all day making and amending appointments instead of completing the work you had scheduled? Although we love it, talking to customers, can be a time consuming affair and few of us can afford the luxury of a receptionist or PA to straighten our diaries.

Enter BookFresh. BookFresh is essentially a virtual receptionist on your blog. The widget syncs with yourBookfresh  
calendar to show an up-to-date view. It allows customers to book an appointment at a free time, even enabling  them to prepay for appointments in advance via PayPal. BookFresh then contacts you wherever you are to make sure that time works.

The kind people at BookFresh have made a "Mini Widget" especially for the side bar of TypePad blogs. To seal the deal they then threw in a 50% discount on BookFresh accounts for TypePad customers - just for good measure!

So the next time a customer comes by your site, help them take the next step themselves and book an appointment with you via BookFresh, instead of leaving empty handed.

If you are a small business using TypePad as your website make sure you check out all the great partner functionality that we have been integrating with TypePad, to help you save time and make money.

To find the widgets go to the small business section in the TypePad Widget Gallery 

Using blogs and social media for change

Il_430xN.93551368We've been posting a lot lately about ways to do good things for others through your blog, and before we get to our wrap-up on Blog Action Day, here's three other people in our community who are generating good through their blog.

One TypePad blogger is raising money via her blog and selling handmade items in her Etsy store for Ichthyosis, a rare skin disease. 

Moonpie was born with a rare skin disorder called "Non-Bullous Congenital Ichthyosiform Erythroderma" (say that ten times fast!).  It is a form of Ichthyosis, a family of skin conditions that are characterized by dry, flaking, itchy skin. 

Because Ichthyosis is rare, we are dependent on grassroots fund raising to seek new treatments (and, hopefully, one day an effective gene therapy).  Last year my blog readers reached out and donated $725!  Internationally, the grassroots fund raisers raised over $30,000 last year. 

2798583718_56626fb57dAnother cool use of blogs and social media for change is our friend Drew Olanoff, who uses the Twitter hashtag #blamedrewscancer to raise awareness. His  campaign got the attention of Lance Armstrong and LiveStrong, and when Drew offered to auction his Twitter name for charity:

"My last treatment is Nov. 2nd.  A week before my birthday, Nov. 9th.  So I decided to put my Twitter name (@Drew) up for auction hoping to raise some money to give to LIVESTRONG for my birthday.  This is the foundation that has been by my side since my diagnosis.

So we went forward and Drew Carey (@DrewFromTV) got wind of the auction.  The starting bid was $10,000.  A huge amount in my mind.  He took it further with a starting bid of $25,000.  And then minutes later threw in a curveball.  If he got 100,000 followers by auction end (Nov 9th), his bid would turn into $100,000.


And then the bombshell yesterday.  If he gets 1,000,000 (one million) followers by the end of THIS YEAR, December 31st, he will donate $1,000,000 (one million dollars) to LIVESTRONG. (watch the video with Shira Lazar here!)"


Another longtime TypePad blogger, The Assertive Cancer Patient ("living with cancer, and an attitude") wants to keep her blog ad-free, but still make her living by writing about what it's like to live with cancer and treatment. She also makes some great handmade jewelry.

Finally, a roundup of the people who participated in Blog Action Day - a HUGE thank you to everyone who blogged for climate change. Some of these are TypePad bloggers, some aren't, but everyone gets a huge thank you from us and from the climate. Read the full round up, including a link to the White House's post over here.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Anastasia: Climate Change

Pencil Shavings: Why is it so hard for us, when it's so simple for them?

Midge and Judy: Blog Action Day

A Future and A Hope: Blog Action Day 2009

Bandon Randon: Heating Up

Robin: Some Climate Change Webcasts

The Design Squad

The Holistic Gardener: Agriculture and Climate Change

The Girlie Network (and her farmer's market purchases look great!)

Karinna Z: Go Green One Bite at a Time

The Word of the Deranged Writer: Character Change against Climate Change

Mindbringer for his excellent comment.

Sharing my Castle In The Clouds: Time Well Spent Helps Suburbanites reduce their carbon footprint

SF Django Meetup @ Six Apart's Office - October 21

Six Apart has embraced Django in a big way with the release of Motion and various other Python projects on GitHub. This month we are hosting the SF Django Meetup at our office in San Francisco, on Wednesday October 21, at 6:30pm. Come by for our presentation on recent contributions to the Django community:

  1. An introduction to Motion. What is it? What can you do with it? Also an introduction to the platform.
  2. Information about the underlying cloud services that Motion is built on, and tips and hints on how you can build your own apps and services on this platform too--all in Python and Django.

If you plan to attend, please confirm your attendance. The meetup starts at 6:30pm at 548 4th Street
San Francisco, CA 94107.

Our New Favorite TypePad Feature

Typepad-profile-favorites-logoBlogging is a fun, social activity. It’s even more fun when you get feedback, so we have added the ability to “Favorite” a post as an option for you and your readers. For your readers, it’s an easy to use, simple, way to give praise and appreciation without having to come up with a witty rejoinder.

How Does it Work?
From a reader’s perspective, the Favorite feature has two main benefits. First, it is a great way to collect your favorite blog posts so you can read, comment or blog about the topic at a later date or share with your Followers. Second, it’s a great way to recognize and give feedback to a blogger for a great article or photo post they created.
For bloggers, Favorite helps you receive feedback and increase your traffic. When your post is recognized as a “Favorite” by a reader, a Favorite update shows up in your TypePad Dashboard, as well as the Dashboard of the person that Favorited your post. (Yes, I know Favorited is not a word. :))  


The Favorite feature is also a great way to drive awareness of you blog and to improve the social media optimization of your blog. When someone adds your blog post as their Favorite list, it will appear on the TypePad Dashboard of everyone that is following them, alerting a new audience to go check out your blog.

How to Add Favorite on Your Blog

Favorite is an optional addition to your blog. For a reader to “Favorite” a post, they will need to sign in using TypePad, Facebook, Twitter, or OpenID.  The Favorite feature will help you build a relationship with your readers and discover other things they are interested in.

To add it to your blog, go to Design > Organize Content > Post Footer > and click “Favorite.”


When your post is Favorited, you’ll receive an email notification. You can manage these updates, go to

So, give it a try and let your readers know about it. We’re sure it will become you a Favorite tool – sorry, had to do it – of your readers. 

Updated to add: want to know how to add Favorites on your Advanced Templates? Check out the step-by-step Knowledge Base article.

And when you see something you like on TypePad, let the blogger know by making it A Favorite.

Release Notes: Comment Improvements, Favorites, and Bug Fixes

This week we focused on a launching a few new features to everyone, launching some design improvements to Beta, and fixing bugs. Here’s a brief description of the some of the most important updates to TypePad this week.

Favorite a Post
Favoriting a post I’ll explain this awesome new feature in my next post, but this is a great way to get more readers, build a community around your blog, and gain insight into your most popular topics. Add it today and get to know what your readers love.

Comment Userpics
Comment userpics – personal pictures or avatars next to a comment – have been a hit since we introduced them to in TypePad Connect. Images help drive community involvement among commenters and help your readers get to know you and each other. We’ve now rolled Userpics out as an option to every TypePad blogger.

If you’re on the standard commenting service (not TypePad Connect), turn it on and try it out.  Go to Settings > Comments > Comment Userpics and click “Show userpics next to each comment.”

Most [Un]Popular Bugs Fixes
Here’s the latest edition of most popular fixes, also known as fixes for the most unpopular bugs.

Comment notifications
Some people were having an issue with comments notifications via email were not being received, particularly Gmail users. Thank you for everyone’s patience and feedback on this issue. Your feedback helped us troubleshoot this very tricky, and annoying, bug. If you’re still having problems, please contact our support team so they can understand the issue.

View all comments from an IP address
We fixed an issue where some members could not view all the comments from a particular IP address.

(Did you know that you could view all comments from an IP address? Go to your comment management screen and check it out.)

Safari Compose

We had some reports of compose and preview issues with the Safari browser. Some users – combination of browser and other issues – were not being warned to save changes before leaving the page. We’ve fixed this alert, protecting you from lost posts.

Thanks to everyone for your feedback and suggestions. Go try out the cool new features and let us know what you think.

Today is Blog Action Day! Blog for Climate Change.

Blog Action Day is every October 15th, when blogger are asked to post something about a single issue to show our strength and conviction as an online community. It's a great way to feel connected to the greater good, and the participation of so many bloggers to support the world's leading non-profit organizations is something you can do to help, right now. By blogging today, you're supporting some of the world's leading non-profits and sharing your voice for change.

This year's topic is climate change, and we'd love to read your thoughts on the topic. If you participate, leave us a link to your post in the comments, and we'll do a roundup of all the posts here on Everything TypePad.

Go to to learn more, get a badge for your blog showing your participation, and see some ideas for your post on climate change.