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Posts from August 2009

CSS Hacking: 1 Column, Sidebars Underneath

If there's one thing I love, it's a good puzzle.

I am completely enamored with the trend of a 1-column blog design and Jim's Journal theme for TypePad is always a favorite. Minimal and spare.

Here's a test blog setup with the 3 Columns, Right layout:


Now let's put the same blog in TypePad's 1-Column Layout: (Design > Layout)


The default 1-column layout keeps the overall width of a theme, and then tucks the all the sidebar and module widgets underneath with the same width as the content.

I want something narrower - and I'd rather have the 2 sidebars underneath the blog content, side-by-side. Let's see how far I can get:

Continue reading "CSS Hacking: 1 Column, Sidebars Underneath" »

Hurricane Katrina 4th Anniversary: Loads of Hope - Velveteen Mind

Sometime last year, I saw an ad for Tide Loads of Hope.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Tide recognized that in times of disaster, people turn to the most basic human needs, like clean clothes.  Ironically, clean clothes aren’t possible when you don’t have power or access to safe water.  The little things that make all the difference when you are looking for a thread to cling to and sometime slip just beyond your grip.

Within weeks of Katrina’s landfall, Tide arrived in New Orleans with their Loads of Hope truck,  a unit housing 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers Tide Loads of Hope Truckcapable of completing 300 loads of laundry a day, and began meeting one of those needs of residents grasping at hope.

The ad I saw mentioned that part of the support for the truck is made possible by purchasing bottles of Tide with the yellow cap.  A loyal consumer of Tide already, I’d never taken the time to notice what that yellow cap meant, but now I would notice.


Velveteen Mind reminds us all of how the fourth anniversary of Katrina affected us all.

Twitter, Improved Categories, Bookmarklet, and more

Blog it!
The "Blog It" bookmarklet is one of my favorite features on the new TypePad. Quickly make a new post, including photos, video, or text without ever having to toggle back into TypePad. Thanks to your feedback, we made some improvements to the feature. Now, you can finish editing a post in TypePad, tweak the design (including changing the order of clippings/commentary), categorize the post, save as draft for later, schedule for future date, and so on. It's slick!

Twitter comment

Comment With Twitter (Twitter OAuth support)
Twitter's a lot of fun, and now your blog's readers can use their Twitter login to leave a comment, along with their Twitter avatar, too.

Sign in with twitterJust click the dropdown, and your comments are already there.

If you're using Twitter, your TypePad account is automagically set up now to share your posts, if you like. (There's a known issue where you'll manually have to update draft and scheduled posts to share them with Twitter, we're fixing that ASAP.) integration
If you're on our beta team, you'll see that we've added to automagically shorten your posts when you share them with Twitter, and then you can also see your stats, right from your TypePad dashboard.

More Bug Fixes and Features of Note:
Comments: We did a ton of work around comments, including a ton of backend stuff you wouldn't be able to see. For people who are blogging with the new TypePad, you can edit, search, and view all comments on a post - all things you've been asking for. We're posting more about this next week in more detail.

  • BIG CATEGORYMade OpenID existing and new accounts show under "Other Accounts"
  • Improved "Forgot Password" flow for OpenID accounts
  • Made categories module expandable - this is a really cool one for those of us with lots of comments: just click the button in the top corner of your categories for an expanded view. 

Have you tried the new TypePad yet? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Do I need a website as well as a blog?

Ever tried to define the difference between a website and a blog? It's kinda difficult.

Here are some of our favorite misconceptions about blogs

  • Blogs are like personal diaries online
  • Blogs are just for personal rants
  • Blogs look unprofessional

The truth is that, to the site visitor, there is really no difference at all. The only differences that exist are behind the scenes, in the way you manage what appears on your site.

Want to add something to your blog? Then compose a new Page, add a new post or make some edits in the interface. Want to add something to your website? For most of us, that means calling up a designer, making a change request and waiting for the moment when they can get it done. Grrr.

If you are a small business owner this heavenly combination of cutting costs and saving time should sound appealing, so what's next?

How do I make a website with TypePad?

Here are some clues: pages, horizontal navigation bar and  a blog footer.

These three little gems are what many people associate with "websites" rather than blogs. To learn how to configure these to create a simple small business website and how to connect that with useful 3rd party business tools like Freshbooks, PayPal and Etsy join us at the Small Business Center for a free webinar            

 "Using your blog for your website and ecommerce"

Our speaker is business blogging guru Andy Wibbels. We start at 11am Pacific US time. If you can't join just register and we'll send you a link to the recording via email.

Register now

Guest Stars: Why I Use TypePad For Business Blogging

I read this post from a link in the Twitterverse from TypePad Blogger Karin H, and asked her if I could repost it here for everyone to read.

Why I use Typepad for business "blogging"

I've lost count of how often it is asked (anywhere: forums, twitter, off line) which blog platform a small business can best use. Plenty of choices out there: from paid for online software, self-hosted 'free' software, free and hosted by software creator, to small and rather unknown WYSIWYG software. TypePad, Blogger, (free and hosted by WP) and (self hosted 'free' software) are the four most well know and most used platforms. I always discard Blogger and because of the limits they have - when used as web presence for small businesses - which leaves Typepad and

As with everything online: you have raving fans for the one and equally raving fans for the other option. This review will focus on my own personal experiences with both platforms and why I recommend Typepad for business owners who want/need an easy to use, SEO ready and quick to edit/add platform.

Why would any business use a blog?


Continue reading "Guest Stars: Why I Use TypePad For Business Blogging" »

Guest Stars: Why TypePad Pro? Video

Brian Barela works for Campus Crusade for Christ in Chico, CA. He is passionate about helping organizations, particularly non-profits, leverage social media to offset their limited resources. I spotted a video he'd Tweeted that he made about TypePad and what the pro level has to offer bloggers, and asked him if I could post it here in our "Guest Stars" section. Watch it now!

I love it when our community has their own spin on why they use TypePad, so I asked Brian to tell us a bit more:

I knew I wanted to blog, and I knew there were a lot of options, but I didn't know which one fit my needs. As I talk with many of my colleagues interested in blogging, one of their biggest questions is which platform should I use? With so much hype over Wordpress, I wanted to be able to show my colleagues the advantages of using Typepad.

Typepad has allowed me to make the customizations I need to set myself apart from the average blog, while not having to be a coding wizard. The goal of a blog is to create content that you are proud of, not to spend most of the time coding. Typepad offers a great service towards this end.

Thanks, Brian!

CSS Hack: Move Your TypePad Navbar Above the Banner

Yes Virginia, you can move your navbar above your banner! (What's a navbar?)

Here's how:

The default arrangement for your blog is

  1. Banner stacked on top of
  2. The navbar (if there is one) stacked on top of
  3. The content and sidebars
  4. The footer (if there is one)

So using a test blog with Journal Black theme. Top portion looks like this:


First thing we need to do is give ourselves some room at the top to put the navbar. I go to Custom CSS and add:

Continue reading "CSS Hack: Move Your TypePad Navbar Above the Banner" »

Get your blog off to a great start with the Power Launch Service

We've told you before about the Tune-Up Service, which is a great way to take your existing blog to the next level. But what if you are just starting out and don't really know where to begin? That is where our Power Launch Service comes in.

Cardsbygina-screenshot When Gina of Cards By Gina first signed up for the Power Launch, she didn't have any posts or other content on her blog and was using the default design that TypePad automatically gives all newly-created blogs. She was literally starting from nothing.

Over the course of the Power Launch Service, we set her up with useful features like her own custom URL, an email subscription option to make it easy for her readers to be notified when she writes a new post, Email and Add This links in the footer of each post so people can share her blog with their friends, and a new banner and design that match her personality and the vision she has for her blog. We also gave her tips on best blogging practices and how to make sure her blog is easy to read and navigate.

Gina was very happy with the work we did for her and said, "Thank you from the bottom of my heart in creating such a beautiful blog for me. I think I'm getting off on the right foot--because of you!"

If you want to get your own new blog off on the right foot too, consider purchasing the Power Launch Service today!

The Power Launch is great for small businesses, and be sure to check out our Small Business Center for more tips and help for small businesses looking to start blogs.

The Best of Both Worlds: Microblogging on TypePad

As a TypePad member, you can have the best of both worlds: a full blog and a microblog-style blog. A TypePad microblog allows you a quick and easy way to share your favorite videos, images and articles with your friends and followers.

TypePad brings you unique approach to microblogging:
  • “Post from anywhere” capabilities with email, iPhone, and the new TypePad "Blog It" bookmarklet
  • New simple, professionally-designed, stylish themes
  • “Post once, publish everywhere” with built-in support for Facebook, Twitter, and Friendfeed
  • Control of your own advertising, your domain, and your personal brand
  • All backed with support and training from TypePad One

We’ve brought all of these capabilities together in TypePad so you can easily manage your online presence. Your blog is the hub of your online identity and we’re making it easier than ever to participate.

We’ll update your services for you
Our “post once, publish everywhere” service automatically updates your friends and followers on other web sites like Twitter, Facebook and Friendfeed. We’ll save you time, and help you promote your blog. Here’s how it works:


Easy images
Twitter is great for posting 140 characters worth of a thought, but it is not easy to attach images. With TypePad, you can post a photo on your microblog and TypePad will automatically update Twitter and post a link to your photo on TypePad. Rather than driving traffic to another third-party service like Twitpic, point people back to your site so your friends can comment.

Full service
If you want the full content and blog management capabilities, we have it. If you want fast and easy microblogging, we now have that too. And you can manage it all – your comments, your posting, your community, your services, your brand -- with the same control, power and support you expect from TypePad.

Get started
Microblog will expand the way you think about blogging. To see how easy it is, just sign in and add a blog to your account or try the new Pico theme with your existing blog. And, of course, if you have any questions, just let us know.