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Posts from August 2009

Introducing Pico, the Microblogging Theme

Looking for a fresh, simple template for displaying your iPhone photos? Do you want to create a great looking link blog? Do you want to show off your favorite YouTube videos? Then our new Pico theme is for you. 


Pico is designed for keeping things simple to handle frequent updates and a lot of different types of posts: video, mobile photos, quotes, and, of course, longer blog posts.

To put the focus on content we've moved the sidebars below the list of posts. To use Pico you need to go to "Design > Layout" and choose "1 column."

Try it out and let us know what you think.

Ask Miz Ginevra - Using Your Own Domain With Your Blog

This is a feature we introduced in the month's TypePad newsletter - in which your intrepid community manager answers your most pressing TypePad questions.

How can I use my own domain (something without "TypePad" in the URL) with a TypePad blog? - Steven Hill, Hearts of Space

Picture 5 Hearts of Space is one of my fave long-running music shows, and I was delighted to find out they had a TypePad blog that serves as their news page. When working on a blog tune-up for them, they didn’t know this long-standing feature in TypePad for using your own URL. We hear this question all the time!

Using your own domain on TypePad is a great way to promote your blog, blend it in with your own site, and to give it a way to stand apart from the crowd, especially if you have a business blog. Some SEO experts also say that it's better for your search results to have your own domain.

One of the things I like the best about TypePad is that we handle the hosting for you - so you don't have to download and install some complicated program just to get your own domain.

For exactly how you'd do your own domain mapping, I asked Brianna, one of our TypePad One support team for the full breakdown. If you're a TypePad subscriber, you can always get our support team's assistance with questions you have about technical things like this, too. More how-tos on using your own domain after the jump:

Continue reading "Ask Miz Ginevra - Using Your Own Domain With Your Blog" »

Favorite Blogs: Soulemama

Amanda Soule is a TypePad blogger and author, and a driving force in the TypePad community. We did a quick Q&A with her about her blog, her latest book, and who in the TypePad world you should be keeping up with!

Q: How long have you been blogging with TypePad?
A: I've been blogging with TypePad since February of 2005.

Q: What led you to choose TypePad as a blogging platform?
A: I actually began blogging before then with another platform, but moved to TypePad so that I could have more control over the appearance of my blog. The ability to customize my blog as much as I do with Typepad is really important to me (and I know there's a lot I haven't even tapped into yet!).

Soulemama Q: How have your blog and your book helped each other to be successful?
I think they've worked together well - people seem to both led to my books from the blog, as well as brought to the blog from the books! The blog, though, is where "it all began" so to speak - it's through the blog that I was originally contacted by a book publisher and began writing books. The blog has continued (nearly every day for four and a half years!) to move along on it's own journey, but it's also been a space where I can share news, updates and conversations related to the book projects I'm working on. Recently, with the release of Handmade Home, I've been doing a little bit of 'behind the scenes' posts about the book, which has been a really fun way to bridge the blog and books.

Q: Are there some cross-posts (so to speak) with your blog and your book? Content that has developed from one to the other and “bridged the gap”, as it were?
Oftentimes, blog posts will be a jumping off point for something that later ends up in a book project. And certainly, writing the blog has been an amazing daily practice in writing itself, so it feeds the books that way.

Q: What’s your favorite comment/interaction from someone new you’ve had through your blog?
A: It's always a treat and a sweet surprise to find out that someone I respect and admire is a reader of my blog. I've "met" so many beautiful people all over the world through this world of blogging - it's amazing, really, how blogging has the power to build connections and community in the ways that it does. I'm so grateful for it.

Q: Who would you recommend that people who like your blog can follow on TypePad?
I don't actually read a lot of blogs, as most of my time online is spent writing, working, and blogging! Kind of ironic, I know. But I do read a few - a combination of friends who I love checking in on, and a few that inspire me so much I just have to check in each day. Here's some TypePad blogs that readers of mine might like too:
Angry Chicken, Ali Edwards, Elsa Mora, Beauty that Moves, Apples for Poppy Anne, Sew Liberated, House Wren Studio, and The Little Travelers.


TypePad Activity for iPhone, Pre, and Android Phones

Activity Stream for the TypePad Mobile web app

The all new TypePad has tons of great new features. One such feature is the stream of recent activity from the people you follow on TypePad. Right from your dashboard you can see the latest updates from your friends, community, and some of the world's best bloggers. But what if you're away from your computer?

Today, we're happy to announce that the activity stream is now available on the TypePad Mobile web app. To try it out, simply sign in at on your iPhone or iPod touch and tap the new "Activity" button on the dashboard.

In addition, these cool mobile features are now also available for Palm Pre and Android phones, as well as the iPhone and iPod touch that we originally supported. On any of these devices, you can get a great, streamlined version of the TypePad experience, including:

  • Creating and editing posts
  • Managing comments
  • Checking your stats
  • Posting photos via email
  • Seeing your friends' activity on TypePad

We hope you enjoy the new features and look forward to your feedback. Thanks!

Quick Update: Sharing your posts with TypePad and Twitter

Checking in: just wanted to let you know the scoop on how the Twitter team is working to quickly resolve some issues you're might have seen with sharing your blog posts to your Twitter stream. For updates, you can check Twitter's main blog. Need up to the minute info, or more details as they happen? Twitter's status blog will keep you updated as to their progress in more detail.

How does this impact your TypePad blog?

  • When you cross-post from TypePad to Twitter, your posts may take a longer time to appear on your Twitter stream.
  • You may see intermittent error notifications from Twitter, that can seem like there’s something wrong with your specific Twitter or TypePad account passwords or logins. Don't worry if you see a message that says “your account/password is invalid” even if you know your account is correctly set up.

Just wanted to give everyone the heads up - since we know a lot of you use one, both, or all together - that both of our teams are aware of the issue, and we're collaborating to make certain it's solved ASAP.

Happy Together: TypePad and Facebook Connect

We’re happy to announce TypePad support for Facebook Connect. Facebook Connect is a set of APIs from Facebook that allows TypePad and Facebook to communicate. Facebook Connect is an improvement over the existing Beacon service released in 2007.

Share your blog with 250 million of your closest friends
With Facebook Connect on TypePad, you can automatically share your blog posts with your friends on Facebook. And, as you would expect from TypePad, we give you full control over the posts you want to share. 

Your readers are as busy as you are. By sharing your blog posts from TypePad on Facebook, you can notify them about your latest news in a place that is convenient – and timely – for them. It’s a friendly reminder to come by your blog, and a great way to increase your blog’s traffic. This feature is exclusively available in the new TypePad - so if you haven't tried it yet, now's the time!


In addition to being a more reliable connection to Facebook, you will notice the immediate improvements:

  • Posts from your iPhone, email, and the new TypePad bookmarklet can be automatically shared with Facebook. (Click to learn how to update your settings.)
  • You can now share your post to Facebook from the Compose editor.

To take advantage of this great new feature in TypePad, check out our Knowledge Base article
Sharing Posts on Facebook.”  Please note: If you had Facebook Beacon integration set up before, please update your settings.

Make Your Facebook Friends Feel Welcome
TypePad also makes it easier for your readers who come from Facebook to comment on your blog.  This new upgrade allows your readers to sign to and comment with their Facebook log in. Facebook Sign In on Typepad

And more is on the way. With new avatar support for commenters – just added to the beta group today— your Facebook commenters will have their Facebook picture appear with their comment. It’s another great way to welcome your Facebook friends to your blog community.

This is just one of the many ways TypePad takes care of your social media optimization (SMO). Stay tuned for more ways to increase your blog traffic. 

Free Blog Design Tips for Small Businesses

Have you ever pondered what it is, exactly, that makes some sites draw you in and keep you there while others leave you cold, or worse, running for the hills? The answer could well be design. Even the most informative content needs a good home.

If you are like many of the bloggers we hear from asking for TypePad Blog Tune up services, a design overhaul is a long overdue item on the to-do list. Don't panic, help is at hand!

The TypePad Small Business Center is hosting a free webinar Wednesday August 12 with Niya Sisk, an awesome professional designer and TypePad blogger and of course, Andy Wibbels, our TypePad trainer and business blogging guru. Every one is welcome to come and listen to the experts discuss design and explain the 7 principles of professional blog design that will help your business blog stand out among the crowd.

Register free now

How are government bodies using blogs?

Brent Leary author of Barack 2.0, was a guest speaker at the TypePad Small Business Center on Wednesday. He covered some of the lessons small businesses can learn from the hugely sucessful Obama election campaign online. Obama clearly believes in the power of this medium and his views are now spreading. It seems government bodies are now embracing this media. Researchers at the National Defense University now even view the use of social media as essential

Here are some examples of government bodies using TypePad blogs as the central point of their social media strategy.

DOT (Dept of Transport) have been blogging with us for a little while. They use their blog to address topical issues relating to transport like hybrid technology, motor safety and other initiatives. Their blog is a great way to add a personal and authentic voice to a large government agency, not to mention a way to extend the reach and impact of the work they do every day. You can also follow them on Twitter and subscribe to their posts by RSS or email

New dot

FEMA in Focus (Federal Emergency Management Agency) delivers details on natural disasters and emergency initiatives. Most importantly their TypePad blog will allow them to react swiftly to media and public demand for details when a disaster strikes.

New fema

Local government here in San Francisco is also realizing the benefits of TypePad. Their ethics commission blog is a great example of how they are embracing this media to their best advantage. TypePad provides a very easy interface that any one of their staff can use to post new content on the site. Check out the latest minutes from the ethics workshops, as well as the latest relevant research and  their updated agenda. Adding this content no longer has to go through the IT team.

New sfgov

All these agencies use TypePad Business Class for its account management and priority support. They know they can rely on us to host the conversations which allow them to connect more effectively with their readers.

Do you know any other examples of government bodies using blogging and social media tools to good effect? or a government agency that could use a web 2.0 wake up call? Let us know in the comments.

How Social Media Can Amplify Your Marketing

Here's the recording: (Here's the PDF of the slides)

Here's the description from our session:

Barack Obama was a one term senator with less than 10% name recognition when he started his historic campaign. That 18 month presidential campaign went on to raise more money than any other in history and to see  him become the 44th president of the United States. Social media was key to that success.

"Barack Obama's victory was due to an extraordinary internet presence and a solid policy for engaging his potential constituents" says Brent Leary, author of "Barack 2.0: Barack Obama's social media lessons for business", who studied the campaign online over a period of 12 months.

So, what happens if you don't have the biggest budget in history? and how is this relevant for small business owners without an army of marketers?

Some of the most effective tools used by Obama's campaign were low cost tools available to any one and everyone. They just knew how to reach out to their target audience, engage them, drive them to the site and effectively convert those leads into donations and votes.

These are classic CRM (customer relationship management) challenges that Brent Leary addresses everyday when advising businesses big and small. Social media has made these once expensive CRM solutions accessible to everyone and using them could be just the ticket to getting your business recognised out there.

Small Business Webinar

Brent Leary was our guest speaker at the TypePad Small Business Center.