Announcing TypePad Micro
November 17, 2009
As part of our ongoing rollout of the NEW TypePad we are pleased to announce new social blogging features and the launch of TypePad Micro: a completely free level of TypePad focused on easy sharing of text, photos, and videos.
A new form of blogging is emerging — somewhere between the status updates of Facebook and Twitter and the full-length posts of classic blogs — focused on being easy, fun, and connected. Think of this middle category as a bridge between blogs and social networks, tapping into the connectedness of networks with the freedom, control, and independence of blogs.
TypePad Micro is built for this growing form of blogging, making it easy for people to curate compelling content from the web — be it text, photos, or videos — and share it in real-time with people on their blog and to Facebook and Twitter. We very much see this form of blogging as a complement to, not a competitor of, these services. Many bloggers have friends and followers on these great networks but often want to post more than 140 characters, or share photos and videos, with their own narrative and their own design.
TypePad Micro comes with a beautiful new theme, Chroma, custom built for this streamlined form of blogging and a new feature: Reblog, which makes it easy for your blog’s readers to re-post items from your blog on a blog of their own (think of it as the blogging equivalent of the “retweet”).
Here are some examples of what Six Aparters have been doing with Chroma:
How TypePad Micro helps today’s TypePad bloggers
If you’re already a TypePad blogger, TypePad Micro is a great addition to the family. We remain steadfastly committed to being the premiere hosted blogging platform for bloggers with the greatest demands, but also realize that a healthy blogging ecosystem means supporting bloggers of all types.
You get all the features of Micro in your TypePad Pro account, so you might consider starting an additional blog on your site just dedicated to quick sharing and easy cross posting to Twitter and Facebook (here’s how). Maybe you are a food blogger and want to have an easy way of sharing photos of your meals or snapshots from other blogs, but without disrupting the flow if your main blog. See what Stephanie Quilao of Noshtopia has done with her new Chroma blog. Or maybe you are a marketing visionary and want to quickly curate great posts, charts, and graphs from other professionals on your site and for your followers on Twitter and Facebook, but keep your main blog with your original content separate.
We also see TypePad Micro as a great way for you to engage your readers … and their readers. If you add Reblog links to your post footers, readers can quickly share your posts on their own TypePad blog, driving new readership and visitors to your blog.
Another step forward in social blogging
TypePad Micro is the result of a year of huge investment in TypePad, in which we’ve put in place many of the building blocks of social blogging, such as profiles, following, favoriting, a dashboard and activity stream, sign-in and cross posting to Facebook and Twitter, easy posting by email, and a snazzy new bookmarklet. We even released an entirely new open source application, TypePad Motion, for building custom microblog communities tapping into the power of TypePad.
And now with TypePad Micro we’re making it easy for anyone to get started with TypePad. No other blog platform combines these great microblogging capabilities — easy posting, profiles, following, an activity dashboard, etc. — with the full capabilities of a world-class, full-featured blogging platform. If you are just getting started and want an easy, fun blogging experience why not begin with a platform that can grow with you all the way?
We want to do all we can to support and draw out the fantastic TypePad community, one of the first and largest in blogging. With social blogging, community is a feature — and we’ve got a great one — so we’ve also launched a new TypePad Directory to help people find and follow great TypePad sites and join a growing staple of TypePad Motion communities.
If you are a current TypePad Pro blogger, please try out the new Chroma theme (perhaps start a new blog!) and let us know how you like it. If you are new to TypePad, give it a whirl and let us know what you think. We hope you enjoy TypePad Micro as much as we’ve enjoyed building it. Rest assured this is just a first step — we are just getting started!
UPDATED: Here’s some early coverage from these TypePad bloggers:
TypePad Enters Short-form Blogging Fray with Chroma
The Social Media Handyman — Paul Chaney
Six Apart Launches TypePad Micro
Build a Better Blog — Denise Wakeman
microblogs and more
All Things Girls Can Tell — Sara Selepouchin
TypePad, Our Longtime Host, Launches Free Blogging Tools
Dad Talk — Brett Levy
Congratulations on the launch of TypePad Micro. Looks like a great option for those new to blogging as well as for an auxiliary blog. I've set up site that will be focused on content for one micro area of my business.
Love all the improvements you've made to the TypePad platform!
Posted by: Denise Wakeman | November 17, 2009 at 02:32 PM
Love it! Chroma and pico rock, and the dashboard seems to get niftier every time I sign in.
Posted by: Account Deleted | November 17, 2009 at 02:34 PM
Congratulations on the launch of Typepad Micro. I've posted this in response: http://www.thesocialmediahandyman.com/blog/2009/11/typepad-enters-shortform-blogging-fray-with-chroma.html
Posted by: Paul Chaney | November 17, 2009 at 02:51 PM
can't wait for a knowledgebase post detailing how the custom sidebar code works. i notice that i can no longer edit the things i put in the sidebar yesterday, no adding or subtracting ... how do i get at that stuff?
Posted by: hewn & hammered | November 17, 2009 at 03:11 PM
Congratulations on the launch of Tumblr!
...I mean, Typepad Micro!
Posted by: Paul Straw | November 17, 2009 at 03:36 PM
Cool. Keep the innovations coming!
Posted by: Eric Matas | November 17, 2009 at 03:38 PM
I'm really excited about Typepad Micro, but I want to echo Hewn & Hammered's comment. Not being able to add, remove, or rearrange TypeLists in Chroma (especially since that was doable just yesterday)is a huge hinderance, as is being unable to edit the nav bar. I can add some of the modules that are already on my main blog to a new blog via copy & paste, but it's certainly a pain having to do it that way.
Posted by: Account Deleted | November 17, 2009 at 04:03 PM
I agree with those who say they can't edit their sidebars on Chroma. I'm sure this will be fixed? I have a advertising typelist there that I don't want on my microblog. It was a testing format I used before but am not going to keep as my main blog layout. I might would use that if the column wasn't on the left hand side. I like it for microblogging, though, of course.
Posted by: Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings | November 17, 2009 at 04:14 PM
It sure is. I am stuck, now, with my current color combination; if I change it, the code for my google ads won't match, and I won't be able to alter the code to switch colors. So, Chroma has now become a huge bane to me, by merit of your removing the function to alter my setup (i wanted to add headlines to my posts, but since i removed them before and you've now killed the option to edit the design setup, i'm stuck without them).
it's pretty, but won't be very usable until you fix this problem.
Posted by: hewn & hammered | November 17, 2009 at 04:14 PM
Thanks for this comment, and it's actually something we've been thinking about. We are going to bring some functionalities to Chroma for our Pro bloggers, and nav bar is on top of the list. For now, we just added an "add your own HTML" area so you can add whatever you want there. But this is not easy enough, and based on your feedback, we'll bring more functionalities.
Posted by: Alex Deve | November 17, 2009 at 04:15 PM
exciting. Six Apart continues to be one of the real innovators
Posted by: Auren Hoffman | November 17, 2009 at 04:18 PM
For those of us who don't have a TypePad Micro blog (like me, for instance),
Can you add a "Title" box in the Quick Compose section so that users can type in a "Title" or "Headline" in their Quick Post.
But still keep the "Share what's interesting to you" box so that users can make a quick comment about what they are posting.
Posted by: Trent Fitzgerald | November 17, 2009 at 05:26 PM
We're going to get in touch with you and fix this.
Posted by: Alex Deve | November 17, 2009 at 05:27 PM
I strongly feel that TypePad Micro is a step in the right direction.
It's clear Micro took some design cues from Tumblr. In its current state, though, I think TypePad Micro is far more restrictive than Tumblr, to Micro's detriment. Six Apart probably isn't trying to draw existing Tumblr users away from Tumblr, but I don't think you're foolish enough to ignore Tumblr as one of the heavy-hitters in the micro-blogging space. Tumblr's figures of 2 million bloggers, 10k sign-ups per day, and an 85% retention rate are impressive. Even if you're not trying to compete with Tumblr, the comparisons are inevitable.
Features I'd like to see in TypePad Micro:
- Ability to aggregate content from other online presences and import them as posts to Micro (and TypePad). For example: I want to link my Delicious, Tumblr, Twitter, Vox, and LiveJournal accounts to Micro. When I post a link to Delicious, a content to Tumblr, a tweet to Twitter, a post to Vox or LiveJournal, I want all of those to appear on my TypePad Micro blog. Chi.mp does this well, too, though that platform is much more obviously an aggregator than others. Having said that, I think adding this feature would give Micro users a lot more flexibility in how they want to use their blog, and it would put Micro on better competitive footing with Tumblr.
- Allow users to link TypePad Micro (and TypePad) account to other platforms, so that when they post to TypePad, it publishes to those platforms as well. Functionality for this already exists by linking Twitter, Facebook, or FriendFeed, but I want to be able to do this for other major plaforms. For example, I would love to link a TypePad blog to LiveJournal or WordPress.com or whatever and have those platforms create a new post on those blogs whenever I post an entry on my TypePad blog. You've done this with Vox to LiveJournal, but I'd like to see this feature expanded beyond just Vox and LiveJournal.
Both these suggested features involve linking services, which I think is really important for social platforms these days.
Posted by: Account Deleted | November 17, 2009 at 05:52 PM
Yikes! Love the idea of a microblog, but the design page has now been altered and there's no "save" button if you want to change the theme. At least, not on my page -- I have an IE6 browser. And you can only preview how your blog looks in a new theme one inch at a time? That's not big enough! So I switched to the old TypePad to see if I could change it there, but Chroma was not available. Help? Thanks.
Posted by: have gone vegan | November 17, 2009 at 05:57 PM
Thanks a lot for this great piece of feedback. This is really helpful and those two feature requests make lot of sense!
Posted by: Alex Deve | November 17, 2009 at 06:37 PM
Good stuff! I ran into the same problem w/ the Chroma theme & color scheme. I simply just re-choose Chroma from the design selections again to chose the color scheme I wanted. Probably wouldn't be ideal especially if you're doing a lot of custom CSS/sidebar work, though. :-/
One thing I really wish this had was 'tweetmeme' or a social sharing function (not just "reblog"). This way it will allow for readers/commentors to share blog posts elsewhere.
Posted by: Marilyn Moran | November 17, 2009 at 11:14 PM
Thank you very much for profiling Noshtopia iPhone Food Pics :)
So far, I'm really loving having this micro-blog because it's also a way for me to bridge my blog with my social media efforts. I'm finding from Twitter particularly (and because I have a big audience @skinnyjeans) that people are more likely to click on and RT things that are quick versus something that will be a bit more time consuming like a blog post.
Because now I'm offering two choices to readers, a quick blog and a meatier blog, I can retain readers better and hopefully get them to spread the word more.
I'm with everyone on the Typelists. Soon please :) Also, I'm more concerned with getting the "Tweet this" button on there. For some reason, I clicked the box on my post footer design, but it doesn't show up on any of the posts.
Great job Typepad gang! It's exciting to see the new stuff.
Posted by: Stephanie Quilao | November 18, 2009 at 11:47 AM
Way to go TypePad, this is great!
Posted by: Ramona Williams | November 18, 2009 at 01:33 PM
Wondering why I can't get Twitter to connect so that I can auto post from the dashboard? And, though it shows that my facebook page is connected, the auto updates don't show their either...
Posted by: Jean Ann Van Krevelen | November 18, 2009 at 02:47 PM
All of the above: seconded.
This made me want a "favourite this comment" feature. :)
Posted by: Adam | November 18, 2009 at 07:06 PM
I created a free micro blog and was generally impressed with the execution. Congratulations - nice work!
Can you please clarify the limitations of micro blogs (vs. paid TypePad accounts)? What features do not work in the micro blogs?
I was able to add pages to my new micro blog but I could not find a navbar to show pages, and there's no obvious way to add a navbar. (Instructions say this is controlled in Design > Content but there doesn't seem a Content option in my micro blog dashboard. Is this a mistake or should I be unable to create pages?)
I have tested many, many open source content management systems and look forward to having another good option. I was a Movable Type fan until version 4. I currently use Posterous, WordPress and Tumblr, and continue to try new systems as they launch. I still haven't found what I'm looking for.
Posted by: Sandy | November 19, 2009 at 08:01 AM
Ehm, I don't get the up-side of all this. Not from the text above, not from the example micro blogs.
Why not add the "easy, fun, and connected"-ness features to the weblog I pay for, instead of creating a new free service I need to try out?
Posted by: R.R. Nederhoed | November 19, 2009 at 11:09 AM
I'm pretty new to all this so please try to forgive my ignorance. What I'm wondering is Can I create a whole new Blog with a new name and give it a Chroma design and then put that in the sidebar of my original Blog or does the Chroma microblog have to have the same title as the original Blog?
Posted by: Harry Delf III | November 19, 2009 at 11:54 AM
[this is good]
oh. and one more thing. i would like to read my tweets in typepad dashboard. right there in Recent Activity. and then i can blog to respond or 'comment' on a tweet.. or even retweet and comment. that would make me smile and use typepad everyday.
[that would be great]
Posted by: jeff reine | November 19, 2009 at 12:21 PM
I think TP Micro is more closely akin to Posterous than Tumblr, but point well taken nonetheless.
Posted by: Paul Chaney | November 19, 2009 at 01:02 PM
Nice, but not sold yet. When I can send private posts to specific groups of followers, then I'm in. That was a Pownce feature, I absolutely loved.
Posted by: Hillsidegrl | November 19, 2009 at 02:15 PM
for some reason, my text editor is not working. is there an issue with it at the moment? it has been like that since this morning.
Posted by: Account Deleted | November 20, 2009 at 09:55 AM
Hi Harry - thanks for getting in touch. Here's an article we wrote up with step-by-step instructions for add Micro to your main blog, if you like:
Posted by: Ginevra | November 20, 2009 at 12:37 PM
Hi RR - which features are you looking for in particular? You can add Reblog, Tweet This and Favorite to your main blog, too, as well as Following. Let me know if there's something else we can help you do with your blog. :)
Posted by: Ginevra | November 20, 2009 at 12:37 PM
Thanks, Ramona! :)
Posted by: Ginevra | November 20, 2009 at 12:38 PM
Hi Jean! Let us know if you're still having issues with connecting Twitter and Facebook, and we'll get you started in a help ticket to troubleshoot and get you fixed up.
Posted by: Ginevra | November 20, 2009 at 12:39 PM
Hiya - I've opened up a ticket with our TypePad ONe support team for you on this, so that we can walk you through how to fix what you're seeing. Let us know if we can help you with anything else? :)
Posted by: Ginevra | November 20, 2009 at 12:43 PM
Hi Sandy! Thanks as ever for all your feedback. We're still making some tweaks to Chroma as we go - and the navbar is one thing we know for sure needs some more work to include your links to your other content.
Micro blogs are one theme only, and no technical support from our ticketing system. It's still loaded with features, but we've streamlined the most used ones to automagically be added to the template.
Glad you're here. (Also, have you given Motion or MT5 a whirl?)
Posted by: Ginevra | November 20, 2009 at 02:37 PM
I'm sorry to hear that! I've opened a help ticket for you with our TypePad One support team so that we can try to help fix whatever's going on.
Posted by: Ginevra | November 20, 2009 at 02:51 PM
Hi Ginevra. Thanks for your reply.
The microblog dashboard allowed me to add pages that won't display, and microblog Help gives pages troubleshooting instructions that do not seem to apply to microblog users.
So... maybe the Chroma theme is broken
or "add pages" should be removed from the microblog dashboard
or Help should be edited to reflect microblog limitations
or microblog was designed primarily for existing TypePad customers
or microblogging wasn't quite ready for wide release
or some other 6th thing.
Regarding Movable Type 5 - I downloaded and installed the first beta and decided to wait for the final release. Styles hadn't changed much as far as I could see, and that's the part I think was most broken in MT4.
The biggest problem I'm having with WordPress right now is the wild west of premium themes. Movable Type should be so lucky. MT4 needed more site themes, one clear and simpler theme template (not separate site themes and blog themes), a better way to preview and install themes, and - most important - a community of excited theme developers. If MT5 has a solution I'll pack up my WordPress blogs and come running back.
Regarding Motion - I'm interested but haven't had time to explore it, and the developers' release instructions are a bit over my head. If my web host (opensourcehost.com) can do the install I'll give it a whirl.
Posted by: Sandy | November 20, 2009 at 05:20 PM
Ok,guys, I just jumped on the microblog train :-) I must admit that the creation of a Typepad microblog is piece of cake. The Typepad team has been doing a great job, so to all of you a big thank you!
Posted by: MELANCHOLIA | November 20, 2009 at 06:50 PM
Aw thanks, Ginevra. I opened up a ticket myself the other day and apparently I have to dump IE6 if I want to use Chroma, or change the themes of my other blogs in the newer version of TypePad. Not ready to do that yet...
Posted by: have gone vegan | November 20, 2009 at 08:44 PM
Yes, ditto to Trent! Like the idea of a Quick Compose section, but it desperately needs a place for a title (don't most bloggers use titles on their posts??)
Posted by: Shannon | November 20, 2009 at 09:33 PM
A practical question on Micro Blogs.
If like Stephanie of Noshtopia has done with her I Phone Pics Micro Blog, your Micro Blog site shares some of the Domain Name of the main main one (nostopia.com in her case), should you Set Up your Micro Blog with your Web Host as a 'subdomain' of the main one (in my case sergetheconcierge.com).
Reading your 'setup' guidelines I realized that I did not have a navigation bar on 'Serge the Concierge'.
I took care of that but don't like the look of the navigation bar that much, can I change its style, font?
Thanks for the clarification
Posted by: serge the concierge | November 23, 2009 at 02:49 PM
I love this new idea and the designs that go with it. I was especially impressed that I was able to be up and running in less than 15 minutes!
Several of the examples of microblogs you linked to in your post had a nifty navigation bar at the top of the page. However, I'm not savvy enough to do a completely customizable blog just to get this feature. It would be great if, from the microblogging design page, there was an option for a navigation bar.
Keep up the great work!
Posted by: sa_scully | November 25, 2009 at 08:42 PM
I have set up a microblog using Chroma, but I can't figure out how to do what I see on the Noshtopia microblog sidebar. How do I add Categories, Subscribe, Follow Me, and Recent Comments to my sidebar in Chroma?
Also, I can't figure out from your directions how to get the posts from my main blog to appear on my Chroma themed microblog.
I am bewildered.
Posted by: Craig David Uffman | December 08, 2009 at 06:02 PM
Any sort of ETA on bringing back that functionality?
Posted by: Account Deleted | February 14, 2010 at 11:48 AM