We Love Bloggers, We Love TypePad, We Want to Hear From You
September 23, 2010
Yesterday we announced our intention to acquire Six Apart and create SAY Media. And as CEO of the new company I want to reach out to TypePad bloggers directly, echo Ben and Mena's message yesterday, and clarify some of the things you may have read in the press.
First, we love bloggers, and we love bloggers regardless of whether they are interested in building businesses around the content they create. Content and your passion for the content you create is at the center of the vision of SAY. We brought these two companies together because we believe that creators like yourselves only need more support, not less. Whether that means content creation and management tools, or you need help building your audience or making money, we'll be there for you. We will continue Six Apart's mission of supporting that ecosystem with technology and services.
Second, we love TypePad. One of the most important things that attracted us to Six Apart was TypePad and the TypePad community. As Ben and Mena posted yesterday, we will continue to support TypePad and evolve it to meet the needs of the market. We firmly believe that you can't build a modern media company without having a platform, and TypePad is our platform for doing that.
Third, we want to hear from you. I understand that change is scary, especially when so many of you have such a strong connection to TypePad and the community around the product. We want to hear what you want out of TypePad, and how SAY Media can help make you successful. I can't promise that we'll be able to act on every request or idea, but we want to hear them. You can leave comments here, you can connect directly to the TypePad support team through the TypePad ticket system, you can connect with us on Get Satisfaction, or you can email me at [email protected]- Matt Sanchez
CEO, SAY Media
I can't say it isn't a little scary. I've been a Typepad blogger since forever. But, I welcome change. Actually, I hope there is change. But, I hope the communication is open, and we're not left hanging with broken blogs. ;)
Posted by: Melting Mama | September 23, 2010 at 12:11 PM
My favorite thing about Typepad - and the reason I've created three blogs with them and will create a forth soon - is the customer support. I've started a help ticket for any number of questions or issues and always been treated well and with expertise.
I guess I just want assurance that the customer service for all levels of bloggers will continue.
Posted by: hollywood housewife | September 23, 2010 at 12:13 PM
My name is David Jacobs, and I'm the VP of Product for Six Apart and as well I manage the support team - and I agree, they are excellent. Allow me to assure you that we will continue to offer customer services for our bloggers. :)
Posted by: David Jacobs | September 23, 2010 at 12:28 PM
I agree with Hollywood Housewife, the customer support has kept me sane on many a technical hitch occasion - usually my own self-induced technical hitches, but I have never been left hanging. keep up this excellent service. My only dislike right now is the following/followers stats that now come up when a reader hits profile. I think that is misleading, as the average reader is not a fellow blogger and it looks like I only have a handful of readers according to that, which happily, is not the case.
Posted by: frances rivetti | September 23, 2010 at 01:14 PM
I have been paying to use Typepad since 2004 and currently host three personal blogs on your service (one active, two not). I'm not blogging to become the next media celebrity so the words of your new president in the Adweek article about the acquisition don't inspire a lot of confidence.
"Its main focus is in those that hope to build media businesses, rather than regular people who write a blog for fun." - http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/news/digital/e3i430e0ec60c443f09e97f63d5de5af1f2
Like Hollywood Housewife, I've appreciated typepad's customer service. I also chose this platform because I liked the continuous enhancements to the platform. What assurances can you give that people like me "who write a blog for fun" will continue to have a good experience on Typepad? Will this platform still be for us or should I start porting things over to a different service?
Thanks for listening.
Posted by: Amy | September 23, 2010 at 01:16 PM
I've used Typepad as my preferred platform for a long time, but here in the UK people in the 'talkaboutlocal' community favour Wordpress. I am involved in this 'hyperblogging community' and as a locally elected member/official of a 'Parish Council/Town Council' I use my blog to keep the electorate informed about my activities, as well as writing about my Town. I am exploring the Wordpress platform and I like the ability to have single column pages within a multi-column blog. BUT I'd rather stay with Typepad, is it possible to add this facility?
If this was available I would continue to use the Typepad platform. I am also contemplating setting up a purely 'hyper-blogging' site for and about my local community, the single column page facility within a multi-column typepad blog theme would be crucial to this endeavour. I would be very happy to add advertising to this project, which I can't and would not do with my 'Councillor's blog'.
Posted by: Sean Brady | September 23, 2010 at 01:26 PM
This is what I read on an article linked to on the Say Media site:
"Say Media expects to lose some subscribers to the Six Apart blogging platform. Its main focus, Young said, is in those that hope to build media businesses, rather than regular people who write a blog for fun."
As someone writes a blog for fun, not for money, and who doesn't want to earn money it certainly does sound ominious. Why would Young expect to LOSE bloggers who are not in blogging as a business if it does not mean that we will be driven out by increased fees or ads or other means?
I chose Typepad because it offered an ad free, affordable service with personalized assitance, not just for those who were in it to make money, but for those of us who blog for fun. I feel so very disappointed and concerned as my "just for fun" blog is so important to me, and I do not know what to do.
Specifically, why is Young saying that he anticipates losing some of the Typepad bloggers who are the types that blog for fun and have no desire to make money ever? What is going to drive us away? Is there going to be an increased monthly fee if we don't accept ads? I'm really stuck on needing a clarification of his very concerning statement.
I explored many venues for my blog and the reason I chose typepad was that it bridged the gap between the free blogs that offer no direct 1:1 email assistance that is personalized AND the blog services that are too pricey per month to afford. Instead with TypePad I received excellent assistance for 15 dollars per month. I am concerned that with the emphasis on monetizing blogs that the monthly cost for a personal blog will go up and my services will become more limited if I do not accept ads on my blog (something I'd never want). Typepad is truly unique in the blogging community. It is simple enough not to hit a lot of glitches and when one needs help the customer service is great, all for 15 a month. For those of us who definitely do not want to earn money on our blogs, this "middle ground" has been perfect. Will it change?
Posted by: Jennifer Schwam | September 23, 2010 at 01:26 PM
Matt, it's nice to hear your reassurances. But here's the problem: as a long-time blogger, for many years TypePad has heard from me (and many others) about the improvements we want to have made. But those fall on deaf ears. So hopefully you can understand why your call, "we want to hear from you," leaves me deeply skeptical that this is genuinely true.
You need to re-focus on your core mission: blogging and the bloggers who blog. TypePad keeps adding buggy "features" that have little or nothing to do with nitty-gritty blogging -- such as the social networking stuff that is almost completely useless to me and my readers. What would be useful? Here's some examples.
(1) Often I'll get dozens, or even hundreds, of comments on a post. But only the most recent ten comments show up in the sidebar. There's no way for a blog visitor to learn what the "hot comment" post is, or to be notified when comments are made on a post he/she is interested in. Comment conversations are central to blogging. Yet TypePad hasn't done anything to strengthen this feature. I've asked, re-asked, and asked again for better commenting options and never get a response other than "thanks for your ideas, we'll consider them." Yeah, right...
(2) I get quite a bit of comment spam. I dutifully mark a comment from "Nike Shox shoes" as spam. The next day I'll get more spam from "Nike Shox shoes." Your spam filter is pretty bad. I don't understand what the point of identifying comments as spam is, if the spam filter doesn't learn from those identifications.
(3) I've had to go to comment moderation because TypePad has no way of requiring unique usernames. The "sign in with TypePad, Facebook, etc." feature is useless for handling blog trolls who want to disrupt things by posing as a regular blog commenter, or even me. People can choose any username they want, as I demonstrated once to a TypePad employee by posting a comment that looked indistinguishable from the ones she'd been leaving. She got upset with me, which was my goal. She didn't like this "identity theft," but I've had to deal with it on my blogs, asked TypePad to find a way to require unique usernames, and never gotten a response other than the usual "thanks for your ideas" brushoff.
Bottom line: if you want to be successful at securing and maintaining customer loyalty, you have to genuinely care about your customers. So far, TypePad has been dismal at demonstrating this. So I remain skeptical that anything is going to change. When things change for the better, I'll feel better about TypePad. Until then, I won't.
Posted by: Brian Hines | September 23, 2010 at 01:37 PM
I've been enjoying blogging for 6 wonderful years on TypePad. TypePad rocks! I wouldn't change it for any other platform-free or not- in so far as it keeps up the good work! Thank you TypePad! I'm with you!!
Posted by: Anastasia | September 23, 2010 at 02:00 PM
This is big news, and congratulations to 6A.
Admittedly, I'm a little baffled as to where bloggers who have no intention of becoming "emerging media personalities" fit in, though. I chose Typepad (and swayed several friends + colleagues to do the same) because it's a great blogging platform for my tiny, creative business. In working with Typepad earlier this year, it seemed this was the type of blogger Typepad was seeking out + interested in fostering - the community of professional artists + crafters.
Running my business is already more than a full time job (I don't have time to emerge as a media personality...), and I rely on Typepad to help me convey information about what I do to my audience through my blog. My experience with 6A has been great, and I hope my relationship to Typepad doesn't substantially change as a result of this news.
Posted by: sara girlscantell | September 23, 2010 at 02:08 PM
Thanks for this post. I like blogging on Typepad, and I don't do it for the money, I do it for a hobby. I pay you for hosting my blog. So long as it continues that way, I am happy.
I am not interested in ads, I am interested in content. I write posts and I like to do that and to discuss what I write with others.
I have a day job which pays the rent, therefore I am not looking to pay my rent from my blog.
Like others here, I very much appreciate the excellent customer service provided by TypePad.
I really hope the platform continues along these lines for bloggers like me.
Posted by: Maxine | September 23, 2010 at 03:27 PM
How is it all?
I've migrated over from Vox to typepad. Have bought all my Boatbuilding students with me... but, in Vox we could set up groups. This was the main reason for going to Vox. My request is please is there some way of setting up groups in typepad? I have asked this at topics get satisfaction, no reply yet.
My students are using blogs to record their work, this is so helpful to them. They love the format choices and the feedback, but they too have complained about not having the group function.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you.
Posted by: christopher lovegrove | September 23, 2010 at 04:19 PM
So, 6A is now a "media company, not a "software" company. That portends the future right there. Vox was killed and I won't be surprised if Typepad won't eventually be on the chopping block as well. And, what happens to MT? I've not read enough about this merger to get the story there.
Honestly, I'm sure Matt Mullenweg is smiling right now.
BTW, I've been a Typepad user since 2003 and have always appreciated the platform, the people and the customer service. I'd hate to see any or all go away.
Posted by: Paul Chaney | September 23, 2010 at 04:27 PM
You already have lots of great comments here, both positive and negative. As for me? What do I use TypePad for? Read my blog and see? Then figure out a way that you can make it easier for me to do that here. I'll make it easy for you: http://cimmorene.typepad.com/blog/blog_index.htm
Posted by: Account Deleted | September 23, 2010 at 04:38 PM
I'm sorry about that. The link I gave you is wrong
Posted by: Account Deleted | September 23, 2010 at 04:39 PM
A good concrete sign could be adding a few key Vox functionalities into typepad.
Here's a simple one to implement: add the equivalent to "explore neighbours" . Or, in typepad terms, a dashboard view that shows only new posts, and not all posts in between of all the comments in the world made by everyone we follow (which hides away new post notifications).
Posted by: marco barsotti | September 23, 2010 at 05:42 PM
I agree and I'm on the same page....I feel your frustrations about Typepad.....esp. on numbers 2 and 3.
They keep adding features that are "buggy". The sign-in with FB, Twitter, is not that helpful. I don't think they ever listen. But Typepad failed to hear me out as I had been asking them since 2008 for the "ability to reply back to each comment." I don't know why they can't do that in their NEW UPDATED features which they proudly and frequently announced.
Everytime I join in Typepad blog for commenting, I always specify about that comment feature, but of course, they ignore it.
I welcome change but I don't want changes that are imposing perils and dangers at the expense of our purpose---to make blogging easy. But somehow, the changes you've decided are not easy. They actually interrupt and waste our time ---because we have to re-learn it , and when there are bugs, our time is spent on contacting customer support, waiting for your reply and then try fixing it on our own.
And with SayMedia---I don't know about its promise but taking away your focus from being a platform to a media company is not only scary but dubious.
I do hope and pray that Typepad should be ABLE TO LISTEN by this time and that is genuinely true....
Posted by: Account Deleted | September 23, 2010 at 07:12 PM
Sure, sounds good to me. If the blogging platform is to be strengthened, some of the Vox features would be very welcome. My blog has three components to it; I'd like to work on making it more cohesive with some of the TypePad features I'm learning about, and I'd like to grow an audience and enjoy others with similar interests. But I'm not interested in being a "star," which, I confess, is an alien notion to me. I may write a book someday, but not necessarily in order to become famous, just in order to share the stuff inside my head with like minds. So, the blog? Same thing.
Posted by: liliales | September 23, 2010 at 07:55 PM
I have to say that thanks to reading the comments here (and I normally never visit the official Typepad blog), I discovered your blog. I love it. It's bookmarked now.
Myself, I haven't been on TP that long, since 2008 only. Came here from a self-hosted WP disaster, which resulted in me losing the entire blog.
I loved Typepad. I say "loved", because Typepad no longer has certain functions that I'm finding out I really need.
I moved my photoblog off Typepad in March, and now I am in the process of migrating my "regular" blog elsewhere.
I am so sad to leave. I am devastated, actually. I wish I could stay. I am risking losing all my incoming links by leaving. Yet, I'm willing to lose them, because what I desperately need is a user-facing tool to delete images (that I insert into blog posts) permanently, and Typepad doesn't have such a feature right now.
I can live with all the other bugs and inconveniences, but the lack of that one feature turns out to be a deal breaker for me.
Other than that, I shudder at the thought of going back to a self-hosted WP nightmare. I hate WP so much that my groin hurts. But what else can I do? Open a ticket every time I want to remove an image permanently? I want better control over the images I insert into posts, bottom line.
Posted by: Anna Ikeda | September 23, 2010 at 08:14 PM
I am a little scared... but hopeful.
Posted by: Agnes | September 23, 2010 at 08:20 PM
Anna, if you like my blog here, you should visit my WordPress blog titled Cimmy's Stories. It's at http://cimmorene.wordpress.com Feel free to browse there and enjoy. I always like comments, too. So you're more than welcome. I'm not asking you to stay there. But please feel free to visit as often as you like.
Posted by: Account Deleted | September 23, 2010 at 08:23 PM
Matt, the easiest way to know what the customers who helped support and build this company want is to simply read the comments posted in this forum or at Get Satisfaction. You cannot get more precise than that.
In the meantime, here's one for you, something I have railed against for over two years now and was told would be fixed in future updates, which, of course, never happened:
'Display your image at full size, SCALED TO THE WIDTH OF THE COLUMN, or use one of the alternate preset sizes.'
Though every user has different experiences, when TypePad moved to its new platform, this 'scaled to the width of the column' - quite possibly the stupidest and most ridiculous default I have ever seen - caused me to spend several weeks re-posting nearly every image I had ever used in my blog because anything I had posted at what was previously 'original size' became distorted and stretched out of proportion by this idiotic new default. Some of us using custom CSS have wider columns than normal and this default ruined years of work. When I complained, I got nothing. No apologies, no offer to assist, no consideration given to a month credited for all my trouble - nothing. Absolute silence. That, to me, is not quality customer service. And to this day, years later, my questions remains unanswered: What customer in their right mind would choose to have their images distorted by default? Better still, what programmer in their right mind thinks this default is helpful to anyone in any way? Why create a needless extra step (or in this case three) just to post an image at its original size? And why should I be forced to use work-arounds?
Due to the resounding silence, I gave up in anger and frustration and started using LiveWriter because the TypePad text and photo editor were (and still are, in my opinion) essentially bug-ridden garbage and made me question why I was spending my hard-earned money on a Pro Account when I was forced to use third-party software to do the fundamental things TypePad *should* be able to do.
So if you want to know where to start - fix the core elements that are absolutely *vital* to blogging. Get rid of that ridiculous 'Scaled to the width of the column' default in favour of the more practical 'original size' default that was used before. Spend some quality time working out how to enhance the customer experience instead of detracting from it. And most of all test, test, test, test and test again new features *before* they get rolled out and create a maelstrom of negative feedback.
Posted by: Geo | September 23, 2010 at 11:30 PM
For the moment, I don't intend to move my blogs, but the instability this announcement brings makes me want to take the time to backup my blog and content off of Typepad in case the service doesn't last.
The blog itself (text) is easy to export and I have done that...but is there any way to export the photos or photo albums without having to click and save EVERY image individually? Thanks for ideas...
Posted by: Matthew Sanfilippo | September 24, 2010 at 10:31 AM
Funny that, after almost a decade using Blogger, I chose this year to switch to Movable Type. I don't regret the decision, but now I care more about this change than I would have earlier. I hope it works out. There has been very little mention of that venerable software in this discussion, but for various reasons I need to maintain an installation on my own server, and MT best meets my needs now.
I was pleased to see a 5.03 update (minor as it is), but I also don't see how well a personal blogger running MT fits into the new Say Media strategy. Then again, it was hard to see how it fit into Six Apart recently, even if it was how the company started. I'll remain optimistic, plan to continue using Movable Type, and keep my options open. But I'd like to hear something from Say Media about plans for the product.
Posted by: Derek K. Miller | September 24, 2010 at 12:40 PM
Have you looked into Live Journal? Over there, you can set up a group for your students and that site offers free as well as paid options.
Just a thought from a long time LJ user.
Posted by: Cookie! | September 24, 2010 at 06:35 PM
Now I'm totally freaked out. Thanks, Matt. I never thought I'd feel even less welcome here than I did before reading your post.
Posted by: Cookie! | September 24, 2010 at 06:38 PM
After reading what Mr. Young thinks of my business (regular blogger here) I think I might be a fool to stick with Typepad and not immediately look for a backup & exit plan--because it sure sounds like they're about to either dump the regular bloggers--or change the platform such that those type of unwanted people leave. I've paid Typepad for the privilege of my own personal blog. But Mr. Young's future vision doesn't seem to include me. I can find a new home for my blog--and give them my money instead. Sure hope Mr. Young just spoke clumsily--who says they expect to lose business & not think that'll concern their current customers?
Posted by: Medulla Oblongata | September 24, 2010 at 06:49 PM
You want to hear from us but will you listen? Will you respond? Doubtful, but here goes.
Right here, right now, give your paying customers absolute irrevocable assurance that from now until forever the choice to display your selected advertisements will be ours and ours alone and that we will not be penalized with price increases if we prefer to keep our blogs ad-free.
You call yourselves SAY Media so put your mouth where your money is and SAY it. In plain, crystal-clear English.
Do you "love bloggers" or do you only love bloggers that "deliver at least 25,000 monthly unique users ".
Posted by: Scottitude | September 24, 2010 at 10:02 PM
Since there has been no response in the comments . . . I wonder if anyone from SayMedia is reading them?
What worried me is not what the articles are saying about the purchase and new company. It is the video you put out on the link that you sent to all your customers. "Want to know more about SAY Media? Here's a taste of what's to come; we think you'll like what you see." then you follow that link to this:
"Matt Sanchez, CEO and Troy Young, President of SAY Media along with Mena Trott, Co-founder of Six Apart, talk about the evolution of media and why SAY matters. (Watch the video: http://www.saymedia.com/about.php)" It is 3:33 minutes of you only talking about ads and monetizing the blogs.
I want to stay . . . but you need to do a lot more than the one post above to reassure me!
Emerson J. Browne http://DancingUpsideDown.com
Posted by: Viv Ilo | September 24, 2010 at 10:39 PM
I'm fairly new to Typepad, so the change is a little less scary for me. I do love this platform and hope that it remains an option... Actually, it is a little scary because I just invested a fair amount of money to build my site here.
One question I haven't been able to figure out... how does a Typepad blogger network with other Typepad bloggers? How do I build a community within this community? The suggestions on who to follow are helpful, but not updated often enough to be of much help. Is there an easy way to browse Typepad blogs? And if not, that's something I'd love to see going forward.
Posted by: amy kolz | September 24, 2010 at 11:47 PM
Posted by: Scottitude | September 25, 2010 at 12:31 AM
I'm proud to be one of the "regular people" that SAYMedia CEO Troy Young says he doesn't want. How about you?
Posted by: Paul Chaney | September 25, 2010 at 01:56 AM
like some others above I prefer to blog without flashing ads on my blog if this new platform involves pushing ads then I will decide to blog with a different company it is my hard earned dollars after all. I have read through all the comments above and did not see a response from SAY media that this should not even be a concern to bloggers like me. What does this SAY?
Posted by: Account Deleted | September 25, 2010 at 02:49 AM
Posted by: Diego Agostini | September 25, 2010 at 03:51 AM
That's also the problem in Typepad----how to network with other Typepad bloggers. Yea they provide a list of Typepad bloggers that are "worthy" to follow according to their standards. It's found in their dashboard and in their homepage. But there are only a few of them. Typepad does not have a complete directory of all their clients' blogs---which were requested by other blogger-clients a long time ago.
But I suggest , you join discussions in their blog, and you will find some bloggers who are not in their directory. The trouble is, most of these bloggers who are active in the discussion community are always the same bloggers.
So, if you're not busy, take time to "discover " and "how to find them." Good luck.
Posted by: Account Deleted | September 25, 2010 at 05:00 AM
I really Love Indonesia
and want to say manything through TypeAd
your template wonderful
Posted by: moechamad zen adjit | September 25, 2010 at 05:11 AM
An important feature and function is mentioned here that should receive attention: to be able to easily back up the blog and restore it if needed. There's currently no way to quickly and easily back up graphics, or know what the URL placement is to automatically restore everything. While I'd like to see more nuts and bolts features built into Typepad for basic, efficient blogging, this is my priority one. I'd love to see it happen sooner than later.
Posted by: JM Cozzoli | September 25, 2010 at 08:10 AM
Still nothing but crickets. Are you sure your company isn't called Say NOTHING?
Every hour & every day with no response makes your disdain for normal, paying customers more interested in an on-line presence uncluttered by redundant ads than lining your fat-cat pockets abundantly clear.
I suggest you edit this post title to "We Hate NORMAL Bloggers, We Hate PAYING TypePad Customers, STFU We DON'T Want To Hear From You"
Posted by: Scottitude | September 25, 2010 at 08:17 AM
You couldn't pay me to be one of SAY Media's "target customers". That's why *I* pay to keep ads off my apparently meaningless little blog.
Posted by: Scottitude | September 25, 2010 at 08:19 AM
I have blogged on typepad for less than a year. Advertising? What does advertising have to do with my sewing and gardening? Weird. Feels like I have wasted my time and my content thus far will be orphaned.
Posted by: Making Clothes | September 25, 2010 at 09:17 AM
Typepad is cool.
But, I wish there's a COUNTER application for each blog entry so we will know which entry is most read and which is not. And the counter setting could be ticked off at the end of each entry. And bloggers will have a choice if he wants the counter to be public or private.
And I hope soon..... :))
Posted by: Account Deleted | September 25, 2010 at 10:29 AM
change doesnt always have to be scary as long as you have the right mindset. its like transplanting a plant to new soil. co-ops are going big- small business with strong morals is the new take on big biz. that is why these small sites that emphasize community are soo important not only to art but also science
Posted by: Davis10runner | September 25, 2010 at 03:53 PM
Let's all hope that Typepad is evolving into a company that is customer driven and responsive and not merely morphing into a corporate giant devoid of customer support, understanding and contact.
I have been with Typepad for over two years and have had no real complaints or concerns crop up. There were a few occasions that I needed tech support and the tech team was there to help me.
I don't want to feel abandoned or orphaned when all the t's have been crossed and the i's dotted. My popularity rating might not be as high as some but my dedication to my readers is just as sincere as if I had a zillion followers.
Posted by: A Twitter User | September 25, 2010 at 04:50 PM
If you "love TypePad," why do you want to change it?
Sounds like us "little bloggers" now move down a rung or two, since the tone of your comments center around building TypePad and monetizing it. Obviously, that will be your major emphasis, to get us all on board.
Please don't turn this into some giant corporation that does away with the personal feeling we all bought in the first place!
As for what I would like to see, there are two that come to mind.
1. Let comments be availabe for reading and posting below the post, as they are on most other blogsites.
2. Be able to incorporate a signature line or one with a font that looks more personal.
Posted by: Lenore Buth | September 25, 2010 at 06:17 PM
I just joined typepad and I think I need more time to get familiar it. Actually I have tried a few other blog platforms and I would not hesitate to give out my personal positive comments about typead if it works well for me. I just need more time though...
Posted by: Account Deleted | September 25, 2010 at 06:44 PM
I just made the decision *not* to go over to Squarespace, which had some nicer template designs and options and decided to open up yet another blog on Typepad:
My main blog at secondthoughts.typepad.com has fairly good traffic and I've been quite happy with typepad once they finally made the tool that saved text as you typed so you never lost the post from a browser crash.
Now I would like to see much more attention
Look at Squarespace. Now look at Typepad. Now back to Squarespace. You're one step shy of the toward the kitten-and-rainbows, and over there they have rich creamy olives and off-whites and crisp graphics. You haven't changed some of your templates in yours. Given how easy it must be to make them, especially in more colours, and how cheap it must be to get them from contractors out there, you really need to refresh and add lots more, and also make it easier to customize (typekit or whatever that font thing is called is a morass and I gave up fiddling with it).
I find it hard to understand the difference between Typepad and Six Apart, because I don't see how you distinguish a platform from the company that runs it.
The reason I didn't move one of my blogs to Squarespace after lots and lots of thought and experimentation was because they didn't seem to have a company ad program, so that I could have both Google Adsense and a Six Apart type of ad system. They also had more complexity in the tools and I didn't want the discomfort level of changing from habits over the 6 years I've been at typepad.com.
When I first read this notice, I thought it was spun that the companies were merging, not one taking over another. and now I see it is plainly stated as a takeover, and now I revive my historical memories of "Zing -- Store Photos for Life!" which went under, and Ofoto, where my content also had to be ditched, and the Sims Online, that closed its servers.
So I'm thinking starkly now how I have to back up and save all my years of posts which is easy enough to do, but then hard to sift through to edit into a book without some third-party program. And it's daunting, and annoying. I'd like a better sense of stability, given how hard I work blogging -- yes it's a poorly paid avocation, but one that has some pay at least, unlike so much of Web 2.0's technocommunist collective farms where we pretend to work, and you pretend to pay us.
I really don't like the patronizing tone that comes with telling someone "change is scary," like they are 4 years old. Disruptive tech devs like yourself always want the disruption to be on us, the users, and never on yourselves.
I can only say, be responsible, above all, do no harm, and have a plan for customers always able to back up and port their content and have early warning when you are folding.
Posted by: Catherine Fitzpatrick | September 25, 2010 at 08:14 PM
Amy, the closest you are going to find to 'networking' with other bloggers on TypePad is to use the Profiles thing. It's relatively lame and lacks any real functionality (it's not Facebook, despite TypePad's desire to integrate social networking), but it's what's available for now.
Posted by: Geo | September 25, 2010 at 08:25 PM
And SAY Media stills SAYs NOTHING!
What's the matter, wallet got your tongue or are you just too busy celebrating your acquisition to respond the paying CUSTOMERS that made Six Apart such a tasty, ripe-for-the-picking treat for your ad network?
Posted by: Scottitude | September 25, 2010 at 08:38 PM
I've posted some longer discussion over at my blog, focused on Movable Type (since that's what I run), but also talking about this acquisition more generally:
Posted by: Derek K. Miller | September 26, 2010 at 01:21 AM
Like they said in the previous blog post, they will not require customers to display advertising on their blogs. Displaying adverts is something a customer can choose to do if she wants, but they won't force it on anyone.
Posted by: Account Deleted | September 26, 2010 at 04:19 AM
I've looked at Squarespace as well (though not recently). I like their design options, which are numerous (and there seem to be so many that it's confusing). I hear it's difficult to migrate content off of Squarespace in case you want to switch hosts.
Posted by: Account Deleted | September 26, 2010 at 04:23 AM
I'm actually a little surprised at the silence, but also understanding, given the all the stuff they've got going on at the moment... :-( I'm sure they're pretty busy, what with all the news coverage SAY Media is receiving in the web/tech industry, and I can't fault them for not replying on a weekend, but... This blog post was published on Thursday morning San Francisco time, giving them two business days to talk to people in the comments... :-\ (Though, on the other hand, I know they're without a community manager, so I can understand the relative silence. I feel if they had someone in that role, there would have been a bit more activity here from staff.)
Posted by: Account Deleted | September 26, 2010 at 04:38 AM
I really do think that former Six Apart staff (now at SAY Media) have the TypePad platform's best interest at heart. Given that they rely on customers to use the platform (and some bloggers will monetize it), and the platform is the distribution method by which the advertising part of the company will grow and become stronger, they will of course try to do right by TypePad.
I'd really like to see TypePad become a serious contender again in the blog platform world, but I don't think it would have happened if TypePad continued without some really, really innovative changes. Given that TypePad can't compete with WordPress on user adoption and the huge community of developers, or with other unique blogging platforms (Tumblr, LiveJournal, etc.), it needs to compete with strengths it doesn't already have. That's why I think SAY Media makes a lot of sense. Both Six Apart and VideoEgg are bringing their own respective strengths to SAY Media with the idea that those strengths will synergise and create something bigger and better--things they wouldn't be able to do individually.
Posted by: Account Deleted | September 26, 2010 at 05:18 AM
Thanks Brinstar, for letting me know this I was searching for this info and didnt know where to find it. I am very happy to hear this!
Posted by: Account Deleted | September 26, 2010 at 08:07 AM
Here's an interview with SAY Media CEO Matt Sanchez:
Posted by: Account Deleted | September 26, 2010 at 11:59 AM
Now that it seems that they are driving away bloggers who do it for fun just like myself, can anyone suggest exit strategies? Will I be able to easily transfer my archives somewhere else?
Posted by: luha | September 26, 2010 at 02:37 PM
I'm a happy Typepad blogger. One way to make me happier is to let me upload a sequence of photos at one time instead of adding them individually. Thanks for taking this request into consideration.
Posted by: Jennifer | September 26, 2010 at 04:56 PM
I don't necessarily know if I'm the person that you want to hear from, but I am part of the TypePad Support team, and I consider us the closest to our bloggers, in terms of hearing from you and what you want and need in a platform. We are also bloggers who blog for fun, which puts us right where you are in terms of what it's like to be a TypePad blogger (I run a music blog, as a matter of fact), so here goes:
Ben and Mena and Matt have all assured everyone that we, as bloggers, will have the option to display ads on our blogs or to leave them off entirely. There is no indication that this will ever change, and I think they've all done a great job of communicating this to everyone. I don't see where it's unclear. But beyond that, we have always been dedicated to making TypePad what YOU want it to be. We listen to what you're saying and we make improvements or changes to the platform directly based on that, and that's how things will always be. Our bloggers are the voice of TypePad, and we realize that you're here by choice, which means a lot to us. We've always taken blogger feedback seriously, and we always will.
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 11:35 AM
You really have been with us FOREVER, and we love having you as a part of the TypePad family. You will never be left with a broken blog - you know our support team! :)
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 11:38 AM
I just wanted to drop in and say thank you, as part of the TypePad support team - it means so much to us that you've had a great experience.
I know what you mean with the following and follower numbers, and if you want to remove the link to your Profile you can do that, but it would hinder your ability to get *more* followers on TypePad since people would have to find it at random. It's kind of an all or nothing situation, but it really depends on whether you want to utilize the profile or not. We can help more with that if you'd like - just open a ticket at the Help link in your profile!
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 11:41 AM
As part of the support team, I really appreciate your words of praise for us :)
I'm also a blogger who blogs for fun - as are the rest of the girls on the support team - and we fully, 100% believe in TypePad's devotion to our bloggers, mainly because we're a huge part of the delivery of your good experience, and we intend to keep bringing that good experience to you. Matt, Ben and Mena have all said that we're going to continue making enhancements to the platform, and we are!
The bottom line is, YOU COUNT to us. You're important, your blog is important, and your feedback is important. That will never change, and there will always be a place for you here.
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 11:44 AM
I really think that some of those comments were taken out of context, because I can't imagine why anyone would want to leave TypePad, especially considering that we are working hard to KEEP you guys with us! It's possible that people will leave because they just don't like the idea of change, the merger in general, or that we're now a media company as opposed to being a blogging platform specifically.
But TypePad is a HUGE part of SAY Media, and an enormous amount of our bloggers are people just like myself, and my fellow support team folks, who blog for fun. The uniqueness that we've built up will not change, and there will always be a place for you here. We really value the relationship that we have with our bloggers, and we always want to keep that.
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 11:49 AM
We hear you! I know that we've replied to your comments on the other posts, but I wanted to drop in and say hi, and thank you for continuing to give us such great feedback. Some of the things that you're asking about we're already looking at, but we always welcome Help tickets and feature requests where we can talk to you one on one about what you're experiencing and what would work better for you - that's actually how we decide to make changes, and you can do that by clicking the Help link in your Dashboard. Talk to us!
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 11:52 AM
I just wanted to quickly talk about comment spam, since you specifically mention it here. We actually work really hard at fighting comment spam. One good thing to keep in mind is that for every one or two spam comments that you get, we've blocked hundreds. Spammers are getting more wily, and we're always developing new ways to keep up. Taking advantage of our tools for avoiding spam can also really help out, if you haven't done that.
With regard to the change over to SAY Media, I don't know how many times we can say that we are still just as devoted to TypePad and our bloggers as we always were, but we are. Your support team is still right here, your developers and engineers are still here, and we are all just as devoted to making TypePad as awesome as it can possibly be. And for what it's worth, we always listen. The voice of our bloggers is what affects change at TypePad. :)
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 11:56 AM
Using two different layout types for one blog isn't an option currently with basic templates, though it is an option if you're OK with editing code and using Advanced Templates. If you'd like more info about how to do that, just let us know by opening a help ticket.
We're glad to hear that you're enjoying TypePad otherwise and we hope you'll continue to use it for your blog.
Posted by: Colleen | September 27, 2010 at 11:56 AM
Thank you SO much, Anastasia! :D
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 11:57 AM
Thank you so much for the kind words, Anastasia! We know people have to really like something to take the time to say so, and we appreciate that.
Posted by: Colleen | September 27, 2010 at 11:58 AM
Hey Sara :)
You've been a big part of TypePad, and that means so much to us - we love your blog and we so appreciate that you are one of our voices. Plainly put, bloggers who have no intention of becoming emerging media personalities fit in just as you always have - right here with us. We are still interested in fostering the community of professional artists and crafters - we're really lucky in that there is room for more than just the bigwig bloggers at TypePad, and you have a super dedicated team who intend to keep it that way.
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 12:00 PM
Thanks, Maxine! Your platform will definitely be there for you. We appreciate you sticking with us!
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 12:01 PM
We have SO many teachers on TypePad - it's really great. They use their blogs and the commenting system to foster a group atmosphere. Depending on your level of tech experience, we have things like Motion to build community, but if you want to discuss any of this further, and see how we can best suit your needs, we'd love to have you open a Help ticket by clicking the Help link in your Dashboard!
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 12:03 PM
That's an awesome idea. I just wanted to drop in and let you know that we treat feature requests seriously - they are what helps us to make changes and improvements! You can always feel free to bring those to us directly, if you'd like, by clicking the Help link in your Dashboard!
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 12:05 PM
It's great to hear that you're hopeful - we promise that TypePad will continue to be the great platform that you've come to expect. If you have any specific concerns at all, please let us know - we always want to hear from you and we're happy to talk about it!
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 12:06 PM
We're always happy to help with that, Matthew. If you need us to help back up your blog, just send us a help ticket by clicking the Help link in your Dashboard, okay? :)
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 12:07 PM
I'm not sure what we could tell you that would put your mind at ease that we haven't already said in response to your comments on Ben and Mena's post, and I feel that Matt's post here is telling everyone directly that you will always have a place with us, and a great blogging platform. What makes you feel unwelcome, exactly? We've explained over and over again that we're just as dedicated to TypePad bloggers now as we've always been - that's not going to change. But if there is something specific that is freaking you out, let us know - that way we can address it directly. :)
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 12:09 PM
We're reading! We've just had a very busy working weekend, and could get over here to talk to you guys as quickly as we'd have liked.
You will ALWAYS have a place with us, please never doubt that. Did you have specific fears about the future of the platform? Let us know so that we can talk about it, okay?
We're also happy to address anything directly if you want to click the Help link in your Dashboard and send us a ticket - your support team is always here. :)
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 12:11 PM
I'm not really sure where you're seeing that we "don't want" you. I'm a regular, happy, small time blogger and I'm perfectly content that TypePad will continue to serve me exactly as it always has. I was a TypePad blogger long before I joined the support team, and I'll always be a TypePad blogger, because I believe in the platform and the people who make up the TypePad family, including our bloggers. We're a pretty powerful voice.
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 12:13 PM
We've said that our bloggers will never have to place ads on their blogs, both here and in other venues. There is still a place for you here! We love our bloggers, and that will not change.
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 12:15 PM
You've nailed it - TypePad is evolving, but we are and will always be customer driven and responsive. Your support team is still the same team that you've come to know over the past two years - we've all been around forever, and we will always be here!
Posted by: Melanie | September 27, 2010 at 12:16 PM
Paul, we're glad to hear you've been enjoying TypePad and we'd be willing to bet you'll enjoy it even more now that we'll have more resources dedicated to supporting the platform. You'll also always receive the same great support you've come to expect.
It's hard to say that TypePad will never EVER go away - that would be true with or without a merger and true of any service or product - but it's definitely going to be a big part of SAY Media.
If you have any questions or concerns that we can help with, just let us know!
Posted by: Colleen | September 27, 2010 at 12:22 PM
Matt mentions bloggers wanting to build a business, people looking to increase their numbers and folks looking to make money on their blogs. In the bit about how he/they love bloggers, he does not mention those of us who do not have businesses, are happy with their readership and are not looking to cash in.
While it's lovely to know that Matt and the team will be there for us is we're interested in those things, what about those of us who just want to continue on, happily doing our own thing without the social media or ads and such?
Also in reading the "we love bloggers" paragraph, I wonder/hope if there isn't something missing from that first sentence. "...regardless of whether..." is the bit I'm wondering about. It would be very reassuring to find out that Matt left out some love for us boring bloggers who aren't looking to get rich, etc.
Posted by: Cookie! | September 27, 2010 at 12:31 PM
Hi Luha! We're certainly NOT in the business of driving away any of our TypePad subscribers. I'm sorry if you got that message somewhere but it's just not true. If you don't want to put ads on your blog, that's fine - you'll still get the same features and support as those who do. That's it, period.
Posted by: Colleen | September 27, 2010 at 12:36 PM
Scott - Melanie replied to your comment above but I just wanted to pipe in here - I think you're being a little harsh. We of course welcome feedback about everything from posts like these to features in TypePad but we hope you'll take the time to read through what we're actually saying here - we care about TypePad and the people who use it. The people who created TypePad will continue to work on it and have a strong voice as to what happens with it. Users who don't want ads on their blogs won't be required to have them, this has always been true of TypePad.
Posted by: Colleen | September 27, 2010 at 12:44 PM
TypePad has evolved tremendously since its inception in 2003 and that will continue - upgrades and enhancements have to happen so our bloggers can keep up with blogging technology. What won't change is the ease of use and customer support you've come to expect.
The one on one support isn't going anywhere so I don't think you need to be concerned about that.
We're always happy to hear feature requests and ideas for new enhancements, so thank you for sharing those. These specifically have come up here and there, so we know that users would like to see those. We'll keep it in mind now that we'll have more resources on TypePad.
Posted by: Colleen | September 27, 2010 at 12:46 PM
Brinstar - this is a great comment and thank you for your others as well. We appreciate the vote of confidence.
Posted by: Colleen | September 27, 2010 at 01:28 PM
I am a little dense - can you clarify for me if this is a buy-out or a merger? Are Ben and Mena still involved, or has TypePad become SAY Media?
I've been super happy with TypePad - not only for myself but for website and/or blog clients who love the ease of use (they are not techies and don't want to have to be) and great customer service.
The possibility of change doesn't concern me so much, although I must admit I have very much appreciated the "family/community" feel that Mena and Ben bring to this company, and that plus the fact that they're local has been my defense against political pressure to choose WordPress' open-source platform.
Keep adding features that help us engage with our readers more effectively and give us more choices and control over "look and feel" at the same time you roll out new business options (for those who choose to make use of them) and I think you will be very successful.
I will be especially grateful if you address one of my only complaints about TypePad to date, which is poor Affiliate service. Currently TypePad deals with affiliates through a third party company that doesn't come anywhere near it's standards of excellence and customer service. I have had to fight for every commission I've received since becoming an Affiliate several years ago now and that has been extremely frustrating given how central I've made TypePad to my business model.
Posted by: Amy Lenzo | September 27, 2010 at 01:41 PM
"The kinds of people we want to work with are emerging media personalities," was the quote from Troy in the Adweek article. It follows then, by inference, that the kinds of people he does not want to work with are people like me, who have no interest in becoming such. Regardless of whether he intended to create a dividing line or not, the comment was insulting.
Posted by: Paul Chaney | September 27, 2010 at 02:08 PM
"The kinds of people we want to work with are emerging media personalities," was the quote from Troy in the Adweek article. It follows then, by inference, that the kinds of people he does not want to work with are people like me, who have no interest in becoming such. Regardless of whether he intended to create a dividing line or not, the comment was insulting.
Posted by: Paul Chaney | September 27, 2010 at 02:15 PM
Melanie and the rest of the team,
Thank you for your reply. I appreciate it. You know, two thoughts here:
First, I would like to suggest that Mark and the rest of upper management gets a PR coach. I think Mark, et al mean well but you have not learned the skill of explaining your bigger picture thoughts. Its the old adage that we all think everyone else thinks the same as we do. I think Mark and some of the rest of you are trapped in that. You put out a video like the one you have on the Say Media page, or you give an interview, and you KNOW what you mean but it is not what you convey to people who dont know you. To me, and to many of the posters here, your public message has ONLY been to talk about ads and leveraging the blogging platform to monetization, etc. So, you do that publicly then you come on to this site and try to reassure us - and you get pretty serious skepticism. But my suggestion here is to get a GOOD PR Coach. One who can help you convey the truth clearly - not try to cover it.
Secondly, I think part of the distrust is wisdom versus the hottest new idea. Facebook has taken everyone by surprise with the success of Farmville, Mafia Wars, and just the immensity of the whole social networking wave. Now the hot new buzz words are to leverage the social network to make money, etc. em(The next generation of Yahoo! Groups has arrived. We bring you the same
trusted product with an even more intuitive, efficient, and useful place to connect with the people
that matter most. Get in touch instantly with Group Chat! etc.)/em Everyone, and I do mean everyone from a company standpoint is running after this new platform . . . until the next new thing comes along. And the next new big thing WILL come along too. That is where the wisdom of the elders - or at least the middle aged - comes in. We have seen this happen before. You probably have not. The problem is some good, strong, well functioning systems are being ruined in this pursuit of this new platform. We, the bloggers, have reason to be worried. We are seeing this headlong pursuit throw many a baby out with the bathwater. We hope things will be different with you in regards to Typepad. Only time will tell.
Emerson J. Browne
Posted by: Viv Ilo | September 27, 2010 at 02:36 PM
thanks, melanie! that's good to hear!
Posted by: sara girlscantell | September 27, 2010 at 04:00 PM
I am not a TypePad blogger, but I have to throw this one in: a couple of years ago TypePad started splitting comments up into pages, with a maximum of 50 comments per page. On popular blogs that get hundreds of comments per post, this makes it extremely difficult to follow the conversation and to find a previous comment that I want to respond to -- I have to search on each page of comments for the one I want. Is there any way to make it so I can see all the comments on a post at one time?
Posted by: Lucia Hicks | September 27, 2010 at 04:13 PM
Thanks for articulating that so well, Paul.
Furthermore, when any company acknowledges they are planning a strategy that they admit will alienate some of their customers but they don't care about losing them, every customer should question the value of their continued patronage.
Posted by: Scottitude | September 27, 2010 at 06:00 PM
Can I just say... I LOVE TypePad! Just don't "f" it up, and if you can make it even better, bravo!
Posted by: Shannan Sinclair | September 27, 2010 at 06:17 PM
What you're saying here and what your executives have said are contradictory so whom should we really believe?
Do we put our trust in you and Melanie saying that all TypePad bloggers are equally important as those with 25,000 unique users or in SAY Media's executives making "on the record" comments about shifting the focus away from the casual blogger in favor of "media personalities".
Harsh? Maybe, but as a paying customer and "beta tester" I'm concerned (as everyone should be) with a company whose executives openly acknowledge and accept with a shrug the likelihood of losing customers as part of their new strategy.
You don't need an MBA to know that's just bad business.
I'll do my best to remain cautiously optimistic but it may take some effort.
Posted by: Scottitude | September 27, 2010 at 06:50 PM
You've been promising that the primary features of Motion - like forums - will be available at least to Pro-level users for over a year now. Is this still on the roadmap, and if so, can you share a release date with those of us who are paying for its development?
Posted by: hewn & hammered | September 27, 2010 at 06:55 PM
I hope they can change this, too ... I'd love all my comments to be on one long page, or even in multiple columns, or using infinite scroll. Anything to make it less unwieldy than the ridiculous multi-page system now.
Posted by: hewn & hammered | September 27, 2010 at 06:56 PM
It would also be nice to work with the Flickr or Picasa APIs so that we can easily add albums or a photostream etc ... There are so many other products that do photos so much better than Typepad's forgotten/deprecated albums. Even a bridge to Facebook's unwieldy album system would be an improvement!
Posted by: hewn & hammered | September 27, 2010 at 06:58 PM
My primary corporate client moved there a year ago. it's horrible - inconsistent interface, weird permissions issues, bugs, HORRIBLE spam filtering (I need to spent 15 minutes a day dealing with spam)... Stay away from Squarespace.
Posted by: hewn & hammered | September 27, 2010 at 06:59 PM
What about what we requested for the "ability to reply to each comment "---? I requested for this feature 2 years ago.
Posted by: Account Deleted | September 27, 2010 at 08:42 PM
Scott, you have every right to voice your concerns and we are entirely respectful of that. I'm simply asking that you tone down the rhetoric so we can have a conversation about this. Otherwise, we have to assume that your intent is to simply pick a fight, which is a complete waste of time.
If I was concerned about the future of TypePad, which I've been using myself since it was in initial beta testing in 2003, I would have spent the weekend putting together my resume and blowing the dust off my LinkedIn profile.
Instead I spent it doing my job and talking to TypePad users. I know it's hard to believe when you hear it from someone way down on the rung and not the CEO but I'll just say it again anyway - if you don't want to monetize, it's fine. We'll still provide you with the same features and support you're getting now. Period.
Posted by: Colleen | September 27, 2010 at 08:53 PM
It's never wise to assume anything; every armchair philosopher knows the result.
It's unfortunate that pointing out an egregious error in customer relations and executive judgment is perceived as picking a fight when it's done in direct response to the poorly worded comments of the individual charged with the executive management of the product for which I and many others pay.
I'm not and never will be an "important" blogger but I assure you that until struck with the uncertainty and confusion of the current situation, I have been a rabid TypePad advocate both on blogs and at Get Satisfaction. My investment has been more than monetary and the notion that my years of trust and support carries little value to those in now in control has been unsettling.
I believe I've made my points and I understand that you've heard and acknowledged them. I appreciate that and thank you for your time.
I look forward to the continued support.
Posted by: Scottitude | September 27, 2010 at 09:29 PM