TypePad users have got two new Halloween-themed photo album styles. Perfect for posting pictures of your trick-or-treaters.
As a novice blogger, I chose TypePad for my own blog, and I couldn't be happier. The email technical support is prompt and friendly and has actually improved over time.
(For the newbie, it's hard to overestimate the importance of accurate, genuinely supportive tech support. Brenna, who responds to most of my help tickets, is the very model of a modern support technician. I've threatened to clone her and send her twin to my cell phone company.)
The team over at SearchEngineWatch has a useful look at how blogs can improve search engine positioning, becoming a strong part of a search optimization strategy. A succinct quote shows the core message of the article:
The inherent search engine friendly nature of blogs is what gets the attention of search engine marketers. Since blogs are so easy to publish, they tend to contain lots of fresh, keyword rich text. Since many blogs are rendered as static HTML pages in very standards compliant designs, all of this information is readily available to the search engine spiders.
Stardock, best known for its WindowsBlinds application for theming Windows systems, has officially released Blog Navigator, which lets you easily track XML syndication feeds and is available as a free download. They've also made a Pro version of Blog Navigator available, which lets you easily create posts on your TypePad or Movable Type weblog right from within your feed-reading application.
Two stories on blogging in the New York Times today, the first looks at how bloggers interact with journalists, and the second is a piece where crafty bloggers such as Glenn Reynolds, Kevin Drum, Cosma Shalizi and Sharon Brogan pulled off a great gag, convincing the paper of record to take the "all bloggers do is post cat pictures" joke seriously. Well done!
One of the most elegant Movable Type-powered web applications we've seen in a while: poetc. Making use of TypeKey and an interesting timed commenting form, poetc lets you contribute your lines to a collaborative, constantly-evolving poem.
If you're in the Bay Area and interested in blogs and web services, you might want to swing by the Technorati Party tonight, where there's sure to be a lot of blog-tech talk and a number of Six Apart staff will be present as well.
Looking for more creative ways to extend Movable Type's templates? Try using Movable Type for running a web forum. Mark Carey created a series of templates for Movable Type which let your weblog mimic the familiar look of web bulletin boards.
In combination with Movable Type's built-in support for TypeKey or a third-party login such as Tim Appnel's TinyOrwell, it's easy to use your existing blog expertise to run an entirely different style of web forum. And of course, the same tools for managing comments, TrackBacks, and templates are available, so you can use them in combination with Movable Type plugins to create a whole new set of features for forum visitors.
With so many people building applications and services around blog technology these days, it's a good time to look at some of the basic strategy behind building a software business. Niall Kennedy does a good job of transcribing the "How To Run Your Own Software Business" presentation at the O'Reilly Mac OS X Conference.
Covering another aspect of making software, Nick Bradbury covers the little-discussed topic of the social responsibility of software developers. Framed in the context of giant tech companies like Google and Microsoft, Nick puts some good thought into what the implications are of the medium we're all working to create.
Continuing his series of stories serving as an introduction to blogging, Newsday's Lou Dolinar gives some good advice on how to get attention for your blog, and closes with the promise that next week's story will explain how to make money with your blog.
Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker talks about the potential for blogs and syndication and is bullish on the entire market. The CBS Marketwatch story linked above gives a good summary, but if you want to read the analysis for yourself, you can read the 21 page PDF on Morgan Stanley's site.
The New York Times makes note of the burgeoning number of advertising and PR blogs that have been popping up recently, including mentions of Movable Type-powered blogs by URBANintelligence and Edelman CEO Richard Edelman. There's also mention of Steve Rubel's blog, which helped create a rapidly-growing community of PR blogs on TypePad, including the Association of National Advertisers' pair of offerings.
Continuing on from yesterday's post showing how to make a slideshow from posts in your Movable Type weblog, you might be interested in other ways to present your blog posts so that people who don't read blogs can keep up with what you're publishing.
Today we'll look at Microsoft Office's support for XML, particularly WordML, the XML Schema used to make documents in Microsoft Word's XML format. (If you just want to see the end results, take a look at wordml.xml, showing the Professional Network blog as a WordML file.)
One of the most powerful and least-known sets of tags for Movable Type is the MTSetVar and MTGetVar pair, which Elise uses to good effect to set standard colors at the top of a CSS template and then retrieves wherever that color is used in the template.
Creating variables this way isn't limited to CSS templates, of course, and there are many clever ways to use this functionality in HTML templates as well.
We don't usually promote music events, but this one seems like a good fit... popular Movable Type-powered weblog network Gothamist is promoting a show at the Knitting Factory in New York next month entitled Movable Hype. There will be a number of DJs spinning, and presumably some moblogging going on.
Dan Cederholm's got a clever method of highlighting comments by particular authors in Movable Type by using some simple CSS and the Switch plugin. If you want to feature comments by certain visitors, go check out his straightforward explanation over at SimpleBits. There's even a request to use a commenter's TypeKey name as their ID for highlighting, and if you've made that work, let us know so we can link to your work.
Last week, CSS guru Eric Meyer posted his system called S5, a simple and elegant way to publish an XHTML file that can be displayed by any modern browser as a slideshow.
Using his primer and a little bit of custom templating in Movable Type, it's easy to create a template that can show your recent blog posts as a slideshow. (If you just want to jump to a live example, you can view the Professional Network blog as a slideshow.)
The venerable journal of the dot-com bubble Red Herring is coming back to print starting next month, and part of the reason they've been able to refocus on the print magazine is thanks to the Movable Type-powered weblogs that they've used to keep their site updated since its relaunch. As more professional journalism is being done on weblogs, we can expect to see more blog-to-print transitions in the future.
A quick transcript of Ana Marie Cox's conversation with the Columbia University Society of Professional Journalists chapter meeting has a lot of insights on what it means to be a professional blogger, as well as her perspective on the blogosphere. Especially interesting reading in light of her six-figure book deal.
Prominent research firm Forrester has its first official blog, by analyst Charlene Li. Charlene covers devices, media and marketing, which seems like a perfect beat for her TypePad-powered blog. Additional serious business coverage of weblogs and social software can only be helpful in trying ot understand this new industry.
Chad Everett's Notifier plugin was one of the plugins released as part of our plugin pack of contest winners when Movable Type 3.1 came out, and now he's updated this indispensable plugin to version 2.3.
Notifier now lets you
subscribe to email notification for new posts on a Movable Type weblog, as well as notification for new comments.
Chad's also started a Dropcash campaign to help him get a Mac for testing his plugins. Mac fans, go give him a dollar or two.
Though all offices use multiple modes of communication, it's sometimes useful to compare the strengths of different media to understand which is the best tool for a particular job. The Social Computing group at Microsoft Research has a great conversationa bout Blogs vs Email that they've been kind enough to share on their public website, and it's well worth a read.
Though the name presents the two media in opposing roles, the truth is that email, instant messaging, blogs, and other media all work very well together.
If you're interested in tracking these ideas, the Social Computing group's main weblog, Raindrop is well worth subscribing to in your aggregator.
According to the Associated Press Managing Editors' National Credibility Roundtables Project, twenty percent of newspaper readers read blogs. It's an amazingly high number considering how young the medium is, demonstrating just how much impact and influence blogs have been able to have in the past few years.
Thanks to Susan Mernit for the link.
InternetWeek has an in-depth look at the evolution of Amazon's web services platform. With some good insights from Jeff Barr, the program manager for Amazon Web Services, there's a lot that can be learned both about working with the web services and about scaling a service as popular as AWS.
There are some good examples from the AWS community which make it easy to build on the platform as well, such as Elena Dykhno's AWS Zone, which includes extensive code samples and examples, and Alan Taylor's terrific Amazon Light, which binds a whole stack of web services together into one comprehensive application.
What's especially interesting about these web services is not just that they can be used to make money, but that they also will be among the first major web services to charge for the information they provide.
Most people know MobileTracker as one of the best blogs tracking news about mobile phones. But Jon Gales' Movable Type-powered site is also a good way to make a living. As this month's issue of Business 2.0 discovers, being able to easily publish updates on a topic that's popular with advertisers can yield a successful small publishing business.
The Poynter Institute's got an interesting look into the behaviors of visitors to news sites. Called Eyetrack III, the survey uses color-coded graphics to show the patterns that visitor's eyes follow when skimming a site. Though the sites shown are traditional sites and not blogs, a lot of the lessons learned should apply to any site that's frequently updated.
One of the best ways to explain the benefits of XML syndication is to list the interesting and new things that can be done with the technology, and Cutting Through has done exactly that. It's a great way to explain the benefits to new users.
A clever use of the Atom API, the MTBloggerBridge plugin lets you mirror posts from a category on your Movable Type installation to a Blogger weblog. It should be fairly easy to tweak the posting capabilities to work with TypePad, Movable Type, or any other AtomEnabled publishing tool.
Courtesy of IBM's developerWorks site, a brief guide on optimizing Perl, which might come in handy if you're looking to squeeze some extra performance out of your apps or plugins.
Edison Media Research is a leading research company that works on everything from measuring the popularity of radio playlists to doing exit polls for major television networks on during the U.S. presidential elections.
Now, they've just relaunched their website using Movable Type 3.11, and are making good use of interactivity features such as TypeKey-enabled comments and TrackBack to let their audience respond to their publications and commentary. It's a marked improvement in approachability for a company that's all about understanding audiences.
Arvind's done a nice job of documenting the MTHTTPErrorCode tag over on Movalog, which lets you customize the HTTP error messages displayed when using dynamic pages in Movable Type 3.12
I saw a chunk of code today that made my eyes pop out because of its lack of promise. Well, not its lack of promise, but its absence of
MT::Promise class, new in Movable Type 3.0, solves a common coding problem so it's worth getting the word out about what it does.
Tim Appnel's speaking at the O'Reilly Mac OS X Developer's Conference next week and is asking for feedback from those of you who are running Movable Type locally on your Macs. If you use a Mac as your staging environment or just to manage your information, feel free to give Tim some insights into how you work.
In an interesting reversal of the usual pattern, the print media is now reporting on gossip about bloggers. The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz reports on a contentious debate among political bloggers about confessing their biases while covering their subjects of interest.
While nothing as formal as the standard guidelines for journalists has emerged for bloggers, it seems each blogging community is developing a set of social norms that guide appropriate behaviors for disclaimers and disclosure.
With even broadcast media recognizing the importance of bloggers in promoting (and distributing!) their words, and blog posts being repurposed for news stories, readers of the medium may start to expect a straightforward way to find out a particular blogger's biases.
Robert Scoble's the most famous blogger at Microsoft, and he's got some good advice for those who are resisting adopting blogs because of fear about using the new medium in a business setting.
But the larger issue that becomes clear from Robert's post is that, like any new technology, the hard part of encouraging adoption is changing corporate culture to accommodate the new opportunities. Whether it's office productivity applications, accounting software, graphics and illustration programs or blogging tools, companies have to set proper expectations and guidelines in order to encourage smart use of blogs.
Groove Networks was one of the first companies to suggest a written blog policy, and other companies get by with just advising their employees to be smart about what they write. This seems like the kind of project that the blogosphere could do well to collaborate on, creating generalized guidelines for blogging at work.
A lot of good conversation about the topic also came up recently on Jeremy Zawodny's blog, when he started working in his new role at Yahoo Search. These conversations are likely to grow even more frequent, given the fact that almost every day brings a few more press stories about the growing popularity of business blogging.
Though they've been a bit busy to do a lot blogging lately, we're glad to see that Ben and Mena are the latest guests over at Eyebeam's reBlog. Eyebeam is a digital art atelier in New York City that does some extremely creative work at the intersection of art and technology.
If their linking inspires you to give it a try yourself, you can check out reBlog.org, where they've made all their tools available for free, including a Movable Type plugin.
Alan Nelson of the popular news aggregation blog Command Post has posted a transcript of his recent presentation to the managing editors of many of the Associated Press' most influential subscribers. Listing many of the lessons that print media can learn from weblogs, along with some of the opportunities that exist, it's a great resource.
An excellent roundtable discussion over at DrunkenBlog, with contributions from five of the top developers of desktop aggregator clients for the Mac. Lots of good insights into their perspectives on the future of syndication as well as the thinking behind their applications.
A small update to Movable Type today: version 3.12 is out. Faster rebuilds, automatic generation of .htaccess files for dynamic pages, better support for running under mod_perl or on old versions of perl, and a few other little tweaks and fixes make for a useful new version. It's a free update for all licensed users, and should be fairly straightforward to upload on top of your current Movable Type installation.
Tom Werner's got a cool little service called Gravatar, which lets you display a unique icon next to the posts or comments of authors. Your icon is tied to your email address, so your unique picture can appear at any place that you comment, as long as Gravatar is enabled on the site. If you're interested in trying it out, there's even a Movable Type plugin for implementing the service on your weblog.
One of the things that blogs do best is let a publication focus on a single topic, and when the topic is one as timely as vetting the accuracy of newspaper journalism, the results can be great. Regret The Error is a new TypePad blog tracking corrections and errors in American newspapers, and seems to be off to a roaring start.
The team at NewsGator has just announced that the online version of their tool is now free for everyone and includes the ability to manage your feeds in folders, rate individual posts, and get feed recommendations. There's also paid options for additional features and the ability to synchronize with the Outlook client that NewsGator is known for. The new service is well worth a try.
Elise Bauer of "Learning Movable Type" fame has just published the results of her web hosting survey, where 234 respondents gave their opinions on the hosting providers they're using to run Movable Type. It's well worth a look if you're in the market for hosting for yourself or a client.
Wired News reports on the increasing demand for ads in RSS, and given coverage like the story in this week's issue of BusinessWeek (subscription or registration required) and Audi's high -profile sole sponsorship of the recently-launched Jalopnik, it seems an increase in advertising is inevitable. Nick Denton offers some good insights into the weblog advertising market in last week's Wall Street Journal.
All the advertisers moving into the new medium would do well to be cautious in addressing the blogosphere. An audience that's willing and able to publish their responses to the whole world demands a thoughtful approach to marketing.
Our own Michael Sippey has a clever hack for FeedDemon, using its built-in support for XSLT to transform the default 3-paned view into a simpler two-pane view. Worth a look if you're using FeedDemon.
The Austin American-Statesman has a stable of Movable Type-powered weblogs, and they've just announced that Lasso, the Statesman's political blog, will be going full time between now and the presidential election. It's a great complement to the daily publishing schedule of the print paper.
As the American presidential election gets down to the wire (did you know that both the George Bush and John Kerry campaigns have weblogs powered by Movable Type?), the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has published an very thorough roundup of political blogs. And the Sacramento Bee chimes in with its own collection of links. Both are worth a look as the political season shifts into high gear.
If you're new to Movable Type or want to help get a friend or co-worker up to speed, there's a few good posts that cover Movable Type for Beginners as well as tips and tricks that come in handy while learning the application.
We'll be working to make it easier to get a full grasp of what Movable Type (and TypePad) are capable of, but in the meantime you can check out these great contributions from our community.
If you or someone you know had hosted a weblog with mBlog, and you're looking for a migration path to get your blog back up and running, take a look at Mena's post where she's outlined some strategies for bringing your blog back to life.
A couple weeks ago, I was invited by Sylvia Paull to speak about Six Apart and our products at a GraceNet grathering in San Francisco.
>From their website, GraceNet's mission statement:
To promote the contribution of women in technology and to leverage women's intellectual and creative capital for the betterment of society. GraceNet is the New Girl's Network bringing inspiration, support and funding to women in high technology.
The small group that gathered was a varied mixture of artists, writers, technologists and professionals who share what they are working on and listen to speakers in related fields. This was the first time I've spoken in front of a group that was almost 100% female so I, oddly, was a bit out of my element.
Thankfully, the group was great and I got to explain the history of the company and talk about weblogs in general. I was able to disprove some preconceptions (blogs aren't always about trying to reach thousands of people or about politics) and explain how weblogs would make sense for particular women in the group.
One such woman was Mary Trigiani, who I helped set up a TypePad weblog about her new book, Cooking with My Sisters. For authors, weblogs allow a way for independent promotion and an opportunity to share their personal perspective on their book and events surrounding publishing. I pointed her in the direction of Cory Doctorow, who has done a great job in the past publicizing his books.
I highly recommend checking out Mary's weblog and book.
Back to the event.
I was asked one particular question that I thought would be fitting to write about on this weblog. Someone from the audience asked what advice I had for married couples or partners who want to start a business together.
I've decided that I'm going to take some time writing up some advice (from personal experience) and share it on this weblog. While my advice is in no way a universal guideline for all couples, I'm sure some of it will help those considering taking the plunge. I hope to get some posts up by the end of this week.
It has come to our attention that an unlicensed weblog hosting service running on the Movable Type platform and branded as mBlog closed its doors to its users the other night without notice and, as a result, has taken their users' data with it.
One of the main reasons we work with authorized hosts is so that we can confidently recommend the level of service, support and reliability that they will provide. We set a high bar for the TypePad service and work only with partners who can provide a similar level of reliability for Movable Type. It was incredibly frustrating to see users of Movable Type (though it was rebranded as mBlog) not know exactly who to turn to. And it was frustrating for us to receive support requests because of a poor infrastructure on someone else's end -- especially on a version of Movable Type that had been heavily modified by sources other than Six Apart.
TechWeb is running its First Annual TechWeb Network Best Independent Tech Blog Readers Choice Awards. Despite the long name, the contest looks like a great chance to help promote your favorite tech bloggers and get them some well-deserved attention. If you've got some favorite sites that you like to check out, let TechWeb know and you could help them win a $500 coffee card from Starbucks.
Yesterday, Six Apart got profiled in the Wall Street Journal's business section, complete with those little line-drawing woodcuts of Ben and Mena. Today, the Contra Costa Times (free registration required) has republished the story, for those who might want to take a look. CBS 2 in New York ran a short overview of blogging which was based on the story as well. One of the nice upsides of all of the press coverage is that it's helping to get the message about weblogs and the power of the medium out to new audiences that might not be as familiar with the power of blogging.
CNET's News.com has a nice roundup of articles celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Netscape browser. One of the highlights is an interview with Ben Goodger, the lead engineer for Mozilla Firefox. Ben gives some great insights into how he and his team made the terrific application, and there's some good discussion prompted by posts on Ben's Movable Type-powered blog.
Congratulations to the current Mozilla team and to all those who made Netscape such a milestone 10 years ago.
Award-winning plugin developer Tim Appnel's just announced the public beta of MT-Feeds, his new plugin for syndicating feed content into Movable Type templates. It's the successor to the very popular mt-rssfeed plugin that Tim had created, and adds a number of cool new features such as Atom support, smarter caching, and OPML import.
Take a look at the latest version, and if you've used mt-rssfeed in the past or are planning to use MT-Feeds, you'll want to throw a few dollars towards the donation or commercial license payment buttons to support Tim's great development work.
Tim has also announced that he's taking over maintenance of Adam Kalsey's excellent stable of plugins, now that Adam has become CTO of Pheedo. Both Tim and Adam have long been valuable members of the Movable Type community, and we're glad to see their contributions continue to evolve.
Stepan Riha's Avoiding Duplicate Comments plugin for Movable Type has been updated to version 3.01, and now includes instructions for playing well with MT-Blacklist. If you're trying to make sure none of your commenters double-post, it's worth checking out.
A clever new extension for Mozilla-based browsers is JustBlogIt, which differs from a regular QuickPost bookmarklet by letting you have a slick posting form that can connect right to TypePad or Movable Type from within your browser.
PayPal's developer network blog has an update on their recent service woes. Nobody likes to have downtime, but at least they've got a place to communicate with their developers about it.
With lots of geeks going ga-ga over Podcasting and audioblogging these days, you might want to check out Brandon Fuller's MT-Enclosures Movable Type plugin, which has just been updated to version 1.1.
At the XML 2004 conference in Washington, D.C. next month, there will be an Atom Hackathon. If you'll be in the area and are interested in Atom, you'll want to swing by.
Dav Coleman's got the most buzzword-compliant code of the day, with his J2ME bluetooth GPS mo-pho-weblogging app. That's a mobile java application posting location data, along with photos, to your weblog from anywhere that you take your mobile phone. Very cool! And, as Boris mentions, there's a MobileAtom J2ME implementation that might make the effort even cooler.
Things have been buzzing in the DropCash community lately. The TypeKey enabled and PayPal powered service just announced the beginnings of a Dropcash API, and clients are popping up all over, including Gordon Luk's COM object for C# and .NET coders, and Michael Buffington's put together a Cold Fusion tag to include DropCash data easily in that environment.
Kanoodle's just announced BrightAds, their new topic-based advertising system. and they're welcoming independent publishers into their network.
Meanwhile, Pheedo's just announced their acquisition of Blogsnob, which lets you promote your weblog to other bloggers for free.
For anyone interested in increasing traffic or revenue on their sites, both services are probably worth checking out.
Though we definitely don't recommend doing this unless you're an expert user who's certain of the security implications, Doug Bowman has described a very useful way of using Movable Type as a remote editor. For tweaking configuration files or other documents on a server, this can be a real time-saver.
Blogs keep getting championed for bringing a human voice and personality to companies or organizations that were formerly somewhat indistinct. For a great example, take a look at Stonyfield Farm's blogs, which feature people like Diana Godbout, who's been involved in Stonyfield's consumer relations for a decade. Their Movable Type-powered weblogs show that there's an interesting story behind even something as prosaic as a cup of yogurt.
Though the press coverage around the U.S. Presidential campaign's use of weblogs has been very prominent, lots of local races are using weblogs to make a difference, too. For example, Jeff Seeman's campaign in Ohio has gotten natiional press coverage by asking readers of his blog to help decide his campaign strategy.
Regardless of political affiliation, it seems like an amazing bet for a challenger to take when going up against a 32-year veteran of the House. It seems likely that the importance of online campaigns in the future will be determined by their success in next month's elections. and if so, it might help weblogs graduate from being featured as just an extension of the spin cycle around political debates.
Are you going to be in the Twin Cities area on November 5th? Then be sure to check out City Pages' "Get Real" film festival, which will feature the debut of Blogumentary. Chuck Olsen's been working on his independent documentary on blogs for more than a year, and documenting his progress on his TypePad site.
Sun's just posted a poll asking for feedback about what you'd like to see from the company. If you use Sun tools or technologies, you might want to go shed some light.
Those of you who've seen his work with plugins, extending Movable Type, and in communicating about our products know that his experience as an expert with Movable Type will help us better fit the needs of those of you who are doing similar work as developers, consultants, and weblog experts.
Update: Jay's posted about his side of the story as well.
When it rains, it pours. I have the pleasure to announce that Jay Allen will be joining as a product manager for Movable Type. Yes, Jay will be moving back to California from Hungary to work for Six Apart -- a big move that we're incredibly excited about. Jay has been a great supporter of Movable Type, Six Apart and us personally for the past three years (today is the three year anniversary of Movable Type!) and I'm glad to consider him a friend.
The work that Jay did with MT Blacklist just showed us that he wanted to take the initiative to work on a problem that was affecting a great number of our users. He took the lead to find a creative solution and spent countless hours working on versions 1.0 and 2.0. When we awarded him first prize in our Plugin contest a couple months ago, we knew that we needed him to fill a role at Six Apart. Luckily for us, we've been fortunate in hiring some great people recently and because of that I believe that Jay realized that we were really entering the next stage of the company.
Six Apart receives series B funding from August Capital. Very exciting times for Six Apart and an obviously new stage for us.
As you may have seen already, Six Apart decided to take additional funding from August Capital in a series "B" round.
When it boils down to taking funds, a venture firm believes that they will achieve a significant return on their investment. Venture funding isn't about charity. We believe that we have huge potential to do some great things. Ten million dollars is *a lot* of money -- it's a sort of figure that I can barely fathom when thinking about our roots. We'll use the money to bring the company to the next level -- a cliched phrase, I know. We're going to be competing with some of the largest companies in the world and it will take money to build the sort of features that we've been imagining and planning for the past three years. You're not going to see a Superbowl ad for TypePad or a warehouse of puppets. I learned a good lesson when I was a kid: just because you're given a ten dollar bill, doesn't mean you have to buy a seven dollar banana split. It's fitting that I write this while at the Web 2.0 conference. It's a different time for the web and we've all learned from mistakes of start-ups in the past. Being independent, but a significant player is really important to us.
Now, another one of my epic posts, this one being "The Book of August."
If you're in California, there are a few events where some of us at Six Apart will be speaking tomorrow. Andrew Anker is discussing the "Architecture of Participation" at Web 2.0, and I'll be on a panel entitled "Technology and Convergence: Threat, or Opportunity?" at the NAB Radio Show.
If you've got any suggestions for topics to be discussed, feel free to add them as TrackBacks below. I'm not sure the schedule for the NAB panel, but I hope to be able to introduce the audience of radio executives to the idea of podcasting as well as introduce the idea of blogging in general.
Big news from the team behind Laszlo, their rich internet application platform is now available as Open Laszlo, an open source implementation that makes this interesting set of technologies available to a broader audience.
David Temkin's got the full story over on his blog, but if you're new to Laszlo, you'll want to check out the ten minute overview, which gives you a full introduction to how the language works. (It's pretty similar to XUL or XAML.)
Given the simple, XML-driven application language, it should be fairly easy to make Movable Type templates that generate LZX markup. Anybody got some examples to show?
I'd like to offer congratulations to Ev not because he's leaving Google, but because of the success he has had during the five years of Blogger. Ev and the Blogger team (both old and new) paved the way for companies like Six Apart and we all respect what they have accomplished.
I started Dollarshort on Blogger and was made "Blog of Note" within a couple of weeks of my first post. With this accolade came readers, including some fairly popular webloggers. When we announced that we were going to create Movable Type, it was many of Dollarshort's readers who first spread the word. Since that time, I've always felt lucky for our fortunate timing and that competition with Blogger was always honorable.
Some people like Movable Type to separate words in a post's friendly URL by using hyphens instead of underscores, since some search engines seem to prefer hyphens to seaparate words. Good news from Cal Henderson: he's made dashify, a Movable Type 3 plugin which lets you simply use
dashify="1" instead of
dirify="1" in your archive path settings to make your URLs dashier.
Last week, Bloglines announced its suite of web services, making it possible for developers to build on top of Bloglines' features and take advantage of their caching of XML feeds. Now, Bloglines has added a forum for supporting developers who are working with the API, as well as sample code in Perl, Ruby, and Python for accessing the new web services.
With so much activity happening around syndication and aggregation web services lately, we should be seeing some interesting applications popping up soon.
KC Lemson's the release manager for Microsoft Exchange Server, and she's got some very kind words about TypePad over on her work blog. We'll definitely be taking note of the complaints and trying to improve the service, but thanks for taking the time to post, KC!
Courtesy of MarketingProfs, a useful piece entitled Seven Reasons Why Businesses Should Blog Now. Keep it around to help explain the benefits of blogging to your boss or to your clients.
Andy Clarke's begun an interesting series of posts detailing how he's helped migrate the Disney Store UK to an entirely standards-based design. He'll be giving an overview of the entire design and implementation process on his Movable Type-powered blog this week, and it should be very enlightening to follow along.
Interested in posting to a weblog from a mobile client? Then you'll want to check out the new app (caution: it's still really alpha MobileAtom that Robert Sayre has put together to support posting to AtomEnabled tools from any J2ME environment. Robert shows the tool posting to TypePad in his demonstration, and the tool should work with Movable Type as well.
Publisher Nick Denton has just announced three new weblogs in the Gawker Media stable, Jalopnik, Kotaku, and Screenhead. Covering (respectively) cars, video games, and net silliness of the "funny forwards" variety, these three additions have already garnered coverage in the New York Times despite having launched earlier today.
It's not entirely surprising, of course. Nick's network of sites, including titles like Gawker, Wonkette and Gizmodo, are among the best-known blogs on the web, and have done a good job of helping people who are new to the medium to see the potential of weblogs. And, like all the blogs in the Gawker stable, the new additions are powered by Movable Type 3.11.
Congratulations to the growing Gawker team on the new launches, and be sure to check out Nick's post for some fascinating statistics on readership for the blogs, as well as the advertising and sponsorship models that Gawker has been exploring with its weblogs.
There's a host of cool new web services that have just come online for developers to build on top of. First, Amazon's expanded their existing web services into the Amazon E-Commerce Service, which includes much more information than the existing version 3.0 of their web services platform, as well as more flexibility in retrieving results.
Also from Amazon is their Alexa group's Alexa Web Info Service, which gives programmatic access to the enormous (over 4 billion pages!) database of information that Alexa's captured, letting you access most of the information that was previously ony available through the Alexa toolbar.
And Paul Bausch, the author of Amazon Hacks, gives some more information on another collection of web services with a jungle-themed name: Safari Web Services. Created by O'Reilly Media and the Pearson Technology Group, Safari Books Online now offers an API to get access to the contents of their extensive library of technical books through a simple API. Not just information about the books, but even the text itself can be searched and retrieved.
Over at the Professional Network Weblog, we've been running a series called Behind the Scenes where Six Apart staff introduce themselves and explain what tools they use:
Behind The Scenes is a new series where we here at Six Apart discuss what tools (software, technology, etc.) we use to do our work.
A brief look at the applications I use on a daily basis: Entourage, Photoshop CS, NetNewsWire 2.0 (beta), Firefox & Safari, iChat, Instiki, SubEthaEdit and Acrobat. Oddly, I do almost all my work in Entourage -- including writing weblog posts and any sort of document or notes as a draft. I have recently found that I enjoy using Instiki to keep notes. I don't like using wikis for collaboration. We keep one internally and I'm at a lost when it comes to finding data quickly. I'm a chronological, categorical sort of person. However, I've been able to use Instiki for collaboration with the person I know best -- myself.
Be sure to check out the Professional Network weblog and the Behind the Scenes posts from my fellow Six Aparters.
Long before I joined Six Apart, I chose Movable Type for my first weblog VentureBlog. It was an easy decision at the time, Movable Type had (and still has) the best API support, a robust plug-in architecture and widespread community of supporters and developers. The network effect of platform software development had taken hold, and I wanted to be a part of it. Since that time, Six Apart has continued to invest in extensibility, with its leadership in developing and supporting Atom and recent expansion of the plug-in architecture in MT 3.0.
No, not in jeopardy, on Jeopardy. The long-running game show, a favorite of trivia junkies everywhere, featured a category entitled "Blogs" last week, as captured over on Thousand Robots. There's even mentions of Larry Lessig's weblog and blogforamerica.com, both of which are powered by Movable Type.
Behind The Scenes is a new series where we here at Six Apart discuss what tools (software, technology, etc.) we use to do our work.
Greetings and welcome to Day Five of the "Behind The Scenes" series. I'm Walt Dickinson, a Six Apart interface designer and front-end developer, and I'll be taking you on a brief tour through a few of the tools I use here at work on a daily basis.