The writers' strike just ended and shows are making their way back into development, but that hasn't kept AMC TV from unveiling a brand new look and home for their blogs. AMC's blogs spotlight their diverse programming. Some of the highlights since launch include a live chat with Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston right after the series finale, I am Legend's alternate ending, screenwriters' picks of which classics are in need of a rewrite, and there is going to be another Robocop sequel.
Apperceptive helped bring this together by building a set of custom templates and plugins on top of Movable Type's Community Solution. In addition to their blogs, the site features six forum areas for each of their focused genres and shows, lists of the most popular and recommended entries, and photo galleries (Steve Martin, Breaking Bad) to accompany the blog.
From our recent launch of the Design Assistant for Movable Type and TypePad to the announcement of tons of new themes for TypePad users, we’ve been extremely focused on design for bloggers this year. Today, we’re thrilled to present the next step in our effort to improve the state of design in the blogosphere: What do you have to say? contest.
We’re calling out to the design community online to create new banners and themes for use on TypePad, Vox and LiveJournal blogs, and enter in the running for HP gift certificates of up to $1000 in value.
At Six Apart, our platforms power every kind of blog, from individuals blogging for friends and family to small businesses or enthusiasts writing about their areas of expertise to some of the biggest media companies in the world. And one thing we think every kind of blogger deserves is the best design on the web. So we’re excited to have HP as a contest sponsor as the next step to encouraging the creation of beautiful new designs for your blog
You can start submitting your design entries in the contest today, with a final deadline of April 4. After that, we’ll move to the voting and judging phases of the competition with a goal of determining a final winner on April 22.
So get started — show the world your design chops, and get in the running for some amazing prizes from HP.
I've been interested in geo-location stuff for a long time now. Even back in 2003, when we launched TypePad, we built in support for parsing photo EXIF data to look for latitude and longitude embedded by a camera or mobile phone. Of course, at the time, only a couple of phone models in Japan, as well as (apparently) high-end digital cameras, could record GPS data on photos taken by the device.
A couple of years later, I bought a GPS device, connected it over Bluetooth to my mobile phone, and wrote some server software to track my location; I also wrote Python client software for my phone (hooray for Python for s60!) to take a photo, collect my current location, and send the whole mess up to my TypePad moblog.
There were a number of problems with every setup I've ever tried, though, ranging from the setup being too clunky (I quickly tired of carrying around a GPS device) to not wanting to share my location in detail with the entire world. Most importantly, though, was that there just wasn't much I could do with the data, once I had it: I could map it, but it wasn't hooked in to my online identity in any useful way.
So I was really excited last week to see the launch of Yahoo!'s Fire Eagle service, which is simple, privacy-aware, and most importantly, is now hooked in to Movable Type, using the new Fire Eagle plugin for MT. This makes my MT profile location-aware: I can add a map of my current location; changes to my location are added to my Action Stream; and other MT plugins can build off of the location to provide additional location-sensitive features. You can see it in action -- combined with the Action Stream plugin -- on David's site.
Another interesting aspect of the Fire Eagle API is that it uses the new OAuth standard for all API requests. We've written about OAuth in the past and are really excited to see Yahoo! supporting it. To help do our part in the adoption of this open standard, we'll be shipping the Perl OAuth library with the next release of Movable Type so that no plugin developer needs to worry if they'll be able to develop atop OAuth with MT.
If you need a Fire Eagle invite, leave a comment and we'll email you one.
Just two weeks ago, Six Apart announced the first stable release of Movable Type Open Source. We would have told you sooner, but we've been busy uncorking champagne and celebrating its arrival. Truth be told, we've been busy working on a whole slew of sites, but the office is definitely excited by this development.
Many of us on the Apperceptive team have been Movable Type users or developers for half a decade. By going open source, Six Apart is inviting the Apperceptives of the world to leverage their talents and make MT a better product. The community has already built hundreds of plugins and now we all have the chance to add the best features directly into the product. We had never lost our enthusiasm for Movable Type, but this opens up a whole new world of opportunity.
Congratulations to the Six Apart team!
As we have been saying for some time, we take design incredibly seriously at Six Apart. In that post, we were talking about empowering bloggers to have complete control over their blog designs. Today we take that next step in educating bloggers about design by combining the most powerful set of design tools available with the largest set of blog themes on any hosted blogging platform and making them all available as a free upgrade to all of our TypePad members. And you don’t even have to be a TypePad member to get a look at some of the amazing new design capabilities.
The new themes on the TypePad service follow up on a commitment made by all of us at Six Apart from our CEO down, to making 2008 TypePad’s best year ever. That commitment was met with an immediate response from hundreds of you in the community, and you echoed back a clear desire for more and better designs for your TypePad blog. In just the next few weeks:
- Hundreds of you responded to the design poll, choosing which themes you’d like to see first.
- We followed up with a collection of seasonally-themed Photo Album designs.
- And finally, we delivered the first fifteen professionally-designed theme variations that you asked for.
Which brings us to today. TypePad has over 100 themes, dozens more than any other service. And the Design Assistant introduced by our Movable Type team has now been launched for TypePad, and you can use it right now — even if you aren’t a TypePad subscriber yet. Dig into it, and get a feel for the flexibility, the breadth, and the customizability that TypePad is all about. The initial launch of the Design Assistant inspired the quote that titles this post: “This is something many didn’t even dream of.” Isn’t that the kind of response great design is supposed to inspire?
Put simply, we want to make it dead simple to make a beautiful blog that is as personalized as the ideas that you publish.
And of course, we couldn’t focus on design without throwing in a little bit of eye candy, too. Ever since we started previewing our new design overview page, people have been tickled by the Cover Flow-style carousel of themes that you can scroll through. It might even help inspire you to pick a new theme for your own blog.