The TypePad Platform
In 2003, Six Apart launched TypePad, which quickly became and remains the leading premium hosted blogging service. According to comScore, Six Apart is the leader in the blog category in the US and reaches over 183M unique visitors per month around the world - that’s bigger than MySpace - and TypePad is the cornerstone of Six Apart’s hosted services.
In the last year we’ve rebuilt TypePad from the ground up and introduced social networking features such as profiles, following, microblogging, and status updates to our bloggers. We've invested in making TypePad the most secure, stable, scalable and social blogging platform, but until now the only way to use it was through TypePad.com. Today we are very pleased to announce the launch of the TypePad Platform, where any developer, blogger, publisher, or corporation can use the TypePad “cloud” through our open APIs.
Cloud services didn’t exist in 2001 the way they do today, but now services from Amazon and others make building and launching new web sites much easier and less expensive by providing infrastructure level “cloud” services. Users of Flickr, Facebook and Twitter have transformed the internet by sharing their media and building relationships online, in part because of the flexibility of experiences that those platforms' API have enabled.
We hope to take cloud computing a step further with the TypePad Platform with this “smart cloud” service - combining the flexibility of infrastructure-focused services with the building blocks of our social application platform. Our platform enables developers to use structured object, like blogs, posts, comments, people, activities, groups, and tags, to quickly and inexpensively build next generation social applications on a reliable, secure, and scalable platform.
That all may be a bit too much jargon, I realize, so the bottom line is this: cloud services are transforming how web sites and social applications are being built, and we want to help move this trend forward by opening up TypePad’s APIs. We hope to dramatically lower barriers for those trying to get started on a shoestring to build the next Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.
For larger publishers and Internet businesses, we see the TypePad Platform as new way to incorporate blogs and social networking into their sites - offering an alternative to completely local software solutions or completely hosted SaaS solutions. With the TypePad Platform, publishers can use the presentation layer and templates of their choice - be it via MT, PHP, Django, Java, etc. - while not having to install and support an expensive back end.
For personal bloggers and TypePad users, opening up our APIs means that TypePad will be built into applications that will help the bloggers and their readers, paving the way for more applications that enhance TypePad functionality. For our larger TypePad customers it opens up a large set of possibilities about how they can integrate their TypePad blogs into their existing web sites. For our Movable Type and Six Apart Services clients, this opens up many more ways that TypePad can be used in conjunction with, rather than an alternative to, Movable Type or other installed blogging platforms.
The TypePad Developer Program
To help folks get started using the TypePad Platform, we’ve launched the TypePad Developer Program to provide developers with a free beta version, or Developer Preview, of the TypePad API, available today. Commercial versions of the TypePad Platform will come later, but the TypePad API for developers is free. Developers will find documentation, a forum, mailing list and group where they can get their questions answered quickly at developer.typepad.com.
To show what the TypePad Platform can do, today we are announcing and open sourcing TypePad Motion as the inaugural open source application built by Six Apart for the TypePad platform. Typepad Motion is a microblogging app evolved from the Pownce codebase & community, It’s written in Python using the Django framework, making it extremely easy to build and customize. It’s a great example of how developers can use TypePad for the heavy lifting without sacrificing the flexibility and control of an entirely separate presentation layer, like Django, to maintain templates and build pages.
A TypePad Motion site is a place where members come together to share notes, files, photos, videos and audio with others and featured users can aggregate all of their activity around the web onto the TypePad Motion site, keeping their fans or followers up-to-date on their activities. Several celebrities have integrated TypePad Motion sites into their branded websites, such as Zachary Quinto (Star Trek, Heroes) and Ryan Star.
For more information about TypePad Motion, please visit typepad.com/go/motion.
This opens up a new chapter for TypePad and Six Apart, and it’s just a start. The TypePad Platform is new and now primarily for developers who wish to preview and test the service. We’d love your feedback. It is Six Apart’s continuing mission to dramatically reduce the cost and time to market while increasing the capability and scalability in building social applications. We’re hoping to make web publishing even more accessible and social and we hope you will join us.