TypePad's Growing Pains

10/27/2005

As blogs become more integrated in business strategies the platforms that we use become increasingly important. As Tris Hussey puts it, "...for many of us blogs are mission critical parts of our marketing, communication and daily life."

On Business Blog Consulting Tris Hussey, Debbie Weil, Paul Chaney and Rich Brooks are discussing the results of what maybe TypePad's too rapid growth; also read what Marianne Richmond at Resonance Partnership has to say.  Here's Diva Marketing's story.

Diva Marketing is built on TypePad. I did a lot of research before choosing six apart's (TypePad's parent company) hosted weblog product. I wanted a simple interface, easy to use formatting and linking with the ability to trackback. I also wanted to track metrics. Since I'm a small business, reasonable cost was on the list too. And I wanted a hosted solution.

I also looked at the company itself e.g., how long had it been around; what were people's take on the service; was it a pure start-up or was there a bit of a track record. After reviewing a bunch of solutions and talking with a few people it seemed that TypePad would meet most of my needs. I've since recommended TypePad to friends and clients.

six apart  has reaped the benefits of being one of the first to market in the blog solution space. However, it has not come without its share of growing pains; and as often is the case with growth that seems not to be planned, it's at the expense of its customers.

Over the past couple of weeks TypePad seems to be playing more like a  yoyo. It has gone up and down numerous times  without warning. Customers have not been able to access their blog posts (was that a scary moment!), and just yesterday when I tried to pull up the site nothing came up. Nothing. Not even a splash page telling me not to freak.

If we've learned one thing in the blogopshere it's that the Godfather was wrong. Business is personal. six apart as one of the leaders in this emerging industry shame on you for putting customers last. Rich sums it  up, "Whether TypePad is going to be part of the solution for business bloggers or an also-ran will be determined by how they respond to their current problems."

This is not a whine session but a gentle wake up or the parade will pass you by message. This space is becoming more competitive by the nano second. Remember the dot com bust and take heed.

Lessons Learned: Growth without a plan that includes customer communications can cost you significantly in terms of good will and lost customers.

Next -  If we can only get the pings and tags to work! Technorati what's the deal?

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» Typepad from Resonance Partnership Blog
Typepad has become the source of dissatisfaction for many bloggers lately...and the subject of many blog posts that express the dissatisfaction. Business Blog Consulting has three such posts which highlight the problems and offer positive suggestions i... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 27, 2005 3:10:47 AM

» Typepad's Bluges Not Relished by Competitor from Thinking Home Business
It's hard to keep a secret in the blogosphere and it's certainly no secret that some Typepad users have been having a less than totally satisfactory experience lately. See for example Toby Bloomberg's comments at Typepad's Growing Pains. I like a lo... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 28, 2005 1:00:18 AM

Comments

I sure wish I could figure out the Technorati indexing problem. I wonder if it is a Typepad issue. I just set a client up with Feedburner pinging Technorati for her Blogger-powered site and she's getting indexed within the hour. I'm going to have a chance to talk to some folks from Technorati in person this weekend, so I'll ask about this for sure.

For the record, WordPress is very easy to use (except for the lack of WYSIWYG editor if you need buttons for linking and bold, etc.) and not being automatically-hosted is almost a non-issue if you select a host who has an auto-install of WordPress. I use BlueHost. There's a little bit of toodling around with it that needs to be done, so a little technical assitance can be helpful, but it is far from undoable. Underlying strength: WordPress is open source, so there's a large community of people who can help with it.

Best of luck to you with the Typepad scenario! New technologies are bound to have majore wrinkles they have to work out in their formative years.

Posted by: Marshall Kirkpatrick on Oct 27, 2005 8:01:21 AM

Hi Toby,

I had Technorati trouble too, back when I was hosted at TypePad. Since Technorati never answered any of my e-mails I finally mentioned it to someone at FeedBurner, and he took it upon himself to contact Technorati and get it figured out.

Talk about customer service! FeedBurner is amazing.

In my case, it was the auto-discovery code for my feed. This is the code in the header of your blog template that tells inquiring bots, etc, where to find your feed. The code that FeedBurner had given me so that people subscribing to my feed would find my FeedBurner feed, was apparently not jiving with what Technorati was searching for.

That's right, Technorati indexes your tags via your feed.

I highly suggest asking someone at Technorati to check the Auto-Discovery code on your blog...it may just pay off :)

Best,
-Cary

Posted by: Cary on Oct 27, 2005 12:18:57 PM

Good to hear there are others out their with concerns about Typepad! I've got a question for you: how did you manage to integrate such a good-looking search box and functionality on your site. I've asked Typepad for suggestions for my blog and all they could suggest was Googles - and I was on my own in trying to make it work. Suggestions?

Rob.

Posted by: Rob on Oct 27, 2005 12:51:34 PM

hey there-

Trust me, we hear you guys. You can check out Mena and Ben's post here regarding the ups and downs:

http://www.sixapart.com/about/corner/2005/10/the_ups_downs_o.html

and to reiterate, we really, really apologize. This will NEVER happen again.

Posted by: *ginevra on Oct 27, 2005 3:22:30 PM

I used Typepad for over a year and was quite happy with it. But when I wanted to set up separate category feeds and also wanted to integrate my blog more closely with my web site, my webmaster informed me that I needed to look at something else. He recommended Squarespace. It hasn't been around as long as Typepad, but so far I am very happy with it. It has an excellent stats program, a WYSIWYG interface, trackbacks, comments, and the ability to set up separate category feeds. There is a small learning curve, but it isn't rocket science. I hope Typepad solves its problems, but I am a happy camper at Squarespace.

Posted by: Linda Abraham on Oct 27, 2005 9:51:09 PM

Rob -

It wasn't me .. it was Peter at The Blog Studio who did the design work. http://www.theblogstudio.com/ Here's Peter's email - http://www.theblogstudio.com/

Posted by: Toby on Oct 27, 2005 10:46:45 PM

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