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February 12, 2009

Comments

I have just returned from California having spent 11 days with my bees in the almonds.
In the mornings and evenings I would do my internet and E-mail routine in the hotel office.
As much as I REALLY wanted to post replies to your Barry Hussein worship topics, The reply form isn't secure.
Once you comment on a given computer, your name automatically appears in the "your information" form.
I'm guessing that the hidden information accompanies the post as well, making it look like I posted it.
Then, anyone could come along and make some horrible comment, (such as joining in worship) and it would show as posted by me.
That is the only thing I have noticed.
Otherwise, let the worship continue....
Everyone sing together now:
OOOOOOOHH he walks with me, and he talks with me............
:-Q

Well said. Alas, it seems that Typepad is now more interested in expanding its empire than giving its existing customers what they want. They've gone corporate, which is unfortunate because they had a good thing going. But as you say we are pretty much stuck. The relationship metaphor is apt. Typepad might change, but we can't change it ourselves.

Invariably I get a prompt, friendly reply along the lines of, "Thanks for the feedback. We're working on the problem."

That's nice. However, it'd be nicer if the problems actually were solved.

---------------------

Glad to hear I'm not the only one. I've got a stack of bug reports that are, in some cases, four years old.

Every few months, I go in there and send them back to customer support with a "OK, it's been 37 months. How's this one coming?" and inevitably get back a cheery "We're working on it!" - and then they set the status to "Awaiting User Response"... as if.

Fortunately, BlueOregon is on its own domain name - and so we could move it, if I could ever find the time.

The new commenting thing seems more stable, but yeah, the "more comments" thing is deeply unfriendly to readers.

I want to thank Brian for all his userful feedback - it truly isn't that folks at TypePad are ignoring his feedback, we've been working hard at a better way to let our bloggers know that we're listening. That's most of my job as Community Manager.

I can't do it all alone, so I've been talking to my engineering staff this week to try to gain a deeper understanding of the issues you've been experiencing with the beta of TypePad Connect.

I'll let you know once I know more.

Brian,

I liked and hope for:

----Ability to edit mistakes after sending the post would be nice. That would be an ongoing edit feature, not just one time edit.
----Liked the profile with pic setup. This would help with commentors with the same name. The Catherine example comes to mind.
----The ability to find old posts and comments made many months or years back would be very nice.
----I did like the e-mail notification, of someone repling to my comment.

Roger

Some additional thoughts...

A central question seems to be what "connect" means in TypePad Connect.

TypePad is encouraging blog visitors to set up user profiles which will let them use a single sign-in for various social networking sites (Facebook, My Space, Twitter, etc.).

That's fine, if the goal is to connect with people across the Internet, letting them know a lot (or at least some) about who you are, your interests, your commenting history, and so on.

But many people are wary, for one reason or another, of using their real identity on the Internet. They prefer to post comments anonymously, using a "handle" rather than their name.

In this case particularly -- anonymous posting -- a commenter is more interested in connecting with others via an opinion or idea, rather than personally.

I think TypePad has to honor and facilitate both varieties of connection, whether through TypePad Connect or its base service. Not everyone wants a profile, a photo or image linked with his/her comment, public links to social networking sites.

As noted in my post, there are quite a few things TypePad could do to make a blog visitor connect better with other visitors, and the blog host.

-- Have recent comment links in the sidebar point directly to the comment, not just to the post

-- Allow a blog to show more than ten recent comments. Perhaps allow brief excerpts from a comment to appear.

-- Let commenters edit and delete their comments after posting.

-- Enable email notifications of additional comments to a post.

-- Offer the option of a sidebar feature that shows the most actively commented-on posts during the past few days, so visitors know where the comment action is.

-- Paginate comments, with a direct link to the last page, so visitors can easily jump to the most recent comment if there are more than 50 on a post (the max TypePad allows to show up on a single page).

And this wish list doesn't include the desirable features in the current comment system that TypePad Connect lacks. Meaning, TypePad shouldn't backslide on...

-- Making comments visible to Google and other search engines, because this is a big part of connecting with the big wide world outside of a particular blog.

-- Allowing a blog host to edit comments.

-- Making it easy to write and preview comments, particularly lengthy ones. (The current system has an expandable comment box, in Safari at least, which is much preferable to the scroll bars used in TypePad Connect).

Yes, there are good features in TypePad Connect. Nested comments. Option for including a photo/image of commenter. Ability to respond to a comment via email.

On the whole, though, the current system works better for me and visitors to my blogs. So I hope TypePad isn't irrevocably committed to making TypePad Connect the only commenting option.

Ginevra, you're doing a great Community Manager job. Like I said, TypePad staff are unfailingly responsive, friendly, and competent -- which naturally includes you.

My concern, which has been echoed by a few others who commented on my post (including fellow Oregonian Kari, who runs a terrific progressive blog, Blue Oregon), is that the technical side of TypePad isn't keeping up with the problems that users point out.

I agree with Kari: we keep hearing that such and such is on the road to being done, or fixed, but the endpoint never appears. Instead, new features that seem aimed at marketing or increasing the subscriber base appear to be given a higher priority than improving the basic blogging service.

What Brian said. Actions speak louder than words. TPC is obviously meant to increase Typepad's reach in the social web, not to make commenting better or easier. It has none of the features we've been crying for and that other blog hosts have already delivered, and it makes commenting slow and cumbersome for anyone who wants to use it (á la Blogger). Typepad should stick to blogging and leave the social networking to the specialists.

Sylvia, nicely said, though I'd phrase your sentiment somewhat differently. TypePad should focus on blogging and leave the social networking as an adjunct to their core services -- an option that doesn't distract from improving the connections between bloggers, blog visitors, and the overall world wide web.

How does TYPEPAD Connects works? I have a few typepad blogs but haven't trier Typepad connect.

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