I couldn’t believe it when I stopped and paid notice to the fact that I have not updated my blog here since my return from SXSW. What a sorry, sorry blogger I am! Short story, I’ve been ultimately too chaotically busy with design projects, organizing WordCamp Chicago and some family matters that shall remain unmentioned – let’s just say … kids – I liked them better when they were cute and cuddly and weren’t old enough to drive a car! ‘Nuff said? I think so 🙂
My latest exciting announcement is that I have another book on my horizon. As most readers here know, I’ve been designing websites and blogs for a decade, at least. I work with my clients on the platform that they’ve chosen to use – WordPress, Movable Type, TypePad, Expression Engine, Drupal, Joomla – – you name it. I would say, for the most part, I work mainly in WordPress, MovableType and TypePad, with the occasional Expression Engine site thrown in just to throw me off. I actually got my start in blog designing on the Movable Type platform, before WordPress really hit the scene. Yes, I’ve been around that long.
Around the time that I was close to wrapping up the big update to my WordPress For Dummies book (the 2nd Edition) in February of this year, my editor at Wiley Publishing started asking about my interest in doing another Dummies book on a different blogging platform. This time around: TypePad For Dummies. My editors inquiry was tentative, because any good editor knows that the worst time to approach an author about writing a new book is when they are in the final throes of completing the current one. That is the point when you don’t even want to THINK about the prospect of doing another one. So, she smartly tabled the talk until the 2nd edition of WordPress For Dummies was safely on the shelves and my sanity restored.
I thought about it some, and decided to do it. I know the TypePad platform extremely well, in terms of the user experience and designing through customizing TypePad’s own themes with CSS, or using their Advanced Template feature to create websites using the TypePad template tags – it’s something I’ve been doing for years.
Back in October, I attended BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas. Aside from having an extremely good time at the Blackjack tables there, I also had the opportunity to meet and chat, at length, with the folks from SixApart – particularly the people involved with TypePad development. They told me about some of the big changes that TypePad was about to launch for their users – so having the book launch right on the heels of their big new interface rollout was good timing.
It seems to be the way I am destined to write books, though. When I wrote the 2nd Edition of WordPress For Dummies, people thought that it was just a simple update to the original one. Actually, the 2nd Edition turned out to be a completely different book because of the vast changes between version 2.5/2.6 of the WordPress platform and version 2.7. Writing a book when the platform was smack dab in the middle of such huge development/interface changes was pretty challenging. With this book, TypePad For Dummies, I find myself in the same situation – – TypePad is in the midst of a very big overhaul…and I’m in the midst of writing a book based on beta development, thus far. But their development is well on its way and should be a done deal before I’m halfway done…so that’s cool.
Given my newest project, I launched a new blog on TypePad, which you can view here. I also did a preliminary review of TypePad’s new Beta features – as I’ve been on the Beta testing team, as many are, and have been able to experience the great new changes that TypePad has coming down the pike. You can also connect with me through my TypePad Connect profile, if you have one.
For those that learned about my new project, the questions were inevitable — “I thought you were a WordPress girl, what changed??” My answer: Nothing. I love WordPress and still prefer to use it on this and my business sites. Or: “Don’t you think writing a book on TypePad is a betrayal to WordPress??” My answer: Don’t be ridiculous.
Lots has been said about the rivalry between the two platforms, WordPress and TypePad (or Automattic and SixApart – however you’d like to look at it). I say that choice is good for the user and competition keeps the applications sharp and hungry, which, ultimately, is good for the community.
Attempting to bridge the gap, Anil Dash from SixApart recently spoke at WordCamp MidAtlantic about community, content and then introduced some plugins and services that SixApart has released for the WordPress community. Aaron Brazell, who organized WordCamp MidAtlantic and was the guy who took the risk to invite Anil to do a keynote at a grassroots WordPress event (it worked, Aaron – quite effective, that!) – wrapped it up rather nicely in one line in his recent remarks on the event: ..“our communities really are very similar because we all love blogging and want to see the medium thrive.”
When it comes to publishing content on the web, I’m not a one issue voter, so to speak. It is the content that matters – how you get your content on the web is a matter of personal preference.
That is all I have to say on the matter:)
I’m very excited to be writing TypePad For Dummies, especially during the time of such vast and enormous growth that TypePad is experiencing right now with their new interface roll out. I have had incredible support from the folks at SixApart and TypePad, so far – they’ve been very helpful, resourceful and are just as excited about the book project as I am (maybe more..I’m not sure!)
I will probably be done writing TypePad For Dummies just in time to start updating and re-writing the THIRD edition of WordPress For Dummies!