July 30, 2003

On the Third Day of TypePad, Ben & Mena gave to me...

a photo album maker (mobile weblogging, and the easiest template builder I have seen!)

Photo Albums are the featured feature on the Third Day of TypePad. After spending several hours putting together the gallery of pictures from our vacation to Panama City, I was really looking forward to trying out this TypePad feature, and it really delivers!

Creating photo albums with TypePad is ridiculously simple. You pick the pictures you want, name them and caption them if you like, set up the gallery template much like the main weblog template builder, and then TypePad takes care of all the cropping, resizing, and complicated coding.

If you like to share your digital pictures with everyone, this Photo Album feature is a godsend! I can't think of a single negative thing about it.

Check out the Photo Album I created, featuring pictures of the road trip to Wisconsin I took with my Dad to see Dave Matthews Band.

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July 29, 2003

On the Second Day of TypePad, Ben & Mena gave to me...

mobile weblogging! (and the easiest template builder I have seen)

Well, Day Two of the Five Days of Type Pad puts the spotlight on Moblogging, which is shorthand for mobile weblogging, which refers specifically to the sending of text or pictures from cellphones or other email-capable wireless devices so that you can post to your blog even when you don't have access to the internet.

This seems like a really great feature, but unfortunately, I can't report a whole lot about it, because I spent about a half hour trying to get it to work and did not have any luck. The culprit may be that my cellphone's e-mail address is not its number at cingular.com. TypePad requires that you enter the e-mail address you'll be sending from, and I guessed that this was mine, but it may not be. A quick perusal of the Cingular website did not reveal the answer, either.

But suffice to say, assuming it works, this is pretty nice. Inputing text on a traditional cellphone is pretty darn annoying, but other wireless devices like phones that include QWERTY thumb-keyboards and PDAs would be very cool. It's a great way to post things quickly that you might otherwise forget.

Perhaps my only complaint about this is that you can only set it to send to one of your TypePad weblogs. A way to encode the weblog you'd like it sent to inside the message would be better. And a way to update TypeLists (one of the future Days of TypePad, I'm certain) from the road would be nice, too.

Posted at 10:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

July 28, 2003

On the First Day of TypePad, Ben & Mena gave to me...

...the easiest template builder I have seen!

Day One of the Five Days of TypePad features the Template Builder that is built in to the weblog service.

Being somewhat of a web designer myself, I don't have a whole lot of use for this feature, but I can give it an objective evaluation for what it is: a way to make personalized, snazzy-looking blogs for those without web design abilities.

I gave it a brief overview when I first started THE ISH beta 4, and in fact, this site is based on the code that was created with the template builder, with a few modifications. However, I doubted I could write a comprehensive review of the feature based on that minimal experience several weeks ago, so I created a new TypePad blog just to test it out.

Once a new blog is created, you can edit its look by going into the Design tab. That will bring up the page title "Select Your Weblog's Design." This page in-and-of-itself is pretty impressive.

insert screenshot here

It allows you to manage many different design schemes for your blog and change them at your whim. The easiest way to get started, though, is to click on one of the small text links under the name of the currently selected template (Layout, Content, Order, Style, and Basics). (A note to ease confusion: I named this test weblog "Template Builder Test"; thusly, "Template Builder Test Templates" refers simply to the default template created for this test weblog.)

Let's start with the first of these, Layout.


I was all prepared to do this massive write-up detailing every last feature, replete with screenshots and all, but then I realized it would take much more time than it's worth.

Therefore, I'll present you simply with a list of good and bad points that I noticed when testing it out.

Pros:
  • Pretty stinking simple to use. Even RC Cola could figure it out.
  • Solid all around. A good range of options, creates a solid XHTML/CSS design
  • The drag-and-drop sidebar placement tool is ingenious.
  • Great support for having many designs and the ability to change them effortlessly.
  • The option to completely write your own templates, if you wish.
Cons:
  • The interface is a little cluttered, still. (This applies to all of TypePad, really.)
  • Would be nice to have a few more options all around.
  • The limited color-picker should be replaced with a color-picker that has all 216 web-safe colors. (Presently, you can enter any hex value to get a color not in the picker, but you must know the six-digit hex value.)
  • No component for editing the nuances of the layouts (margins, paddings, etc.)
You can see the test page I build here. As you can see, there's a slight issue with the sidebar colors not going all the way down to the bottom of the page...oddly, a problem that doesn't exist on ISH beta 4. I didn't spend a whole lot of time really making it look good, because it was just a test of the system. But it turned out pretty decent. Overall, an impressive package that will be simple and powerful enough for those who don't want to design things on their own, and those that do will just bypass it and write their own templates.

Posted at 10:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 13, 2003

Wisconsin Pictures

Hey hey, I've posted some pictures from our little road trip to Wisconsin last weekend. Check 'em out.

Posted at 03:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 11, 2003

More TypePad fun

As I mentioned earlier, I'm not allowed to discuss specifics about the TypePad beta test, but the neat little "Stick it in Your Ear!" section of the sidebar is needless to say thanks to TypePad. What do you think about it?

Posted at 01:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

I'm so gellin' I'm like Ma-gellin'

Hey ho, all. This is the first post on this new weblog that I call THE ISH beta 4. This blog is being tested on TypePad, a new weblog publishing and hosting service from the creators of Movable Type.

I'll not be migrating my main ISH content over here, at least for now. I can't, due to a limited non-disclosure agreement, discuss specifics about the TypePad beta and its features, but this will primarily be a testing ground for those features.

You may want to bookmark this site, though I'll be posting all major developments (like the posting of photo galleries) on the normal ISH.

Posted at 12:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)