BlogHer.com did a short series on mini-blogging and some of the popular tools for joining in the party. This article is part of that series.
So far in our overview of microblogging tools I’ve introduced you to Tumblr and Denise admitted her addiction to Posterous. Those two tools are the most popular options going, but there is a third option: TypePad Micro. If you’re a TypePad user, you’ve noticed that Six Apart (TypePad’s parent company) has made some significant changes over the last year or so. The goal of those changes has been to allow users to create an online hub where they can manage all of their social media accounts and TypePad Micro is just another tool to help you to that end.
In November, TypePad introduced a new, free blogging option called Micro. Here is an overview of the features you get with your new Micro account:
- Cross-post your Micro entries with your Twitter, Facebook, or FriendFeed accounts.
- Allow readers to sign in and comment with their TypePad, Facebook, Twitter, or OpenID account.
- Use the Re-Blog feature to share a snippet from a Micro blog to your own blog (and allow your readers to do the same).
- Post to your Micro account via e-mail, an iPhone app, or via a bookmarklet.
- Allow other TypePad users can follow you and have your status fed to their dashboard.
As for design, TypePad Micro falls somewhere in between the many options for Tumblr and the no design option of Posterous. A basic Micro account offers two design themes: Chroma and Avatar. The Chroma design allows you to upload your own banner image and then pulls the color scheme for your Micro blog from that photo. The bolder the colors, the better. The Avatar theme is based on the movie coming out this month (but you can still upload your own banner image and change the color scheme based on that image).
Setting up a TypePad Micro blog is a fairly easy affair, just follow the wizard at their site. If you already have a TypePad account and would like to add a Micro blog, the TypePad Knowledge Base can walk you through that. Once you’re up and running with your Micro account, you can start posting text, pictures, or video.
When Ginevra Kirkland from TypePad contacted me to alert me about the launch she explained why Micro would be of interest to new and established bloggers alike:
“[T]he opening of the TypePad network to new bloggers expands your audience. It also allows your readers and commenters to participate in your community in whole new ways: through favoriting, following, commenting, reblogging and, ultimately, blogging with a free TypePad Micro blog.”
Want to see how others are using TypePad Micro? Here are a few sites for you:
- Dollarshort by Six Apart co-founder, Mena Trott
- Awesome Blog by Leah Culver
- Mookie’s Musings by Mookie
You might also be interested to read Laurie’s take on why she’s not using TypePad’s Micro option. In a nutshell, she says, “I want a better blog, here–not a microblog. That’s why I come here. I can micro everything everywhere else. I do micro everything. I tweet all the livelong day. I also have an abandoned Vox, and a Posterous, and a Tumblr. I don’t know what I’m doing with any of those things, but I have them. . .My blog is not Twitter. I don’t want it to be Twitter.”
I disagree with Laurie to an extent. I think mini-blogs do have a place, but it depends on how you’re blogging and who your audience is. These mini-blog options–Tumblr, Posterous, and TypePad Micro–are absolutely poised to be the next thing in social media. Granted, many people are already using these tools, but I think you’re going to see an explosion in the next few months. Over the last year I’ve seen plug-ins that allow you and your readers to share your articles and updates with every social media account imaginable. You can automatically Tweet your blog updates, save interesting articles to your Delicious account, and update Facebook and Twitter at the same time. With microblogging tools like Tumblr, Posterous, and TypePad Micro, you can do all of that with the click of a button.
As Denise points out when describing why Posterous works for her, “It feels like it could be the tool that I use to manage most of my other online presences. It feels like it could be the tool that allows me to record and share my lifestream. It has every single option and tool that I would need to achieve that goal.” Whether you choose Posterous, Tumblr, or TypePad Micro, don’t think of it as choosing one more thing to keep track of; think of it as choosing the tool that lets you keep track of everything else.
This article was cross-posted at BlogHer.com.