On October 27th, Typepad announced it will be migrating to a new platform. Today, October 30th, and on TypePad's 5th anniversary, users can see the first batch of improvements in their Design functionality. This, a TypePad exec said to me this evening at the SixApart Vox party, is just the beginning. TypePad plans to bring back its once unequivocal focus on customer (i.e., blogger) experience and to offer dynamic, cross-platform features and services including top navigation, cross-platform solutions, monetization programs and services, and flexible modularity to name a few.
While there are many tweaks to be addressed on the QA list (spelling experience, rigid templates and themes, the ability to edit posts on mobile app, and more), and while they haven't always come in the right order nor always had a stellar execution, (remember the rich-text Compose nightmare?), it seems that TypePad now has a clear strategy and will iteratively release improvements over the coming weeks. The first to be release? Those that best improve the blogger experience, I'm told.
And improving bloggers' experience is key for TypePad. Over the past year, TypePad has been been seeing a stagnant growth against its competitors--Blogger and WordPress--who are boasting over 3 times the number of unique visits Typepad has seen. Specifically WordPress which has been releasing new solutions and and capabilities is one to watch for: it has shown an impressive 106.3% growth in '08 alone.. (Compete graph below.)
Who will come on top in '09? Who will capture new bloggers' market share (and maybe even get some to convert)? Will it be WordPress with its richly themed, ultra flexible, tightly branded Express Yourself strategy? Google's trusted Blogger platform soon to be connected via single ID and more to all of Google services? Or TypePad--the original customer-focused blogging solution with a friendly human flare? Stay tuned...since here it's truly customers who get to vote by where they choose to blog, this is bound to get interesting as an example of users' voice impacting business results.