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TypePad is not for law firm marketing blog : Popular social blogging solution suffers growing problems

First, I love TypePad, a web based blogging solution. It’s brought blogging to the masses in way that that no other company has. TypePad’s features beat the heck out of Blogger and the other free or next to no cost blogging tools out there. I used TypePad to get my introduction to blogging back in 2003 and early 2004. I learned a ton and am forever grateful to SixApart, TypePad’s producer.

But TypePad is for consumers and social blogging. Heck, SixApart knows that. Look at the home page of TypePad with it’s pictures of a 3 year old toddler playing with an iBook and an infant.

Slow server speed, inability to rebuild a blog at times and a potential loss of content may be okay for posting messages about a family’s weekend activities and sharing photo’s but it is not okay for law firms looking for a professional Internet marketing blog.

Just look at the TypePad frustration expressed by Neville Hobson, a British business communicator and long time Typepad user.

I’m trying to put this into perspective with my experience on Sunday when I spent nearly five hours trying to create and set up a new multi-author TypePad blog (for a conference – news about that soon) where the time I spent should have been about 45 minutes, an hour at most. I guess I was unlucky in that what I was doing – things like creating and editing a theme, creating typelists, writing and editing sample posts, etc – required constant interaction with the TypePad servers. I think I’ve now memorized the error codes from the ‘gateway timeout’ and ‘internal server error’ messages I received with literally every server interaction. I did eventually manage to get the new blog finished, but the air in my office by that time was a bit blue.

So what to make of the email where it says “over the last two days we have made significant progress in relieving the stress on the servers in the old data center and completing the move”? It hasn’t relieved my stress! I certainly saw no difference on Sunday to the treacly performance that I’ve experienced in recent weeks which, to my perception as a user, has steadily been getting worse.

Can you imagine a lawyer experiencing the same on a Sunday afternoon railing on a law firm marketing professional for setting the firm up on a TypePad based blog. There’s no customer service to immediately correct the problem, no dedicated server for the law firm’s blog and no dedicated blog IT crew to work with.

I do not want to be overly critical of TypePad. They are growing big time. They also are among the best in communicating with customers about service problems. Just pointing out that it’s inappropriate to outsource Internet marketing when a blog will be run on TypePad.

Note: Movable Type, also produced by SixApart, is not the same as Typepad. Movable Type is the premier weblog publishing platform for businesses, organizations, developers, and web designers. Powerful customization gives devlopers control over everything they need for providing an effective publishing tool and elegant designs that keep things simple and clear. LexBlog uses a customized Movable Type for its blogs.

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