The hassle of maintaining “about”-info on TypePad

Over the past week or so I've been updating the "About" information on my blog at www.josschuurmans.com and some other Internet destinations where I have a presence.

TypePad has some standard functionality to help members create and update an "About Page", as part of the TypePad user interface.

First, edit the content modules on your Author Profile from:
http://www.typepad.com/account/profile

Then, select the content modules for your standard About Page from:
http://www.typepad.com/account/profile/about

I wanted to not only update my info, but also have a description running on the right-hand column on my blog. So I created a TypeList note to display a summary of my "about"-info. You can create TypeLists from:
http://www.typepad.com/site/lists

Now, my account name on the TypePad sytem, "ojamies", differs from my own name and the name of my blog. I have domain-mapped my blog to www.josschuurmans.com, but it turns out that the default About Page which TypePad generates will not be mapped to the same domain. Instead, it will reside at: http://ojamies.typepad.com/about.html. (whereas my TypePad Profile lives at: http://profile.typepad.com/josschuurmans)

I find this odd.

As you may read below from the exchange I had with TypePad's support desk, re-domain-mapping my whole site in order to include the About Page would change all the URLs of my blog posts.

I find this odd.

The alternative then was to create an additional About Page, just like a normal page, and manually populate it with similar information as goes onto the default page. The new page lives where I would want it to, at: http://www.josschuurmans.com/about.html

Perhaps the "blessing in disguise" in this case was that the manually created page is more flexible, so I can edit and add information that I couldn't select to the default page.

One thing I would have liked TypePad to offer is the possibility to categorize pages. Then I could have categorized my manually created About Page under the "about" category, which now only shows blog posts, no pages.

To recap, I now have more or less the same "about" info in five different places on the TypePad system:

  1. In a TypeList on the right-hand column of each page on my blog at www.josschuurmans.com;
  2. In the About Page I manually created at http://www.josschuurmans.com/about.html;
  3. In the About Page which TypePad has generated at http://ojamies.typepad.com/about.html;
  4. In my TypePad Profile at http://profile.typepad.com/josschuurmans;
  5. In blog posts categorized under http://www.josschuurmans.com/about;

I find this odd.

Not only is this a big hassle in terms of maintenance; I'm also wondering how it all affects search engine optimization?

Anyway, for completeness, here's my exchange with the kind people at TypePad's support:

[STARTS]

Automated Error

On Jul 30, 2009 2:21 PM, you (josschuurmans) said:

I
created a new type list note. After saving it, I clicked the "publish"
tab. Then I was presented with 4 destinations: my 3 blogs and my About
Page. When I clicked the link to "view" the About Page, this error
occurred. I wonder if this means that I don't have an About Page?

On Jul 30, 2009 6:03 PM, TypePad Customer Support said:

Hi,
It
looks like you entered a URL for a link without the http:// at the
beginning.
Try entering the URL with http:// at the beginning, as
http://ojamies.typepad.com/about.html and that should work better for
you. We hope this helps. Please let us know if there is anything else
we can do for you.
Thanks,
Zalary

On Aug 1, 2009 4:50 PM, you (josschuurmans) said:

Okay,
I found my About Page at http://ojamies.typepad.com/about.html
However, I have domain-mapped my blog to: http://www.josschuurmans.com.
How can we arrange this so that my About Page is also domain-mapped,
i.e. to: http://www.josschuurmans.com/about.html ?

On Aug 1, 2009 9:34 PM, TypePad Customer Support said:

Hi,
If
you'd like your About page to use the domain URL, your entire site will
need to be mapped. It looks like you currently have the domain mapped
to a specific blog. You can delete the current mapping that you have in
TypePad and set it up again. Changing the Domain Mapping settings,
however, will change links to your existing posts. Instead of changing
how the domain is mapped to your blog, you may want to create a new
page with your About information.
More information is available in the article on creating additional
About pages here:
http://kb.typepad.com/id/390/
We hope this helps. Please let us know if there is anything else we can
do for you.
Thanks,
Zalary

On Aug 4, 2009 10:31 AM, you (josschuurmans) said:

How would the links to my existing posts change if I domain-mapped my entire site?

On Aug 4, 2009 9:48 PM, TypePad Customer Support said:

Hi
Jos,
Thanks for the note. If you change domain mapping, the folder name
would be added to its URL. instead of your weblog being at
http://www.josschuurmans.com/ it would be at
http://www.josschuurmans.com/josschuurmans/ instead.
So a link like
http://www.josschuurmans.com/2009/08/jacob-nielsen-on-social-intranet-software-opening-up-corporate-communication.html
would become
http://www.josschuurmans.com/josschuurmans/2009/08/jacob-nielsen-on-social-intranet-software-opening-up-corporate-communication.html
instead.
This will break all outside links to your site, so like Zalary
mentioned, we would recommend you use a TypePad Page and create a new
About Page within the blog instead.
I hope this helps. Please let us know if there is anything else we can
do for you.
Thanks,
Kymberlie

On Aug 6, 2009 11:15 AM, you (josschuurmans) said:

Zalary, Kymberlie, thank you both for explaining!
(I'll close this ticket now)
Best,
Jos

[ENDS]

Advertisements