Did someone at Six Apart drink a dodgy bottle of Bordeaux? Or maybe they are upset about the Mickey abuse at Eurodisney?
We think Typelists will be one of the most unique features in TypePad, and as we add even more kinds of TypeLists in the future, we're hoping to give users the chance to connect to the rest of the web in new ways. - About TypePad
Select the vendor you wish to use from the “Local Vendor” menu. If your local version of Amazon is not listed in that menu, that means that Amazon doesn’t offer Web Services for your country. - From TypePad Knowledge Base
So, can I can blame Amazon for the fact that TypePad can't deal with French or Canadian Associates?
If Six Apart are to make TypePad a success with people who have never blogged before, then they must get their existing Typelists right before they start introducing new ones. You can see an example Reading Typelist called Understanding Programmers in the right-hand column.
The ability to type in an ISBN and have an item added to the list is an excellent idea, but it needs to be implemented properly instead of doing half a job. This Reading TypeList feels like something that has been designed from a very specific point of view instead of looking at the requirements of the wider group of users. The fact that the section shown in the screenshot above is titled "Miscellaneous Information" shows that this functionality may have been cobbled together instead of thoughtfully designed.
I live in the UK and have associate account with all the english speaking amazon sites (.com, .co.uk and .ca). I would have associate accounts with the other sites, but I can't fill in the application forms as my foreign language skills are terrible. On my own book lists I provide links to all of the amazon sites as I don't want to be .com centric. I do hope that Six Apart have not included amazon sites based on the availability of their own asociate IDs.
I think that the Amazon TypeList should allow you to enter an associate ID for each of the national amazon sites. Instead of just allowing me to select one "Local vendor" I should be able to choose which national sites I want to appear on my list. If I chose .com, .co.uk and .ca TypePad should display three little flags that would link to the appropriate amazon site. Failing this, it should detect the locale of the user and present them with the amazon link which is most suitable for them.
I don't like the way the standard associate link takes you to the "You may also be interested...." page instead of the product details page. I find that my eye is drawn away from the book detailsto the table of related items underneath.
If you want to link to the product page rather than the related to page then enter ref=nosim/[associate id] rather than [associate id] into your Amazon Associates ID box. (You should be aware that this method has it pros and cons.) If you change your Associates ID in TypePad then all of the amazon links on your Amazon TypeList will be updated, but if you change the Local vendor (.com .de .co.uk etc.) the change will only affect books that you subsequently add to your lists, it will not update existing entries in your list.
No Image Available
It does not take much effort to use the Amazon Web Services to get thumbnail pictures for books. If the .co.uk Amazon sitre does not have an image, then try and get it from the .com site. If you try this and you still can't get a thumbnail from Amazon (or you only get a zero pixel size image) then please, please, use the No Image Available image.
I sincerely want TypePad to succeed. Heck I'm almost a paying customer. I believe that the sort of functionality provided by TypeLists will make or break TypePad and if Six Apart don't put 110% into making them absolutely fantastic then TypePad will just be a cheap host with some fancy blogging software.
"Good Enough" is no good. This feature must build on the Amazon Web Services instead of just exhibiting the same limitations. I want to see the Reading TypeList implemented in such a way so that I can show them to people and hear they say "wow".