Thank you for offering your expertise to the Movable Type community. The more and better tutorials we make available to the community, the more we all benefit. Here are some steps and guidelines for the LMT authoring process.
Create a Profile
To create an author profile on LMT, you have to create a profile at the Movable Type Plugin Directory here: http://plugins.movabletype.org/login. Yes, we know it's convoluted. You don't need to be a plugin creator to be a LMT author. But this is the system we have in place for creating your profile for the MT community sites. Make sure you upload a user pic of some sort.
- Use basic English. Movable Type is used by people in countries all over the world. Many MT users read and write English as a second language. Therefore it is important to use as straightforward English as possible. Please avoid idiomatic or colloquial expressions that might be misunderstood or not understood at all by those for whom English is not their first language.
- Outline your steps. The best tutorials have clear 1-2-3 steps described. A tutorial is like a recipe, but instead of describing how to cook a roast you are describing how to use a piece of software, or write a piece of code. If special plugins are required, name those upfront. If special skills are required, such as PHP programming or Perl, state those upfront as well.
- Over-explain. LMT reaches readers with a wide variety of skill sets. Some readers are developers, some have only a light handle on HTML. Assume that whoever you are writing for knows much much less about this subject than you do.
- Avoid "I". Once you have written your tutorial, look to see how many times you have referenced yourself with the word "I" in the text. One or two times is okay, best is not at all. If you reference yourself more than twice in a tutorial, see if you can rewrite your sentences so that they reference the reader more than yourself. The word "you" should be more prevalent than the word "I". The tone of LMT is that of a manual or a textbook. The closer you stick to straight instruction, the easier your tutorial will be to read and understand.
- Use images. If your tutorial would benefit from showing a screen shot or a graphic, please by all means include. Upload the images in MT to the "images" directory when you upload your post.
- Tag and Categorize Your Post. When you publish your entry to LMT, be sure to remember to put them in a category and to tag them with the appropriate tags. Categories are called "Topics" in LMT and there is a list of them in the right sidebar of the site. Tags are listed in the "Index" of LMT. If you need to, you can add a new tag, just please capitalize it. If you think we need a new category, please drop one of the editors an email and let them know.
At the moment, most comments to LMT are moderated. They require the approval of the entry author before they post. You will be notified by email when comments come in, so be sure to list a current email in your profile. You and any of the LMT editors will be able to approve the comment, but you will be the only one notified that there is a comment on your post.
Any other questions? Please contact Maarten at
maarten.schenk AT yesitcan.be
Thank you once again for your contribution to the Movable Type community.