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A full-featured content management system developed by Ben and Mena Trott. First released in October 2001, Movable Type has rapidly gathered a large and devoted user base. It is free for personal and non-profit use; commercial licenses cost $150.

What do I need to run Movable Type?
At least half a clue about computers. If you plan to install it yourself, edit templates, or do anything other than post, a whole clue is probably helpful. In a more technological vein, a user must have the ability to run custom CGI scripts, using Perl 5.004_04 or greater. MT can store its entries in a Berkeley DB or in MySQL; for the former the server should support the DB_File module for Perl, for the latter it requires the DBD::mysql module.

How do I use Movable Type?
There are a few different ways to do it. There are several clients for various systems; MT uses both the Blogger and MetaWeblog XML-RPC APIs, making it compatible with applications like BlogBuddy and w.bloggar. There is also a bookmarklet available, which when clicked pulls up a window with the current page's URL plugged in and ready to talk about. And of course there's simply logging into the system itself and posting from there. It is also possible to import entries from various other personal publishing systems, including Greymatter, Blogger, and LiveJournal (among others).

What would I use it for?
Movable Type works well as a personal journal and weblog; it can also be used as a photo gallery (images can be uploaded through the browser and thumbnails are automatically created).

How do people find what I've written?
Movable Type is very flexible. With one click, it is possible to publish a newsfeed with XML/RSS, a version for PDA users, standard HTML pages, and even plain versions for printout or screenreaders; this is accomplished through MT's template system which allows any web coding language to produce content of any design. When a new entry is pulished, MT can automatically ping weblogs.com and the system's own Recently Updated list (if you have donated at least $20 to the project). Visitors can sign up for notification of posts via email as well. The TrackBack feature also allows you to ping someone else's MT entries, so users reading that entry will know that you have discussed the same topic and can read your post as well.

So why should I use Movable Type instead of another system?

  • You can run a group project. It's possible for one blog to have multiple authors, each with a specific level of privileges - some can be set to only allow posting, others might have more control. Editors can require new entries to be placed in "Hold" status, and can switch them to "Release" after they have been approved. If you want everybody to have their own journal, MT can support multiple journals with just one installation.

  • Comments are built-in. While other systems require comments to be installed remotely, MT users host the comments on their own server. They can be anonymous or require attribution with a name and e-mail address; if a poster is being troublesome their IP address can be banned.

  • Archives are flexible. Any one entry can be displayed individually, or they can be grouped by day, week, and month. Categories can be defined and each can have its own archive; entries can also be in more than one category. All of these archival options can be mixed and matched in any way.

  • Several small features are really helpful. The entire blog can be searched, and global search and replace is easy to perform. Entries can be pre- or post-dated, making it possible, for example, to post before leaving on vacation and after returning with a sheaf of handwritten entries.

  • Technical support for MT is far and away one of the best available. Dedicated users and the software's creators can answer most questions quickly.

http://www.movabletype.org/All information in this writeup was accurate at the time of posting.

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