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Movable Type Monday: Motion, Facebook Connect, Premium Themes, and More

Movable Type Monday: Motion, Facebook Connect, Premium Themes, and More

Happy Monday, folks! Lots of buzz this week over Six Apart announcing Motion, a new microblogging application built on Movable Type. We had a first look at Motion here, and while it’s still in beta and has some bugs, it has potential to be a very useful social networking application.

Besides Motion, a few other things were released for MT this week:


GuitarTools — This plugin, by Akira Sawada, provides “a wiki-like syntax for writing guitar tabs.” Be sure to check out the documentation to see it in action.

Hulu Action Streams — Hulu is fast becoming one of the most popular sites for watching television online, and now Arvind Satyanarayan has written a plugin that lets you pull your Hulu queue and viewing history into your Action Stream.

Facebook Action Streams — Also for Action Streams, Brendan O’Connor brings us a plugin that pulls in your data from Facebook. It works with the YourData application on Facebook. Thanks, Brendan!

Facebook Connect Commenters — Action Streams aren’t the only way to connect your blog to Facebook. Six Apart released a plugin that allows you to use your FB login to comment on MT blogs. It can also put your FB photo next to your comment, and send your comments back to your FB mini-feed.

Page Layout — Created by Byrne Reese, this plugin lets you specify a template to use for an individual page or entry. This allows you to introduce more control and variety into your blog. I can see theme creators getting a lot of use out of this.


Chad Everett shows us how to create translations for MT-Notifier. This tutorial walks you through the process of setting up multiple language files to work with this popular notifications plugin.

Over at Eat Drink Sleep Movable Type, Dan Wolfgang has instructions for offering a weekly email subscription to your blog. His process makes use of FeedBurner and MT’s Publish Queue. If you post frequently and don’t want to bury your subscribers in emails, this is a good option. Thanks, Dan!

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A common complaint about MT is that, while it’s easy to have pretty URLs for pages and blog entries, search result URLs are really messy. Beau Smith has written a post that describes how to create pretty URLs for tag and string searches. This tutorial requires some .htaccess editing, but the results are worth it.

One reason you might want prettier URLs is for people that print your articles. Last week, I published a tutorial on creating print-friendly templates. This week, I followed-up with a version that works with dynamic publishing. It required me to write my first plugin, so I’d love to get feedback.

For you folks that run advertising on your site, Dave Weiss has instructions for displaying a Google ad unit between your first and second posts. This is something a lot of people do, so it’s nice to see a clear explanation of how to do it.

Finally, this week saw the opening of iThemes MT themes store. The MT community definitely needs more theme development, and the availability of premium themes will make MT more attractive to small businesses. Be sure to check out my interview with iThemes co-founder Cory Miller to learn more about the company and their move into MT development.

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