How to create your own article and contribute to the resource center
Thanks for your interest in creating developer resource content! All the information you need to create, edit and submit your content for publishing is right here.
First, some details on permissions:
- All Community Support Forum (Developer) users will have “Author” permissions. As an Author, you have the ability to start new articles and edit draft (unpublished) articles. When you create a Community Support Forum account you will have the role of Contributer. To request a Dveloper role post a message in the "Developers Start Here" post located in each Developer Forum.
- RIM is the publisher for all resource center content. So as an author you have the permission to submit any unpublished article draft (whether you’re the initial author or contributor) to RIM for technical review and approval. You can expect 10 business days for RIM to provide initial feedback. At that point, RIM will work with the submitter on necessary revisions to publish and will hold the right to make all final publishing decisions.
- Published content (whether initially created by RIM or the community) is locked for further direct editing from community ‘authors’. Community authors can comment on a published article, or leverage any of the content for new article creation and approval submission.
We encourage you to collaborate with your fellow community members when creating new articles. For example, you can split up writing parts with a team of contributors or you can leverage existing posts from original authors from the Community Support Forums. We believe the more the community collaborates on this content, the greater value it will be for everyone. We look forward to reviewing your articles!
Here’s a step-by-step guide for creating, editing and submitting new articles for review and publishing.
Creating and Editing Developer Resource Articles
You use the Article Editor page to create and revise articles. The template you choose determines the sections and layout of the article. If you create the article based on a topic, the clipping area on the right lists all the posts in the topic. You can drag text and images from the clipping area into the article, or add your own text. When you drag content into the article, the system adds a link for the post and credits the author as a contributor.
When you create an article, you can add labels that help others locate the article and a teaser, which is required if you want to feature the article at the top of a topic page (i.e. Java Development).
When you revise an article, you can drag new content into the template from other posts and comments or edit the existing content. You can also add or remove links and contributors. Revision notes appear in the Article History page and make it easy to track changes, especially in long articles.
While you can write articles from scratch, most articles in the Resource Center will be based on content that already exists in community forums. This means you can start an article with an existing forum topic. You can look for relevant forum topics through tags or by searching keywords.
In addition to the content, Resource Center articles contain links to related posts as well as to the authors of those posts. When you drag content into an article, links to posts and topic participants are created. Both the author and the topic’s participants get credit for their contributions to the article.
Starting an article
To begin writing an article, choose a template, and click Start Article. The Resource Center provides the following article templates:
- Freeform – This template consists of a single unformatted section that you can use for text
- Questions and Answers – This template consists of both a question and an answer section.
- Solutions – This template consists of the following three sections:
Note: The Solution section is given a background color for emphasis.
Once you have chosen your template, the New Message page is displayed, showing the subject (the same the topic you selected) and the template you chose. The posts from your topic appear in the clipping area to the right of the Editor.
Adding content to an article
The Editor contains the sections from the template you chose. The clipping area to the right contains the posts from your topic as well as tabs that let you search for keywords or find content based on your tags.
You can drag content from the clipping area or type your own. Any images, links, or formatting in the original post are preserved when you drop the content into the article template.
To add content to an article:
- Grab the handle to the left of a post in the clipping area and drag it to one of the template sections.
If the post is long, you can view the full contents by hovering the pointer over it in the clipping area.
As you drag a post, the section where the text will appear is highlighted.
When you drop the post, it becomes part of the article and can be edited. The post is added to the Related Links list for this revision of the article, and the author of the post is added as a contributor.
To edit the text, click in the text area and start typing. Click out of the text area when you are finished editing.
- To format the text, click in the text area and select the text. Use the available text editing tools to apply formatting. If the post contains images, you can resize them by selecting them, grabbing a handle, and dragging to the size you want.
Note, when creating relatively long articles, you may need to click in the editor again to re-display the toolbar.
- To locate content by searching, click the Search tab. Type a search term in the text box, and click Search. The search results include posts from all over the community and can be spread across multiple pages. Each post also has a handle you can use to drag it into the article. You can also add a link to the post without dragging it into the article.
- To locate content based on your tags click the Tags tab. Click a tag to see the posts you have applied. You can drag a post into the article or add it as a related link using the same techniques as from the search tab.
Applying finishing touches to an article
In addition to the content of an article, there is other information you can add that will make both the article and the related material easier for users to find:
- Labels — Help users filter the list of articles by creating your own labels or choosing from a pre-defined set.
- Related Links — Point users to additional community content that may be helpful. Links are created automatically when you drag content from the clipping area into an article but you can also add links to other posts in the community without incorporating them directly into the article.
- Contributors list — Shows users the community members who created the content used in the article or that relates to the content used in the article. Users can click Contributor links to see other posts from the same authors. The Contributors list is built when you drag content from the clipping area into the article. You can also add other community members to the Contributors list.
- Teaser — Provides a brief description of an article that is displayed when the article is featured at the top of a topic (i.e. Web Development) page. You can’t feature an article unless it has a teaser.
To add finishing touches to an article:
- At the bottom of the article editor area, click in the Labels field and type a label, or click a pre-defined label to choose it.
- To add a teaser, click the arrow at Featured Article Teaser, and type the teaser in the text area. A teaser is required for articles that are featured on a resource center page. Although you can always add one later, you may find it easier to add it while you’re writing the article. You can use the same formatting and other tools as for the article body.
- To add an attachment, click Browse, select the file, and click Open.
- To add a post as a related link for this article, click the button to the right of the post. The post is added to the Related Links list for the current revision. You can only add the same post once.
- To add a contributor, click the search field at the bottom of the Contributors list, and start typing the user name or rank. As soon as you type three letters, the system starts to display names or ranks that match what you’re typing.
- Select a user, and click Add. The user you add goes on the Contributors list for this revision. You can only add the same user once.
Saving a draft
You can create a new article all in one session or save the current draft and pick it up again later. You have the following options when you save a draft:
- Save — This option saves the work in progress on this draft as the first revision for this article. The new draft appears on the Drafts tab of the Resource Center Dashboard.
- Save & Request Review — This option saves the current draft and notifies Community Editors (using the Drafts for Review tab of the Resource Center Dashboard) that the author is requesting input on the article. Users who have subscribed to review requests are also notified.
- Save & Request Publication — This options saves the current draft and notifies RIM (the publisher, using the Drafts for Publication tab of the Resource Center Dashboard) that the author is ready to have this article reviewed for approval and publishing.
Editing an article
While a community created article is still in draft state (before it is submitted to RIM for review and approval) community members can edit the article.
Once an article is published, the content is locked. While the published content will be locked authors and editors will be able to comment on these if they see an opportunity for improvement.
To edit article content:
- Go to the article page in a particular topic and click Edit to edit the most recent revision. Or, you can choose a revision to edit from the Article History page. Unless you want to avoid the content in a revision, it’s a good idea to edit the most recent revision. That way, you have the benefit of any contributions from other community members.
- Edit or format the text. You can drag content from posts from the clipping area into the article, or locate additional content using search or tags.
- To incorporate comments into a post, click the Comments tab, and drag one or more comments into the article.
- Continue editing or adding material until you’re satisfied with the article revision.
Managing links and contributors
The system creates a list of related links and contributors when you drag content from elsewhere in the community into an article. In addition to consolidated lists for all revisions, the links and contributors from the current revision appear in their own lists.
For related links, you can add links for other content in the community or remove links that are added automatically. You might, for example, want to remove duplicate links to the same topic.
For contributors, you can also add or remove names from the list. You might, for example, add the name of a community member who has posted extensively about this topic or remove the name of a contributor whose content was edited out of the article or a user who made a minor correction.
Saving a revision
Before you save a revision, it’s important to annotate your changes. This lets other editors see your reasoning and helps RIM evaluate your revision in the approval stage and whenmaking publishing decisions. If you include a revision note, others can see it on the Article History page.
It’s a good idea to mark minor changes, such as typo corrections, so that users who subscribe to changes to the Resource Center are not inundated with notifications.
To save a revision:
- In the Revision Information area, provide a brief note to help others understand your changes.
- If this is a minor change, click the Minor Edit check box. Minor changes include corrections of typos or formatting, the kind of change that’s not likely to require review by community Editors.
- Click Save.
Commenting on an article
You can comment on an article in the same way that you do on a blog article or an idea. Comments are your opportunity to help improve and maintain the Resource Center. Authors and editors can see your comments and may choose to incorporate them into the article. If that happens, you may even get credit as a contributor.
The comments section of each article is at the very end. To view the comments for an article, click the comments count.
To comment on an article complete the following steps:
- In an article, scroll to the end of the article, and click Comments or Add a Comment link.
- Type your comment, and add formatting or media. You can format the text in your comment, or add a link to a web page, an image, or a video.
- Click Post Your Comment.
Setting your Developer Resource Center subscription options
You can subscribe to the entire resource center or to a specific article. You might, for example, subscribe to a particular topic that you’re interested in (for example Themes & Animated Graphics). Or, you might want to keep tabs on an article you commented on or contributed to.
If you have already set your preferences to automatically subscribe you to topics you participate in, you will be notified about new comments or changes to an article. You can also refine your subscription preferences for specific types of changes to an article. You can set your subscriptions to notify you only when a new article is published, or to skip notifications for minor edits.
To set your resource center subscription options complete the following steps:
- Click My Settings, and click the Subscriptions & Bookmarks tab.
- Scroll to the bottom half of the page, and choose your notification policies for published and draft (unpublished) articles.
Skip notifications for changes to published or draft articles. Choose this setting if you just want to know when new articles or revisions are published (using the general Developer Resource Center subscription)
New articles only
Be notified when the first draft of a new article is saved to the resource center. Choose this setting to be advised when development starts on new articles.
Skip minor edits
Skip notifications for changes to published articles or drafts that are designated by the author or editor as minor edits. Choose this setting if you are only interested in substantive changes rather than typos or other minor changes.
All revisions/All edits
Be notified when any change is made to a published article (a revision) or to a draft (an edit). Choose this setting to be informed of all editing activities in the resource center.
- Click check boxes to be notified about review or publication requests. An author or editor can make these requests when saving a draft or a revision to an unpublished article. You can use these settings to create a personal to-do list of articles in an area of interest that are awaiting review or publication.
- Click Save Changes.