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Community Content program

Mattermost wants to be a central resource for helping developers improve their productivity. To that end, we want to open our blog to our diverse community to share expertise, tips and tricks, guides, and other technical resources that help developers get work done. We’ll compensate authors whenever we publish their content.

About you

We’re looking for a diverse group of skilled writers with deep technical knowledge to write content for us. You should have experience writing content, be comfortable receiving feedback about your work, and be open to making revisions recommended by our editorial team. We typically prefer content that targets beginner to intermediate software developers, but we are open to a range of technical depth.

Preferred Topics

The following technologies and topics are our preferred focus areas. Articles that fit into one of these categories will be given higher priority:
  • Kubernetes and related technologies
  • Golang application development
  • CI/CD tooling for release management, test automation, and software deployment
  • Security tooling
  • Observability and performance monitoring
  • Software development productivity hacks.
  • Tips and tricks for popular software development tools.
  • Devops at scale

Other topics

We seek a broad range of technical content for software developers that provide rich detail about popular tools, and we will consider exceptional proposals for topics not listed above. If you think you have a great idea that doesn't fit into one of these categories, please apply!

Compensation

Most authors receive $250 - $350 for publishing unique content, but exceptionally detailed content about prevalent technologies can earn up to $500. We also run regular events that offer bonuses for writing about specific topics.

The process

  1. 1.
    Submit your idea: Submit your idea via our application form with an outline of your content and a previous writing example demonstrating your technical knowledge and writing capabilities. We will only publish unique, first-run content where our blog is the first platform for it to be published.
  2. 2.
    Refine:Our editorial team reviews all submissions once every 3 months to identify topics we want to publish. We will reach out to you to provide feedback on the idea and make any structural changes requests.
  3. 3.
    Write your content: Once we’ve approved your topic, it’s time to write the content. We'll provide additional guidelines and expectations to help you get started, but generally speaking, following Digital Ocean's technical writing guidelines is a good plan.
  4. 4.
    Revise: Submit your initial draft to our editors, and we’ll collaborate with you to copyedit, design a hero image, and prepare the article for publication. You should expect 1-2 rounds of revisions over the next 1-2 weeks.
  5. 5.
    Publish: Once revisions are complete, we’ll send your compensation, publish the article, and promote it across all of our channels.
  6. 6.
    Do it again: There’s no limit to the number of articles you can publish through this program. We love to build long-term relationships with our community and would love for you to be a repeat author on our blog. Start at step 1 again and keep going!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get involved?
Review our process for submitting ideas. When you submit a new idea, we’re going to ask you for details like:
  • The article title and a summary of its contents.
  • An outline of your article with descriptions about what each section of the article will cover.
  • Information about prerequisite knowledge the reader will need to have.
  • A link to a previous writing sample that demonstrates your capabilities.
Our editorial staff will reach out to let you know if we want to publish your content and will make recommendations for revisions. Once we’ve agreed that we’re happy with the idea, we’ll send you a contract that agrees on the scope of the article and the compensation. From there, it’s up to you to write the first draft and submit it for review!
How do you evaluate content ideas?
Our team reviews every submission, and we look for technical content that comprehensively covers software development topics with clear explanations. Explain as much detail as possible and leave no concepts out.
When can I expect to hear about my submission? Our topic review cycles happen once every three months, in the 2nd half of the months of March, June, September, and December. In most cases, you will first hear from us following one of these review periods. However, we sometimes make exceptions on a case-by-case basis as proposals are submitted to us, so we sometimes reach out to authors outside of the official review periods.
Is there a limit on article length?
Generally speaking, all content should be an appropriate length to comprehensively cover the proposed topic, so we take a relatively relaxed approach to article length requirements. Ideally, most content should contain between 1,800 and 2,200 words, not counting code examples. We will consider content that is outside this range, but if you expect your content to exceed 2,200 words, please check with our editorial staff first so we can provide feedback. If you provide a draft that is more than 2,200 words, we may ask you to reduce the length before we will continue the process.

Terms and Conditions

Mattermost Community Writing Program Standard Terms & Conditions (“Writing Program Terms”):
  1. 1.
    Mattermost can only accept submissions from individuals who can legally receive payments from Mattermost. Before your proposal can be approved you will be required to verify your legal status and ability to accept payment under the laws of the United States. You will be responsible for all applicable taxes owed on the fees paid under this Program. Mattermost will not be responsible for any withholding.
  2. 2.
    All fee determinations under the program are made at the sole discretion of Mattermost.
  3. 3.
    Your submission of content to Mattermost does not in any way establish any sort of employment relationship between you and Mattermost. Your relationship with Mattermost is that of an independent contractor and not that of an employee.
  4. 4.
    You agree to grant Mattermost a perpetual, non-revocable, license to the content you submit to Mattermost.
  5. 5.
    All content submitted to Mattermost under this program shall be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license.
  6. 6.
    You agree to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including copyright laws.
  7. 7.
    You agree to comply with the terms and conditions of the Mattermost Terms of Service.
  8. 8.
    In no event shall Mattermost be liable with respect to any subject matter relating to this agreement under any contract, negligence, strict liability or other legal or equitable theory for special, incidental, consequential or direct damages.
  9. 9.
    Mattermost makes no representation or warranty of any kind. You represent and warrant that your content will not infringe upon or misappropriate the intellectual property rights of any third party.
  10. 10.
    This program is governed by the laws of the State of California.
  11. 11.
    This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between Mattermost and you concerning the subject matter hereof, and they may only be modified by a written amendment signed by an authorized executive of Mattermost, or by the posting by Mattermost of a revised version.
By submitting your application to the Mattermost Community Writing Program you are agreeing to these Writing Program Terms and the Mattermost Privacy Policy.

Plagiarism policy

The Mattermost blog produces original, first-run content that has never been published previously in any form, digital or physical. All code, copy, images, and other content should be the result of the author's original thought, work, research, and self-expression. At our discretion, Mattermost will cease all work — possibly without notice — with any author that reproduces, copies, or claims someone else's work as their own. This policy extends to content that has been published, or is in the process of being published, by the author elsewhere without prior permission from Mattermost. This policy includes borrowing content, wording, code, documentation, or organizational structure from any other person or organization's prior work.
Some examples of plagiarism include:
  • Rewording existing blog posts to pass the content as your own.
  • Copy and pasting external documentation without directly referencing the documentation source.
  • Modifying someone else's code to change variable and/or function names, comments, or other elements.
  • Using images from another source, even if you make modifications to that image.
  • Failing to attribute content or datasets published under permissive licenses like the Creative Commons License.
If you're unsure about a question or concern related to plagiarism, please consult with the Mattermost content team before submission.

Image use guidance

You may want to include images or other graphics to support your content in many situations.
Our design team will produce original artwork to serve as the hero image for your blog post, so you don’t need to provide images for this purpose. You’re free to include images in the body of your content; however, all images you submit must meet one of two criteria:
  • The image must be 100% unique, original content, for which you are the copyright owner.
  • The image must be permissively licensed under the International Creative Commons License or other similar licenses.
When using permissively-licensed images, you must provide a reference to the source to give proper attribution in the article. You’re welcome to provide references to use as inspiration, but please indicate that these references aren’t your original work when appropriate. In all situations, we reserve the right to recreate the images to fit the style of our blog or to improve the image as necessary.

Diagrams and flowcharts

Diagrams and flowcharts are a great way to illustrate complicated technical details that include many components. If you’re capable of creating clean, easy-to-understand charts, you’re welcome to create original artwork to add to your content. If you have an idea for a diagram that would support your content but lack the skills or tools to create one, you can also include a rough sketch of your idea, and our design team can turn that into an attractive graphic. However, we have a limited capacity for this service, so we may need to adjust your idea to accommodate.
If you need help designing a diagram or flowchart, this article has a ton of great information. Don’t forget, all materials you include in the illustration must meet our licensing requirements.

Screenshots

Screenshots can be a great way to show visual representations of the instructions in your article. You might want to include screenshots of terminal output, tool configurations, or other items related to your content. If you have screenshots in your content, ensure that all content that appears in the image is your unique work and doesn’t include copyrighted images or other content from other sources.
To get the best screenshot, increase the font size of the text displayed in the image to something easily readable from a distance, crop screenshots to focus on elements relevant to the text, and remove unnecessary details when possible.