Artists, writers, educators — most of the people with whom I work — are starting to build online identities and communities that reflect and embody personal values, ethics, and philosophies. Accordingly, the web frameworks we choose should be in alignment with who we are and what we wish to achieve online (misalignment with my own values and philosophies is why I don’t use Facebook). Our presence on the Web is an extension of who we are in the world. We show, hide, and share, on the Web, in ways that are similar to how we act in the world. And we should try, I think, to create online experiences that encourage us to be in close alignment with who we are and who we wish to be. For me, this means choosing online tools that are open, friendly, adaptable, and fun to use.
In keeping with my commitment to use tools that reflect my own values, I use Django and Mezzanine for web development. Django provides the framework, Mezzanine provides the application. Integrated together, these tools offer a web development methodology that is open creative, efficient, and enjoyable. Mezzanine is just finding its way to a larger community of users, so it seemed to me that one of the ways I could help that community (and also fulfill one of my own values: give something back) was to provide some suggestions and directions for people like me who are interested in web development but are not necessarily full-time programmers. After all, this is how Drupal and Wordpress built their communities of users: regular folks hacking on the development code and sharing their results with friends. Of course, most of those folks didn’t think of themselves as hackers; instead (like me), they were just trying to get it to work.
The tutorials are my contribution to the question of how to get Mezzanine to work.