[Evangelism] Re: Lessons learned from the first World Plone Day

Donna Snow donnamsnow at gmail.com
Thu Nov 13 01:17:03 UTC 2008

Hi Chris,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write up your impressions. As a
result of our very small but information session in Silicon Valley I've
decided that next year we break the "day" up into tracks so that end users
and developers alike get some benefit out of it. A time to mingle and meet
with each other (over breakfast) then split up into "I'm an end user", "I'm
an integrator", "I'm a python programmer interested in learning Plone" and I
think that'll be the ticket for success.

I'm an integrator who has been working with Plone since 2001 and one of the
my mantras has been that we overlook the needs of the actual "users" of
Plone. We've come so far, we really have but it's still a bit of a struggle
getting through to developers what those of us who spend time on the phone
with clients hear on a regular basis. What seems intuitive to someone who
has been working with Plone for a long time, isn't necessarily intuitive to
the brand new users. It's a common mistake we make as Plonistas, assuming
just because we know how something works that a new user will just "get it".

I am just flat out excited that we pulled off World Plone Day as
successfully as we did!!! So next year we do this again keeping in mind all
the awesome input from those who attended.

Thanks again Chris for your insight and look forward to hearing your
impressions after next years World Plone Day!

Best Regards,
Donna M Snow, Principal
C Squared Enterprises
illuminating your path to Open Source

On Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 7:22 AM, Chris Barnes <chris at txbarnes.com> wrote:

> I was a "simple attendee" at the Houston WPD, so take my impressions for
> what they're worth.
> (1) attendance in Houston was "ok".  I didn't do a head count, but a rough
> guess would put the number at around 20.  Honestly, I expected (hoped) for
> at least 2-3 times that number.
> (2) the facility we had at the U. of Houston was fantastic.  This is
> probably because one of the Plone founders (Alan Runyan) is local (literally
> just a few miles away).  The free lunch provided, while a simple box
> sandwich/wrap type, was quite good.  Whoever arranged it deserves major
> kudos!
> (3) Audience - I feel for the presenters because it is always difficult to
> gauge just who your audience is likely to be.  It seemed that more than 50%
> of the attendees in Houston already had some experience w/ Plone.
>  Unfortunately, this isn't true for myself and my wife (one of only 2
> females in attendance).
> I came as a system administrator, but not web designer, who is looking at
> it from a "is this something that will make my life - and the life of the
> users in my dept - easier?".  Iow, I wanted some of the technical details
> about installation (on Linux) and *configuration*.  There was virtually
> none.  :-(    Now that's not to say I didn't get anything out of it - it was
> still worthwhile for me to attend.  And the fact that I won a door prize of
> a Plone User's Guide book is likely going to be VERY helpful!  :-)
> My wife came as "VERY non-tech oriented, but trying to maintain a website
> for a non-profit organization" person.  Much of the discussion was WAY over
> her head, but she was able to glean enough (she's not totally tech
> incompetent) to see how using Plone is probably the right tool for the job
> she is trying to accomplish (by comparison, she is currently using Google
> Apps).
> (4) Presenters - Alan presented 2 of the topics and was fantastic.  They
> were BY FAR were the best ones there (at least as far as getting information
> I could use out of it).
> In fact, there was really only 1 presentation that I felt was not all that
> great - it was a remote "call-in" that really wasn't about Plone, but was
> instead almost totally about their website.  To be more clear, I really
> wasn't interested in what their website was about or how people use it - I
> wanted to see how they used Plone to build it.
> (5) Content - Overall, I think the content was directed mostly at the
> "ubber geek, *programmer*" audience.  Honestly, I think this is a mistake.
>  Please don't misunderstand me; I liked WPD - it was useful for both me and
> my wife to attend.  We both got something out of it.
> BUT (you knew I had to include a "but"), if the goal is to build evangelism
> in Plone, I think the target audience needs to be redirected more toward
> folks like myself (maybe 15%-20% of the content) and my wife (at least 70%
> of the content).  Now maybe this is because I believe in an "end-user driven
> environment".  After all, it's the end-user, not the programmer, that will
> dictate what systems, programs, environments get used and "win in the end".
> --
> Chris Barnes                           AOL IM: CNBarnes
> chris-barnes at tamu.edu                Yahoo IM: chrisnbarnes
> Computer Systems Manager               MSN IM: chris at txbarnes.com
> Department of Physics                      ph: 979-845-7801
> Texas A&M University                      fax: 979-845-2590
> _______________________________________________
> Evangelism mailing list
> Evangelism at lists.plone.org
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