As I have mentioned before, I believe that the biggest barrier to the adoption of TYPO3 is the perception that it is too difficult to learn. Many of the frustrations one sees expressed are from people who have given up because of the steep learning curve.
There are a number of facets to this argument. First, I don’t think anyone would disagree that there is a learning curve associated with TYPO3 for all levels of users, from the content writer to editor to publisher to administrator to developer.
Any product with the enterprise level capabilities of TYPO3 requires extensive learning. This is true for TYPO3, Drupal, Plone, Interwoven, Documentum, etc., etc. But even WordPress has a learning curve, as I discover every time I help someone get a WordPress site going.
Second, there are a number of factors influencing use of TYPO3. One is difficulty of learning, which is directly related to the availability of effective training materials, courses, and manuals.
Three related factors for slow adoption of TYPO3, particularly in the US, are:
1. The perception that open source is not as good as proprietary CMS/WMS products, so companies are reluctant to use it. This is related to education, but not training. Education is needed to provide accurate information, something the proprietary CMS/WMS industry fights against with propaganda no different that any other misinformation campaign.
2. The crazy perception very common amongst US companies that if it doesn’t cost a couple hundred thousand dollars, it must not be good. Another education, but not a training issue.
3. The biggest barrier may be the agencies offering CMS/WMS services. If an agency isn’t interested in TYPO3, it won’t be considered when evaluating the proper solution to a client’s needs. This may or may not be a training issue. Personal preference makes a difference, of course, but so do bad experiences trying to use or get started with TYPO3 or any other product they don’t care to deal with.
Next week, we are going to launch a training method effectiveness survey that focuses specifically on TYPO3 training/learning. This is a serious survey, will be analyzed statistically and a report written. My hope is to identify the best ways to train and learn TYPO3.
I hope everyone with any association with TYPO3 will take a few minutes to complete this survey so that we get sufficient responses from a wide range of demographic variables, such as gender, country, level of TYPO3 expertise, job function as it relates to TYPO3, age, and a few more. In order to get statistically significant results for each variable, there are a minimum number of responses needed.
Stay tuned for this survey and please participate, it will be anonymous.