Wednesday, December 21, 2005

How To or What For?

Shane believes we need more end-user material on the web. Heather thinks thats all fine and well but nobody would use it. Who's right?

For once, I agree with them both (see, I can be agreeable from time to time. It is Christmas after all). One of the most frustrating aspects of new portal deployments is end-user training; there's so much to teach in so little time. Users only retain a fraction of what I show them and, if they don't go use it right away, forget the little that they did learn. I've wanted to put together a bunch of short tutorials for well over a year on SharePoint basics but just can't seem to find the time.

On the other hand, I've also had Heather's experience; what I have created is rarely used by anyone. Users ask for guidance but what most of them really want is for you do it for them. Let's face it; the average job description doesn't include "wrestling with SharePoint" in the 'Duties and Responsibilities' section.

So what to do? Perhaps the best solution is to publish what we've got, expose it to the users, and if they learn from it, fine; if they don't, hey, we tried. If we all contributed a bit here and there to some central blog somewhere we could probably cobble together a good resource in a jiffy. Nobody would have to take on the whole responsibility and we could all syndicate the content via XML to our individual portals (like an FAQ, of sorts, but shared by everyone). Set some categories, let all the SharePointers post to it, and see how it flies. Track it via Google Analytics and see if anyone is using it.

I'm game. I'll even go first with a few short step-by-step tutorials. I can't manage the blog though - too much on my plate right now. Anybody else want to chip in???