At the end of November 2013, I spent a month on site with a client in the Middle East. I was there as part of a project relaunch kickoff and part of my agenda included setting up a CMS training session with the client’s journalists and content managers and my company’s CMS product manager.
From my years working in publishing, I very much understand the needs of content authors and their editors who publish to various endpoints (e.g., web sites, apps, a client intranet, feeds syndicated to 3rd party partners, social media, other connected platforms). My love of technology springs from the way it enables and augments by ability to create.
At the last minute, the CMS product manager wasn’t available and no one else could make the journey. The client pointed out that connectivity on site was unreliable for Skype videochat and insisted the training be delivered in person – by me.
After an evening of preparation, I delivered two 2.5 hour seminars to groups of 20 or so journalists and content editors. By the evening I felt exhausted, but exhilarated.
I absolutely love opportunities like this to connect directly with users. There’s nothing more satisfying than speaking with the people who depend on what one makes every day and hearing the good (and the bad) and the amazing tricks employed by users to extend the usefulness of a given system. Teaching journalists to use a CMS to deliver their own brilliant content reminds one that the most valuable products we make facilitate publication and distribution of our clients’ ideas and messages.