"Count what is countable. Measure what is measureable. What is not measureable, make measureable." -- Galileo

Monday, November 12, 2007

Back from Amman

Dragged back in from Amman last Friday around 9:30 PM. The close-out Thursday and the fly-home Friday are one big blur.

Got started with the WACSI Plone training Thursday morning and that continued into close-out meetings afterwards with Gen. Shiyyab and the rest. Next came the final luncheon back at the Radisson and finally about 90 minutes to get packed. Then back to the Marriott for a celebratory dinner with Amir. That left a couple hours to get the feet up, shower and shave one last time, and checkout around 11:00 PM.

The flight to CDG was on an old 737 (uncomfortable seats, crowded, poorly ventilated). Had 6 hours at the airport before the trans-Atlantic leg, which was much more comfortable. Zipped through Atlanta and home 3 hrs later. All total, 44 hours up and on the go. No wonder I feel more than just the jet-lag.

Now what has all that to do with Plone? Actually, very little, but all the hours of work and hard travel was worth it. Here are my anecdotal metrics on the success of the workshop:

First off, the software was very well received. Some NGOs were without a web host and the WACSI portal is the perfect place for them. Even our translators were adapting quickly to the Plone interface, often not needing us to answer questions when they'd already heard the answer.

Secondly, we got a round of applause for the system when the workshop was over. I've not heard of that for Drupal or SharePoint.

Thirdly, the participants from UN-DP POGAR (Program on Governance in the Arab Region) were pleased enough that they stated during the close-out that they would use Plone and make any enhancements and customizations available to WACSI (and by extension, to the entire Plone community).

Finally, there's the site activity since we left. Already there have been postings in the discussion area (both in English and Arabic), new material uploaded by participants without our coaching, and a fair amount of e-mail traffic. All in all, a very positive Plone experience.

Now the search is on for Plone trainers and consultants in the Middle East...

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