I watched the State of the Word address given by Matt Mullenweg at the San Fransisco WordCamp. In this address, he talked about how WordPress has been gaining popularity and how much the users base has increased. And he also talked about the WordPress new user experience that he called WPNUX (WordPress New User eXperience). That struck a cord with me as a user of WordPress.
I have used WordPress for some time but I do not think of myself as a WordPress expert or as a WordPress new user. I seem to fall somewhere in between.
I buy the books on the market but they seem to be filled with a lot of information that appears to be outdated or they go so quickly into advance topics that I lose interest. The WordPress codex is a great resource but does not seem to be updated frequently enough, at some levels, to keep pace with the WordPress development.
There is a lot of information (and I do mean a lot) when you search for almost any topic for WordPress. But this is a real problem since there is such a wide range of expertise and countless ways of accomplishing the same thing with WordPress (which is a great strength of WordPress). But for me it is also frustrating (information overload).
I can search YouTube and gets loads of videos but I can also spend hours trying to find the one that solves my problem or is of a quality that I can actually understand. A Google search is similar since I get tons of articles to read. But many times they are written, or copied, by someone only looking for traffic to their site. And I frequently get the same article over and over again but worded only sightly different.
Some of the popular sites are too advanced for my needs. Although they do have sections for the new user, they sometimes assume that I know more than I know. Even some of the sites geared to the new user get into advanced topics rather quickly.
Since my background and education is in Human Developmental Counseling, I tend to see things as stages of development. And I thought how nice it would be to have a defined stage of skill and knowledge that would be a reference point that I could use as a guide to let me know about the content of an article or video. It would be easier for me to select what I could understand and it could help eliminate the frustration when someones assumes that I know and understand what they are talking about.
So I came up with four stages of skill and knowledge levels based on the “Four Stages of Learning Any New Skill” from Gordon Training International. I will be using these stages on this site. All of the articles and videos will be labeled to help you decide, if it is worth your time and effort.
One who has a little information but needs the tools, skills and knowledge to understand and apply this information. It is not assumed that they know the terminology or concepts. They may not even know how to ask a question or use the correct wording to get a sufficient answer. May visit a support site but does not ask questions.
One who has a general knowledge of the material but still has difficulty with the tools and makes mistakes. Has difficulty completing a task even with step-by-step instructions. Somewhat familiar with the terms and concepts but still needs very detailed information. May visit a support site and ask questions and them ask for clarification or more instruction. May seem to be frustrating to deal with at times.
One who has the tools and information and can use them with some effort and assistance. Can follow step-by-step instructions to complete a task. Able to give information to others but may not be able explain it adequately. May visit a support site and even give advice but it may not always be complete.
One who has the tools and information and is comfortable with them and can apply them to the task at hand with ease and can explain the task for someone else to follow. May visit a support site and give advice. May even be a moderator for the site.
Someone can be at different levels for different skills and knowledge. You may be an expert at WordPress installation but a novice at theme design. You can even be an expert at plugin development but a novice at theme development. The important part is to understand your level for any given area.