The Academy Awards

Another year, another conference. And what a conference! Great location, great people. A long, loud applause for Ben, Isa and Nicole for ensuring a good show for all. Well done guys! From a personal perspective one nice thing was this year's keynote. Good to hear the Academy mentioned as one of the successes of 2013. Indeed it is a success; it's out there, its free and it is proving popular.

Can you back up that claim with stats? (wink)

Sure...

  • 53% of visitors to Magnolia Academy are returns.
  • The average return spends 10 minutes on the site.
  • 17,000 page views in the space of 2 months.

Which is all great and very self-congratulatory - but when it came to doing an Unconference session, instead of rolling up my sleeves and getting into a detailed discussion on how we can improve the Academy, I felt compelled to sell the concept. Most of the attendees had no idea what the Academy covers. What I get from this is that we need to clarify exactly where the Academy stands in relation to:

I didn't read your last blog, and I wasn't at the conference, can you remind us what the Academy is about? (smile)

OK...

  • The aim of the Academy is to lower the barrier of entry to Magnolia CMS
    The Academy is a front-line resource for anyone that is new to Magolia CMS. It is not there to replace documentation; it leads into it should you need more info. And the chances are good that you will want it.

  • The Academy provides training in your own time at your own pace - on your own device.
    Until we have solved the problem of uploading the brains of our training team - the Academy can only ever aspire to being the next best thing to a real-life trainer. That said, in the long run the Academy will contain everything that is available in our standard training -  in terms of scope of content, it already largely reflects our training.

So what's next?

The Academy is not perfect. That's why we stuck the word 'Beta' on the logo. (smile) Some improvements to watch out for are:

  • Video enhancements.
    We will be working on video quality. For now the approach is that content is more important than format. But when Magnolia 5.2 is out, I will be looking into how we can take the audio, visual side of the Academy a step further.

  • Content updates
    Magnolia CMS 5 is a living product. This means that the Academy will remain in a state of flux. Enhancements aside, come Christmas what you see is what you will get for some time to come.

  • Content by role
    One aspect of the Academy that I'd to look into further is how to target particular audiences. Right now if you go to Academy introduction page, you get a quick view on who each module in the Academy is aimed at. At unit level the differentiation goes a step deeper. My aim is to make the landing page so intuitive that you automatically know where to go.

Next blog will be on how we are improving and expanding the Academy to ensure a smooth, relevant learning experience tailored to your specific requirements.

To the conference attendees and speakers - a big thank you. See you again next year!

Gavan

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