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November 24, 2006

A Win-Win situation!

Category: Mario Rimann, TYPO3

By: Mario Rimann

The TYPO3 is a microcosm. In the centre, there is the product itself. And around that, there are different kinds of groups arranged:

There are the more "professionals", working with TYPO3 for an agency or as a freelancer in their daily business. Some of them are closer to the centre of the microcosm and working in one or multiple teams within the TYPO3 project. And others are "just" using TYPO3 as a tool to satisfy their customers needs.

A second large group of users are the ones that just started to know and to work with TYPO3, and others that use it for theirselfes and not on the job (not for money). Let's call them "amateurs" and "semi-professionals".

I think everyone that started to work with TYPO3 had some problems to get some things up and running. There are different ways of getting help. You all know the famous mailing lists / newsgroups, of course the existing documentation for the core and the extensions, and personal help. Now, for a "professional" user, small hints in newsgroups or in message boards maybe enough information. For a beginner it might be not enough. Other problems could be the language: Some informations are not available in the users native language. And so it happens, that users are sending "need help"-messages to single persons.

During the last weeks I got several mails from users of my own extension and also some that asked me on how to configure Timtab. First of all I was really surprised that they ask me for help on an extension that I didn't code. They just found my blog while searching google and maybe read my name in the Timtab newsgroup.

If I sum up all those support requests, I can say that no one of them was a "professional" user but using TYPO3 either for personal use (private website), for a sports club or another non-profit organization. And all of them needed help at low cost. There was no budget to buy support from an agency where every minute will cost money.

Now to come to an end (this is getting way to large here), I'll tell you what happened: Today I recieved a delivery from Amazon with a book that I had on my wishlist. One of the persons that got my assistance sent some greetings on this way.

The moral of the story is that we both are happy - and thus have a win-win situation! He got the solution for his problem and I got a book from my wishlist. For him, this was way cheaper than engaging an agency for support. And for me it was a token of gratitude and a present.

In the sense of "inspiring people to share", I'd like to encourage everyone to help others wherever possible (share your knowledge). And also hope that this help is appreciated by the persons and organisations that are requesting help.

If you are currently needing help - please send your support request to an appropriate newsgroup or mailing list. I fear that my mailbox will overflow after this blog post. So please first ask on a public place - the chance to get a usable answer in short time will be bigger than by asking a single person, believe me!

Thanks for reading and good night :-)
- mario


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