Dl Neil wrote:
> > One good point about what you said is that one budgetless what to
> > promote PHP is to use 'viral marketing'. Viral marketing is a way to
> > market something by using a technique that spreads by itself, ie, no
> > additional effort or money needed to be spent by the originator to have
> > the notice of what you want to market spread like crazy.
> ...
> > sort what ideas can become viral. With that topic in the mind, if you
> > ever figure a viral idea to promote PHP, just share it here to prove the
> > concept as well! :-)
> I had intended that the 'institutional approach' be seen as the seeds of a viral 
>marketing campaign. If students
> learn the tool, when they 'go out to work' they want to use it. Even if the student 
>is a 'hobbyist' then it
> still spreads the 'word' around...

That is not viral enough because it is not smooth. When it is not
smooth, not only it will propagate slowly but also it may stop
propagating at all because word of mouth is not always convincing. To
make it work smoothly it should not be hard to convince anybody that PHP
is a good idea.

> Your point earlier, if statistics say x million dynamic web sites are held together 
>by PHP, IT managers/decision
> makers tend to feel they should take notice, eg Apache and the Netcraft surveys. The 
>same will apply to PHP,
> numbers need to build to some 'critical mass' for corporate credibility to follow 
>(as wrong as that sounds).

Yes, but you only establish credibility when you manage to put your
arguments in favour of PHP in the mouths of opinion makers. Statistics
of PHP usage in the PHP site will never be credible enough. It is like
when parents tell everybody how smart their kids are, see what I mean?

> How to get PHP into the institutions? You'd think it would be easy, wouldn't you - 
>it's 'free', and that sounds

Being 'free' may be good for budgetless individuals but is the wrong
argument for institutions and companies in particular. You need to pick
up other argument.

> great! However you need competent/trained teachers/training staff. You need teaching 
>materials and supporting
> text books. You need sample exercises and databases. Look at what SuSE are doing 
>with email servers (etc) and
> RedHat with Linux distributions. Perhaps a distribution of LAMPS or the 'PHP Triad', 
>especially configured for
> an educational environment could be considered? Finally you need people to be 
>convinced that there's a demand
> for the teaching, and conversely students convinced that it is a valuable skill to 

That is the core of the problem. You can only demonstrate there is
demand for teaching if you spread that there is demand for qualified
professionals. The PHP situation could be improved if there was an
officially certificated training, like some Linux distributions have and
even MySQL. The effect of spreading about official certification is that
it passes a good impression to those that are not aware that Linux and
MySQL is something being taken seriously to the point of having official
certifications like for certified Microsoft and Sun Java trainings.

Manuel Lemos

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