I bought the Barrie North's Book, Joomla 1.5 - A User Guide in combination with the Fundamental of Joomla Video Tutorial and after trying most of the video tutorials and books available,I have found this a tremendous resource for learning Joomla.
Particularly, I have found the videos so far incredibly articulate and very helpful. I do use books, but this is much better.
Besides the excellent instruction on features and techniques, I'm learning much more by seeing how Barrie solves the problems and instead of just learning about the program, I'm gaining valuable insight into how other people work and think.
I feel empowered and excited about what I get from this excellent tutorials and hope there will be some advance courses in the near future.
I have to ask whether LiveLesson products goes through an editorial and quality assurance process before a product is shipped off for manufacturing. For $70 one expects a bit more than wham-bam-thank-you-mam production values. Lesson 1 starts out strong and gives you a lot of confidence in what the product is going to teach. I was very excited. Once I got into lesson 2 I was increasingly distracted and my confidence shaken by what amounts to many (MANY) "we'll fix it in edit" gaffs that were never fixed in edit (frequent utterances of "blah blah blah..." indicating "insert useful content here at some point," exasperated raspberries, phrases repeated several times until the presenter is satisfied, etc.). Distracting. At points I wondered if I had selected the "bloopers and outtakes" section of the DVD by accident. Don't get me wrong, the raw learning available through this program is very high, but as I paid full price for this, I feel a bit ripped off. $70 is what you pay for a highly polished professional product. This unfortunately isn't. I still recommend this product, but with the caveat that LiveLessons dropped the ball on showing full and proper respect for its customers with this offering.
As a new Joomla user I expected to get a highly polished video introduction to this highly rated CMS system. What I got reached about 70% of my expectations. The problem is in the editing of the DVD. The video and audio were about 30 seconds out of synch in a critical chapter (chap. 6) making the instructions impossible to follow. In other chapters some outakes were left in when the instructor made verbal mistakes. I was doubly disappointed about this because the author/presenter is one of the leading authorities on Joomla training, making it a major reason for me to buy this DVD. There is valuable instruction in this DVD and it would be well worth the $44+ if the errors were corrected.
Barrie M. North's FUNDAMENTALS OF JOOMLA! is a fine survey combining a video package from a top Joomla consultant and author with a booklet showing how to build sophisticated websites easy to edit and update. Some 13 video lessons pair with the book to cover all the basics, with the video reinforcing the process of building four complete sites with Joomla!