I had in mind to write a proper analysis with structured ideas for the promotion of Joomla! but unfortunately I don't currently have time... Instead I have just pared it down to the bare bones to outline my message.
I will be quite frank, I think that joomla has an image problem that is holding it back. It is very easy to under-estimate the power of design, but design governs a lot of decisions that people on a day to day basis. Just for the record - I really like Joomla! and I am only being tough as some aggressive decisions need to be made.
I feel that the current branding is a bit dated and clunky, and uses too many colours making it look cheap and child-like. Think: Apple logo from 1984 compared to Apple logo now... It really needs to be more web 2.0. lighter and 'cool', to be proud to use it and be evangelical about it.
I recently created a brand to promote a free online polls widget that worked quite well, http://www.polldaddy.com/
, and ended up going viral (as was the intention) mostly down to the design and impact generated by the brand and website. (The build of the website was out of my control, or this would have been constructed with Joomla! also)
A good brand design and a really good web 2.0 style Joomla.org site layout and template design, will easily be included in all the high profile CSS galleries drawing loads of traffic from the main market I think you should be aiming at: Designers.
If designers consider this to be a serious and flexible tool, they can really push this system forward, quickly and high profile, which will in turn filter down through the web.
I have other ideas but I will save those for different threads - more to come...
:: mean business ::http://www.infinitimixedmedia.com
[If this helps, please pay it forward]