We need to scope this effort. Initially, we began talking about documenting a process to create "physical" User Groups. Then, groups.drupal.org was offered as one of several resources we were each to review. I am impressed by how that resource helps their community self-direct and produce contributors. At that time, I started looking at our discussion much more broadly. But, I believe we need to pull the scope back to where we can all get behind our goal, again.
This discussion creates questions of overlap into an existing resource -- our forums -- where we *are* very successful. That discussion also creates questions of overlap into another structure -- our working groups -- where we are *also* very successful. I personally believe that allowing virtual User Groups would have an explosive impact on community contributions, but, I don't think we are ready and that's okay.
There are absolutely ways that we are using our forums to empower and encourage our community, here's five examples off the top of my head:
- Chris and Ian as they work on the MVC Tutorial
with the community (I could give dozens of examples of Chris doing this. IMO, he's the best at it.)
- Johan and Louis on the MSSQL Driver testing
encouraging community participation in the OSCMS.
- That's what the CakePHP
posts are all about.
- That is what Shayne is recommending
with the Template discussion.
I am a big believer in consensus. In the end, that is all that works. We have to all
believe in what we are doing or we will just have conflict and none of us
want that. But, please, do not ever make the mistake of doubting - I am a proud
member of our Joomla! community. Here is where I see our next discussion items:
1. Should this discussion be limited to physical User Groups? (At this time, I recommend yes.)
2. What should be provided 'centrally' to support physical User Groups?
- Full resources needed by a JUG to schedule meetings and events, share agendas, minutes, pictures, etc.?
- Or, a simple listing of how to find information for a JUG near you? (Still, a huge step forward.)
3. Will the resource that comes from the previous question be a part of the Joomla.org family?
- if it is just a listing, I am guessing it will be a posting in the forums, so yes.
- if it is a JoomlaUserGroup website, will there be a link to it (ex. "Main" "News" "Help" "Forum" "Community") and will it be supported by the S&I working group?
That's where I think we are. Since my involvement is causing a distraction and this is too important to take off-track, we need someone else to lead this discussion. Steve and Cindy?
Might you be willing to guide this for awhile?
Please discuss items #1 through #3 (or other items related to JUGs that I might have missed). Please be open and honest about your concerns, but, be willing to consider a bit of change if it is helpful, keep your eyes firmly on strengthening Joomla! and, please, stay positive, please!