How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by brian » Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:59 pm

for now lets give amy the time to  put forward her proposal for JUG guides.

Then we can all work together to implement them in such a way that there is a very low barrier to create a jug
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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by KaNiko » Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:14 am

Hi Amy,

It would have been easy to find me as representative of JUG Berlin (jug-berlin.de).

The UserGroup Berlin is established since Sep. 2004! as MUG Berlin = Mambo User Group and change its Name in Sep. 2005 to Joomla User Group.
Since the very beginning we're organizing monthly meetings and further special events completelyon our own.
Next big event: e.g.:  http://www.linuxtag.org/2006/en/home/ne ... erlin.html
We believe, user groups should be as open&free as possible and refuse to enforce any kind of rules.
Nothing but interest and love in joomla should be required.

btw. Last Friday there were 20 people at our User Group Meeting. So, we have every month a JoomlaDay.  ;)

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by AmyStephen » Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:42 am

KaNiko -

I am so honored to have you join us and help guide us. I hope you are feeling better. I heard you have been ill. It is cold here in Nebraska where i live and there has been a lots of sickness going around. I try to stay away from people!  ;)

20 people is an excellent turnout. And your group is nearly 2 1/2 years old. That is great! You must be doing something right.

I agree with your philosophy of having a free spirit and simplicity. This is certainly fitting with the open source movement.

Do you have *any* organizational structure you could share with us? For example, do you have officers? Or, do people just volunteer to help, where needed. Obviously you have regularly scheduled meetings. Do your members pay dues? Do you have a budget or any expenses?

Anything you can share with us will be appreciated. And, of course, just step in and set us straight if we head in the wrong direction!

I have looked at http://www.jug-berlin.de that Pete shared. I want to tell you good job for http://www.jug-berlin.de/index.php?opti ... Itemid=106 I would love to see a "virtual" Joomla! Users Group for Women (and of course any interested men). We need to promote women in open source and I appreciate it that you are DOING that in Germany. Good job!

Thanks so much for joining us. Your involvement is very much appreciated!
Amy :)

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by AmyStephen » Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:06 am

I wanted to summarize our posts and all of the various links and ideas into one post.

Gathering interested people
I have talked to a number of people who have already started groups or have websites and plans to begin JUGs and I am hoping they will join with us. I also sent a couple of notes to people who I think can help with the effort and am waiting to hear from them.  I have not heard from the Translators Group, yet, so I think I might follow with a note to the working group head. Alex is also planning to do a Developer Post to announce this effort. So, we are really still gathering people and I hope you all are helping evangelize this cause, as well.

Resources
As I look through this thread, we have amassed a number of very good resources. I want to list those links.
  • Linux
  • MS 
  • Apple
  • Berlin JUG (kaNiko)
  • Berlin's Next Event
  • Melbourne JUG (Lawrence)
  • Drupal User Group
Ideas discussed on a group website
  • Joomla! (version x?)
  • Community Builder
  • GroupJive -It gives all registered users the capability to create and moderate their own groups.
  • Web hosting - Alledia volunteered
  • Domain names JoomlaUserGroup.org, JoomlaUsersGroup.org, JoomlaUsersGroup.com (Cindy and I will donate to the group.)
  • Template - Cindy (montano) volunteered
Drupal Groups
I have been looking around the http://groups.drupal.org quite a bit and I am very impressed with the possibilities for our community. I wanted to share comments on that and ask that you look around and provide your impressions, as well.

1) It is very easy to set up your own group. They list guidelines to establish a new Drupal group that, IMO, are very liberal and also geared towards including others. (By this, I mean, they encourage open membership and broad categories of groups, rather than many small groups, narrowly focused.) It should also be noted that a new group has to be approved by a moderator.

2) It is easy to join a group. And, you can be in many groups. You can look through a directory of groups and subscribe to the group if you are interested.

3) Information from groups is published. Groups can be closed but are strongly encouraged to stay open so that others can read and learn and join in. This is good community building stuff - and it is very good promotion and advertising for the group and provides real transparency.

4) They do not limit the groups to physical users groups.

There are local users groups
  • Austin, Texas
  • Ireland's UG
The Drupal Groups are also technical subject oriented:
  • Accessibility
  • Benchmarking
  • Designer and Information Architects
  • Unit Testing
There are groups formed around Topics for Websites:
  • Art and Music
  • Real Estate
They have groups that focus on the Drupal community issues:
  • Community
  • Data Mining (studying Drupal using analytics)
  • Drupal Groups
Groups focused on Not for profit/Humanitarian interests:
  • Churches
  • Drupal for Good
  • Drupal for Evil (lol) 
  • Scouting
There have been discussions in our own community about special community interests like Women's Groups or Making available community developed documentation or organizing good lists of "good cause" websites that are created using Joomla! and I think this is a good solution to those desires - while keeping the forums clean! So, I am pretty excited about those possibilities.

Talk to Drupal Group People about their experiences
Slight detour. We talked about reviewing a draft, next, but, I want to Skype with people who are involved with supporting the Drupal Groups resource, first. I would like to hear their advice on how to keep users groups very open and liberated and still exercise minimum common sense over authorizing new groups. I'd like to hear what they think works well and where they want to go in the future.

Who else might be interested in sitting in on that conversation? Anyone from the core team interested - it would also be good to have you sit in on this, too, if you are interested. I have not talked to anyone at Drupal yet but I plan to send an email tonight.

OK - then end for now  ;) ... Please share your comments and especially let me know right away if you want to sit in on the Drupal interview. Thanks guys!
Amy :)

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by absalom » Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:57 am

Design with integrity : Web accessible solutions
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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by AmyStephen » Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:53 pm

hehehe! I forgot to pick items to not offend!  :P ... thanks for the giggle and the IMPORTANT links!  ;)

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by AmyStephen » Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:40 pm

Robert Douglass and Moshe Weitzman agreed to talk with us about Drupal's experiences with groups.drupal.org. Robert is a very involved Drupal member and new friend of mine. He wrote Building Online Communities with Drupal, phpBB, and Wordpress and works with Lullabot. Robert said that Moshe "is" groups.drupal.org. So, it's way cool to have a bit of their time to share their experiences and advice with us.
I also talked to Mitch Pirtle 8) and asked him to sit in on the Podcast which he agreed to do! :) Someone sent me a link where he was talking with a group of NYC Joomla! lovers hoping to get a JUG going. Mitch is interested in helping get that rolling in the Big Apple, so, that's way cool. Mitch is an excellent spokesman for Joomla! and of course one of Joomla!'s biggest supporters and I hope he will join us in these discussions. We would be very fortunate to have his involvement.

If I can figure out how (and I will), we will record the discussion and share it as a Podcast.

I am going to share a set of "example" questions with them by Saturday - so, if you have anything you want to know, please post your questions. Also, if you are interested in sitting in on the conference, please let me know, too! I welcome your involvement!

Date / Time --> Monday, February 18th at 11:30 AM EST (GMT -05:00)

Thanks!
Amy :)

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by AmyStephen » Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:08 pm

This is the overview - and then LOTS more detail - from yesterday's discussion on Drupal Groups. I think Joomla! adding on a similar User Groups environment will produce amazing results. I do hope we move in this direction. Please take time to look at the links and think how this can empower and enthuse our community into producing more contributors.

Overview
Drupal groups help community members become contributors. There are physical user groups to facilitate meetings in specific cities. There are subject area groups where community members "virtually" meet and work together on such things as accessibility and marketing. There is an amazing, extremely active group called Drupal Dojo with membership over 500. There, you find enthusiastic, new Drupal developers mentoring one another and learning together.

People can establish a group easily; locate others with common interest; and self-direct without authoritative oversight. The result: leadership is truly shared and more are contributing in the community without the need to first obtain permission, or wait for assignments, or get direction from someone "in charge."

In this extremely empowering environment, participation, enthusiasm, support, loyalty, and increased knowledge strengthen the Drupal community.

mp3 File of Interview
http://community.nebraska.edu/amyblog/w ... eeting.mp3

Note: Introductions and part of the early discussion are missing. We had trouble with Skype noise. Thanks to Robert for switching us to a conference call line where all of those problems quickly disappeared.

Drupal Groups Discussion – February 19, 2007

I talked with Robert Douglass and Moshe Weitzman from the Drupal community this morning. Moshe built and manages groups.drupal.org. Robert Douglass is very involved in Drupal and leader of several groups. We talked about Drupal Groups and empowering contributors in the Drupal community.

Joomla! Organization
Joomla! has a well defined organizational structure. The core team works together on overall goals and objectives. Volunteers can apply to join Joomla! working groups and take assignments to help fulfill the stated missions of the groups.

Outside of that structure, community members are also free to contribute, be it in the forums, or by providing documentation, or starting users groups, or offering the community extensions. But, there is no enabling “tool” available to help community members find others with similar interest or to support collaborative efforts.

Drupal Organization
Essentially, the only real “structure” to Drupal relates to the workflow for code. For code to make it into the core, it must first pass peer review, then a short list of core committers, including Dries Buytaert, project lead. Everything else is accomplished by community members initiating groups, finding one another, self-directing and contributing what they produce.

Groups.drupal.org is the vehicle enabling community driven activities. This tool is used to initiative groups, helps locate others with similar interest and supports self-directed work groups. These groups can be physical User Groups, like the Austin Texas Drupal Users Group, or virtual groups focused on solving a technical issue, like Accessibility or Unit Testing; or a team intent upon using Drupal to advance quality of life issues in Africa or to focus on not-for-profit websites.

Establishing New Groups
Setting up a new group is simple. A community member uses the request form and guidelines.

Guidelines are simple. Groups are encouraged to organize around broad topics, to avoid duplication or significant overlapping into another group’s domain and are also encouraged to allow open membership.

Groups can be:
- Open membership – people join without approval (vast majority of groups);
- Moderated membership – people request membership, group leader accepts or rejects members (ex. Summer of Code Mentors Group);
- Invite only – group owner invites members (very special purpose).
- Closed membership – administrative functions.

Group Moderators
There are only two people, Moshe and another, who review and approve new groups and serve as site administrators. These are the “moderators” with a role essentially limited to enforcing group creation guidelines and closing inactive groups.

Inactive Group Removal
Groups that are not active are regularly pruned. It was noted Dries believes it is de-motivating for community members interested in contributing in a certain area to find a like-minded group and then to discover that the group has been motionless or without any accomplishment due to inactivity. For that reason, these groups are removed to allow the community to start towards the goal with a new beginning.

Join Groups
Community members review available groups and subscribe, if interested. Typically, the act of subscribing also means membership since most groups are open to everyone.

Participate in Groups
There is really very little administration or authority over these self-directed work groups as they are responsible to take care of themselves. Group leaders moderate their own groups. Distributed, broadly shared leadership abounds at Drupal.

Groups are a collection of like-minded people interested in the same goals. You must be a member of a group to post in the group. Unless a post has been marked “private” anyone (member or non-members) can read posts in the group. Members receive email messages from group postings. There are RSS feeds for each group. 

Forums and Groups
Forums and Groups are complementary tools at Drupal, each with distinct purposes.

End-user Support is the function of Drupal.org’s forums and documentation. Community members with questions on how to do something specific or how to resolve a problem ask these questions on the forums. Forum moderators and more experienced end users help answer questions. As with Joomla!, finding enough help to support all of the questions is a challenge. Groups are not intended to address that challenge, however.

Drupal groups are for empowering community members as contributors. Groups are able to organize easily; people can find others with common interest; groups self-direct; and the result is more is shared with the community without obtaining permission or waiting for assignments or direction from someone in charge. It is this extremely empowering environment that is building ownership, participation and community and it produces results.

Discussion of Drupal Dojo Group
A very successful group formed is the Drupal Dojo group. The Dojo group is a collection of community members all learning Drupal development together.

The leader hosts a course each Sunday where topics are discussed, raised by Dojo members during the week. They use a combination of Skype for voice, a screen sharing tool and IRC to create a very interactive communication platform.

During the week between lessons, group members take tasks to document or further research lesson material. The weekly broadcasts are shared with the broader community – so – a natural result of these gatherings is training material for others. 

This is a highly active, very enthusiastic group that numbers well over 500 members. It is an excellent example of how empowerment is helping drive enthusiasm and produce future code contributors for this project.

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by brian » Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:21 pm

Howdo you propose applying this to joomla?
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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by AmyStephen » Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:49 pm

Let's give the community a bit of time to review and digest this.

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by akede » Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:22 am

Hi Amy,

many thx for the huge effort you put into that.

I think you missed a very important point in your description of the Joomla! organization, the local Joomla! communities and their web sites.

For us it was always very important that we have communities in the different countries supporting their local readers. Specially as we thought that many people might not be interested in reading English all the time. The language forums within the main forum are one part of that but the local communities are far bigger and supported by the Joomla! organization a lot.


What I see from your description is that the Drupal organization is very much focused on
a) the development and project lead
b) the groups

If I compare this to Joomla! it would say; Joomla! is focused on
a) The working groups
b) the central and local communities


From this perspective wouldn't it make sense that we support the local communities in creating the groups?

If groups are primarily understood to support the physical meetings, as you describe, then I would say the local communities are much better in supporting them then we as a central organization. We could create a kind of overall search directing you to the different groups but those would be hosted/supported within the local communities. We could develop a simple extension which helps in linking into those global directories and may be use something like the extension directory to show their relationships.


It's a thought as I personally think it is more important for us to strengthen the local communities than to centralize all groups.

Greetings

Alex
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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by ibnhafsun » Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:48 pm

akede, where is the "local communities" forum?

Amy did a call here:
http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic ... #msg685795

You are supporting the "local communities", can you provide me a list of "local communities" and "their" websites?
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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by alledia » Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:53 pm

What a great overview, Amy - definitely a good starting point for a set of operating instructions for the groups.

I'm actually going to a local Drupal group meeting tonight. The group is new and its formation really has been driven by the enthusiasm of one or two people.

Would GroupJive be a good solution? Compare this from Amy's list:
Groups can be:
- Open membership – people join without approval (vast majority of groups);
- Moderated membership – people request membership, group leader accepts or rejects members (ex. Summer of Code Mentors Group);
- Invite only – group owner invites members (very special purpose).
- Closed membership – administrative functions.
to the GJ functionality from http://forge.joomla.org/sf/projects/groupjive
There are currently
three types of groups
which can be created:
Open, Private, and
Invite only.
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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by AmyStephen » Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:32 pm

Alex -

I sat last night reading Joomla! threads in part, because of the International point you raise. So, I can't tell you how *thrilled* I am to see your analysis this morning.

I am not certain if you caught this in the text, above, but the first part of the Drupal conversation was on Skype. We were not able to use the recording due to horrible background noise. So, we switched to a land line conference call. But, in that missing segment, we talked about the HUGE strength Joomla! has supporting our International communities, not only with their local websites, but also because of JoomFish and the work our translation partners accomplish.

Keeping that International strength in play is a piece I am struggling with as I think about how we can use groups at Joomla! to develop contributors out of our community.

I have a several pages of notes on these ideas and I have kept myself from torturing you people by posting these notes. I am trying to summarize my thoughts. Today, I am in a rush. I have a few meetings I need to attend. So, I'll try to respond tonight.

Thank you for for your very valid points and for encouraging and motivating us.

++++

@Rafa - I did leave a call for participation, as you indicate. And, I also tried to PM David, but his inbox was full. But, I did not really push to bring in the International communities, yet, mainly because I am not confident enough! lol! So, I was hoping we'd come up with solid ideas that this smaller group of us understood, then we would push for broader involvement for good analysis. But, I think we are nearly there. The Drupal discussion helped me quite a bit. If those from the International communities could listen to that and think about Alex's points, that would be good.

++++

@Steve - not sure yet. Right now, I think we have 'scoping' to figure out, then we can consider the technology to support the effort. To be honest, I keep thinking about Community Builder and GroupJive, like you are suggesting, with the addition of Dim Dim. . Check it out if you get a chance. (BTW - look at what CMS they use!)

++++

Other comments are very, very welcome.  :)

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by brian » Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:01 pm

I've spent some time checking out groupjive as well and it looks very promising
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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by AmyStephen » Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:11 am

I came across this quote from Johan as I was reading through the forum last night:
"Joomla! is indeed what it is, however everybody who wants to contribute to Joomla's success is welcome to do so. That is the power of open source, you can use it and if you don't agree how things are done you can help improve it!"
I think the goal of Joomla! Users Groups should be to make it very easy for community members to initiate a project they are interested in, find other like-minded people, work together in a self-directed manner and become contributors.

Joomla! is extremely strong in end-user support in the forums. The forums are perfect for asking and answering questions for known answers. But, IMO, the forums are not a good place for collaboration. As a result, I believe we are losing people who could be contributors if we could direct them into the next place to grow.

When someone asks a perfectly reasonable question in the forums that we know is an area where Joomla! can advance, we should have a place to recommend they go so that they can work with others on finding a solution. This past week, a community member asked these questions:
Does joomla create a page easily read by type to voice?
Is there a built in feature to increase fonts for older vision impaired users?
Will Joomla work with voice activation software?
These are excellent questions posed by a caring person. But, what can we tell him? Today, we can tell him that accessibility can be done if you know how to do it. Or, we can tell him to be patient that eventually his request will be taken care of. We could even argue that accessibility is overrated or try to convice him that even the experts do not understood the standards in the same way, or that accessibility is not really important and urge him to quit worrying about it. If he throws a fuss, we could recommend he go somewhere else if his free copy of Joomla! does not meet his needs.

After all, we are each responsible to solve our own problems.

But, we are in a community presumably because we understand we can benefit from the gifts each member brings.

Joomla! User Groups should enable us do a better job accomplishing what Johan is saying. For some people, having a physical User Group in the city where they live is something they are seeking. For others, PR material is critical and they are willing to coop with others to make brochures, white papers and power points available for everyone. Someone else might want to advance Joomla! to be the leading CMS in accessibility and someone else might be interested in attracting and supporting women.

Great! Now, where do they do it? Joomla! User Groups could support any initiative that a community member wants to spearhead that relates to Joomla!. All we need to do is provide a place for people to create a group, find other like-minded people, congregate, self-direct, and contribute to Joomla!. All without waiting for permission or following a set of predefined rules -- just do it! Users Groups would certainly help produce more contributors in our community. I am confident of that.

Questions:

1. Should we encourage the community to initiate Joomla! User Groups for both physical groups and subject area interests? Why or why not?

2. What are your concerns? Should it be a subdomain of joomla.org, a part of the family of sites? Can we allow the groups to self direct and not moderate them?

I am very interested in hearing from anyone who has an opinion on this one way or the other. Those who have worked very hard to support the community might have reasonable concerns and now is the time to raise your concerns, not down the road as we try to encourage people to go to this place and start or join a group. We need to agree on this for it to work.

I am certain -- QUITE certain -- that we can do this in a way that advances Joomla!.

Thanks.
Amy :)

++++

Edit - Alex I realize I did not respond to your question, yet, about International sites. I want to see if others believe "subject-area" User Groups are also important, first. Then, we will have the answer to what the "scope" of User's Groups are, first, and can talk about centralized vs decentralized next. I am not ignoring your very good question. Thanks.
Last edited by AmyStephen on Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by brian » Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:40 am

1. Should we encourage the community to initiate Joomla! User Groups for both physical groups and subject area interests? Why or why not?
Yes of course. And groups should be both virtual and real. Probably unlikely to get anything other than a virtual group for something like text2speach but definitely a real groujp for an area like London
2. What are your concerns? Should it be a subdomain of joomla.org, a part of the family of sites? Can we allow the groups to self direct and not moderate them?
It should be a subdomain of j.org eg groups.joomla.org. This lends weight to the new site. Not just another fan site, that might disappear or suddenly be filled with adverts etc

The groups should be self directed. No reason to moderate except in extreme circumstances. We wouldnt want a joomla for racists group for example
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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by shaifful » Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:53 am

Hi amy, guess ur list becoming longer n longer.. hehehe
BTW, I'm now in the process of finding suitable candidates from my country to
created a legal user groups. Well, in my country we have to register any groups or society to the government.
So I'm the process to make my group legal. So in order to do that we have to form a legal committee and must have an official meeting before we can register.

Thats all from me now.  :D

p/s I'm creating both virtual and physical (that why we need to legalise our group) ;)
http://www.joomla-my.org :: Joomla! Malaysian Community :: Malaysia Joomla User Group!
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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by akede » Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:01 am

ibnhafsun wrote: akede, where is the "local communities" forum?

Amy did a call here:
http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic ... #msg685795

You are supporting the "local communities", can you provide me a list of "local communities" and "their" websites?
Hi,

the first part is the International Zone.
http://forum.joomla.org/index.php?actio ... ollapse;#5

The moderators of those forms are soemtimes moderators in the local communities as well. We do not have a dedicated forum or list with all related sites yet. Currently we are working on several new things in this area and it might be a suggestion for the future. However I think it is very difficlut to maintain :).

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by ibnhafsun » Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:40 am

Ok, it´s a starting point.

What is a community website then? and a local community?

The international forums are not an official extension of core project.
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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by akede » Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:55 am

ibnhafsun wrote: Ok, it´s a starting point.

What is a community website then? and a local community?

The international forums are not an official extension of core project.
"What is a community website?": A side of a group of people providing information about Joomla!?
Sorry but I don't fully understand that question as there is no particular definition about a website run by an community for Joomla! and I don't see any reason defining this.

A local community is one which is not run by the Joomla! project - at least this is my personal definition for it.

And why do you assume that the "international forums" are not an official extension for the Joomla! project (I'm not speaking here of core as this will only let to confusion - the Joomla! project includes all working groups, translation partners aso.).


If I have to be honest I'm not yet convinced that it is helpful to centralize the activities of related communities. What you are trying here atm is to build up a directory of groups on the central sites of Joomla! - the sole value I can see is to find them more easy, that's why I suggest instead of hosting their efforts on our servers - let them build up their own and completely themselve organized structure and create something like a small link directory.

The Joomla! project is using google groups for most of our group communication. I don't see any reason why we should host something like J!G for the JUG's as there are already plenty of free technical solutions for those things available.

May be someone of an existing JUG can raise his voice here and tell me/us what they think. I would assume they would love to have a very individual presentation and the freedom of doing what ever they want. Instead of being limited to a set of standards we define.


That's why I say - if you are interested in opening a JUG - just do it, register your group at google or build up a site. Post here in the forum and I'm pretty sure you will find people to join easily. As Meriza said - if you like to get a real association or group you have legal issues to deal with - for what purpose? What is the value? The reasons Amy said about the collaborative work is something I can understand but do I need an official legal status for that?

Keep it simple and please do not try to over organize things. I'm not in faivor to set rules for something that IMHO does not need any.

Just my 2 cent

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by brian » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:14 am

Alex you are missing the whole point of having groups setup here on the forum

If I wanted to setup a JUG in London, Manchester or Leeds how would I go about promoting it. The official sites are the only ones that can do that. The only other option would be to post a news item on news.j.org which may or may not get published. And if every potential group did that then there would be no room for news.

The downside to having it on the official site is that there will need to be a few rules. Only a few and just there to protect both the good name of joomla and its users.

Being german with a strong local community with local joomla sites you forget that the same is not true for all other countries. Many countries have chosen to maintain their local presence here at j.org and other countries are not allowed a local presence here on the forum as the forum is based on language and not nationality.

Setting up and running a user group is not the same as a mailing list on google and I really fail to see why we should use a 3rd party solution when there are joomla based solutions available

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by akede » Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:41 pm

brian wrote: If I wanted to setup a JUG in London, Manchester or Leeds how would I go about promoting it. The official sites are the only ones that can do that. The only other option would be to post a news item on news.j.org which may or may not get published. And if every potential group did that then there would be no room for news.
a) instead of using the official sites what about a UK community sites to promote those JUG's?
b) I didn't said that I don't understand the point of the promotion and I also said that I have no issue with a kind of directory style list which links to that JUG from the official sites.

The only point I have is that I don't see a reason why we should host those groups on our infrastructure while several providers do those group management solutions far better than we ever will be able to do.
brian wrote: The downside to having it on the official site is that there will need to be a few rules. Only a few and just there to protect both the good name of joomla and its users.

Being german with a strong local community with local joomla sites you forget that the same is not true for all other countries. Many countries have chosen to maintain their local presence here at j.org and other countries are not allowed a local presence here on the forum as the forum is based on language and not nationality.
I think you didn' got my point here.

I see that the German community is something special. But on the other side there are many more people in communities (e.g. France) we never see here.

That's why I say, let's support and encourrage the people in the local communities. E.g. support those which are using this forum only at the moment and help them to get a local site too.

I personally think it is far more valuabe for people to have local sites which know about local issues much better than most of us ever will.
brian wrote: Setting up and running a user group is not the same as a mailing list on google and I really fail to see why we should use a 3rd party solution when there are joomla based solutions available
Does this mean when we have a J! based mail client I should not use gmail any longer? Sorry, if I setup something I would always look for the best technical option and as you all talk about using a subdomain of j.org the responsibility of this solution would be in the hands of the S&I team.

Besides that if the Joomla! project provides a standard platform for all JUG's those groups will loose their individual character.

Now you tell me if you feel yourself confortable in a JUG site which looks like any other or on a site that is having the local/individual charm. Hey Joomla! is that simple to use what's the issue with them having their own sites/hosters and we only link to them. Why do we need to provide a complex system to mange a second communication platform?
brian wrote: Noone is asking you to do anything alex, let those who want to work on this proceed.
I have no idea what your intension with this comment was - I just say: I do not appriciate this kind of comments.

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by brian » Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:54 pm

My point Alex was to say that there are willing and able people in this community that are willing and able to work to provide a maens forJUGs to organise and pormote themselves. It does not need the involvement of anyone on any core team or Working group. They are more than capable of setting this up themsleves and should be encouraged not told to go off and do it themselves elsewhere.

Why force people to create local sites when they dont need to. its a waste of time and resource. If you are going to allow a site that lists local JUGs why not use the amazing capbilities of Joomla through extenions such as community builder or groupjive to do it all one site.

As we are talking about truly local JUGs and not national JUGs even if there is a national site (of which there are actualy very few as opposed to language sites)  the national site would have to create the infrastructure to promote and organise the local JUGs. Its a waste of resources. Just do it all on one global site.

Finaly it doesnt take much time for an individual to propose a JUG and organise an initial meeting if the appropriate tools (as i suggest) are made available. It takes far more time, effort and money to create a dedcited site for a JUG just to see if there is any interest. Remove the barrier to entry to creating a JUG and you will see them flourish around the world.

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by AmyStephen » Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:43 pm

@Shaifful - Thanks for your work on getting obtaining legal status. Let me ask you this - would you be required to obtain a legal status if you could take advantage of a central site and just create a group resource that way? (I know nothing about your laws!) I worry that having to get legal status will stop most groups and many are not as dedicated as you are. Again, thanks for your efforts on this!

++++

@Rafa - One way you can help is to try to find all of these community websites. Alex does not have any authority - or responsibility - over those sites. In fact, I think he is just trying to make certain we recognize the importance of these local groups who have invested time in organizing and helping others in their local communities. So, in all seriousness, can you work on that list? It would be good to have. Brian and I have talked as part of the PR effort about combining our lists for the community and a list of community-based sites would be good to include.

++++

@Brian - I agree with your comments wholeheartedly.

++++

Alex -

First of all, I want to make certain people understand no one is suggesting groups must join a centralized site. People are *of course* free to organize in a manner of their choosing. If I were the Berlin site, I would not be interested in what we are doing, at all! We are looking to *them* as an example of success, not the other way around.

A centralized site makes it *easy* for people to participate in many different areas of interest. It takes one click to register for a group, and you are IN! I am in four Drupal groups and am learning about Development, PR, Themes and Community.

At first, people listen quietly. Then, something might be so very interesting, that they ask a question or make a comment. Then, before you know it, they actually do something and contribute it to the community. Most people will not travel from one website to the next website in order to collaborate with many groups of people - but - they *will* join several interesting groups on the same site and suddenly find themselves contributing in ways they had not expected!

In a practical sense, Alex, I cannot see a group of people building a website specifically for working together on PR material, can you? And, since we do not have any PR material, it would be helpful if a small group of people started to do that. But, how do they get started? How do they find one another? What work should they do? There is no enabling mechanism, obvious to everyone, that can be *quickly* used to organize ANY work and get work done. That's what "User Groups" are in my mind - that visible path to contributions.

We have 90,000 forum IDs up there, but too many people are coming, getting excellent assistance in the forums, and then leaving before they contribute. That is community blood loss! A centralized "group location" can help turn community members into contributors. And, to me, that's the goal! We are trying to advance Joomla! to help the people of the world. To do that, we need help. So, how do we build more contributors out of the community? By making it easier and easier and easier for people to self-start, find others with common interest and direct their own activities and do work for the community!

I'm holding comment on Joomla.org and the S&I team and responsibilities because I have asked Tonie and Brad and the moderators to join this discussion and I hope that they do! No sense in talking about them - I'd rather we talk with them.

Alex - I appreciate your comments and the fact that you are openly sharing what you think. Thanks for that very much!

Amy :)

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by AmyStephen » Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:58 pm

akede wrote:
brian wrote: Noone is asking you to do anything alex, let those who want to work on this proceed.
I have no idea what your intension with this comment was - I just say: I do not appriciate this kind of comments.

Alex
On this, I wanted a new post because I want to warn everyone to be careful - really really really careful with how we word things.

This is a very difficult subject because we are talking about change. And, do not ever forget, this is most difficult for those people who have invested the most. They do not want to see Joomla! fail and they worry about doing things right. This is GOOD! When I look at the core team, I see a very exhausted group of people who are carrying too much of the load. I honestly believe that we have to figure out how to get more involvement from the broader community. I want to hear the arguments why this idea is not good. I want to hear everyone's concerns and fears and worries. You don't have to agree to post here. Brian - I know what you meant and I know you were not trying to insult anyone, so, there is no reason to respond.

There is not a single person posting in this thread who does not care very deeply about Joomla!, so, let's please keep that in mind always.

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by shaifful » Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:12 pm

Amy, its ok for others to get/create/register it too. Perhaps what i and my members will do is, we just make a central user groups for our country and other people can create their group of interest and then can be related and connected by supporting each other. Its only for the legal parts. I don't want to get caught if we were consider as a rebel or terrorists.. who knows? :) There is a law in my country that prohibits illegal gathering if the person or people attended the gathering/meeting is more than 7 without proper permits. Thats why I have to legalise it. BTW, we can register new branch under one organisation.  :)
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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by AmyStephen » Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:52 pm

Shaifful -

Thanks for sharing this. It is good to learn what others must do to comply with their governments. I think your plans sound good.

Amy

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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by brad » Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:42 pm

To discuss and learn about templates or development etc, unlike other open source project who have a less visible community, and therefore appear less active than ours, we have all of this available on the forum... isn't that great! All free and open and easy to locate within a clear structure. Have you seen how active some of the international forum sections here are?

How do we encourage contribution? Now that is a better and more constructive subject. The structure is already setup.. so how do we encourage people to use it?

As for arranging local meetings etc, again, we have the structure setup to help user who arrange these things to promote them and gather support, all in the public eye, and all in a way that only further encourages others who want to arrange something similar to imitate and see just how simple it is.


IF it is just usergroups that people are after *pause* (if that is why you are here; to find a project with a usergroup structure, ie not forum, ie similar to projects mentioned earlier in this thread) in an open source project, to somehow make them feel better, more appreciated, more listened to.. dunno etc, as has been mentioned in this thread, there are other projects that will suit your needs.

[me=brad]has made his contribution to this thread now[/me]
[me=brad]goes off to his quiet place...[/me]

Edit: I have edited my post to explain the English language words that I used.
Last edited by brad on Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to start a Joomla! User's Group in a City Near You!

Post by AmyStephen » Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:55 pm

brad wrote: If it is just usergroups that people are after in an open source project, to somehow make them feel better, more appreciated, more listened to.. dunno etc, as has been mentioned in this thread, there are other projects that will suit your needs.
:'(


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