Joomla is a community and a software product - one cannot exist without the other.The Re-Engage & Re-Ignite team brainstormed a number of topics centered around increasing people’s awareness of Joomla and encouraging them to get involved.

This starts by making better use of the call to action links on the homepage - ‘Meet Joomla’ and ‘Find Help’. It continues by encouraging people to get involved by attending a Virtual User Group, or by sitting a Content Creator Exam. Both provide advantages to businesses that use Joomla, as well as the Joomla ecosystem itself. The ecosystem can be further nurtured by defining and expanding Educational Outreach initiatives. Joomla powers people and people power Joomla - the balance needs to be restored.

After introductions had been made, we started off discussions by reviewing where we have been in terms of our achievements and challenges, and why we think Joomla exists. We then continued to brainstorm possible topics for the remainder of the forum, before exploring each in more detail.

A full breakdown of the brainstorm ideas and full report of the stream is available here:

During the course of the weekend, the stream attendees focussed on 4 proposals that are aimed at re-engaging the community and creating easier ways for others to become part of our community.

Proposal 1: Call to Actions on homepage

The proposal is to add two new call to action buttons on the homepage, each linking to a landing page with helpful links and accompanying images in a grid format. The theory is to make it easier for visitors to find out more about Joomla and it’s community, and where to look for the right source of help. Show them what Joomla is about in terms of its community - tell them who we are. Engage them, and encourage them to find out more.

The first button proposed is ‘Meet Joomla’ and is designed to introduce our community and events to users. People who come to the homepage of Joomla for the product may also be curious about who is behind the product and the events that they can attend.

The working name of the second button proposed is ‘Find Help’ and will provide links to all of the resources we already have available aimed at someone who has a problem to solve.

Although the current homepage does have both of these items listed, they are too small, too far down the page, or not showcased well enough. The main focus of the homepage should always be our product, but without our community of volunteers we have no product. This proposal shines more light on our community and the resources that we have available for the users of our product.

Proposal 2: Reformat JUG rules to allow Virtual User Groups

To allow virtual user groups centred around areas of common interest to complement and not replace geographical user groups.

If we can get people interested in a virtual event, they may develop an interest in attending a physical event. Attendance at a physical event can lead to many things - hopefully we can then engage them in our community by encouraging them to become involved in the project and its activities.

The proposal is to adapt the current JUG rules to allow a new type of JUG that is not geographical, but is instead based on a common interest related to Joomla. These JUGs can then host in-person or virtual events centered around their common interest, for example skillset, language, faith, educational, extensions, etc.

Proposal 3: Establish Content Creator Exam

Resulting from a discussion centered around advocating to businesses, the concept of an End User Exam developed. It will be a simplified version of the Administrator Exam aimed at content creators / editors within businesses who already have a Joomla website. We will need to encourage Joomla website builders to introduce the Content Creator Exam to their clients to help their business to remain part of the ecosystem.

The proposal is to encourage businesses who have a Joomla website to get one of their employees to prepare for and then sit a shorter, simplified exam focused on editing and managing content. This would allow an employee of a company to gain a 'badge' to confirm to their employers that they actually know about the system that their website is built on and therefore have the knowledge to keep it running and updated. They then become the Joomla person of their company, which then might lead to them waiting to know more. In turn, this then means that it is much more likely that the company will continue to use Joomla in years to come because the barrier of not understanding will be reduced.

Proposal 4: Educational Outreach & Engagement 

The proposal focuses on the next generation of Joomlers and aims to help increase awareness of Joomla in their minds. Show them that web development doesn’t have to be clunky, but can be cool, interesting and innovative. Supported by ideas, research and experience of Joomlers who are already involved in the educational sector, the aim is to create a range of teacher training packs and resources that can then be used as outreach materials.

This document is a report of the Re-Engage/Re-Ignite Room at “Forum for the Future”.
These notes should not be considered final or approved decisions of Open Source Matters, Inc.