The Joomla! Community Magazine™

If You Want To Build A Lighthouse...

Written by | Thursday, 01 March 2012 00:00 | Published in 2012 March
When the Joomla Community Magazine launched in July 2010, the Editor's introduction for that first issue included a metaphor for the new JCM and team, which was that of ship built by a crew who longed for the sea. Now, twenty one months later, I am stepping aside from the JCM to better focus on my new role as President of Open Source Matters. I want to share some closing thoughts about the JCM and team, along with a new metaphor for what I think they represent for our project and our community.
Warmest thanks to former JCM team members Nelleke Verhoeff and Herman Peeren for contributing this illustration! Warmest thanks to former JCM team members Nelleke Verhoeff and Herman Peeren for contributing this illustration! Yepr: www.yepr.eu

An amazing experience and a strong team

Working as a member of the JCM team for the past two and a half years has been an amazing experience for me. I am really proud of what we (including so many former JCM team members) have built together. We have built a strong team that is diverse and inclusive, and an environment where team members are encouraged and empowered. The JCM team embodies many of the best principles of open source: openness, collaboration, learning, sharing, community, and fun.

Sharing stories, helping people, recognizing contributions, and creating connections

We have built a place where everyone in our community is invited to share their Joomla stories with the world, and where they can currently do that in 22 languages besides English. We are helping people learn more about how to use, design, develop, administer, and extend Joomla. We are giving exposure to Joomla books, extensions, templates, and services. We are showing examples of good Joomla websites along with information about how they were created. We are sharing ideas to help those with Joomla based businesses become more successful.

We have built a place where volunteer contributors are recognized, and where people who want to become volunteer contributors can make a connection with different areas of the project that need more help. We are writing about news and accomplishments and milestones throughout all areas of the project. We are highlighting Joomla events all over the world where members of our community are meeting and sharing and learning and connecting.

Looking ahead

In the months ahead, I fully expect that the JCM team will continue to do all of these things, but I hope they will do more. I hope that the JCM will also become a place where big questions are asked constructively and important issues are examined thoughtfully, all with the goal of encouraging, challenging, and inspiring our project and our community to become stronger and better.

If you want to build a lighthouse...

When the JCM launched in July 2010, I used this quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupery as a metaphor for the new JCM and team:

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the sea.

That was a fitting metaphor then for the new JCM and team. Now I would like to suggest a new metaphor for the current JCM and team: a lighthouse. A lighthouse does one thing - It shines a strong bright light in all directions. Those who build the lighthouse know where the rocks are, and they build the lighthouse to help ships and their crews navigate safely around them, so they can continue safely on their voyages or enter safely into harbor.

And so, with a nod to Antoine de Saint-Exupery, here is my thought for what the JCM and team represent for our project and our community:

If you want to build a lighthouse, don't send people out to get concrete and steel and don't assign them construction tasks, but rather form a team made up of those with the strongest devotion for ships and their crews.

 

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Paul Orwig

Paul Orwig

Paul is a freelance web solutions provider based in Parker, Colorado, USA. He is the President of the board of directors for Open Source Matters, a former member of the Joomla! Community Leadership Team, a former Webmaster for the Joomla! community portal, and he was the founding Lead Editor for the Joomla! Community Magazine.