Having just used Joomla!, to develop a major e-commerce website for a South African company, I realised there is something sorely missing in South Africa: a support and development community for South African Joomla! users and developers. Thinking about it, this is probably an issue with many of the "lesser" countries in the world. Having been invited to JoomlaDay South Africa, I've realized that there are people like me who recognise these issues and are on the path to improve them, but they need more support.
Long story short, we aren't spoiled for choice when it comes to Joomla! developers in South Africa and Plugins to bridge a Component with any South African system have proven rather difficult to come by. We had to recruit a developer from Panama to assist us with the development of a few Virtuemart extensions, simply because there was practically nobody in our country willing or able to assist.
The few organisations in South Africa that develop renowned CMS extensions all do so for Wordpress. Seeing as I tend to advocate the use of Joomla! and condemn Wordpress at every turn, this is an issue for me.
For this reason, I would like to declare myself the start of a new era - an era of Joomla! development support in South Africa and other smaller countries.
I know there are thousands of Joomla! enthusiasts in South Africa, more than enough to legitimise localised Extension development for the world's best content management system. Today, I will be registering accounts on the Joomla! Forum and Joomla Resource Directory and my team and I will commit to providing support for South Africans Joomla! users in as many areas as we are competent in.
We enjoy the many benefits that Joomla! provides us with. Why should we not help with making the system and community even better by assisting other users who are trying to harness the fantastic power and flexibility that Joomla! offers?
I would like to invite other capable South African users as well as anybody else in a country other than the US and UK to do the same. Chances are somebody out there needs specific locale-related assistance. You can help them.
Open source is all about the community. I have always neglected this fact and have taken far more from the Joomla! project than I have ever given. I've realised, now, that every single person counts.
It's time for change.
It's time to continue the transformation of Joomla! into a truly global community.
Who's with me?