Make A Positive Difference In Your Community This Year

Written by | 01 January 2016 | Published in 2016 January
With a new year upon us and the 10 year anniversary of Joomla behind us we’re all looking to the future. This is the beginning of a new era in the Joomla community and what we do this year will shape our future. As individuals we have the power to change the community for the better and there is no better time than now to make positive changes. Here are some ways we can make a positive difference in our community this year.

Be JPositive. Stay JPositive.

What we contribute is every bit as important as what we say and how we act. The words we put online create a perception of our community to the outside world. The way we interact inside our community affects our contributions and our attitude. The way we welcome new people into our community and encourage participation will impact their involvement and contributions. Everything makes a difference and we should resolve to make it a positive difference.

Realize Your Influence

When people begin using Joomla they begin looking online for resources. To someone with no Joomla experience community members are more than just a resource, to them - we are Joomla. What they see us doing online is their perception of what Joomla is and it may be only experience they ever have within our community. Keep this in mind. Your influence goes farther than you may realize and it impacts our entire community. Make a resolution to use it responsibly.

Deal With Conflicts Appropriately

We want to stay positive but it’s not realistic to believe everyone will agree on everything all of the time. We need to speak our minds but it should be done so appropriately. Some conversations are appropriate on public platforms, some are not - particularly those that involve personal differences or heated emotions. How we handle our differences and resolve conflicts has a significant impact on our community and it affects how we are perceived outside of our community. 

Before you start or participate in a public conversation take a second to consider the following questions:

  • Is my message helpful to our community?
  • Is this a personal message or an issue that should be discussed in private?
  • If someone outside our community reads this now, or a year from now, what will they think?

A little bit of thought can go a long way. We can make a positive difference in our community by resolving to be mindful of how we communicate and resolve our differences with each other.

Be Welcoming And Encouraging Towards New Community Members

New users and contributors are the future of our community. Any one of them could become a community leader. We want them to be here and we want them to stay here. We want to make it easy for them to participate and we need to encourage them to do so. Here are few ways we can do this:

  • Communicate

    Give them a warm welcome. Thank them for getting involved and find out how they want to help. If you are unavailable or unable to help, direct them to a community member that can help them. Simply responding to their messages goes a long way.

  • Be Patient & Helpful

    There is a lot to learn at first and newcomers may not understand contribution guidelines and the etiquette of our communication channels. Remember that. Help them learn and give them time to understand.

  • Keep Criticism Light

    If the first experience someone has in our community is discouraging they will disappear quickly. Give them a chance to learn from their mistakes and let them express their ideas. If criticism is necessary make sure it's constructive and has a helpful tone.

  • Utilize Their Talents

    New users and contributors bring new perspectives and talents into our community. Look for ways to utilize those attributes in a positive way. Find out what they are passionate about and let them be passionate. Allow them to become a resource to the community and encourage them to do so.

  • Provide Direction & Guidance

    Remember that not everyone knows where they fit in at first. Some of our working groups require experience and advanced skill sets for good reason, but we never want to discourage volunteers. If they are not well-suited for a particular group then suggest a group that suits their current skills. Help them find their place in our community and keep them involved. Always give them a chance, they might surprise you.

Make a resolution to encourage people to join our community. Let them know we want them to be here and make an effort to create a positive experience for them. 

Set The Example

How we act within our community sets a standard that others will follow. If we set a positive example and do the right things as individuals we will have a positive impact on the community. Be the change you want to see in your community and others will follow your example. Here are some simple ways to set a positive example:

Always:

  • Be nice
  • Be helpful
  • Contribute selflessly
  • Speak from the heart
  • Do what you say you’re going to do
  • Do your best

Remember:

  • We are all volunteers
  • Not everyone will always agree with you
  • Your answers might not work for everyone
  • A community does what is best for the community, not individuals
  • Your contributions always matter

JResolution

We’ve done much over the past 10 years but we can always do more. When our community works together we can change the world for the better but it starts with us as individuals. Make a resolution to contribute your positivity as an individual and you will have positive impact on your community. 

Tagged under Feature Stories, English
Cliff Pfeifer

Cliff Pfeifer

Joomla UX Team Lead, a member of the Joomla Marketing Leadership Team and contributor to the Joomla Community Magazine. Cliff Pfeifer is a passionate Joomla contributor and savvy business owner from Denver, Colorado. He is also the organizer of the Denver Joomla User Group & JoomlaDay Denver.