Meet the Joomla User Groups Team
Did you ever feel like you’re the only Joomla user in the village, and wish you could meet Joomlers in your neighborhood? You might join a Joomla User Group, and if there isn’t one where you live, create one. Joomla has people who can help you find, run or create a Joomla User Group. They’re called - you could have guessed it - the Joomla User Groups Team, and they’re here for you. This month the JCM has the pleasure to meet four of them!
What is the team’s main goal?
Todd Woodward: We want to encourage and support existing Joomla User Groups, and foster the creation of new JUGs.
Ahmad Moussa: We want to encourage and support all existing and new local Joomla User Groups that are being organized by the community to meet Joomla users in real life to share Joomla knowledge. We are also planning to create and support a new directory for online Joomla User Groups which can help Joomlers to meet online from anywhere and anytime without any constraints as many organizers and Joomlers couldn’t attend face to face or in-person meetings due to Covid-19 pandemic.
What is your place in Joomla’s ecosphere?
Todd: I can't speak for the rest of the team, but the JUGs are the grassroots. They are where people can meetup, learn from others about Joomla, and brainstorm possible ways to create Joomla sites. We want to foster that active participation and, hopefully, make members of these JUGs future team members and project volunteers.
What roles do you have within the team?
Todd: I’m the team leader. I have a good group of people that want to help our JUGs thrive.
Ahmad: As an Assistant Team Leader, I am responsible for supporting the Team leader and also maintaining the JUGs directory. I am also responsible for supporting all JUGs organizers through service tickets submitted to the JUGs Help Desk. The Assistant Team Leader also supports and helps team members in moderating JUGs listings and in replying to raised service or general help tickets.
Team members: introduce yourself please :)
Todd: I’m Todd Woodward, the Team Leader. I’ve been a member of this team for less than a year.
Davide Messia: I’m a team member, and I try to help as needed. I’ve started to help around october 2021.
Laura Gordon: I have been a member of this team since the summer of 2021. I have been a member of a JUG (New York City and New Jersey) since 2004.
Ahmad: I am the Assistant Team Leader at the moment. I am helping and supporting the Joomla! User Group Team Leader to achieve the team's vision and goals. I was previously a JUG moderator supporting JUGs listings worldwide from August 2018 till June 2021 and still doing it.
How often do you have meetings, and how do they take place?
Todd: We hold monthly meetings, usually on the third Friday of the month, via Google Meet.
What tools do you use to work together?
Todd: A combination of email, text, Google apps, and Glip.
If you had three words to describe the atmosphere within the team, what would those words be?
Todd: Collegiality, Purpose, and Friendship.
I get along with the members of this team. I look forward to the day when we can meetup in person, because the time zones make it tough for many of these members.
Laura: Friendship, Kindness, Respect
We have a strong relationship with each other which is built on respect and friendship. It is great since we are all from different countries and backgrounds, that we are able to work together for a common goal.
Davide: collaboration, willingness to help, willingness to build bridges
Ahmad: Patience, Persistence, Connective
Our special team members are very patient and persistent to connect all JUG organizers together in the best ways possible and using the most recommended tools.
How did the team develop over the last year(s)?
Laura: Initially this team served more of an administrative purpose, which is very important, to help JUGs with getting listed on the website, and making sure tickets and problems were answered. Starting in the summer of 2021, we wanted to adjust the focus to add JUG group meetings. People from the JUGs could participate in a session where we can show them what the Joomla community can provide to the JUGs, and also to learn from the JUGs what the Joomla community can do better to support the JUGs.
We had sessions in Fall 2021 and Winter 2022. We will have more sessions in the summer of 2022. We hope that ALL Joomla User Group organizers (and potential organizers) will participate in future sessions. To find out ‘where to meet’, check the Joomla Events Page (https://community.joomla.org/events.html) , Facebook, and your email inboxes (we email all JUG Organizers with meeting details prior to the meeting!).
What difficulties do you face, and how do you (plan to) overcome them?
Todd: Since the team members are far flung around the globe, we have challenges in meeting times and getting together outside of meetings to cross train members.
Laura: Getting the word out to the JUGs that we exist, and that we want to support them. If we don’t connect with the JUGs personally, then we aren’t doing our job, and our team is not supporting the people that we need to support. I want to really foster communication between us and the JUGs and the JUGs with each other. We can all learn from each other.
Do you need extra volunteers, and if so, in what capacities?
Laura: We need people to get the word out to attend our JUGs Leadership meetings. It would be great if we had a representative from every country on our team, so we can really work with the different JUGs and meet their needs.