6 minutes reading time (1172 words)

Meet the Joomla Forum Team

October-ForumTeam

The Joomla CMS version 1.0 was released on 17 August 2005 but did you know the forum was live a week prior to that? As I (Hans) wasn't around at that time I can't tell how it was used in that week before the first release, but since then many, many, many questions have been posted on the forum. And there is a team on the forum maintaining it and taking care the rules are followed and actions sometimes are taken. In this interview we will meet the Global Forum Team members.

What is the team’s main goal?

Olaf: The main goal is to keep the forum communication running smoothly, and try to fight against spam.

MIG: In addition, making the forum to be user friendly and helping users to solve their problems/issues (or facilitating to solve users’ problems/issues)..

What is your place in Joomla’s ecosphere?

Olaf: Our place is to help users help each other. A place to help our users find an answer to a problem or discuss a solution or topic.

What roles do you have within the team?

In the forum we have three different types of roles:

Global Moderators, General Support Moderators, Local Moderators for the Forum.

The Local Moderators are looking after a particular non-English language forum and interact with the Global Moderators via the private Moderator Forum.

The General Support Moderators are looking after most of the English Language forums.

And the Global Moderators are a small team to keep the forum running smoothly, and actively fight against spam, evaluate user behavior and administer the forum itself.

Introduce yourself please :)

Peter: I’m Peter Martin from Nijmegen, The Netherlands. I've been helping out in the Moderator team since 2006. With our team we try to keep the forum a friendly place where everyone can ask questions and give answers to help fellow Joomla users.

Toivo: I am Toivo Talikka from Sydney, Australia. I started with Joomla as an end user in 2007 and was invited to join the Moderator team in 2015. We move new topics to the right sub forums, remove spam entries and intervene when there are occasional storms in the teacup between members of the forum.

Olaf: I am Olaf Offick, I am the Team Lead of the Forum Team. I am living on the west coast of Ireland. My Joomla story started back in 2006, and started to become a more active member of the Joomla Community 2 years later. I started as a user helping others with their questions/problems in the forum and a few months later became a General Support Moderator.

MIG: I am Ilagnayeru (MIG) Manickam from Chennai, India. I have been using Joomla since mid-2008. Attracted by its philosophy of contribution to society, I started contributing to Joomla ever since I started using it. In December 2009, I was invited to the Moderators team as a General Support Moderator for Joomla! 1.5 Boards. From August 2010, being the creator of the Tamil-India (ta-IN) language pack for Joomla 1.5, I took on the additional role as the Moderator for the Indic Languages board. From October 2011, I am playing the role of Global Moderator and enjoying helping the Joomla community.

PYB: I am Per Yngve Berg, living around Oslo in Norway. I started with Mambo and switched to Joomla making sites for some Car Clubs I am a member of. I have a Jeep and an Opel from 1936. I am currently in the transport business, but have a background of maintaining IT infrastructure. I got a hardware certification from IBM on the original PC in 1984. I started answering other users' topics in the forum and was asked to join the Global Moderators.

How often do you have meetings, and how do they take place?

Toivo: We have monthly online meetings, scheduling them the best we can for team members in Europe, Asia, Australia and USA.

What tools do you use to work together?

Toivo: We have a restricted area for moderators in the forum for messaging. In our online meetings we use Google Meet.

Olaf: For the urgent communication in the Global Moderator Team we were using Glip and recently migrated to Mattermost.
If you had three words to describe the atmosphere within the team, what would those words be?

If you had three words to describe the atmosphere within the team, what would those words be?

Peter: friendly

Toivo: co-operative, supportive, friendly

Olaf: friendly, encouraging, happy

MIG: Cordial, Cooperative, Supportive

How did the team develop over the last year(s)?

Olaf: Over the years our Team changed a few times with some users becoming less active, finding new members who are active on the forum can be challenging at times. We try to have the team as distributed as possible, so as a goal we have someone who can react quickly. (this is not always possible and makes the monthly meeting even harder)

What difficulties do you face, and how do you (plan to) overcome them?

Peter: Sometimes forum users seem to think that the moderators are there to help them with their questions. But that is not our task: We are there to moderate and keep the forum free of spam. Of course, when we have time and see a question that we can answer, we do so. But the Joomla forum is for solving your Joomla related issues with help and knowledge from other Joomla users. It’s nice that Joomla forum has a lot of helpful forum users that help out their fellow users.

The communication between users on the forum can sometimes be difficult. Written text misses non verbal communication. Furthermore the forum is used by people from all over the world with all kinds of different backgrounds. Sometimes language barriers make communication more difficult. We try to keep calm and keep the topics on topic. We try to welcome new users and motivate people to post feedback with their solutions.

Finally Joomla users who ask for technical help, sometimes share too little information. Fortunately we can refer them to an excellent tool called “Forum Post Assistant” that they can use to give more information about their server and Joomla configuration.

Olaf: As Peter said it can be tricky at times to find the right words, so at times the moderators have to step in. Not always the easiest tasks as depending on the topic a discussion can get very heated. Having said that, we try to let the discussion flow.

Do you need extra volunteers, and if so, in what capacities?

We usually recruit from our own user pool. Which means we all started as users. So if you want to help, please create an account (if you don’t have one) and try to answer some of the questions other members might have. So yes, we are always looking for users who can help answer questions in the forum. Or if you see the spam in the forum, please use the “Report this post” button 2022 12 joomla forum report button to bring a particular topic to our attention.

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