Joomla! at the Community Leadership Summit 2012
This year I was honoured to represent the Joomla! project with Paul Orwig at the Community Leadership Summit 2012, the meeting place for community managers and leaders from all around the world that took place in Portland, Oregon (United States) on the 14th and 15th of July.
The Community Leadership Summit 2012 brings together community leaders, organizers and managers, and the projects and organizations that are interested in growing and empowering a strong community.
The event pulls together the leading minds in community management, relations and online collaboration to discuss, debate and continue to refine the art of building an effective and capable community. Is an open unconference-style event in which everyone who attends is welcome to lead and contribute sessions on any topic that is relevant. So if you have an idea for a session you have to present it to the people:
And stick it on the agenda:
These sessions are very much discussion sessions: the participants can interact directly, offer thoughts and experience, and share ideas and questions. I had a lot of things that I wanted to discuss, but I had to choose, so I proposed to talk about "internationalization", co-leading the session with Heather Leson, Director of Community Engagement from the Ushahidi project:
When you talk with people from other projects about your challenges in internationalization, you quickly notice that you are not the only one facing them. The same issues occur in different ways in all the projects. There were many approaches to solve every problem that we mentioned in the session, and I noticed that Linux-based communities like Ubuntu, Debian or Fedora are great resources since they were born long before Joomla! and have years of experience. Of course nobody can give you the perfect solution to the challenges that you are facing,... but you can always adapt their ideas to your own project.
The session worked very well, and we are creating a group of internationalization experts where we will share our problems and best practices in internationalization. If you are interested in participating please contact me at
There were other sessions dealing with internationalisation issues, and in one of them we talked about the communities in India, Japan and China.
Joomla! is actually very successful in those countries but we can do better: we could have more leaders coming from those countries, more events, more Joomla User Groups and a bigger community. However, to make that happen, it's a must that we understand the culture, the languages, the economy and all the other aspects that involve "building a healthy international community".
Paul Orwig also proposed a session called "Our Goals About Goals: Finding a balance between progress & volunteer time", but I won't say anything because I'm sure that he will do an entire article about it. You can see him here working hard taking a lot of notes ^_^:
During the two days we had amazing sessions like:
- Governance Styles
- Recognizing Community Contributors
- Anonymity vs Lead Generation, where do you draw the line?
- Github vs. Self hosted - Opening your code and building a user community around it
You can check all the sessions notes at the CLT wiki: http://www.communityleadershipsummit.com/wiki/
I enjoyed participating in a session lead by Louis Suarez-Potts called: "Dot Org or Not Dot Org", where we dicussed the needs of an organisation behind an Open Source Project. There is very interesting info from that debate in the notes of the session: http://communityleadershipsummit.wikia.com/wiki/Dot_Org_or_Not_Dot_Org
Another great session proposed was: "Helping User Pain When There's No Itch to Scratch", where we discussed about "engaging non-technical user to communities". The session was proposed by Ed Cable, the community manager of Mifos.org, an Open Source project that's building technology to end poverty faster. I shared some experiences of the Joomla! project since, in my opinion, we are very successful in having a community full of programmers but also a lot of non-programmers. At the same time I also asked for ideas about how to attract more managers to the community, a very demanded profile in our teams. But the answer is "there is no easy way to do that", so we will need to continue working on our recruiting processes. ^_^
During the event I had the chance to do a lot of networking. It was great to meet Adam Kroll from MongoDB. I wasn't aware how much work was already done by Mitch Pirtle in connecting Joomla and MongoDB. I also met people from other CMS projects, like Ben Van't Ende from the TYPO3 Association
Or Jacob Redding, one of the big responsible of the recent great Drupal Association successes:
And lots of people from other projects. Look at the cool tattoo of Benjamin Kerensa from the Ubuntu Project:
Or Jono Bacon, the main organiser of the Community Leadership Summit and Community Manager of the Ubuntu project. He is an amazing skilled community leader, it was an unique opportunity meet him and attend to his sessions. I learned a lot there.
I knew about The Art of the Community thanks to Brian Teeman, so that previous picture is dedicated to him . ^_^:
I would like to thank Joomla! for being able to attend this event in it's name, and I'm pretty sure that the input obtained during the sessions will revert in the project and it's community.