Joomla Stack Exchange has Graduated!
I am excited to announce some big news for Joomla Stack Exchange (JSE) - the most advanced platform for sharing knowledge and support for Joomla users. Before I do, let me tell you about my Joomla "origin story" so that you understand why I'm so thrilled.
From 2007 to early 2018, I was a PHP developer and had never heard of Joomla, then I accepted a job working for a Joomla development agency. Like anyone else getting started with Joomla, I needed support when I couldn't make sense of the documentation. Fortunately, my employer was a steady hand with Joomla and was able to help me with most of my early extension development problems. While this was convenient for me, it felt rude to keep interrupting him (after all, he had his own work to get done). Since I was already an active contributor on Stack Overflow and Code Review (two Stack Exchange programming communities), it was an obvious choice to extend my Stack Exchange account to include JSE. I dove right in, enthusiastically shared my knowledge, and engaged in positive content curation routines. I was adding educational answers, editing imperfect English & formatting in posts, flagging comments with no value, creating question tag descriptions, whistleblowing answers that were flawed/insecure/unstable, asking new questions, and expressing my opinion on JSE Meta.
Then, in 2019, a moderator election was announced. I eagerly nominated myself as a candidate because I was confident that I could be an effective moderator. I ran unopposed and therefore automatically joined Lodder and FFrewin on the volunteer moderation team. At this point, I assumed the unofficial role of chief advocate and started taking new, proactive steps to increase activity and grow the membership. Anyone in the Joomla community that has ever met me online/offline at meetups or JDays will tell you that I am intensely passionate about the importance of growing JSE and I struggle to stay quiet about how excellent the platform is.
That's enough about me, I want to talk about something much bigger and more important. As of December 2021, JSE joined 58 other "beta" communities to become 1 of the 161 fully mature Stack Exchange sites.
This long-awaited achievement has been the goal since 2014 when JSE qualified to leave "Area 51" -- a staging area for enthusiasts to prove the volume of interest in a proposed Stack Exchange community.
Despite being an evolved and totally free platform for sharing Joomla knowledge, it hasn't been an easy journey. Its growth has been stifled for years because Joomla user attention is spread across the long-running and outdated Joomla Forum (est. 2005), the flagship Stack Exchange community -- Stack Overflow (est. 2008), and a myriad of other communication platforms and social networks.
With the graduation of JSE come a few unlocked opportunities.
Most excitingly, a feature called Community Ads will be available in 2022. This allows qualifying JSE users to post free ads for products, services, events, and communities that are of interest to Joomla users. Once the ads are vetted and upvoted on JSE's Meta Q&A, they will be rotated in dedicated positions on JSE's main Q&A.
Let this sink in.
If you have a product that benefits Joomla users, if you provide a service that benefits Joomla users, if you want to announce an upcoming event that is of interest to Joomla users, or if you know of an online/offline community that is of interest to Joomla users, then you might want to start designing an ad now -- because it's FREE!
Our own logo
JSE will be able to have its own unique logo and UI theme. If you have a great idea for a logo or you have sufficient graphic design mastery to create a new logo, please get in touch with any of the current JSE moderators.
The volunteer moderator team will be completely reset. All current moderators (including me) will be stripped of their positions and a new election will be scheduled in 2022. Qualifying users including all past moderators will be allowed to nominate themselves as candidates in the new election and any users with at least 150 reputation points will be able to vote for their preferred candidates.
With Joomla 4 growing in popularity, there will be a fresh wave of new support questions. I urge all Joomla users to ask their support questions on JSE and if you can help someone to resolve their question, please post your best advice as an answer.
For more information on the graduation see Announcement: JSE is graduating out of Beta status!. Watch my free talk comparing free Joomla support platforms which was recorded during JDayUSA2021. Read a related Joomla Magazine article on JSE's launch in 2014.