JUG Highlight: Joomla! Suffolk
Each month Joomla! users around the world gather for collaboration, learning, and good times with Joomla! User Groups in over 50 countries (55 to be exact). Groups range from get-togethers of 8 or 9 people, to meetups of over 40 people! I caught up with the Joomla! User Group in Suffolk, England for this last month's meeting for a good time, and a quick interview. We were able to talk with JUG members and get their thoughts on JUG's and how the Joomla! Community is affecting them.
Location: Basepoint Business Centre, 70-72 The Havens, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP3 9SJ (and streaming online if you can't make it)
Meeting Times: 7.30-10.30, 2nd Thursday of each month (updates and RSVP on the website)
Membership Required: Nope! We welcome anyone, we don't have 'membership' per se, but encourage people to sign up on the site for newsletters/announcements and to participate in the forums.
Meeting Cost: Free – tea & coffee (and water!) provided, although we often order in pizza, or people bring along cookies, but this is optional!
Member Resources: Member Forums are available for anyone at the JUG Suffolk Website. JUG Suffolk also provides a free Joomla! Hints & Tips Section for Joomla! Users.
Streaming Available: Yes! Online at tinychat.com/joomlasuffolk
What Do You Find Beneficial About Your User Group?
To sum it up in the words of one Group Member, "Every time I attend I get to know something new and have a list of things to 'find out more about'". Other thoughts that topped the list were Networking, Helping other members, identifying solutions, and PIZZA! Needless to say, JUG Suffolk is a great place to hang out if you're looking to catch up on the latest Joomla! news, looking for some great ideas and solutions, or just to have a good time with friends! February's meeting was focused on the jUpgrade component, and the group worked through several of the difficulties surrounding the component, and ended up with a successfully upgraded Joomla! website!
How Would You Encourage JUG's and Organizers to make User Groups Better?
"Good communication is key" said most, when referring to how a good JUG impacts Joomla! users. Although, great food IS helpful :) User Groups are a great place for users to share their experiences and successes in Joomla!, as well as to problem solve and come up with new solutions. Updates from the community and Leadership, as well as getting members involved in presentations and topics that they have learned, help keep meetings interesting! JUG Suffolk also offers live streaming whenever possible to allow Joomla! Users and Group Members who are unable to attend to participate in monthly meetings.
How has Your User Group Helped You?
JUG Suffolk members are enthusiastic when it comes to their group and how it can help them. With everything from networking and business opportunities, to learning new skills and developing communities mentioned by group members, this User Group definitely has a lot to offer. Whether you're looking for Joomla! advice and help, or just enjoy "talking shop", JUG Suffolk may be the place for you!
Editor's Note: Are you an organizer or member of a Joomla! User Group? We'd love to hear from you! User Groups are a great way for community members to get together, and we'd like to highlight User Groups around the world in the coming months! For more information about an interview for your group in the Joomla! Community Magazine, email JCM Editor, Jon Neubauer, at