Interview with Victor Drover, Expert Behind Multilingual Joomla Magazine
This month I had the chance to meet with Victor Drover, the expert behind configuring the Joomla Community Magazine for multilingual, and installing Josetta. We find out a little more behind the scenes in this interview.
How did you get started with Joomla?
I am very active in the rugby community; currently I’m the president of the Wisconsin Rugby Union. Back in 2002, I was starting a rugby club in New York and we needed a good way to get our match information online.
We primarily needed a calendaring system to post match details. I installed a number of the major content management systems, each instance either didn’t scale well or had many unnecessary features. Eventually I settled on Mambo and migrated with the community to Joomla. By trial and error, I learned some very basic programming skills which led to the creation of my company Anything Digital. Today we develop and support a suite of Joomla add-ons.
What are you working on right now?
We have recently expanded our team to to assist with all of our projects. With a strong support and development team in already place, this expansion facilitates the growth of existing offerings, and will allow us to launch a whole new set of services and manage more varied projects.
We just finalized a worldwide contest to celebrate the release of our Joomla SEO tool, sh404SEF, with mobile device and Joomla 3 support. The contest was a huge success, and included a chance to win an iPad mini.
In addition to our SEO tool, we are really excited about our upcoming inbound marketing tool for Joomla called jInbound that we are co-developing with our colleagues at Savvy Panda. It is still in private testing, but it’s going to revolutionize how you attract traffic and leads for your products and services, all using Joomla! This is a yet another example of a collaborative effort between two Joomla-centric companies to share their expertise to create exceptional products.
Last week we released our calendar extension, JCal Pro for Joomla 3. JCal Pro now features a fully responsive frontend template. We will be adding support to JCal Pro for Joomla’s new tagging system in the very near future.
We are also focused on Watchful, our remote maintenance service for Joomla. We just released commercial support for third-party vendors such as NoNumber. We are diligently working with other vendors like Akeeba Backup. The Joomla add-ons from these vendors are so ubiquitous, being able to update all your sites with their updates is critical for every Joomla agency and users who are managing multiple sites.
We’re also busy preparing lots of articles and videos related to Joomla, Joomla extensions, and suite of Joomla SEO, support, and security services.
There is never a dull minute with our team. We are constantly working on website development, our products, and new services. We work in a high-paced, agile, collaborative working environment, allowing us to accomplish many tasks.
What should Joomla readers expect to learn from what you're doing?
We are a Joomla-centric company, so anyone who wants to learn more about using Joomla, running a Joomla-based business, will get a lot of quality content. Hopefully our user base of CEO’s, marketeers, founders, users, and hobbyists will also have large interest in our products and services.
We attend a lot of events which gives us opportunity to meet our users, we eagerly provide one-on-one advice, live support occasionally, and encourage feedback.
What are you most excited about with 3.1?
I did not expect to be so excited about the new tagging feature, after using tags, I really love that they are now part of the Joomla Core. Knowing that tags can potentially link all content on your site from all your extensions is really a game changer. As I mentioned above, we’ll be implementing this in our calendar ASAP, and our SEO tool sh404sef already supports tagging.
Tell us about your recent work with the Joomla Magazine.
One of our products is a Joomla translation tool called Josetta. It makes it very easy for teams of people to translate content. At JoomlaDay Denmark last year Alice Grevet asked me if I could help migrate the JCM to a multilingual site, starting with Spanish.
I happily volunteered, not knowing the task would — of course — be much larger than expected, lol
I’m happy to say after jumping over a few hurdles, the project has gone well. Currently the Spanish translation team is translating content. Once the majority of content is translated, Alice and Dianne will prepare an official launch.
As a Joomla expert, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I backup all sites to Amazon S3 and protect the Joomla administrator area with an additional layer of password security, I use strong passwords, in both instances of my backend Joomla credentials.
How do you bring ideas to life?
We have a very collaborative and creative team, many projects are born out of our own internal needs for joomla management tools. What I’ve tried to do is provide leadership to my colleagues and let folks run with their passions.
Once we’ve settled on a course of action however, we have an effective workflow where ideas and tasks are identified and assigned, attached to milestones with deadlines, and then executed.
What's one trend that really excites you in the industry?
I’m really loving the focus on services right now. After years of product development and sales, it is a fun change of pace and — in the case of Watchful — it is really inspiring to have such a passionate team from all over the world come together to try to create something awe-inspiring.
Being an entrepreneur means lots of late hours. How do you balance work and home?
My spouse, Dr. Daisy Sahoo, is a Professor and we have two school-aged children. So between us all we have pretty hectic schedules. To make things work, I wake at 5am each day to get going early and usually break at 4pm when the children arrive home. Daisy makes sure our children reach the bus to school on time and then works a little later into the evening.
I am usually in charge of dinner (though Daisy often prepares something the night before that makes meal preparation easy) and chauffeuring our children to after-school activities.
After Daisy returns home, we usually relax for an hour or two and — too often — we both work for a couple of hours on our laptops before bed.
We heard rumor about a stroopwafel drink you created at Joomla Day North Carolina. Can you share the recipe?
LOL! The recipe was created by our Lead Developer Jeff Channell. It’s a mix of Maple Syrup-flavored Canadian whiskey and cake-flavored vodka. I’m under strict instructions to not reveal the proportions, but I will share with anyone in person at J and Beyond and future Joomla Days :)
How can readers contact you?
On Twitter @VicDrover