Report on JoomlaDay San Francisco
I was a JoomlaDay virgin. I had not been to a JoomlaDay anywhere in the world. I had not organised a JoomlaDay ever before. Back in February of 2013 when my co-organizer, James Foreman, said he wanted to do a JoomlaDay in our area, I had no idea what was ahead.
The planning process is a lot of work, I kid you not. Months of thinking, talking, emailing and learning. Countless hours of communication with other volunteers on the team, potential sponsors, speakers, caterers, venues, hotels and people wishing to attend.
On the topic of volunteers, this is where I thank them publicly. Our core team for organising and planning besides me and James were two absolute power houses; Renea Leathers and Rachel Davis. Without them, JoomlaDay SF would have been less and I would have less hair due to tearing it out. Our other main volunteers during the event itself that were priceless were Steve Wyant and Jay Cornell. Both were ready in an instant to do anything required and had great ideas too.
The sponsors of JoomlaDay SF were so generous. Thank you for sponsoring JoomlaDay San Francisco and EVERYTHING you do to support the Joomla community! You are appreciated!
JoomlaDay was largely in an unconference format with a lot of participation on the part of the attendees. The goal was that everyone leave with some of their specific questions or concerns answered or addressed.
Bullet points of great stuff:
- So stoked (that means happy in surf slang) to have Ryan Ozimek, past OSM president, join us on Saturday to help James facilitate the unconference process. Thanks, Ryan!
- Mike Carson of OSM helped all the participants to understand OSM, PLT and CLT as well as some of how things work within the Joomla project and how it differs from how other CMS organizations are structured. Joomla is run entirely by volunteers. Some people don't know that. He also did some "myth busting" to take care of any odd ball thoughts that might have been running about.
- Speed geeking was a blast and I highly recommend it.
- Andy Miller from RocketTheme pleased all with his demonstration of Gantry. Andy was also super generous with sharing anything and everything during the participation portions of JoomlaDay.
- The furthest traveling people were Douglas Machado (Brasil), Bhuban Paudel (Nepal) and Eliot Bendinelli (France). Thank you for coming!!!
- This group was so open and so willing to engage and participate. To have 50 people so fully present and active was invigorating and inspiring.
- Many different skill levels were addressed.
- Good friends were made and old friendships rekindled.
- See pictures.
"It was valuable time and topics. Teaching and sharing with one another furthers everyone tremendously. You guys kept the conference on a pretty high level - from the creative methods of coming up with 'topic/challenge' areas for organization and discussion. These were all OUR topics and we were able to hear from the community and get their 'take' on things. That was very valuable - the knowledge and experience of others (and knowing that others have thought or struggled with the same 'challenge')."
"I've been to a few Joomla events over the past few years and the format of JDay San Francisco was refreshingly different. The way it was put together got us away from the traditional 'sit, listen and try to stay awake' format that we've all been so accustom to."
"I learned more here about Joomla web design in an afternoon than I learned in my college class in 10 weeks. I'm so glad I came and am grateful for the rich information and generous community of Joomla users."
"I have never have been to any joomla day event. There were some exciting things that happened, I enjoyed the kinetic experiment thing (Spectrogram) where we moved about the room based on our thoughts. The most important thing that I walked away with was a better understanding of Open Source Matters and Joomla!'s place as an open source project. It really gives people something to believe in with a close feeling of community and the importance of world perspective."
All in all, while the planning and the sponsors and the effort was required to make JoomlaDay SF happen, it's the people that committed themselves to Joomla and that took the initiative to come and participate that really made JoomlaDay SF happen and be fabulous.