Joomla! Has a Faire-ly Good Outing

Written by | 01 June 2017 | Published in 2017 June
Getting the word out by visiting with some younger potential users at the Manatee Technical College’s DaVinci’s Faire  

In some quarters, Joomla! seems to have been relegated to a usefulness somewhere between simple sites, use Wordpress; advanced sites, use Drupal. Middle of the road, average. Do you think Joomla! is average? I don’t. To keep it vital, we need to keep its use growing. We, the user community, need to let others feel our enthusiasm.

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Sharing the ease of use and the benefits of Joomla! with a family at the DaVinci’s Faire was something Jim Gregory did throughout the day.

On April 29, 2017, Jason Nickerson and I traveled a little south from Tampa to Bradenton’s Manatee Technical College for their DaVinci’s Faire, a technology expo aimed at students and their families. The event is in its 6th year, and they reached out to Jason and invited us to share the word about Joomla!. It turned out to be an excellent opportunity to open some eyes. Everyone we spoke to knew about Wordpress while only about a third had heard of Joomla!.

After talking with attendees about the robust capabilities plus the recent changes that have made Joomla! a more admin-user friendly CMS, a good portion of those using Wordpress said they would take a serious look at Joomla!. Close to ¾ of those we spoke with not only wanted cards but also wanted to make sure they knew where to find more information on the joomla.org site.

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Jason Nickerson extolled the virtues of Joomla! when interviewed by an education blogger at Manatee Technical College’s DaVinci’s Faire

It was interesting that a blogger focusing on topics in education stopped by to interview us. Interesting because during the event several teachers stopped by and spent quite a bit of time picking up on the ready availability of free Joomla! applications and free hosting. Upon learning that hosting was freely available through joomla.com, we were peppered with questions about Joomla!’s capabilities. Getting a CMS with such broad capabilities into the classroom as a learning tool was their goal. Our goal was to get Joomla! in front of a younger audience. What better way than talking with their teachers.

The teachers, the blogger and numerous other attendees were surprised and interested in learning that the organization supporting Joomla! is 100% volunteer based. Learning that there were opportunities to be involved and there was not a central figure directing the course of the platform was intriguing to several visitors to the booth.

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Jason Nickerson covered several points on Open Source CMSs in a 30-minute talk

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Creating Joomla! interest in a younger audience went on all day.

Joomla! is a great CMS. We know it. We need to make sure a wider audience also does. Getting Joomla! the recognition and acceptance it is worthy of takes commitment on the part of its current users. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, just a few hours every once in awhile to get in front of people open to new ideas in technology. Share your enthusiasm for Joomla! with others whenever you can. One on one works. And, look for opportunities to speak at local events. 

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Jim Gregory

Jim Gregory

 

Jim has been building Joomla! sites for about 6 years. He started out bringing his church website out of the chiseled-in-stone age. He made it his mission to do the same thing for other churches and non-profits in the Tampa, Fl area. Training members of these organisations to add content regularly has been a specific goal of Jim’s. Getting individuals that are passionate about their organisation to contribute to their websites has made content updates much more frequent. After building his Joomla! competency through these efforts, Jim added local small businesses to his portfolio. Persuading organisations and businesses of the usefulness of social media campaigns has been a recent effort. Bringing social media posts into their websites has made for easier content updates.