[How did I begin with Joomla] Episode 6: Meet Emerson Rocha Luiz
We meet again in the series of endless Joomla stories (feel like “One Thousand and One Nights”, right?). Each month we’ll invite a Joomler to share their story about how Joomla has changed their life so let’s gather and sit around the table.
Today’s guest is Emerson Rocha Luiz – an experienced Joomla developer and Joomla evangelist. He joined Joomla Forum as a Moderator. Also, he’s a Bud Squad Member as well as an active Joomla event speaker.
If you want to know more about Emerson, visit his website fititnt.org or tweet him @fititnt.
1. Hi Emerson, glad to have you with us in the episode 6 of the "How did I begin with Joomla" series.
So, could you please share with us about the very first time you use Joomla? Why did you choose Joomla to stay with? Was there any difficulty?
Before I explain how I started using CMS Joomla, I’ll contextualize it. Today I’m 30 years old, but the story began more than a decade ago. My decision wasn’t made only based on CMS, it was more about the community.
I started programming with IDE Lazarus Pascal, a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) alternative to IDE Borland Delphi that was quite popular at that time. I thought that Brazilians needed to know Lazarus and I had to do something.
Sometime later, without even knowing Pascal properly, a friend and I created the first forum to discuss about IDE. Then my friend was too busy and by two years later I was alone and couldn’t find other people to help the project. I missed more documentation and people dedicated to work together.
From 2004 to 2006 CMS was booming. I tested most of them, including Mambo. However, the one that drew my attention was XOOPS. You could use the software to improve itself. I was amazed that I got support in Portuguese, and they were very kind and polite. I was a part of the community, but I received more help than giving back. I felt that I had to contribute.
At that time, I admit that Mambo impressed me, especially because it worked right in the first time comparing to other CMS. But I didn’t go deeper because I already met XOOPS.
When having my internship in the computer lab to help the IT department, I was the only man to help build the department’s website. And in 2006 I was with the revolutionary idea of using a CMS. My supervisor would only accept my suggestion if I could prove that it was a technical improvement.
I had the impression that Joomla and Mambo, when compared to other CMSs, were more commercial, more focused on productivity and making money. Unlike others, Joomla didn’t force you to put a copyright footnote saying it was made using it.
I don’t remember if I ever used Drupal, though if I did, I wasn’t impressed. And I had a prejudice that time that WordPress was only for blogs. And for blogs, blog spot was really good.
2. Joomla surely has been changing so much from its very first shape. What do you think about Joomla in its recent versions?
In my personal opinion, Joomla survived a decade while several other CMSs died.
Joomla was, from a technical point of view, superior compared to others CMS, which didn’t even survive to have its source code on GitHub.
In 2006 I wasn’t sure of how true this was and today, with knowledge in programming, several CMSs and languages other than PHP, I can say without hesitation: Joomla is very good for institutional portals and news sites, with "more enterprise" appeal.
About the negative comments about Joomla, it seems that its weaknesses are exaggerated when comparing to other CMSs.
3. As an active Joomla Forum Moderator and dedicated member in Joomla Bug Squad, could you please share with us about what do you do? How is the workload? I guess there must be much work to do!
I was a Joomla forum moderator from 2008 to 2014, then I decided to invite another active person in the community to take my place. Although I am a "retired" forum moderator, I still have access to all other Joomla the forum area and active there, for example "The office behind the false bookcase".
From 2006 to 2008, when I was just a member of the official forum, I tried my best helping other Joomla users and became one of the most active members. I gained a lot of experience in participating and dealing with forum comments from my previous forum tasks mentioned earlier above so this helped me a lot in working in Joomla forum.
From my experience, I also deeply understand the difficulty for first-time members, so as the moderator, I tried to be as kind and supportive as I could to help them.
To share about my tasks as a Joomla forum moderator, I usually helped rename topic titles, manage threads and user information like signatures, etc. to keep the forum efficient, clean and easy to work with for all forum members.
As a forum moderator, I also always welcomed criticism from members. A tip for those who want to be a forum moderator: except for spammers, always keep your good attitudes. So instead of deleting other members’ post completely, it is the best to just edit bad words. Try to act in an educational and fair manner to all members.
Additionally, in other forums, people have natural tendency to attack moderators. Those who do not know you personally, tend to assume that you have more power than them, and you WILL use it against them. It is not the same in the official Joomla forum.
Nowadays, with the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, it seems that there are less people posting in forum. However, comparing to responses in Joomla forum, the comments to questions asked on social media won’t be as good. Plus you can’t search for questions on social channels effectively like in forum or search engines.
About being a member of the Joomla Bug Squad
It was not something so significant as being a forum moderator, or even my work in the community events.
I was the first Brazilian to join the Joomla Bug Squad. I was active in the first two years, including organizing two or more local events called "Pizza, Bugs and Fun", which certainly were also the first to be made in Brazil.
I contributed my best as a member of the Joomla Bug Squad, but I can’t consider myself an active member now. Honestly, I could really choose between being a contributor to help solve the Joomla bugs and a member who motivates others to participate. I prefer the latter way, because with my experience as well as my position as someone started from the beginning with Joomla, I can help people tighten their Joomla buttons better.
4. As far as I've known, you're also very active in Joomla user group meetings. What do you think about these Joomla events? Please list out some tips for other event organizers to organize a better local Joomla event.
Brazil already had JoomlaDays before it became popular and official.
The year after Joomla 1.0 started, one of the moderators of the Portuguese area from official Joomla forum created the First Brazilian Joomla user meeting that took place inside the International Free Software Forum - FISL (Fórum Internacional de Software Livre).
The events within the FISL continued until today, and since the first meeting, I've been always involved.
I’m also proud that Brazil already had Joomla user groups before it became popular and official.
Tips for other event organizers to organize a better local Joomla event
Firstly, I would recommend you to follow the tips for organizers on Joomla official website for both JoomlaDays and Joomla User Groups.
After that, look for someone who has experience in organizing Joomla event. Things will be better when you have a mentor.
There of course will be difficulty and rules to follow but just make it happen. Then think of making things happen in the best way you can.
Thank you so much for sharing with us!
What’s your story with Joomla?
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