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The Joomla Speak! In Conversation with Sarah Watz

The Joomla Speak! In Conversation with Sarah Watz

Guys, we’re back again this week with the 3rd interview in The Joomla Speak! series. Now this one is pretty special because we’re going to be in talks with The President of Open Source Matters, Sarah Watz. People who are not aware who she is (i don’t think there might be any, at least not from the Joomla space) let’s get to know her.

Sarah is a Joomla evangelist who lives in Stockholm, Sweden. She runs the Joomla! specialized web agency Pixpro. Sarah has been working with marketing, communication, sales and education for more than 20 years. Her passion is to provide great business value to the projects with which she is involved.

Sarah discovered Mambo in 2004 and moved to Joomla in 2005. She fell in love with Joomla! with it's vibrant community and began contributing to the community. Her first involvement in the Joomla! community was as vice president for the Joomla! User Association Sweden (JUAS). Since then she has been the President for the JUAS for several years, as well as project manager for many Joomla!Days and Joomla!Nights in Sweden. Sarah is a frequent speaker at events such as Joomla!Days, JAB and the JWC.

Joining OSM, Sarah feels really excited about working with the Joomla Certificate Program.

Let's talk Joomla!

What's your Joomla story? How did you get introduced?

I learned about Mambo CMS in a Swedish Industry Magazine. The article was built around a really good case for a Swedish media company. I started to use Mambo in my business and for my clients. When the split from Mambo through a fork was a reality it was natural for me to move to Joomla! I never looked back :)

There’s lots of businesses built around Joomla - Extensions, Templates, Consulting, Services. How would you like these businesses to give back to Joomla? What's the best way in your opinion?

Without these businesses Joomla would not be what it is today. May use Joomla just because what these businesses brings to Joomla. So we should thank and show our appreciation more than we do to those that are involved in these businesses.

To start with I think it would be awesome if all the businesses can give the feedback on the software that they get from their end users to the developing team. It could be bugs or things the users feels are not simple enough or confusing to use. The more we together can make the core of Joomla better, the easier and better it is for the businesses to provide great add-ons, support and services. Another way is to help communicate Joomla news (events, user group meetings, releases, features ect) to the end users since the businesses are the once with contact information to the customers / users. And a communication way to them. A third way is to sponsor or speak at user groups or events. A forth is to dedicate a couple of hours of the work week as a team to help out with bugs, coding, documentation, translations etc. To make it a team happening at the office is a great way to give back as well as build teams.

Tell us 3 things that you love about Joomla

  • 1. The community

  • 2. The software

  • 3. The events

What’s your take on the Joomla Community?

I’m so happy to be part of a global, brave, compassionate and passionate community that makes it all happen. With out the Community there would be no Joomla. It’s that simple. The heart of Joomla! is the community :) Together we can do everything we decide to do if we are persistent and focused.

What in your opinion is Joomla’s Niche ? Is it one or are there Many? In other words, what’s Joomla‘s Market?

Joomla! is so flexible and powerful that it can be used for so many things. Especially today with our three offerings Joomla CMS, and the Joomla Framework. And we see great examples of it all the time. It can be a simple blog, a company website with e-commerce or even a very complex Intranet with a lot of API integration's with back-end systems.

For the simple blogs can be a good choice, for website builders a hosted Joomla! CMS is powerful and extendable and for more advanced developers that needs a trusted and solid framework to build a web solution Joomla! Framework is good option.

But it also very hard in the global market communicating that Joomla! is for everyone. So my take on it would be to continue to communicate, build relationship and trust with the people around the world that builds web solutions for others. Those that needs a powerful tool and that chooses Joomla as their prefers tool to build web solutions. A tool that is simple and powerful at the same time, that can be extended with great add-ons to create the functionality and look and feel that is required. And for the website builder the benefit would also be to tap into a network of great advisers and colleagues (the Community), events to get to know more about the Joomla CMS and the possibility to promote themselves (Joomla! Days, Joomla! Nights, etc). Key factors to be successful would be to continue to provide great documentation, training and community support. Adding to this communicate the possibility to share feedback on the software and provide a certification program. And also provide marketing materials that the web builders can use, modify and localize. Because the people that they build websites for trust them and they can communicate the message what Joomla is in a more confident, targeted and emotional way that we could do in a global marketing campaign that would cost a lot of money we don't have. And the website builders is also a better source to explain why Joomla! would be the preferred choice for the solution they are building.

Where do you see Joomla going in the next 10 years? If it was up to you where would you take it?

We as a community have been brave, disruptive and innovative during at times in the past 10 years. I would love us to keep on taking on these traits the coming 10 years. We can rethink and redefine how web is used today and how we predict it will be done in the future. And iterate our software not to just follow the web trends but lead them. The key factors would be to have a powerful software at the same time simple and easy to use for the end user. I'm confident that we can do this! I believe we are in a good shape for this with the upcoming Joomla! 4.

Your one line message to the Joomla Community on account of Joomla’s Birthday

Thank you all! We do amazing things together that changes lives.

Thank you Sarah for your time! It was really nice knowing you and your thoughts on Joomla! Guys, Joomla has given us so much (that too for free), don’t you think we owe so much to it?  Sarah’s idea of giving back to Joomla needs to be given a thought and worked upon.

With this, we come to the end of the interview. Sarah will be speaking at Joomla World Conference 2015. Get a chance to meet her. Have a look at some exciting offers from Techjoomla for JWC 15. See you again next week!


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