This is the story about the journey of a Joomla newbie to Open Source Board (OSM) member. It takes place over an eight year time span.
In the beginning…
I’d been admiring my friend’s website, he’s a designer and his site was really nice. I was getting ready to start a website of my own and I asked him the question, ‘If you were starting your website from scratch would you go about it the same way you did this one?’
‘No,’ he said, ‘I’d use Joomla!’
‘Joomla? What’s Joomla?' was my reply.
‘Just go over to joomla.org, sign up for their forum, and you can learn all about it’ was his advice.
So that’s what I did. I went to the forum at joomla.org and was really amazed that there were so many active users on the site. I went through the sign up process to become a member of the forum. I thought it was cool that you didn’t have to disclose your real name. People were using anonymous user names and there were lots of cool avatars associated with them. I decided to do the same.
I wondered what a good user name would be as I simply typed ‘JoeJoomla’ into the registration form. It was available so I went with it. Once I got through the email verification for the forum that Joomla was using I was able to go to my control panel and select an avatar to associate with JoeJoomla. I looked around my hard drive for something and came across a cartoon of Clark Kent ripping his jacket and shirt open to reveal the big ’S’ underneath. My last name started with an S so I used that as my avatar. No one knew my real name so the S would be my little secret. Much later I would change the S to a J.
Now I was all set up in the forum and ready to start learning about Joomla. I decided that I didn’t want to purchase web hosting space just to learn how to use it so my first question in the forum was, ‘How do you develop a Joomla website on your Macintosh computer?’ No one responded to my question for the next several days but I was already reading other posts and doing my own searches on the Internet to figure it out. There was next to nothing in the forum related to Macintosh and Joomla website development at the time.
I kept an eye on my forum question just in case anyone might drop by and give me some advice. I was eager and I couldn't wait for the email notification that someone had replied. I kept going back to my lonely post. So I decided to answer my own question in the forum with some of the information that I was finding online just in case someone down the road had the same question that I did. By doing this it also appeared that there was a discussion going on in my forum thread. People would see replies to the post but they wouldn’t realize it was me talking to myself until they visited it. Since I actually posted good information about my question I figured it wouldn’t annoy whoever clicked on the post to read it.
I posted a few more questions, all related to creating a Joomla website on your local computer. There were other threads that talked about developing your website using a PC but I’m a Mac guy so I needed information about that. My new questions also went unanswered but I continued to have a conversation with myself in the forum. Each time I found good information related to my question I would post it to my forum thread.
Then one day someone actually jumped into one of my forum threads and asked me a question, 'I've been wondering about the Superman outfit and the name JoeJoomla. LOTS of fun!!!! What are you trying to say?'