On October the 8th, 2009, the Joomla! User Group - Southwestern Ontario was kicked off. What a great start for a user group it was! It began with a question in the joomla.org forums (link here) to see if there was any interest for such a group. Shortly afterwards a Joomla! developer from Picasso Fish Corporation in Simcoe, Ontario responded. That was Corrie Sloot and he and I had a couple of phone calls behind the scenes to talk about it. It wasn't long afterwards that John Matecsa, the owner of Picasso Fish Corporation, got involved and took this to a whole different level. Picasso Fish organized everything and put together a great agenda with several speakers. They advertised the event with a poster and news release.
On the night of the event there was a good turn out at the Personal Computer Museum in Brantford, Ontario, where it was held. Approximately 21 people including the presenters showed up. The venue at at the Personal Computer Museum was perfect. There were lots of goodies and refreshments for everyone.
Among the speakers were Stacy Bradshaw of Annex Publishing & Printing. Stacy is the website administrator for Annex Publishing. They have approximately 20 on-line magazines using Joomla! Stacy is a great presenter and it was interesting to hear how they transitioned to web based magazines and their approach to it. Greg Caughill & Corrie Sloot, both of of Picasso Fish, shared their knowledge and insight into Joomla! as well as giving their informed opinions on what they like and don't like about Joomla! Syd Bolton, the curator of the Personal Computer Museum in Brantford, was filming some video for possible use in a PBS special about Brantford. The computer museum itself was full of amazing computer history and probably one of the very few places you'll get to see a real Apple Lisa personal computer from the 1980's.
People came from as far and wide as Oakville to Simcoe, Ontario, and everything in between. There was lots of lively discussion and plenty of questions from the attendees. There's no question that this group is going to flourish. It's got a great bunch of Joomla! people behind it and there's plenty of interest for a user group in Southwestern Ontario.
This is an excellent way to start a Joomla! User Group. By having sponsorship from a company like Picasso Fish Corporation who used all their professional skills to promote this JUG was what made it successful.
This JUG is HOT! Discussions are currently underway for the next meeting.