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The open source web content management system (CMS) project, Joomla, is having its second biannual election this week for officers and department coordinators. Last week I wrote about who I nominated. In case you didn't get a chance to read it, it is a good time to remind everyone of how the election process works so the electorate is made of team leaders, department coordinators, and officers. The full election details are available at, OSM Bylaws, and Joomla Election Cycle. With the technical details of the election out of the way, let’s review the general state of the board as well as open positions, their duties, incumbents, and candidates.

Overall, the tenure of President Rowan Hoskyns Abrahall has seen attrition in the board and teams. Notably two board members have resigned in the first six months of the new administration, Vice President Aleksander Kuczek, and Legal & Finance Department Coordinator Søren Beck Jensen. Most interestingly, there has been no mention in the board minutes regarding Søren's resignation, only the fact that the Legal & Finance Coordinator position is open for election gives us this clue. Additionally, previously filled positions have decided not to stand for election in this cycle: Treasurer, Events, Programs (though the individual is running for Legal & Finance). For simplicity’s sake, let’s say 40% of the board has left.

With regards to effort by the board, I’ve decided to create some charts regarding effort (at least vis-a-vis board minutes). First, actual attendance at board meetings, it must be noted that the one meeting missed by Rowan was due to official Joomla business:

Joomla Board Attendance

Second, the reports submitted during board meetings. I commend the members who submitted reports regardless of being in attendance but am shocked that there are never any goals set for subsequent meetings and that reports may consist of only, “nothing new happened,” so in those cases such reports were marked as missing.

Joomla Board Reports

Lastly, there is a merged report for overall effort.

Joomla Board Accountability

Back to the current candidates, This group includes six open positions, Vice President, Treasurer, Marketing & Communication Department, Events Department, Programs Department, and Legal & Finance Department. To duties of each role are varied but I’ll try to summarize some of my expectations:

  1. Vice President: assist board in special projects, evangelize on behalf of the project
  2. Treasurer: keep the books in order and submit required legal work (taxes and New York Secretary of State)
  3. Marketing & Communication: build global awareness of Joomla, have a global plan, and support finance
  4. Events: promote global opportunities for Joomlers to learn and network (above and beyond JoomlaDays)
  5. Programs: manage the various programs (i.e. certification)
  6. Legal & Finance: primarily fiscal stability/growth and enhancing our intellectual property portfolio as well as supporting marketing

For Vice President, I fully endorse Brian Teeman as a voice that will not only hold the board accountable to tasks that should be completed but as someone who has the ability to challenge intellectually preconceptions of the Joomla project and stand up to the political status quo.

Treasurer is a very difficult position and I am glad that Jason Rosenbaum has stepped up to the challenge by preparing himself under the tutelage of outgoing Mike Demopoulos (who has served amazingly and deserves the time off). It is unfortunate that this position as well as others below did not have more than one candidate.

Most strongly, I feel that Marketing & Communication should absolutely be helmed by an individual who has successful professional and open source experience. Sandy Edwards has these qualities in excess. It is even more evident when one reads the incumbents “Statement from the nominee:” which not only brings forward her inability to grow volunteers but with no sense of professionalism takes to task outsiders for wanting to participate. This is exactly why volunteers won’t be found. Additionally, how is it possible that a board member knew who would be a candidate (since Sandra was able to call out Sandy) prior to announcements. This is absolutely in appropriate and the board and secretary should explain themselves.

Events unfortunately has only one candidate which was not nominated by me so can not speak to his ability.

Programs again is another single candidate position, however I am very pleased that Viktor Vogel has accepted this position. I’ll just simply repeat my initial nomination of Viktor, “… has been an outstanding and dedicated leader within the Programs Department for a number of years. His professionalism, joy, and commitment are infectious qualities that help grow the project.”

Last, Legal & Finance, I am very disappointed that not only is there only one candidate but a candidate who has had poor board accountability. While all departments are critical, Legal & Finance is required for cash sustainability. This lateral move smells of internal politics to keep a packed board.

There you have it, I hope all voting class members take the opportunity to make well thought out decisions regardless of the above, review the records, success, and failures of the candidates, and read their statements.

 

 

It’s that time of year again! Elections for the board of Open Source Matters, Inc. happen twice a year at 6 month intervals, and the next elections are right around the corner. The deadline for nominees to accept their nominations are quickly approaching. Nominees for each position have until this Saturday, August 11, to accept their nomination and officially enter the running.

Per the Joomla website, the process for elections is as follows:

  • Each Department Coordinator and Team Leader will cast one (1) vote each for each Officer Position. These votes will be tallied within each department and the results of this tally will serve as the Department’s vote for the officer.
  • Additionally each existing Officer (President, Vice President, Secretary & Treasurer) will also cast one (1) vote for each Position.
  • The four (4) Officer votes will be added to the department votes and the candidate with the most votes for each position will be duly elected.

In the spirit of promoting transparency within our open source community—and because I strongly believe in each person that I’ve nominated—I’m choosing to publish my submissions. I strongly encourage the rest of the community to consider my thoughts below and, regardless of whether or not you are in agreement, to participate in this year’s elections by encouraging the following or other potential nominees. Just as with any election, it’s a privilege not to be taken lightly.

Sandy Edwards - Marketing and Communications Department Coordinator

Sandy is an exceptional marketer in the open source world. Having founded a successful digital marketing firm, she has taken that success and pushed herself in open source. She is well known not only for her professional accomplishments but many years of bringing the power of open source to new generations. There is no one more qualified to turn around Joomla in this area.

Viktor Vogel - Programs Department Coordinator

Viktor has been an outstanding and dedicated leader within the Programs Department for a number of years. His professionalism, joy, and commitment are infectious qualities that help grow the project.

Brian Teeman - Vice President

As a founder of Joomla, today Brian holds a unique historical and experience driven perspective. Brian was successful at growing the project and more than ever is his voice needed to balance a board of directors whose lack of professional experience and lack of will to understand the open source and professional needs of today is marginalizing a great platform and community.

Jason Rosenbaum - Treasurer

The role of Treasures is one of the most critical in Joomla. The position requires experience, discipline, and accountability. Jason is eminently qualified on all counts. He currently serves as Assistant Treasurer and is prepared in all legal and fiscal responsibilities for the project. There is absolutely no one more appropriate.

Jason Nickerson - Legal & Finance Department Coordinator Replacement

Jason has been a successful leader of the Capital Team. His commitment to Joomla is without compare, promoting the project at events globally, so much so that he is very much the face of Joomla and in this enhanced role can provide immense value.

Rowan Hoskyns Abrahall- Events Department Coordinator

The events department has unfortunately languished in the absence of Rowan. We need that energy and commitment back with the person that was able to build events and that brought the community together.

That’s my two cents and I really hope that others in the community choose to help pave the path of Joomla in 2019. Our community thrives when we collaborate, challenge each other, and jointly walk towards continued innovation.

WordPress as a Solution

WordPress has long been known as the most popular content management system around, and it is 100% open source, to boot. It is the force behind 27% of the web, including personal, business, and government websites.

As a platform for small-to-medium businesses, it continues to reign as the preferred choice. One of the main reasons for that is because it is often marketed as a DIY-friendly option for those on tighter budgets. It is presented as a platform with a plugin for anything. As such, many small businesses utilize it in just that way: a features bundle that they can tweak to their liking.

While this is not necessarily a misrepresentation of this content management system, it is a rigid undersell. At it’s baseline, WordPress is capable of getting a simple site up-and-running fairly easily — providing more nimble and budget-limited entities a shot at a decent web presence.

However, at it’s best, it truly provides a full-scale solution for business entities that extends far beyond simple plug-and-play functionality. Let’s breakdown the how and why.

Retain the Ability to Run Code

While many WordPress users are intrigued by the ease of use and availability of plugins for pretty much everything under the sun, they still have the option to run code. It is truly dealer’s choice. WordPress allows developers to drop in fully functional code in the form of a plugin or to tinker as they see fit. The bottom line is that functionality is not behind lock and key, but is truly open source to anyone who has an idea.

On the other end of the spectrum lies the proprietary platforms that do not afford users the same flexibility. These platforms lock away the ability to run code behind different pricing tiers, if they even offer them at all. WordPress and its community provides detailed documentation on every area of the platform. Whether you have a specific problem or just want to become more knowledgeable, there is a library out there with the answers you seek.

Open Source Community Support Yields Endless Options

One of the most valuable elements of WordPress is the community upon — and through — which it’s built. User groups, meetups, Facebook groups, and classes abound. The community is truly supportive in that the endgame is the same for all: to realize the full potential of WordPress and continue expanding its capabilities.

So while WordPress and plugin and theme creators may offer customer service and support, WordPress users are also afforded global support of the other users in the trenches. This is an integral asset for anyone using the WordPress platform. This spirit of generosity is what makes open source projects and platforms like WordPress thrive and improve.

It’s also what makes it a viable and preferable solution for business users. Because open source software is open to all, vulnerabilities are rare. The sheer number of developers with their hands in code means that any vulnerabilities and security threats that surface are detected and patched within hours. Not so with proprietary software solutions. The bureaucracy alone can significantly slow response times to days or weeks.

All Your Business Challenges — One Solution

We’ve established that WordPress is flexible and backed by an excellent community, but it’s important to not overlook the more granular ways that this platform works to bring one solution to the many challenges businesses face on the day-to-day.

  • Responsive - WordPress offers a library of themes and customizations, most of which are totally responsive and mobile-friendly, if not mobile-first designs. As mobile growth continues, an omnichannel approach is essential for businesses, which means providing an optimized user experience across all channels and devices.
  • Publishing-Friendly - As the original blogging platform, WordPress cut its teeth on enabling users to push out content efficiently and effectively. While its capabilities have extended farther, that core functionality is still the best-in-breed. Businesses that rely on inbound marketing have a treasure trove of functionality to help position their brand as professional publishers — and to increase conversions.
  • Search Engine-Friendly - This is a point that should not be taken for granted. Many of the proprietary platforms out there simply do not offer the ability to be competitive or findable in this area. A word to the wise: pre-packed, one-size-fits-all solutions can stifle your rankings in SERPs. WordPress, on the other hand, enables highly technical SEOs to get their hands dirty and affect real change for their rankings. Even beginners have access to an array of SEO plugins that can significantly bump up a site’s visibility in search engines.

WordPress is a content management system that truly offers a full-scale solution for business needs. From novice small business owners to enterprises with teams of developers, this open source solution is a fit for anyone. As an open source platform, it provides flexibility and customization that you just can’t come by with proprietary platforms or software. For those just dipping their toes into a new content management system, the community support and plugin library makes customization simple and straightforward. So while the appeal of simplicity may be the draw at first, don’t sell WordPress short. Get comfortable with the basics and then dive into the world of opportunity that this powerful content management solution offers.

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