One of the things that ticks me off about the communities around products – like Joomla! – is that… there’s often too many of them. Anyone with the ‘next hot idea’ could start a new (Joomla) community; should he feel the need to. He might even convince some members to follow him, if he does his job properly.
‘Language’ communities, like the ones for Joomla!, are a completely different story. I think that any language group of the world should have it’s own community, if they feel the need to. Even if that means that they’ll be translating Joomla! in obscure dialects. But other than those, how many communities does a product really need?
I bring this up, because of what’s going on among the Dutch Joomla! users. I frequently use Dutch versions of Joomla for my customers – I can find my way around the English version just fine, but that’s besides the point. So, during my ‘adventures’ in the Dutch parts of Joomla! land I was confronted with something odd: For some reason, there are two ‘big’ Dutch Joomla! communities (* I use the word ‘Big’ easily). Those communities are Joomlacommunity.eu and dutchjoomla.org.
Both of them have a news portal, they both run a forum with many similar topics (but what do you expect from a Joomla forum?) and both have a translation team. Not only is this terribly redundant; there also seems to be some hostility between the two forums. Yay!
Yet, people claim that there’s no problem w/ having ‘two’ Joomla Communities (Edit: While doing some research, I noticed that, apparently, there’s quite a few more dutch Joomla sites as well). But is it really? Is it really in the best interest of Joomla! that volunteers are spread thin across two sites? Do we really need two translation teams, for one language? Dutch isn’t THAT complicated, you know. Do we really need two slow, medium sized forums, or would we be better off with one big forum?
I think my opinion is clear: Two (or more) Dutch Joomla communities is too much; especially if one of those is more ‘commercially oriented’ than that’s healthy for an open source community (I am looking at YOU, DutchJoomla) It’s just a damn shame to see that the Dutch Joomla users are working in such an ineffective way.
Should anyone Dutch (speaking) read this post, and wonder what community he should go to for help, I’m going to give the advice I always give. Joomlacommunity.eu is the ‘Official Translation partner’ for Joomla!, so you can’t go wrong there.
Yes, Joomla! needs all the exposure it can get. But 1 and 1 don’t always equal 2. In most cases, 1 and 1 is just two 1’s.