According to builtwith there are over 1.6 million Joomla based sites out there. Pretty impressive really, are you one of them? If so, then this post is aimed at you! There may be 1.6 million sites, but the sad reality is not everyone is giving back (not that you're obliged to). It's so easy to do, you don't even need to be a developer there are plenty of other things you can do to help the community!
So if you use Joomla, and haven't contributed anything recently read the rest of this post for ideas on how you can help (it won't cost you a thing!).
As advanced as Joomla is becoming, there's one area that I feel is still something of a mess: Documentation. The guys on the documentation team are doing a sterling job, but this is supposed to be a community effort. Seriously, take 10 minutes of your time to have a look at the Cookie Jar on the Joomla documentation site. Some of the documentation needed is so simple that it could be written by someone who's used Joomla but never developed for it.
Part of the problem, in my opinion, is that people only write about what interests them. As a developer, I've far more interest in writing about an API than I have in anything to do with customising templates. But that's where non-developers are supposed to come in, if you know how to customise Search Engine Friendly URL's then why not contribute to the documentation?
Not that developers get off the hook that easily! If you've had to look up a specific function in the documentation, look to see if there's anything in the examples section. No? Then add one! You're going to need to write the code anyway so take 30 seconds to adapt it to something more generic (if necessary) and add to the documentation! I'm just as guilty of this as the next, but I've recently pulled my finger out and committed to doing it.
If 1 million web-admins contribute have a page each, that's still 500,000 new pages in the documentation.
You don't need to write
Of course, you may not feel comfortable writing new content. That's fine, have a proof-read instead. We all make mistakes, see if you can find and correct some!
Joomla 3 is coming
The tasks above are an ongoing mission, but in September Joomla 3 will be released. There's a nice long list of tasks that need community support, including
- Other media (videos etc.)
- Writing and blogging
Surely there must be something amongst the tasks you could contribute to? There may be a core team working on Joomla, but the idea is that it's supported by the community as far as possible.
Pull your finger out
If you use Joomla you're benefiting from the contributions of countless others, try and find time to contribute something back. Head over to the Joomla Documentation, Bugsquad or help prepare for the launch of Joomla 3. It needn't take too much of your time and Joomla users around the world will benefit!