With the release of Joomla 4.0, Joomlers - Joomla's hard-working volunteers - are as important as ever. Whether you're completing an occasional task to support the project, a regular contributor to a team's activities, a member of a team or working group, right through to the various levels of leadership in the organisation, I thank you on behalf of Joomla and look forward to many years of contributions to come.
Over 16 years, tens of thousands of hours have been contributed to the project by hundreds of volunteers worldwide. Many of those volunteers have been working away in the background, sometimes anonymously, sometimes known to just a few in the organisation.
I'd like to see that change a little.
As the Volunteer Engagement Team (VET) team leader, I'd like the VET to be able to recognise more of the contributions volunteers are making, both in the past and going forward. As an organisation, we're looking at improving our communication with volunteers, including communicating more often with volunteers to present them with opportunities to get engaged with the project. We'd like to encourage readers to reach out to their networks to see if others may be interested in finding out more about volunteering with the project.
If you're not currently at the level of involvement where you're a Team Member or have a Joomler Profile on the Volunteer Portal, I invite you to create a profile. If you've previously had a Joomler profile, but had let it lapse due to a hiatus in your involvement, we look forward to seeing you back on the portal.
Engaging with volunteers more often we hope to be able to increase the membership of Open Source Matters (OSM). This will provide a more diverse group of members in the Joomla community on matters relating to the project, as well as tap into the skills volunteers have to offer to the project more formally than we sometimes have done in the past. In the next section of the article, I'll walk you through how membership works, as often volunteers have not been aware of what is required to participate in the OSM election process.
Working with the Events Department, a range of activities are being undertaken at the moment to also look at reengaging with Joomla User Groups and look at what types of events can be run in the new mode required for events to run in the post-pandemic world.
More information on a number of those projects will be released in the coming months, and I hope that it's an exciting time ahead for participation in Joomla activities now that Joomla 4 has arrived.
Open Source Matters (OSM) is the non-profit organisation supporting the Joomla project.
From the about page:
Open Source Matters (OSM) is a not-for-profit organisation, incorporated in the United States, created to serve the financial and legal interests of the Joomla project. OSM has been designed to be flexible and change as the needs of Joomla! expand. At all times, OSM is fashioned to suit the needs of the Joomla project. OSM will also engage in regular self-assessment to ensure it is accountable to Joomla!, acting in Joomla!'s interest and ensuring that it is the right shape and size to support Joomla!.
Members of OSM are effectively all the active members of teams working to contribute to all aspects of the Joomla project.
Article IV of the OSM By-Laws defines everything to do with Members. Of course, being the by-laws, the Article is worded in legal-speak. For readers wanting detailed information on the legal definitions, please refer to the by-laws.
For everyone else, I'm hoping the following makes it simpler to understand.
OSM is managed by a Board of Directors. These 10 people (at the time of publication) are called Class 1 Members in the by-law definitions.
The graphic above shows the makeup of the Board of Directors. There's currently six Department Coordinators and four Officers for the organisation.
Every six months, an election is held for half of these Directors (two Officers and three Department Coordinators)- split into annual Group 1 and Group 2 elections.
The Officers of the board are elected by all Class 1, 2 and 3 members of OSM.
The Department Coordinators are elected by only the Class 2 & 3 who are members of that Department. So this will typically be all the Team Leaders for teams in the department (Class 2), and all of the members of those teams (Class 3 Members). The Department Coordinator is eligible to vote in the Department election only if they are also participating as a Member (Class 3) of the
Occasionally, there will be the need for replacement elections when an Board Member discontinues their time in the role for whatever reason.
Departments group together teams and working groups who are tasked with activities relating to the Joomla project. You can see a list of all the teams and working groups on the Joomla Volunteer Portal.
Class 2 Members are defined as the elected Team Leaders for a Team. Team Leaders are elected by the members of the team (Class 3 Members).
Class 3 Members of OSM are defined as Team Members of official teams.
Class 3 members are the final group of members eligible to vote in Group 1 and Group 2 elections for the Board of Directors. Class 3 Members are also eligible to vote for the Team Leader (Class 2 Members) for their team.
For membership purposes, there's a distinction to be aware of between teams and working groups. Members of teams are classed as Class 3 members, with Team Leaders classed as Class 2 members. So they all have voting rights in the Group 1 and Group 2 elections for both the Officers as well as the Department Coordinator for the department that the team belongs to.
Working Groups and their members, mainly due to their design, do not have voting rights. The purpose of a Working Group is to work to achieve a specific or temporary goal, and so by nature may not have longevity with the project. You will often find that members of working groups are also members of teams in the same department, and so they will have voting rights as a result of being in a team.
You will see in the roll calls for teams on the Joomla Volunteer Portal that teams consist of a third type of member at times - Contributors. Contributors are important volunteers for teams, but not classed as Members for the purpose of voting.
In the simplest form, Contributors are part-time volunteers contributing when they can to the activities of a team. Often they may be specialists that contribute their expertise to a team occasionally. They might also be contributors that provide specific advice or skills to complete a regular task. Sometimes Contributors are listed where they're liaisons to a team from other teams or working groups in the organisation.
One trade-off in being a contributor is that you don't have voting rights for your team, department and the Board of Directors elections. On the other hand, less is typically expected of you in regards to consistent contributions, time commitments.
Participating in voting in elections is just one important aspect of what responsibilities are entailed in being a member of OSM.
More importantly, Members are the people that have shaped and driven the development, promotion, and ongoing success of Joomla!
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Information in this article is correct at the time of publication. OSM By-Laws also include a provision allowing for the by-laws to be amended by a special meeting of the membership, and so may change slightly or significantly in the future.