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JAB-event in decline


Two years ago, when the first J and beyond conference happened, a situation was electrifying – important members of the community were rebelling against the way that this organization was led, all sorts of initiatives were happening and events were on the verge of explosion. Before the event many expected this will be a gathering of frustrated and angry, a place where officials get crucified and people walk around with knives behind the belt. Something of that kind. But the event turned out as a huge success, everyone was friendly and happy. Knowledge, innovation and fun was flying around in huge quantities, something I've never seen before. Real community happened. Sessions were really eye opening, we learned a huge lot and parties were hard.

Second year event continued in approximately the same direction, but this year they brought in some big sponsors and held few official Joomla meetings and the whole thing became much bigger, leading to separated subgroups forming among the crowd. There was also a bit too much of "Joomla rocks" cheering that makes my feet wanna run as always when I hear this McDonalds happiness mixed with religious cult kind of thing. But it was still a good mixture of rebels and institutionalized ones and the overall feeling was good. Still I brought home a big pile of new ideas, knowledge and friendships.


And then few things happened in the background – eBay indirectly took over Joomla by employing a large number of developers that hold the keys to framework development and drive things behind the scenes. Also (rumor says) money took a large role in pacifying and converting few opinion leaders into sudden fans of the official trumpet. Some got project to do, some got their blogs sponsored and suddenly they were dancing over their previous convictions like a drunk Greek on a wedding party. Suddenly there was no room anymore for the rebels on 2012 JAB schedule, suddenly a person that was one of the main causes for the story that initiated the first event became one of the main speakers of this years show.


Sessions were boring, mainly people talking about the stuff you've heard and read about online 100 times before and also evening events were not exactly a huge success (read more about this in more detail in JAB12 – The mostly boring report).

It is still a big, well (even better than previous years) organized event, it is just not the same event anymore – it became the same old boring Joomladay full of wannabe stars that talk about themselves and do their sales pitches. Not much innovation, very little fun and a lot of fake smiles.


To conclude - nothing was really wrong, but there was just no vibration, no soul, no real fun. The passion is gone.


To the whole Joomlaworks/Nueavo team, Herman, Phillip, Ewout, Marco and few others – it was just not the same without you.

Joomla co-author, webdesigner, php programmer and a creative mind.
A rebel with a big mouth that is proud to be banned by the Joomla project.
Klas10 August 2012
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