This past weekend was Joomla Day Boston. Joomla days happen all over the world and it is a chance for users of Joomla software to get together and talk shop.

For those of you who don’t know, Joomla is a open source software people use to build websites. Breaking Even uses a combination of Joomla and WordPress to support our clients. We use open source software because:

1) Millions of people are using it and, since it’s open, that means it is constantly being improved by its users… and that there are a lot of places online you can get help.
2) It’s free, meaning a client only has to pay us for customization (versus paying for the software and our time to customize it).
3) Because it’s open (no proprietary), a client can work with a lot of designers besides me. In other words, I can retain clients because they like me, not because they are stuck using my web design software.

I’ve been to a couple Joomla Day events (Joomla Day New England last year and the Joomla World Conference this fall) so on a whim, I applied to speak at Joomla Day Boston about Facebook.  And I got accepted!

Look it's my name... on a website that isn't mine!

By the way, whenever I decide to speak about Facebook, Facebook always immediately likes to change stuff, which makes me have to retake screenshots or otherwise learn stuff (in this case about open graph). So sorry if I inconvenienced you!

So Alice and I drove down Friday and after eating at Thelonius Monkfish (where we were the oldest people by at least ten years) and getting a good night’s sleep, we hit the ground running on Saturday for the conference.

Me talking about the Facebook with a phantom Diet Coke that seemed to appear on my podium despite the fact I don't drink it.

Me talking about the Facebook with a phantom Diet Coke that seemed to appear on my podium despite the fact I don’t drink it.

The main organizer was Dianne Henning, a very talented designer, photographer, and organizer. This was the first ever Joomla Day Boston and nothing went wrong. Go Dianne and all the others who made this possible.

Dianne Henning, who Alice and I both agreed in the car after has this amazing presence in addition to being very knowledgable and warm. The best host we could have asked for.

Dianne Henning, who Alice and I both agreed in the car after has this amazing presence in addition to being very knowledgable and warm. The best host we could have asked for.

My favorite part of the official program was Robbie Adair’s presentation on Joomla menus. While I’ve been working with the software for years, there are some things I’ve been doing and thinking ‘there has to be an easier way’. Robbie’s presentation gave me three of those mind blowing moments.

Robbie's presentation was fantastic. A great balance of interesting theoretical background and practical how-to.

Robbie’s presentation was fantastic. A great balance of interesting theoretical background and practical how-to.

Though the official program was great, those moments not photographed were probably even more powerful. Great conversations over food about technology and life (Thinking here of Jessica Dunbar, Luke Summerfield and JoeJoomla!). Despite geeks having a reputation for not being social, a particular set of us definitely closed the pub we were in even after geeking out for eight hours in a conference.

These photos were taken by Jonathan Neubauer and if you want to see more, they are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonneubauer/

I am very new to this community of people but I am impressed that not only have they welcomed me with open arms but also value my skill set. Thanks to everyone at Joomla Day Boston for making it worth 12 hours in a car!