Interview with Brad Baker - Joomla Community Administrator

By The Sandman · Oct 25, 2007 ·
  1. The Sandman
    Brad Baker is the Adminstrator of the Joomla Community Forums and a member of the Joomla Core Team. As most of you already know, Joomla is a powerful Open Source Content Management Systems used all over the world for everything from simple websites to complex corporate applications.


    Please tell us a little about yourself.

    In my 30's, living just North of Byron Bay, Australia, however, originally from South Africa.In the process of moving down to Sydney.

    Can you summarize you educational experience for us?

    Most of my experience comes from running a few of my own IT businesses, as well as IT manager for smaller businesses.

    What do you consider as your accomplishments up to this point?

    Being able to work from home, and enjoying life I consider a major accomplishment.

    Any failures you'd like to tell us about?

    A few great business ideas that never took off.

    What is your primary occupation?

    Owner/manager of my own business, but also full time customer support/server admin manager.

    What other projects and/or ventures are you involved in?

    Joomla, Rochen (my day job), and XYZulu (my local business). Also a few other ideas always warming on the fire.

    How do you manage your time? Will you describe what you do on a daily and/or weekly basis?

    Scary topic. I start each day at about 5.30am in order to get what I need done. Sadly, some days I will work for more than 12 hours straight, but I try to ensure I balance my time effectively. I work 7 days a week, but am semi-flexible when I need to take days/time off to do other things.

    What is your ultimate professional goal, your dream job?

    I've got it!

    How did you become interested in Online Communities? Are they an important part of the internet? Of people's lives?

    I only use online methods of communication for greater efficiency and collaboration of information. I really *had* no social reason to get involved. Having watched things grow though, to many people online communities means so much to them, so while they may not to me, I remind myself of the need to consider how others feel about them. That is not to say that online communities are not important to me, they are, but not for the social reasons.

    What is Joomla and why is it important for forum administrators?

    It's a content management system that is both simple to use, and completely customizable.

    How did you come to be part of the Joomla Team?

    I was invited back in 2004 (pre-Joomla) to manage the community forum, when we started Joomla! in Sept 2005, I was one of the founders.

    Can you give us some examples of online communities and other websites which have the best implementation and integration of Joomla?

    Knock yourself out: Link :)

    What can we expect from Joomla in the future?

    More and more community coding input, and with the release of Joomla! 1.5 we're well on the way to producing a real framework, not just a CMS.

    The Joomla community is very impressive. Did your ever dream it would grow so large?

    It's pretty impressive, and growth continues to be exponential. We've all put a lot of work into building the community, protecting it, nurturing it and it really have taken off now. We have over 100 moderators, 8 Global Moderators, and over 400 subforums. With about 40 international language sections we have quite a diverse range of participants.

    Why did you choose SMF for your forum software?

    At the time, we choose SMF for it's performance benefits, and also as a model forum that our users would be able to also use on their own Joomla! sites. One of the SMF devs at the time was also actively providing us with support and advice on performance tweaking etc.

    What server(s) is the Forum on, and how much time do you spend per week administering it?

    We've recently migrated our forum to a single 2 x Dual Core Xeon 3.0 Ghz, with 6 Gb of RAM server. We run a custom mysql setup, as well as php caching. The Joomla project also uses 4 other servers, with another on the way. Administration of the server (s) is something I take care of under my job for Rochen ( ), who host all the Official Joomla! Project websites. Any server issues, all our staff get paged anyway, so it's reassuring to know someone is always there if needed.

    How would you describe your Moderating Style?

    I come across as a firm no nonsense moderator. Whilst I am, I also strive to be kind and courteous to those that deserve it, and make allowances for those newer people who make silly unintentional mistakes.

    What are the common mistakes you see Forum Administators making?

    Over, or under moderating. Too few helpers, be it co-admin, global moderators, moderators. We currently have over 100 moderators, without their help, our community would not be what it is today. Too many hardly users forum tweaks/mods IMHO is also a common problem, as is inefficient server setups which lead to forums being too slow.

    What is your opinion on the open source vs proprietary software debate in general? What about forum software specifically?

    To some people, it's certainly a philosophy, not to me though, however, both have their places. Open Source software (GPL), IMHO has revolutionized the IT world. Some of the Open Source (GPL) software now available is incredible. The incredible development that goes on is likewise amazing. I will also say, having recently spent a week at Google (MV, Calif.) despite the fears people rightly have about Google and privacy, what Google is doing or open source is equally amazing.

    Open Source (GPL) forum software has come a long way, and offers real alternatives to paid, though good, forum systems. The degree to which some of these systems have been optimized by the community, IMHO puts some Open Source (GPL) forum systems resource usage wise, way ahead of some paid ones, ie vBulletin.

    What is the significance of your TAZ username, xyzulu?

    It's a unique name, partly based on my history in South Africa living in Zululand, and my business name:

    What Websites do you visit for fun and relaxation?


    What do you know now that you wish you'd known 10 years ago?

    How well Google was going to do, I would have bought as many shares as I could have.

    What offline activities do you enjoy in your spare time?

    Fun and relaxation: Sports, Rugby, Soccer, Tennis, Swimming.

    Tell us something about yourself that we don't already know.

    I'm 6'4" tall, and spent 4 years working as a Chef before I got back into IT, not that that has anything to do with my height.

    What are your intermediate and long term plans and goals for the future?

    Personally, moving to Sydney within a month.

    Joomla, continuing the exponential growth of the software and the community.

    Share This Article

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.