TYPO3 Talk with Karen: Data Protection Officer

Welcome to the TYPO3 Interview Series! Check out the Interview with Karen on TYPO3 For Everyone! We have launched the TYPO3 initiative for business executives, professional freelancers, marketers, decision-makers etc. The ultimate goal, Inspiring people to communicate about TYPO3 eco-system by keeping the philosophy of OpenSource.

TYPO3 Talk with Karen: Data Protection Officer

Welcome to the TYPO3 Interview Series - 19!

This week we have Karen Falkenberg with us this week for interesting TYPO3 Talk! Karen has been with TYPO3 since 2006 and is data Protection Officer of the TYPO3 Association and TYPO3 GmbH.

The TYPO3 Talk with Karen is interesting, so grab that cup of coffee to explore Karen's insights into her views, the history and potential of TYPO3 and the open source community, and how we can build a better TYPO3 ecosystem together!

Let's explore her journey with TYPO3 from then to now, and much more!

  • Interviewee : Karen Falkenberg
  • Company : Computer-Zauber
  • Designation : Data Protection Officer of the TYPO3 Association and TYPO3 GmbH
  • Topic : Together Building a Better TYPO3 Eco-system

Hey Karen, please tell us something about yourself to our audience.

I am happily married, have two wonderful children who live in Cologne and Lake Louise (CA).


First question, How did you initially get involved with TYPO3?

In 2006 clients wanted to make a website with me and insisted on TYPO3, so I had to learn it.  Which was only for my best


How do you contribute to TYPO3? How does your company encourage open source business practices?

Through branding and I see myself as a TYPO3 Influencer. I am involved in the organization of the TYPO3 CampRheinRuhr.  I lack resources for the work in the many TYPO3 teams. If I hear in Slack that I can contribute my know-how to the community, I do this of course.


As a TYPO3 Professional, What was your biggest challenge to building your TYPO3 business? Do you have any special tips & tricks for TYPO3 business people?

Important is the enthusiasm of TYPO3. If you don't know it, you should take the time to have a look at TYPO3 or have it shown to you, then the enthusiasm will come by itself. Of course I don't mean that everything is easy. There are enough to cut your teeth on programming, but there are a lot of people in the community who help you. In return you have a solid website on the foundation of TYPO3.

I have small companies, schools and sports clubs as customers.  During conversations I talk enthusiastically about the clear structure e.g. in the TYPO3 page tree and the many innovations for editors. A convincing argument is, you can start small and no matter how the company develops, you can add a lot in TYPO3 and turn it into a large project.  TYPO3 allows "almost" everything.   


Over the years, the TYPO3 open source ecosystem has evolved. When you look back, Are you surprised or feel lucky with the overall success of TYPO3? Where do you see it going in the future?

I think everyone involved has a wonderful hand for the right changes or conversions from TYPO3 version to version. When I think of the TYPO3 version from 2006, I am even more pleased today, what TYPO3 can do and how user-friendly it has become for editors.


Can you give us a sneak peek of TYPO3's future visions?

I can't say much about that. However, I could imagine that user-friendliness and accessibility are also in focus.


TYPO3 is 20+ years old OpenSource CMS, Although we have very little CMS Marketshare. eg., At present, TYPO3 0.6%, WordPress 63.6%. In your personal opinion, What do you think about what we majorly missed in TYPO3 journey?

Did we miss anything? I experience it more like this, when people want a good and stable website, they look for TYPO3 programmers. The branding TYPO3 makes advertising for me and I possibly still convince myself of something with my enthusiasm.  

In addition, from a data protection point of view, especially with WordPress, very much must be regulated via a plugin. That's why WordPress is very much in the focus of the data protection authorities. Because TYPO3 core contains many functions and is monitored at security sprints, there were not the large area audits for TYPO3 websites so far. In addition, although few, but among them many very large websites are created with TYPO3. 


Unlike other CMS' where do you think the TYPO3 opensource ecosystem lags behind?

I think I'm too blinded for that question.  Probably it is the training and I know that my start was also harder.  Whereas there are now great video tutorials for this, I did not have them in 2006 :-(


What do you think of the global expansion of TYPO3? What do you feel the TYPO3 OpenSource Eco-system needs most?

I think the global expansion is great. In December, there was an online one-day event: brilliant. From Australia, India, Europe, Africa to America, participants and speakers were there from morning to night. Keep it up. A big thank you to Daniel Homorodean, who organized and carried out the t3imd with his team.


As we are managing T3Planet, TYPO3 Marketplace, What do you think about the t3planet.com? What are some key factors & characteristics that would attract you?

The offer extends the usability of TYPO3, especially for people who don't know TYPO3 from scratch and can enjoy the solid TYPO3 foundation with a theme.

In addition, the variety of themes shows that everything is possible. A great way to make TYPO3 more visible.


TYPO3 is built on PHP. PHP was established and it’s easy to understand. There was a huge community for PHP already. How important was that “TYPO3 was powered by PHP” for its popularity?

This has not played a role with my customers.


There are extensions, multilingual, multisite enterprise CMS, ease of use, among all these, what attributes for the TYPO3 success?

The fact that the core includes many functions actually plays a role in Europe. Then the extensions whether news, store or whatever functions are also needed. Also own extensions, only for the customer. Of course, the multisite and multilingual functions are very, very important.


Who is your open source mentor/hero? Can you name some people (at least 5) whom you follow to get knowledge and updates of the TYPO3?

Susi Moog, Georg Ringer, Oliver Hader, Ingo Schmitt, Wolfgang Wagner, Jochen Weiland, ...


What are some places, blogs, and online communities you would recommend to our readers that you think are the best places to get help about TYPO3?

https://jweiland.net/ with all the instructions and videos


Do you think TYPO3 still needs more active contributors? Especially in awareness, branding, and marketing. Also, can you suggest some ideas on how TYPO3 could be expanded globally?

I know the team sizes, but I can't judge from the outside whether an even larger team can still work efficiently. I think if the team members need support this can be spread into the community via Slack or a newsletter.


Last but not least, Apart from TYPO3, What're the things you love to do?

Take care of social media or privacy clients at work. But besides work there is also the private and there I love working in the garden and harvesting vegetables, herbs...

Hey Karen heartily thanks time to conduct these interview and sharing your views with insights. 

If you too want to share your views regarding the TYPO3 Eco-system and TYPO3 Open source community, you are more than welcome. Feel free to reach us or drop us a message in the comment section below.
Also, thanks to all Post Status readers, we will see you at the next interview. Till then stay tuned for next exciting T3Interview :)

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