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    So you've joined up to the element14 Community, enjoyed many of the blog posts, discussions with Engineers and Suppliers. Perhaps you've even signed up for a RoadTests & Reviews , Design Challenges  or entered Project14 .


    Chances are you've engaged with one of our Top Members.


    How do I become a Top Member?


    Firstly, there's no strict criteria for joining the group of Top Members. Sometimes when you talk to someone you get a feel for who they are, as a member of element14 Community staff we can see what you as a member have created on the element14 Community, where you've been helpful, how you've contributed, and I can say that these are factors to who is decided to be a 'Top Member' along with recommendations from other people, badges you've earned, etc. though this isn't an exhaustive list.


    Being a Top Member is voluntary, and you'll be approached by a member of the element14 Community staff, or the Community Manager to become one. It will mean that you're seen as a respectful member of the Community and one that contributes to the website and also to other members (most importantly to other members, even though we are a corporate website). Applying to join the Top Members group will not guarantee you entry, so don't be disheartened if you attempt to join in that way, and you're denied access.


    Top Members also suggest other top members to join them, and these are considered. Members of Avnet and Premier Farnell staff also recognise members for their activity and contributions and they are also considered.


    What does it mean to be a Top Member, though?


    In the Top Members group you'll find new and veteran members of the element14 Community working together with Premier Farnell and Avnet staff to better the element14 Community, its contents, and how it works along with some choice selections of opportunities to benefit from participation and feedback!


    Originally the Top Member group was created some time around 2011 as a way to get feedback from trusted members of the Community, and that is still true today. We appreciate Top Members posting in the designated group with candid and honest input and ideas - we might even share with Top members information on products that have not yet been, or may not be released, features to the website we are working on (and don't want to alarm everyone, just yet) or other information from suppliers, and we trust that it'll be kept among the Top Members group.


    Members are also in the Top Members group because we value your opinion, your contributions, attitude and behaviour on the website, or perhaps with us on social media and outside the website has shown to us you're someone that we can talk to and that we respect. To us that's very important and we want to make sure we're serving you, the Community users and our customers properly by being transparent and open about what we do on the website and we figured there's no better way to do that than with people who we can trust.


    As a Top Member you'll also receive an icon next to your name to show you're part of the group, and we expect that you'll maintain the helpful comments to other users, mentoring if and where appropriate and helping to keep us staff in line as much as we as staff also moderate and tidy up the Community as well - without nurturing the community of people here, we wouldn't have a site at all and it's our opinion we make sure that we retain a sense of community as much as we have one as a website.