2020: phew! For this most unusual of years, when it comes to looking back, we’d like to take a slightly different approach to recognizing those members whose contributions in 2020 have helped them become element14 mainstays. Whether they are prolific bloggers, hardware review mavens, comment thread gurus, or often all of the above, these members helped element14 be the sort of vibrant community that we on the team have always aspired for it to be. And we would like to acknowledge and celebrate them in two groups: our Top Members and our Rising Contributors; and, for the latter group, we want you to help us vote on the one member from that group who stood out most in 2020!
Our Top Members Are Some Of Our Top Contributors
Every member of the Community is eligible to become a Top Member (Becoming a Top Member of the element14 Community), which is a group of people who contribute valuable positive words of encouragement, amazing assistance, and are consistently a part of the website as important peers to members for insights and engagement. After polling among members and staff, we want to acknowledge the efforts of these Top Members in what has been a difficult year.
The Ice-Breaker - clem57
Getting started for some people is really difficult, whether it's the beginning of a post, a tweet, or a blog. However, we appreciate that clem57 has this nailed, encouraging discussion and conversation on the element14 Community by not being afraid to ask a question, offer their latest view on technology, or share something they've found on the internet. Sometimes, we all need an ice breaker! View their content.
Bringing the NexGen - phoenixcomm
We love seeing the projects and developments that our members produce here, and seeing phoenixcomm 's work on the NexGen Flight Simulator and how it progresses is a reminder to everyone that you can make excellent progress with input from the Engineers and Makers here, while sharing the blogs and parts that go into it. We're glad to be along for the journey to take flight with the NexGen Flight Simulator.
Keeping It Real - DAB
Considered to be a voice of reason, DAB's comments and starred assessment of blog posts, videos, reviews, and content on the Community are often the highlight of members and staff alike, and used as an official benchmark and baseline of how well what they have created is doing. View their content.
Advocating for the People - dougw
While creating projects and reviews, it's always refreshing to have dougw's input and opinion on how the Community is doing, as he brings up the real questions of how we can support one another. Aside from being a stellar Engineer, it is fantastic to see that everyone has a human and compassionate side, and our members certainly help to remind staff and suppliers alike that this is the case. View their content.
The Project Planner - balearicdynamics
Working with the staff here on the Community, we sometimes have side projects or campaigns that require dedicated support when people have the time, and balearicdynamics has shown repeatedly that they can step in and join in with support when it's needed (also, it would be unfair to go without saying that all of our Top Members do so when they're available). balearicdynamics has made great seasonal and Design Challenge projects to show they're a real bounty hunter of hardware, and we look forward to seeing more from their published works, and we also want to offer our thanks for involving the Community in them! View their content/
Creating Support - fmilburn
When we created the #badass Women Makers and Engineers Contest, we wanted to support this campaign with something new and different, and it was great to see fmilburn step forward with the support of creating a very real and practical introduction to electronics with a cool PCB design (Rosie Learns to Solder ), and, of course, this isn't all that they get up to! fmilburn Blog Index
Keeping the Lights On - genebren
Community Manager cstanton reminisces that "the first introduction a lot of Engineers have to electronics is blinking a light ... since then, there's almost always a fascination with lighting!" and that can ring true for even Makers. Keeping the interest growing with projects and blog posts, genebren kept the fascination with lighting alive throughout 2020 with DMX and Smart Solar lighting, while providing support and encouragement for fellow members. It would be difficult not to search the Community and find someone thanking genebren for their valuable contributions.
Making Waves - lui_gough
To a number of us on the Community Staff team, oscilloscopes and power are sometimes out of reach of our expertise, and seeing them put through their paces to sing, dance, and make music by lui_gough is a wonder to behold. Alongside stepping up relentlessly to put hardware to the test and through its paces as part of RoadTests & Reviews, we couldn't appreciate the dedicated effort enough. View their content.
Putting It to the Test - jancumps
There's barely a day that goes by without a notification of a new blog on the Community, and it is usually an informative and eloquently articulated piece by jancumps putting a piece of hardware through its paces and to the test. Whether it's a yet-to-be-released piece of equipment that's been asked to be checked out, or a component or full-fledged solution from the RoadTest program, Jan is on top of it. And quite often with hardware or software that they're working on, Jan has a wealth of well-chained together blog knowledge posted frequently by that's always worth following and checking up on. View their content.
Powering On - jw0752
Electricity is kind of the fundamental aspect of the type of Engineering we focus on with the element14 Community, and I can often look forward to a good blog post from jw0752 that focuses on different aspects of it. From testing equipment to trying different techniques, exploring and investigating components is often seen as an academic endeavour, and it's amazing to see it taken as an activity of curiosity alongside project creation, support, and thoughtfulness for other members. View their content.
Hardware Conversationalist - ralphjy
The Community staff often expresses among the team their appreciation for hardware hacking and creation, and it really stands out to them when someone puts hardware together for themselves and produces something new or aspires to upcycle past creations, and seeing work made from old schematics is fascinating. Combine project creation with taking the time to comment and interact with other members, and you have a winning combination in our eyes. From Ralph, there's always a supportive word, followed up by a powerful and creative blog post showing great work. View their content.
Fighting Germs with Ideas - 14rhb
Sometimes, what may be obvious needs pointing out, and during a time when people are looking for answers, solutions, and help, 14rhb stepped up with a suggestion that brought attention to a question everyone was asking at a time that it started to affect an increasing number of people: "What can you do to help fight germs?" Inspired by the suggestion raised, the Community Staff collectively smacked their foreheads and came together to produce the Fighting Germs competition, encouraging Makers and Engineers to come together with solutions. Often the most valuable contributions aren't always a review or demonstration of a product, though 14rhb does a great job at doing that as well. View their content.
Voice of Encouragement - shabaz
Often nominated for awards and accolades on the element14 Community by members, top members, and staff, you can often find shabaz giving a voice and encouragement to everyone who takes part in engaging on the platform. Whether in the form of content in blog posts with high quality guidance and photographs, responses and comments inside surveys, or comments and contributions to discussions, Shabaz does a tremendous amount to enrich the community. View their content.
Upon reflecting on things to write this post, it became so clear how, during the difficulty of 2020, it has been fantastic to work with and help support the contributors and Top Members of the element14 Community. And, having shared so much about those Top Members, we now want to also acknowledge the rising stars among our community!
What is a 'Rising Contributor' ?
While these members may not be new to the element14 Community, we want to recognise that they have been rising above and beyond, coming into their own with their engagement with other members and the programs we run here. They've been sharing their expertise, positive outlook, and getting other members involved, whether on the element14 Community itself or spreading the word outside of it.
We also want you to have your vote in helping to recognize the member you consider to be the Rising Contributor who has stood out to you in 2020. The list has been curated from member nominations, staff picks, and activity that has been noticed on the element14 Community.
So, cast your vote for the member you think most deserves this award, and sound off in the comments if you think there's anyone we have failed to include! Also, don't forget to vote for your other Year in Review favorites.