I believe it's really important in any community to give credit where credit is due, whenever possible. When you give, even if you don't expect monetary or other material reward, it's nice to be recognized for your selflessness in front of your peers. It makes you feel good to have others recognize your achievements, and it hopefully spurs others to think about what they are good at and how they could potentially help our community by donating a little time and energy.
Last year we began an annual worldwide recognition award called Community Excellence, which was awarded to several of our partners from the Liferay ecosystem that demonstrated their commitment to the community. The award was based not on revenue or "the bottom line" in any way - instead, it was (and continues to be) based on the community impact that the partners have through their participation and contributions (answering on forums, writing blogs, coding bugfixes or improvements, providing translations, evangelism inside their own sphere of influence, etc). Partners have been essential in Liferay's recent growth, and their employees are some of the most active and beneficial members of the open source community.
I received some feedback shortly after recognizing the partners: what about individuals not affiliated with Liferay (the company) or its partner companies? I had no good answer: it was "the way it was done" in the past (through our regional Partner of the Year designation, which does involve measuring financial impact). Of course that's no excuse, and in fact, if you take time out of your day to contribute to a community that isn't part of your "day job", that is in many ways even more valuable, both to the community and to you. These kinds of contributions must be cherished and rewarded heavily, and contributors of this type must similarly be recognized. They have no financial or legal obligation to use and contribute to Liferay, so these selfless individuals form deep bonds within our community that transcend money. They are also often our most vocal critics, which gives us a much-needed shot of unbiased, and usually constructive criticism in order to "see the forest through the trees" and I believe help advance Liferay in directions unforeseen by those "in the know".
Therefore, I am honored to present this year's community awards to both partners AND individuals!
What We Measured
The actual, super-secret formula must never be revealed (only Ray has the super-secret key), and has been tweaked slightly this year, but the formula involves several (over 20) contribution types, including the obvious ones like helpful forum posts (answers) and code contributions, but other non-obvious, yet highly valuable community metrics, and consideration for external activity such as community evangelism. For the 2012 awards, we considered activity that occured between midnight, September 30th, 2011 and midnight, October 1st, 2012.
Individual Contributors of the Year
Hitoshi has been instrumental on our forums with over 6600 lifetime posts, and has been really helpful getting new folks up and over the typical learning curve one experiences, especially with our earlier versions. He also participates in BugSquad and Community Verifier, providing much-needed contributions to our issue database. Finally, earlier this year, Hitoshi was awarded a quarterly contributor award which you can read more about to learn more about his work and background.
Hitoshi will be recognized at this year's Liferay Japan launch event next month!
Alexey has been active in the community for quite some time and has done a lot of work contributing and maintaining the Liferay/Activiti integration, providing an open source choice when using workflow with Liferay. In addition, he has been very generous with code contributions (bugfixes and improvements) to Liferay Portal, over half the time providing fixes along with his bug reports. It's quite natural for him to give back to the community, and I encourage all of us to take Alexey's lead!
David stumbled upon Liferay in 2006 while looking for an open source portal platform for an intranet, and over the last year, really stepped up his game in contributing a huge body of knowledge to our forums and community documentation. He has a solid understanding of Liferay internals and openly provides his unbiased opinions and stories from his Liferay experience. David was also a featured speaker at this year's North America Symposium and was awarded with a quarterly contributor award earlier this year.
Juan embodies the spirit of openness that any community desires. He's been quite busy this year on the forums, but has also contributed lots of code in the form of bug fixes, improvements, new features (Assisting in the implementation of things like Video/Audio preview), and most recently providing easy to use patch sets for Liferay Portal CE. Juan is also active in the Community Security Team, and helps to champion Liferay in his work in Spain and elsewhere.
We have all benefited from the work of these four individuals, but there are many others who make our community one of the most active and positive groups to ever be associated with! I sincerely wish to thank all of you for making it so!
Partner Contribution of the Year
JavaServer Faces is one of the most widely adopted and powerful user interface framework for web applications. This didn't happen by accident, as developers have chosen it for its powerful features and easy integration with web technologies like Liferay. portletfaces.org was established by Mimacom AG and Triton Services to meet the need for an open community built around the related standards JavaEE, JSF, and Portlets.
With the popularity of Liferay and its beneficial association with the JSF community, it was a win-win decision to contribute the projects under portletfaces.org to the Liferay community, and both Mimacom and Triton Services were awarded Partner Contribution of the Year awards for this act. Neil Griffin has a great writeup of the projects, and you can also read the press release for more information.
Liferay Community Excellence
Our strong worldwide partner network continued to move Liferay technology forward this past year, providing world-class Liferay services and contributions to our growing community. Last year we recognized the top 5, but this year the number jumps to 7 - due to the quality of work and outstanding level of community contribution!
Acando is very active in Norway and elsewhere in Europe, and has single-handedly provided 97% of the Norwegian translations for Liferay technology. They are also a founding member of the Norway User Group and regularly organize events for the group and for the larger Liferay community. This is the first of hopefully many years of community excellence!
Acando had planned to attend the Europe Symposium to receive their award - but unfortunately (or fortunately!) they had a last minute business opportunity, so we'll see them next year!
As a Platinum sponsor of this year's Liferay Spain Symposium, B2B 2000 is no stranger to the community. They had a well-rounded contribution effort this year, providing over 4000 individual Basque translations, are very active in #LSUG (the Liferay Spain User Group), and are very helpful on our forums (not only in Spanish!).
Cignex Datamatics is a repeat winner this year, and have contributed to virtually every facet of our community, including very helpful forum activity, knowledge sharing via their many online Liferay webinars, and are also contributing in our community programs such as BugSquad and others. Several of Cignex' ranks have also been recognized individually this year, and are very passionate about Liferay, both online on liferay.com, and in person at industry events such as the recent North America Symposium.
Based in the Netherlands, but making their presence known throughout our worldwide community, Componence has continued its tradition of open source contribution for Liferay. They founded and continue to push the Netherlands User Group forward, contributed time and energy to execute the Liferay Community Survey, provided translations, and participate in community efforts like BugSquad, Community Verifier, and are a regular presence at the Europe Symposium (where they organized a Table Football tournament for the community!).
Hailing from Australia, Permeance has been very active in our forward-looking programs, providing feedback in the Liferay Portal 6.1 BugSquad Feature Reviews late last year, and are very active in promoting Liferay in the region. Permeance also dedicates a large percentage of their time to our community, recognizing the essentially free training one gets by participation. Their work on our issues database and forums has helped make our recent releases better for them, their clients, and our community as a whole.
Another repeat winner, Savoir-faire Linux is committed to open source, clearly understanding the benefits of participation and contribution. They have contributed major features in the past (enjoying Faceted Search? Thank these guys!), and this year were also active on our forums, contributed to BugSquad, sponsored the North American Symposium, and provided over 2500 French translations of Liferay.
Finally, SMC is also a first-timer (but were in the top 10 last year!). SMC founded and continues to lead the Italy User Group, and was one of the first Liferay partners ever, so it is no surprise they are committed to our community. SMC also contributed to our Italian and English forums, and is the organizing sponsor of this year's Italy Symposium next month.
In closing, I'd like to sincerely thank all of the above community members, and everyone else in the community who choose to use Liferay, choose to help make it better, and choose to brighten everyone else's day a little bit each time they do.