What leadership and community look like at Opensource.com

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Opensource.com's 5 year anniversary was yesterday, January 25!

Our team celebrated during an afternoon last week that focused on the growth our readership has seen since 2010, but most importantly, an afternoon that recognized the tremendous work of the publication's Project Lead and Community Manager, Jason Hibbets.

Jason has been instrumental in the evolution, growth, and success of Opensource.com over the past five years. And, in this post, the core Opensource.com Team and the Community Moderators take a moment to thank him and give their thoughts on what his leadership has meant to them.

To me, Jason has been a mentor in open source, a teammate in the trenches, and a friend. He is the type of leader that enables and empowers others to create more and think bigger. Opensource.com's adventures have been many and the future is bright! Thank you.

From the Community Moderators

Remy Decausemaker, Assistant Director of the Rochester Institute of Technology Lab for Technological Literacy and serves as Campaign Architect of FOSS@MAGIC

Jason (and Jen) have been amazing editors. Every contribution is cherished, and every contributor respected. Writing for Opensource.com is a lot like contributing to an open source project: I am able to "scratch my own itch" and write about the things that are most interesting to me in the FOSS (free and open source software) community, on a storytelling platform like no other. I never feel undue pressure to contribute, and never feel like any story is too small, or any draft too rough. I always feel welcome, and know the team is willing to work with me to improve my writing.

I'm happy to write for Opensource.com, and for Jason, because he leads by example, like any proper open source Project Lead. He is constantly writing, curating, and contributing content to this community, and his diligence motivates me to want to do more. His open government work is truly inspiring, and I see Jason walking the talk every time he posts on his progress in Raleigh. Jason is the real-deal, and it is a privilege to hack alongside him on Opensource.com.

Way to be the change you want to see.

Nicole Engard, Vice President of Education at ByWater Solutions

After I wrote my first book on open source, Jason sought me out and shared his idea for the community moderators with me. I was flattered and excited and terrified. Jason assured me that the role was right up my alley and even asked my for my opinions on what moderator responsibilities should be. Those two things, reassuring me and including me in the discussion, are traits that make great leaders.

Jason is always open to what others have to contribute, never dictating terms, and for that reason I'm so happy that he found me and brought me in to the Opensource.com fold.

Marcus Hanwell, Technical Leader in the Scientific Computing group at Kitware, Inc.

Jason's seemingly limitless enthusiasm for community, and his passion to share the open source way with the wider community, has served as a constant inspiration for me. He has built up a strong, supportive, and inclusive community around Opensource.com, and I hope it continues to pay dividends in the future!

Jason Hare, Open Data Program Manager for the City of Raleigh

Jason Hibbets introduced me to Raleigh. He had lunch with me my first week as the open data program manager for the City of Raleigh. He was the first person I met from the community. I remember immediately feeling at ease with him as he talked about the different civic events happening in the City. During that lunch he invited me to a CityCamp planning meeting and then a Code for Raleigh brigade meet-up.

Jason gave me several sanity checks over the years as I ran into one brick wall after another opening data on the Raleigh open data portal. He interviewed me about the program several times. These outreach interviews and the meetings we had over the past two and a half years helped me to integrate into the Raleigh community. Without Jason Hibbets, Raleigh as a city government would not be recognized as a leader in the open source or open data space. I went to his book signing party and actually read the book. His interpretation of what Raleigh was doing in regards to open data was insightful and made me think about a regionalist approach.

I will never forget that first lunch. He looked at me and said, "Nice tie.” And I responded, "Nice hoodie.” And, we have been friends from then on. Happy birthday Opensource.com, and may Hibbets never wear a tie!

Joshua Holm, open source advocate

I will always appreciate Jason's decision to ask me be part of the Community Moderator program. The Community Moderator line on my résumé is something I am immensely proud of because working for Opensource.com is far more than just a volunteer position—it is being part of a movement. I am truly impressed and inspired by Jason's ability to turn us—an eclectic collection of individuals—into a powerful for force for open source advocacy. We can accomplish far more together than we could ever do an individuals and it is Jason's leadership that makes that possible.

No matter what else I accomplish in my career, I am absolutely certain that being part of Opensource.com is going to be one of the major highlights. Thanks, Jason, for allowing me be part of the team.

Luis Ibanez, Software Engineer at Google

Since I joined Opensource.com, it has been a continuous pleasure to work with Jason and his team on crafting articles that are of interest to the open source community. Jason has consistently provided the opensource.com community with the kind of unleadership that I greatly admire. He orchestrates activities through which editors, moderators, writers and readers feel empowered and enabled to contribute to a common good. Jason deeply understands that community is built by cultivating the abilities and capacities of all its participants, and by creating conditions for all these members to contribute their gifts.

At the same time, Jason has the character to call some hard shots, and make decisions about topics that might be unproductively controversial to the site; keeping us on focus and maintaining a welcoming environment at the site. Jason is an accomplished cat-herder, who is always open to new ideas, while encouraging us to pursue ambitious goals.

Robin Muilwijk, Advisor for the Internet and e-government for city of The Hague in The Netherlands

For me, the success of Jason's leadership is clearly visible in running a successful moderator program. The way we all work together, with a common goal, to each add to this program and Opensource.com with our own skills and experience. This would not be possible if it wasn't for Jason. It's because of this, the relationship/partnership and being appreciated, that I commit my time to Opensource.com.

Scott Nesbitt, writer and technology coach

Over the last 20 years, I've worked at a number of positions with a number of firms. Obviously, I've had more than a few managers. Jason reminds me of the best of those managers. I know he's there. I know he's doing his job. But he leaves me (and the other Moderators) to do our work. He's not micromanaging. He's not poking and prodding us. He's treating us like adults and professionals. Jason comes to the fore when necessary. No sooner, no later.

I'm sure I speak for the other Community Moderators when I say this: I appreciate everything that Jason (and the rest of the Opensource.com team, of course) does behind the scenes to make everything go smoothly. I caught a glimpse of that during the week I was in Raleigh for All Things Open. All I can say is my hat goes off to Jason, and it's a pleasure to work with him.

Phil Shapiro, educator and public librarian in the DC area

Jason Hibbets is a person with a very unique mix of talents—highly skilled technically, sociable, big picture thinker. He juggles many balls managing Opensource.com, but makes the process look easy. The first time I submitted a blog post to Opensource.com, his feedback was so encouraging that I knew I'd be submitting a couple dozen more. Meeting him in person in Raleigh has been an equal delight. Red Hat did good to choose a person with such wide talents to head up Opensource.com. The future? It's only going to get brighter and brighter for the open source way.

Nitish Tiwari, software developer

When I started contributing to Opensource.com last year (June 2014), I communicated mostly with Jen regarding submissions. Later Jason contacted me about the Community Moderator program, during October, while All Things Open 2014 was underway. Though he was very busy with preparations and wasn't able to find time for a discussion, he kept me thoroughly informed. In the period between his first email and when we finally had the telephone discussion, he emailed me twice and explained the situation.

I felt this was a great gesture on his end to keep me informed, even when he was very busy. This not only shows the dedication he has towards community but also the leadership skills to keep (prospective) team members aligned and informed about the current situation. I wish Jason, and the other team members, many such successful Opensource.com anniversary celebrations!

Don Watkins, Information Technology consultant, educator, entrepreneur, and open source advocate

I remember my first meeting with Jason was on Twitter soon after I became a follower of @opensourceway and a regular reader of Opensource.com. It was in the fall of 2011 and I was going to present at @nyscate about publishing a book using Lulu. Jason contacted me via Twitter I think and asked if I would report on how open source was being used or not used by educators attending NYSCATE 2011.

I wrote the article which was later published on the site. In addition to that I loved the articles that appeared regularly on Opensource.com and shared them on social media. Jason also commented on some of my tweets about @Go_Bonnies (St. Bonaventure University Basketball) which was going to play his beloved Wolfpack. We had some good natured tweets back and forth.

In the fall of last year, soon after I retired from public education, I was looking around for how I could use my skills to help others both in and outside of education. That's when I was named "Social Sharer" in Opensource.com's Community Awards. That was very moving for me personally and it helped in my adjustment to my new surroundings. That was an empowering move that kept me in the game and following what was going on at Opensource.com, which led to Jason's message to me in September of 2014 when he invited me to attend All Things Open. His openness and enthusiasm have led to work directly with the team as a community moderator and that would never have happened without his leadership. Thanks for an opportunity to contribute.

From the Team

Jeff Mackanic, Senior Director of Global Awareness at Red Hat

We have had an amazing 5 years at Opensource.com telling the stories about how open source is changing the world. The heart of Opensource.com is our community, and Jason has been our Community Manager for the past 5 years. Jason is a fantastic community manager. Jason is passionate about open source and has tremendous drive to tell the world about open source.

Being a community manager is hard work, and as a community manager, Jason collaborates with a lot of different personalities. Jason is very patient and understanding and always wants the best for our community and for each member of the community. Our global community never sleeps and Jason has been on call 24x7 for the past 5 years. Well done and thank you Jason.

Jason Baker, OpenStack Editor for Opensource.com

One of my favorite things about working with Jason has been watching how he really takes the principles of the open source way to heart. Before I started working at Red Hat, my first encounter with Jason him was through his work with CityCamp Raleigh (now CityCampNC). I've always been really interested in both local government and technology, and so attending seemed like a no-brainer to me. What really impressed me was how he worked so hard to weave the ideas of open exchange, participation, rapid prototyping, meritocracy, and community into both the event and his work in Raleigh local government.

Now that I work with Jason, I've gotten to see him weave these principles into nearly every project he touches. It's what makes him a great leader for Opensource.com: he wins people over with open source where ever he goes, and he's one of those people who make me truly believe that open isn't just better, but that it's truly going to win.

Alex Sanchez, Social media, marketing and syndication specialist for Opensource.com

Though I've only had the pleasure of working with Jason for about a month now, it didn't take long for me to realize just how dedicated he is—not just to Opensource.com, but to the open source community as a whole. It seems like he's always working to keep our community moderators in the loop, improve the site, and continue our mission of furthering the open source way. Congratulations and thank you, Jason, for your five years of service to Opensource.com!

Nano Serwich, Editor of The Enterprisers Project

I think one of my favorite moments of 'Jasonness' was when I first started and he used the term 'shoulder-surfing'. I was new to Red Hat, I was new to Drupal, and I was new to pushing that magic, yet scary, "Publish" button. Jason was a sweetie and helped me navigate by not only allowing me to shoulder-surf but also by teaching me about the wonderful world of documentation and collaboration. Honestly, I had no idea how all of those things working together could create such a special and respectful work environment. They encompass the spirit of Jason and ultimately the spirit of Red Hat. Thank you Jason!

Ginny Hamilton, Global Awareness Writer and Social Media Specialist

Jason has changed the way I look at collaboration and transparency. While working with him on Opensource.com, I was always impressed with how he went out of his way to make sure the work we were doing was as transparent to our community as possible. From emphasizing the need to get community feedback for new endeavors we wanted to try, to taking the time to personally email everyone who registers for an account on Opensource.com, Jason has demonstrated what it means to be a true community manager.

Jen leads a team of community managers for the Digital Communities team at Red Hat. She lives in Raleigh with her husband and daughters, June and Jewel.

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