Ruby Hero Awards: Nominate Your “Ruby Hero”
The Ruby Hero Awards is an attempt to reward and support members of the Ruby and Rails communities for the hard work they do. It was founded by the guys at Rails Envy (Gregg Pollack and Jason Seifer) but has support behind the scenes from people like Robert Dempsey, Dave Thomas and Chad Fowler, and a pretty large panel who will help choose the winner. Dave Thomas has suggested that the Pragmatic Programmers will even pay for trophies! The winners (of which there will be six - in various categories) will be announced at a Rails conference Ruby Central and O'Reilly are putting on in the US in late May called Railsconf 2008.
Certainly don't vote for Ruby Inside (or me) as it will be a wasted vote. Firstly, I'm on the panel, so it wouldn't be right, but secondly, senior panel member Chad Fowler has stressed that he's only keen on "original, valuable content" rather than people behind "simple link blogs" and doesn't seem keen on "blogs with sponsorships" (which is, well, this one). I would like to give my own personal recommendations for nominations though, in case you're struggling for ideas:
Geoffrey Grosenbach (http://peepcode.com/) - Geoffrey is a hero amongst mere mortals in the Ruby and Rails communities. His publishing efforts with Peepcode and Nuby on Rails are incredible. Sure, he makes money at it, but he's inspired so many people and had a big part in promoting things like Rails 2.0 and Git.
Ryan Bates (http://railscasts.com/) - Ryan Bates is the publisher of Railscasts, a great free series of Rails related screencasts. Even though he has sponsors, it's not a blog, and it's very original and educational, so he certainly deserves plenty of nominations.
James Britt (http://ruby-doc.org/) - The work that James Britt has done for documentation for the Ruby community is beyond compare. For many years he has maintained the Ruby-Doc.org site we've all used at one time or another and been a familiar face on the various Ruby mailing lists. While rarely updated and primarily based on the work of others, Britt's site is a cornerstone of the Ruby documentation community and he deserves credit for keeping it available. He also maintains a really cool Cafepress shop where you can buy a ridiculous amount of Ruby-themed mugs, steins, stickers, t-shirts and tanktops.
Good luck to whoever wins! It will, of course, be reported here on Ruby Inside for those who can't make it to the Railsconf conference.