Has it been a year already? It must have because Packt Publishing (news, site)  is launching its annual Open Source Awards, formerly the Open Source CMS Awards, designed to recognize and support promising open source projects . This year’s awards will be very similar to the awards in previous years, but there are a few changes.

2011 Open Source Awards A Few New Twists

2011 is the sixth year for Packt to offer its support and recognition of the open source community. Packt has awarded over US$ 100,000.00 since the inception of the contest in 2006. This year the Open Source CMS award will remain the focal point of the contest, but will now include CMS competitors. The Hall of Fame CMS, which recognizes CMS's that previously won the award instead of allowing the same CMS to win repeatedly, has been eliminated.

In addition to this change, Packt is introducing three new categories to the awards:

  • Open Source Business Applications -- Replaces the E-Commerce category from 2010. This category Includes any open source application such as CRM, ERP or e-commerce that aids companies in meeting their commercial goals.
  • Open Source Multimedia Software -- Replaces the Open source Graphics Software category. The new award category includes all open source multimedia applications, not just graphics.
  • Open Source Mobile Software -- This completely new category will focus on software that helps with the development of mobile applications.

Last year’s new categories, the Most Promising Open Source Project Award, which recognizes open source projects less than two-years old, and the Open Source JavaScript Libraries Award are both returning for the 2011 awards, making a total of six categories.

Open Source Awards Process

As in previous years, the awards will occur in two stages -- public nominations and voting. The public (that’s you) can nominate their favorite projects in each category from August 1 to September 9. From September 19 to October 31, the public votes on the finalists, top five projects with the most nominations, in each category and these are combined with ratings from a panel of judges to determine the winners. Winners will be announced November 7.

The winner in each category will receive US$ 2,500.00, first runner up $1,000.00 and the second runner up $500.00 in addition to bragging rights -- that is until next year. Although Packt Publishing sponsors and manages the awards, they do not influence the finalists or winners in any way.

We will definitely be keeping our eyes on who takes home the prize this year.