Archive

Archive for 01/12/2010

How to become an MVP

This is something it has been asked so many times I can’t even count and, thanks to a community contributor who suggested this to me, I decided to make some clarifications around that.

As you may know, the MVP Award Program is an Award for your past community contributions. But what does this mean exactly?

– In short: all the 1:many community activities you may have done in the past. It could be speeches, blog posts, conferences, webcasts/screencasts, forum posts, written technical articles, books and so forth. Again, what is important here is the one –> many relationship. Replying to e-mails from a technical standpoint is a 1:1 relationship, even if you replies to tons to them. So, if you get a lot of them, why don’t you tell the person requesting a technical solution to go to the forums (wherever they are hosted) and ask the community? Because doing so will help other people solving the same issue.

– Back to the Program: it’s about a specific Product. You can do a lot of things, from a community standpoint, and touch a lot of products but think about it: how can you be an “expert” of multiple products and technologies? Tough to answer and tough to evaluate too… – It’s a balance between quantity and quality. I always remember a SQL MVP who once compared some forum posts made by one MVP between the forum posts made by another SQL MVP. The first one replied to almost 1.500 questions. The other one replied to 400 questions (almost). So basically the difference here is that the first one was giving a lot of resources’ links and other links to solve issues while the first one was writing his replies as they were technical articles. Every single one of them. Both of them were (and are) great MVPs.

– It’s about giving feedback. How many times are you giving useful feedback on specific Microsoft Products? How many beta products are you testing? This is another important pillar to make note of. And here are some questions you may have in your head right now: – Does it last forever? No, it’s a 1 year Award and it is re-evaluated each year.

– Do I need to know anyone to be included in this group of individuals? No.

– Is it a lobby? Not at all. Ask me, ask some MVPs if you know any, write me and I’ll give you more details on how it’s a totally different thing. Yes, if you know MVPs you’ll probably get some insights about the Program. And yes, if you are collaborating with a Microsoft Subsidiary will help too. But it’s not mandatory, please bear in mind this.

– So if I don’t know anyone, how can I reach this important goal (of, of course, if it’s is important to you)? You can write to mvpga@microsoft.com to ask and be a potential nomination and also to be a referral for another potential nominee, including: name, technical area of expertise and some examples of his/her community activities. You can also write me and/or you can ask other MVPs to contact me as well. Easy as it is. So, to summarize, the MVP Award Program recognizes community individuals who share their technical knowledge, on a specific Microsoft Product, online and offline. Last but not least, there’s one more thing to mention and I’ll never give up on saying this to anyone who’s involved in a User Group or a community website or whatever the community is located.

– The MVP Award Program is about Passion. You can change your job, you can change your Country for business reasons, you can be married and have kids but you won’t change your passion. And that’s a fact. You can probably lose it, and that may happen. But the Passion? I consider it to be the “Most Valuable Value” of the Program. Now it’s your turn: are you willing to get involved and be engaged ?! :)

Sinergija 10 & more !

I took some time this morning to recap on the recent event in which I had the pleasure to participate. It was in Belgrade, Serbia, and I already talked about the previous one in this post.

Sinergija is one of the most important event in the Balkans, together with some other events. ITPros and Developers had the chance to interact with each other and meet a lot of Microsoft folks and international speakers sharing their experiences on Microsoft products.

Also, this year Sinergija was at it 10th anniversary, which made the event even more important.

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My colleague and friend Borko Kovacevic wrote some notes regarding the event which I guess it’s nice to share with you. Sinergija 10 gathered more than 1500 people on each of five days of the conference, and more than 3000 people on all Sinergija related events!

Some numbers:

5 days

150 technical presentations

30 business presentations

30 conference partner

1500 people on Technical Conference

700 people on Business Summits

150 speakers

80 IT Influencers from all over CEE

100 Press Representatives

150 Sinergija staff members

120 MS employees

1.500 people on Sinergija Party

1000 visitors of gaming and EXPO events per day

I specifically highlighted the Influencer n° as, together with the CEE HQ, we organized an Influencer Summit inside the event, where MVPs, Regional Directors, Student Partners and “Influencers” could meet and interact with us for a full day.

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There were a lot of people who I personally met during other events and I have to tell how much I appreciated all the discussions and talks with them, representing almost 15 Countries in Central and Eastern Europe. MVPs from Estonia, Latvia, Russia, Poland, Croatia, Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.), Bosnia, Bulgaria, Romania, I can’t even mention all the people that was there. We also had Tomislav Bronzin (Vice President INETA Europe) and Bernardin Katic (Director at Large) who represented INETA Europe and GITCA who were available for discussing community and User Group issues and requests. Even the local General Manager from Microsoft Serbia came and make a short speech during our event which I think was fantastic !

In the evening, the organizers gathered speakers and Influencers for a dinner on a boat. We had a bus talking us from the hotel to the restaurant and the venue was really super ! We had the chance to talk about different topics but, fore and foremost, having all these Countries represented for me was a great experience (it’s always is).

There are several anecdotes I would like to share: on a personal note, I really appreciated the chat I had with MVP Bojan Jovicic about social skills (thank you for your advices !!)

And I’d also like to ad we had a great time talking about communities with Valdis Iljuconoks (nominated as the Official CEE MVP Photographer Smile) and Maciej Pilecki !

There are several pieces of experiences I grab with myself after the event. One in particular, which is nothing new but worth to mention is:

“Strategies are important, but without relationships they are gonna fail”

See you soon ! Smile