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Archive for the ‘Forums’ Category

The Power of Communities

I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for some time now and I finally got the chance to do it. It’s gonna be smaller than it was supposed to be so allow me to start with this and I will continue with some other posts moving forward.

I’d like to tell you a little bit about my experience in working with the “Influencers” and give you some tips on how you can leverage the same ideas.

I’ve been working with them for several years now, meeting them online through various social media channels (Twitter mostly, but also Facebook and LinkedIn) and offline during events and meetups and I gotta say it completely changed my vision of the business as a whole. Call them contributors, speakers, online gurus, experts, those people not only changed the way marketing efforts are conducted, but they also positively changed my life. There is one common denominator for all these people: PASSION. And I do believe that, without passion, it’s hard to achieve amazing things, in every job and every role you cover. The Passion you feel by mingling with them and talking with them, you can feel it, it energizes you and makes you feel you are part of a bigger whole. It all comes down with amazing people doing their best to be part of this “bigger whole”. Because they believe in it, because they are curious and hungry for learning, because they love to share their expertise and experiences with others, because they care. Yes, that’s right, they care, they don’t do it because they have to……

If you’re still interested, read more here..

A glimpse of the future !

I had some great holidays during this summer, up in the mountains.

And I deliberately chose not to bring my laptop with me so not to be tempted to work. Anyway I used my Windows Phone to check my emails: not on a regular basis but at least to check the most important stuff that was going on. I wanted to take out job stuff from my vacations but I couldn’t resist. Every year I bring my laptop with me mostly for the candidates’ reviews (to see if everything was working the way I was expecting to).

So that was my first lesson: never leave my laptop @ home.

Because after I came back, I switched it on only to realize that the hard disk was broken. Oh my, I was so disappointed, especially because I was not so sure that I backed everything up.

With all the cloud services we now have at our disposal, none of them had all the stuff (at least the recent one) I was supposed to reinstall on my laptop. Fortunately, I made a backup on May, 2011 on my external hard disk so not everything was lost. Also, SkyDrive and Windows Live Mesh did help me in recovering some of the most important files I had.

Having said that, it was not over…

I ordered a new hard disk from HP (thanks to the local IT for the big help!) but it took about a week to have it. In the meantime, my smartcard was not working. Bummer !

As you may know, in order to have Direct Access on Windows 7 working, you have to use BitLocker and then use your smartcard to enable the corpnet access.

So I was lost…

Not to mention I got flu that took me @ home for almost a week.

So I went to the local IT and ordered a new one but it takes some time.

Long story short: I have my laptop (which is great), I recovered most of the files (even better) but I still need my smartcard. Well, close enough, I’m @ 80% I’d say…

Back to us,

during the hiking time back to the mountains I had some time to think about all the activities and top stories and the great collaborations with all the Countries I have the pleasure to represent as the Community Program Manager for the MVP Award Program. I guess everyone does that: when you have time and you’re relaxed, it’s much easier to build your last year’s history. Even better, you have a lot of creativity and lots of ideas that you want to put into action.

So, apart from being stuck right after my holidays, I’m SO READY to start the new (fiscal) year!

And you know what? There are a lot of things happening and planned to happen in the next 90 days. Lots of events, lots of engagements and of course the Microsoft and the 3rd party forums are still running and they get healthier.

You know I’m addicted to the social media and, to me, it’s the best way to monitor what is going on in the communities. As I represent 20 Countries, it’s not that easy to track everything you want to but at least you got what I need.

Also, I found a new way to use my Windows Phone more effectively: basically I created groups in which there are people (aka Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn accounts) that I want to monitor. In that way, and when you don’t have much time to use a PC client, I was able to get the most important things, at least important for me and the Communities.

So from an offline perspective, here is what is going to happen in the next 90 days (again, this is not a comprehensive list):

Mobility Day – Zagreb, Croatia (September 21st)

mobilityday

SQL TUNEIN – Zagreb, Croatia (September 26, 27)

SQLTuneIN

Bleeding Edge 2011 – Gozd Martuljek, Slovenia (September 29th, 30th)

Bleeding Edge

DevReach – Sofia, Bulgaria (October17-18)

DevReach

Microsoft TechDay 2011 Baltic Region (October 18th till 20th)

Estonian page contains links to TechDay Lithuania & TechDay Latvia as well

TechDay Baltics

Microsoft Technology Summit – Warsaw, Poland (October 18-19)

MTS

Sinergija – Belgrade, Serbia (October 18-20th)

Sinergija11

Microsoft Vizija – Skopje Macedonia F.Y.R.O. (October 20-21)

Vizija

Virtualization Conference 2011 – Milan, Italy (November, 16-17)

Virtualization Conference

Windows Professional Conference – Milan, Italy (November 22-24)

WPC

Microsoft Fest 2011 – Prague, Czech Republic (November 26-27)

MSFest2011

ITPro-Dev Connections 2011 – Athens, Greece (November 26-27)

ItproDevcon2011

As you can see many events (or I should say at least some of the most important ones) are happening in the Region, with a strong Microsoft MVP participation, whether the MVPs will be speakers or Ask The Expert. These are events that are community-driven and/or Microsoft-driven with the help of the Communities and I guess it’s a great opportunity for all the community members to stop by to some of these events and have a chance to talk with them about Microsoft technology.

And bear with me if I missed some events: feel free to comment on this post and let me know (I’m still digging around to see what’s going to happen and also starting to have conference calls and Live Meetings with my colleagues in the Region but of course it takes time so any help would be much appreciated!)

Of course I didn’t forget about the MVP candidates’ review, which is, as a matter of fact, the first thing I want & need to make sure it’s okay. So expect a blog post, as always, the 1st of October, late in the day, to see new names/new faces and great community contributors being awarded as part of this exciting community which is the MVP Award Program.

 

So, putting aside all the issues I had after my holidays’ return, I’m VERY VERY excited to start a new year with a lot of activities being so confident that the communities and the Microsoft MVPs will have a big part on the new wave of Microsoft Products and a strong impact on the future of Microsoft Technologies moving forward.

And you know what? I want to be part of it too !! :)

Windows 7 & Facebook

This blog title is voluntarily cryptic or, better, does not explain that much. But, as I said, that’s the way it should be…

Microsoft Poland created a Windows 7 Facebook FanPage where customers and end users can give their opinions/comment on specific topics. Sort of a social forum. I’m sure you know Facebook that well to understand what that means…

In details, they created this page to support Windows 7 customers and let people know of the great potential of this OS.

Now, with the great help of MVPs Paula Januszkiewicz, Grzegorz Tworek and Lukasz Foks, customers have a ”full service package” they can rely on.

With their dedication and help, acting side by side with the Subsidiary, the Page got an astonishing 52.268 likes (as of today) and more than 300 comments in less than 4 months!

windows & facebook

I love to share these “best practices”: please keep ‘em coming ! :)

Link to: Windows Polska | Facebook

Microsoft Community Contributor Award 2011

Starting in early November, Microsoft will begin the progressive introduction of the Microsoft Community Contributor Award.

What it is? The Microsoft Community Contributor Award seeks to recognize notable contributors to Microsoft online community forums: TechNet, MSDN® and Answers in areas such as: moderation, content, translation/localization and feedback.

The value of these resources is greatly enhanced by participants who voluntarily contribute their time and energy to improve the online community experience for others. Awardees will receive a customized certificate, program award logo kit with the award year, and a complimentary online technical resource aimed to provide a way for forum participants to stay abreast of technology information. So this “early” Program is focused on the online space only

MCC

What’s the difference between the MVP Award Program?

The MVP Award Program has evolved over the years: it’s not online focus only, it includes other community activities (like doing webcasts, technical articles, forum posts, 3rd party forum posts, technical speeches: in short, the 1:many relationship that MVP can provide through his/her technical skills and his/her passion for helping communities at large). So yes, it can include activities like the ones mentioned above but not only.

Additional information about the Microsoft Community Contributor Award program can be found at http://www.microsoftcommunitycontributor.com !

A little update on Social Forums

I’ve been very busy during the last couple of months and I was pushing myself trying to find some time to “revitalize” my blog.

So here we are, back on track, with some new information regarding the Forums.

I already talked about it on one of my previous posts and I would like to share with you some of the updates and new stuff already in place (mostly for the EMEA Region).

TechNet (basically for ITPROs and System Administrators)

Country

TechNet (ITPROs)

Czech

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/cs-CZ/categories

Danish

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/da-DK/categories

Dutch

not yet available

English

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/categories

French

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/fr-FR/categories

German

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/de-DE/categories

Italian

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/it-it/categories

Polish

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/pl-PL/categories

Portuguese

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/pt-BR/categories

Romanian

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/ro-RO/categories

Spanish

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/es-ES/categories

MSDN (for Developers)

Country

MSDN (Developers)

Czech

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/cs-CZ/categories

Danish

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/da-DK/categories

Dutch

not yet available

English

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/categories

French

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/fr-FR/categories

German

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/de-DE/categories

Italian

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/it-IT/categories

Polish

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/pl-PL/categories

Portuguese

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/pt-BR/categories

Romanian

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/ro-RO/categories

Spanish

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/es-ES/categories

 

Microsoft Answers (for consumers: Windows, Microsoft Office & other related products)

Country

MS Answers (Consumer)

Chinese Simplified

http://answers.microsoft.com/zh-CN/

Czech

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/cs-CZ/category/answerscscz

Danish

not yet available

Dutch

http://answers.microsoft.com/nl-NL/

English

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/

French

http://answers.microsoft.com/fr-FR/

German

http://answers.microsoft.com/de-DE/

Hungarian

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/hu-hu/category/answershuhu

Italian

http://answers.microsoft.com/it-it/

Polish

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/pl-pl/category/answersplpl

Portuguese

http://answers.microsoft.com/pt-BR/

Russian

http://answers.microsoft.com/ru-RU/

Spanish

http://answers.microsoft.com/es-ES/

 

You may want to know that you can access the forums not only through the web interface, but also using some of the tools available online. Basically all you need to have is an NNTP Bridge (links below) and a Newsreader (like Windows Live Mail for example):

Download the NNTP Bridge or download the Community Bridge (made by MVP Jochen Kalmbach: btw great job Jochen !)

 

And it’s very easy to get in there: all you need to have is a Windows Live ID and then you can start searching for the relevant forums you want to follow and start interacting with other users and Microsoft MVPs.

Happy Posting ! Smile