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Make a good use of Social Media

A lot has been said about Social Media, Web 2.0 and all the other keywords you can think of. A lot of people, as we said, are in there, participating. And a lot of people are talking about it. But still, there’s a lot more to say about it. There is a huge potential for us in the IT Industry (and not only) to strengthen our presence in the social media environment.

Why I need to care about that? Well, first of all because everyone is in there (remember that statement “Everyone is on Facebook”?). So it’s like being in the middle of a professional and personal gathering and hiding yourself. Or, it’s like being there, chit chatting and that’s it.

Is that a good use of your time? Are you getting the most out of that “social gathering” or are you just participating?

Participating is the first step to gain credibility. But it’s the first one. What drives you, your credibility and, in the end, your reputation, is your Content, the Content you provide.

Remember that Magazine Cover, 2007?

You

It’s all about People and, most of all, it’s all about the content your provide.

Sharing is something I learnt from the Microsoft MVPs: it’s the basics to become an MVP. Of course it’s not enough but it’s the Passion inside yourself that makes you share content because you want to, because you know you’ll get something back (feedback, comments, reputation, etc), because you know you’ll learn as long as you actively participate.

Now, imagine millions and millions of people talking, sharing, commenting, liking, tweeting, posting etcetera.

crowd

Are you following the right content in order to learn, to increase your knowledge? Are you tagging the content properly? Ask yourself these basic questions, check the tools you are using to “index” somehow this huge flow of information. This is the first step to make a good use of Social Media. But there’s more..

I want to go social

When I travel for business I have the opportunity to meet a lot of people. And several times I hear this “request” from them, something they’re willing to do but they don’t know where to start.

I have good news for you: you’re already part of it ! We are social beings, live in a social World and evidently we need to be social. Adapting to environments during the course of the various eras was inevitably for us human creatures. And part of this “adaptation” included the fact that we had to interact with other creatures of the same seed. We had to, in order to exchange goods, support each other, build something together, etcetera.

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So now what changed? Internet changed the lives of all of us. We started timidly but we are stronger now :) What is that supposed to mean? In the past we were simply surfing the web, plain and simple. In fact, we used “browsers” to browse the Internet pages. Now we are all part of an ecosystem and, believe it or not, we make decisions and say something that affects several other people (I delivered a session few days ago about it and you can grab the slides from my latest post).

So, back to the question: You want to go social? You’re already social, the question you need to ask yourself is: What’s my Brand reputation in this Social environment?

Categories: Branding, Social Media

WPC 2012: my personal summary (and slides)

I recently had the chance to participate to the latest WPC 2012 (local Windows Professional Conference) in Milano, Italy.

It was a terrific event: 27 Microsoft MVPs as speakers, an Ask The Expert Booth with +12 MVPs (+ a lot of friends and other Influencers) covering different technologies, together with the Microsoft Technical Support. Hundreds of technical sessions, giving full coverage of almost all the Microsoft Products and Technologies.

It was a great success in terms of Reach, Awareness and Support. Reach: almost 400 attendees, from ITPros to Developers to Consumers. More than 300 tweets around the Conference (#wpcit12).

In terms of awareness, the Microsoft MVP Award was highly valued during the conference: some minutes spent during the Keynote talking about it, the #Branding was everywhere, and MVPs often were wearing t-shirts with the MVP Logo on it. Recognition was another big part of it.

Just FYI, during the ATE the MVPs had around 250 technical discussions with the attendees. Divided per technology each day, attendees had the chance to interact not only with the speakers @ the Booth, but also with the other MVPs who voluntarily agreed to be part of the Conference supporting the attendees.

DSC_0238 DSC_0585

So now you know the MVP Award was a big part of it. But what about the rest of it?

Well, I also delivered a session on #SocialMedia called “Social Media in the IT World” and I have to say it was really interesting for the attendees. It was Different, not the kind of presentation you normally expect during a technical event. It was Relevant, according to the numbers of feedback and questions I gathered after my session. And for me it was fun too!

Understanding that many people still don’t understand the Power of the Social Media, the World of Mouth, the “Unmarketing” concept, Crowdsourcing, Personal #Branding and many others was kind of unexpected. So that is probably why my session was really valuable for the attendees.

I share my slides here, in a pure community spirit (as the MVPs taught me :)), hoping that someone else will benefit from that:

I did not have the chance to show how I use my Windows Phone to “unleash” the Power of the Communities, but I’m sure I’ll have time to do that in my next talk.

And, by the way, we also had the chance to have some fun (in a pure community spirit :)):

DSC_0495 DSC_0574

I need to thank a lot of people for a very successful event:

First and foremost, Barbara Palumbo, the “Puppet Master”, for his energy, proactive approach, driving the #wpcit12 team to Excellence. Claudio Salano, “The Boss” for having me @ the Conference. Nino Crudele, “Grinch” and #BizTalk Expert, for his tremendous valuable tips & tricks. And all others, all the MVPs, the Influencers, all the People I had the pleasure to meet for the first time, etc.

THANK YOU everyone for this wonderful experience !

Microsoft MVP Award – January 2012 !

It has been an incredible year, full of events and activities embracing new technology directions which will impact us in the future. Well, it has an impact on a lot of us already, if you think about Windows Phone and the social media integration as a well as the XBOX gaming gaming experience. Some people like it, some people don’t but you have to admit it’s a step further compared to a “normal” Smartphone experience.

Ok, ok, next blog post I’m gonna talk about that, not on this one :). Aren’t you a little curious to see who got the MVP Award this cycle? It’s always a pleasure for me to Welcome new people as exceptional community Leaders, online and/or offline. I’m not saying they were not Leaders and strong community-oriented guys before the Award, I’m just saying I’m truly honored when I award people like that and I’m more when I have the chance to meet them.

mvp_horizontal_fullcolor

So here is the list, freshen up & ready for the 2012 Year (sorted by name):

MVP Technical Expertise Country
Adis Jugo SharePoint Server Bosnia-Herzegovina
Boris Ulik Enterprise Security Slovakia
Drahoslav Dvorak Project Czech Republic
Gabriel Enea ASP.NET/IIS Romania
Hrvoje Hudoletnjak ASP.NET/IIS Croatia
Maciej Grabek Windows Phone Development Poland
Mihai Nadas Windows Azure Romania
Nenad Trajkovski Project Croatia
Sebastian Wilczewski Project Poland
Slaven Sola SQL Server Croatia

(this is related to the Region I represent, which is CEE & Italy, excluding Russia and CIS Countries).

A BIG CONGRATS to you guys MVPs and of course to the ones that have been re-Awarded. And being re-Awarded is tough as well so don’t you think MVPs take it for granted. The MVP Award lasts 12 months and everybody are treated as normal candidates so I totally understand the excitement (and sometimes the pain :)) to wait for an email saying that you’ve been Awarded again.

That said, I sincerely want to wish you a very Happy New Year and, if took some time off, Happy Holidays ! I’ll be on holiday for a while but I’ll still be around (you’ll definitely find me on Twitter :)).

BTW, If you don’t know nothing about the MVP Award Program, please take some time to subscribe to our blog as you’ll find some interesting stories to read…

Also, did you notice my blog URL has changed? The RSS Feed has been automatically updated but I wanted to let you know anyway (some personal promotion doesn’t hurt :))

Enjoy your Award and Congratulations Again !

@alead

Working on my slides…

I took some time today to make some order on the stuff I have on my computer. As I mentioned in my recent post, I had a few (!!!) issues to solve and finally I got everything.

And this is right after last week’s meeting I had with my extraordinary Team (the EMEA MVP Lead Team): it was so great to meet my fellow teammates, talented people with a lot of great ideas.

So now I was working on some slides I’ll present during a CEE Internal Meeting here in Prague. These people gave me an exceptional chance to present some of the things we are going to do (with their help) and some of the Microsoft MVPs’ Achievements during the last Fiscal Year.

This is the right time to start challenging people, talk with them and mingle (yes, that’s the right word :)).

This is the perfect time to start, with a strategy in mind, all the activities we want to create, support and embrace in order to make the communities stronger and better.

Of course, as said, for me nothing is achievable without the help of the local subsidiaries: whether it’s a small Country or a big one, it’s necessary to talk face-to-face, start planning the activities and the conference calls in order to measure the status of all the different things we do. Or, I should say the MVPs do. They’re the KEY, the pillar and the main actors of our discussions. And the reputation they gained on the field, being the trusted advisors for many people, well, this helps a lot.

Apologize for the digression…

Starting to work on my slides, I realized the synonym of a Microsoft MVP is not easy to find. So I came up with this:

image

There are so many terms that can identify an MVP but this really depends on a case-by-case scenario, whether you’re an Early Adopter, a Trusted Advisor a distinguished speaker, etc…

But there’s one thing that is in common, and sorry but I’ll never stop saying this: Passion.

This is what differentiate us for doing a nice job in doing an excellent job, this is what defines you when you happen to have a conversation with people that are delusional on what they do (it happened to me just yesterday). And, no matter if you are an MVP, an MCC, or just an avid twitterer and enthusiast, this is your (OUR) key driver…

But I’m not done with it: as soon as I think about it and brainstorm myself, rest assured I’ll come up with many more ideas for my slides :).

Love my randomized tag Cloud !

This is a tag cloud based on my blog.

It is not based on my personal tags (in fact, most of them are not shown in it) but it relies on the word counting in all the blog posts I did.

tagcloud

(created with Wordle)

 

And this is my twitter cloud, created with Tagxedo

tag cloud twitter

Forthcoming MVP Chat… on Twitter !

If you are a Microsoft MVP, you probably already know about that.

if you follow me (or follow the Official MVP Twitter account), you know it too.

We are going to have the first MVP Official chat Twitter ! Yes, you heard it right !

twitter-mvp

It’s a kind of an experiment, as we usually do these chats privately. The reason why we did that (and we will probably keep on doing that) is that sometimes we collect feedback and share information we couldn’t do it publicly as of the Non Disclosure Agreement.

So, again, I think it’s a great idea because it’ll create a lot of buzz around the MVP Award Program and will enable a free flow of information and discussions.

When, you asked? April, the 28th 2011, @ 9 to 11 a.m. (Pacific Time) which will be around 18-19 if you live in Europe (depending if you are +1 or +2).

I very much like this new way of interactions. Of course you cannot do this for every single topic but most of the times, if something’s sharable, why not? I’m really supportive on sharing interesting stuff as everyone will benefit from that. So probably during the chat we are going to have people who will be “listening” because they are big fans of the MVPs, or just because they are curious; we could probably have people who complain, people who says they deserve to be awarded and plenty more. But, nevertheless I think it’s gonna work and, if it will, I’m sure there will be other “experiments” like that.

The World has changed and in every change there’s something’s good and bad (I would take the Usenet/Forum as an example). And you would be successful for your ability to change and adapt. That’s the only way, especially in this IT world where everything changes so fast (and I totally understand the “frustration” many people have to face. But it’s the nature of things…

Back to the topic: be sure to follow @mvpchat and the #mvpchat hashtag and enjoy !!