Problems in the MVP world?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/02/03 11:30 -05:00, original URI:

I have to admit I am troubled by this article. It does mirror some of my thoughts about parts of the program these days. It is definitely not the program from back when I was an MVP in the mid-90's....

I do know from personal experience that our two 'international' MVPs don't have this problem and their recruitment was done based on their active community work, newsgroup posts, and accurate/useful answers.

And I also know of a few other islands of MVP correctness out there, some of whom I met at the last MVP Summit, for both Shell and MS Access.

I hope it is not as widespread of a badness as the article is claiming, though....


(via Mike Gunderloy)

# Alun Jones on 3 Feb 2006 12:46 PM:

As I perceive it, the problem is one that's rather simple to sum up, but rather difficult to solve:

To become an MVP, you first have to be noticed by the people at Microsoft. The only way to do this is to post a LOT, or to somehow build a personal relationship with someone who can recommend you. It's easier to simply post a lot.

You also have to post (or build some other kind of presence) where Microsoft is looking. Maybe you write (or edit) lots of books, and next time an MVP lead goes looking at the Barnes and Noble, he'll pick up on your name. Maybe you post to the MSDN managed newsgroups, because they are watched by MS employees - but not alt.winsock.programming, because Microsoft employees generally don't access newsgroups outside of microsoft.*.

Note that getting yourself noticed does not necessarily require quality, or the ability to pick the hard questions and leave the easy questions to others to answer.

Getting yourself accepted, once you are noticed, requires that you exceed the quality of others who are noticed.

Full disclosure requires me to state that I have been an MVP - in 2004 and 2005, but was "disqualified" when I became an MS employee. Now that I'm not an MS employee, I'm hoping - but not trying - to become an MVP again. I think that's the distinction between the great MVPs - who are the core of the MVP programme, and the ones who come back again and again - and the not-so-great MVPs, who are the fringe of the MVP programme, who are still a great help in the MS community, but don't stick around. The great MVPs are awarded for stuff they'd be doing anyway.

# Alun Jones on 3 Feb 2006 1:04 PM:

Man, I wish blogs would tell you whether you're expected to type in text or HTML. Then my comments would have line-breaks in them once in a while.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 4 Feb 2006 11:59 AM:

Ah, see for more info on the problems with comments at the moment....

# Michael S. Kaplan on 4 Feb 2006 12:47 PM:

"Man, I wish blogs would tell you whether you're expected to type in text or HTML. "

Ok, your wish has been granted. Info on this is now put right where comments are entered. :-)

# Pavanaja U B on 6 Feb 2006 5:47 AM:

"international MVP"? Is ther such a category? I would love to have one. I have been awarded as MVP under Windows Shell/User category. Actually I am specialized in Indic computing.


# Michael S. Kaplan on 6 Feb 2006 10:11 AM:

The two MVPS in question are listed as Platform SDK MVP, but they got their stripes on the merit of the international postings....

The number of MVPs who are involved with the program throughout the world is obviously much greater than just those two, but these two are the ones that the GIFT team has direct contact with.....

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