Report from UC and Cloud Day 2017 – Community Leadership and the MVP Award Program with Claire Smyth (Microsoft)

These reports are via live reports from Mark Vale.  The full video is available below.

Three65 LIVE From UCDay 2017

If you prefer to read you can continue below.

If you are thinking of starting to contribute to the community, or perhaps you are a regular contributor already, did you know that Microsoft rewards top contributors like yourself? Watch this session with Claire Smyth, Microsoft MVP Regional Manager for the UK as we discuss how Microsoft reward and support your involvement through the MVP recognition program and other programs that are out there to support you.


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Mark Vale is host.


Claire Smyth, MVP Lead in the UK.


Steve Goodman, MVP, from Content and Code.


M: What is MVP Program?


C: Recognizing outstanding community contributors.  Forums, meetups, events.  Microsoft wants to offer thank you and recognition.


M: How many in UK?


C: 160.  900000 total IT pros + 300k developers.


M: being MVPs, what value do you get?


S: Office 365 tenant.  You don’t do it for the benefits.  It’s nice to have recognition for doing the work.


S: Networking side.  Meet people we wouldn’t normally meet.  Office and Azure stack.  Have people to reach out to.  Get involved in something they might be doing.


M: How many categories?


C: lists all.  No consumer activity awards.


M: Do we have to focus on a particular area?


C: A broad spectrum of experience is important.  There will be an area where you place more emphasis.


M: What does MS get back?

C: 160 MVPs in UK.  Some speaking, some blogging, answering questions on forums.  Equates to millions of people reached.


M: How do you become?


S: to Mark, you were very well known before being an MVP.  People have been doing for a long time and have built a following become MVPs.  It’s not who they are.  You’ve got to be seen to the community as proving value.


First time I met Andy at .  Saw at the user groups.  Wanted to give something back.


A: Have been for 4 years.  Was doing user groups.  Started doing a lot of events.  Wasn’t well known at the time.  Building a brand.


S: Have to want to help people and make a difference.


M: In terms of nomination.  Anyone can be nominated and you can nominate yourself?  Weight given to nominating yourself versus others?


C: If you’re doing great work in the community, you should put yourself forward.  If you’re working with someone who is an outstanding community resource, be proactive and nominate them.


M: Submit nomination.  What goes on in background and how long does it take?


C: Look at and scrutinize.  Talk to people at Microsoft and in community.  Work hard to make sure community contribution is true.  Need to validate.


C: You need to be a great technical expert.  When we scrutinize your posts we’re going to see that.


M: How do you decide what’s a great blog post?


C: What is the feedback.  We have an army of technical resources in the MVP program.


M: What is the right thing to do?


C: Get involved.  Do not be afraid.  Network with those doing same work in your aware.  Do speaking.  There are people you may not know about.


S: Great first step.  User groups want people to come and speak.  Want new people instead of the same every time.  Just have your own take.  You don’t have to be the world leader.  Ask someone to speak alongside.  First place I spoke with Office 365 user group.  Spoke at conference in Las Vegas.  Spoke at TechEd, Ignite.  Took a lot of guts to speak the first time.


S: Many people are happy to talk to customers.


M: When you’re in a room with audience knows more.


S: You don’t always have to be right.  You can learn from each other.  Just because I’m MVP doesn’t mean I know more than everyone about everything.


Tom Morgan did a session.  I guy asking complicating questions throughout the session.  Tom asked him later to speak and he wasn’t comfortable.


C: Speaking at user groups and meetups are fantastic.  Blogging, forums, social media, podcasts, tweeting.  All this adds up.


Go  Search, find an MVP.  Find a lot of UK MVPs.  Contact them to mentor you.


M: Program before I joined


C: I work with community leaders equally.  Doesn’t make them less of a community leader.


M: I started with blog posts.  Didn’t set out to do it.


C: That’s the right way.  Every 12 months.  Look at last 12 months of activity.  Evaluate 10-11 months later.  If community levels aren’t maintained, will retire.


M: Can also help at community events.  Subway vouchers.


C: It is expensive to run events.  Where to hold, who will speak, how will you pay for catering.


A community leader has created a directory.  Lookup Microsoft employees, have Subway sandwiches paid for up to 50 people.  If you have a large conference you think MS should be involved in, contact.

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