More Clarifications on the MVP Program

I had a very interesting chat today with one of the most important people - one MVP on the direction of the MVP Program in India.
I reproduce in a "scrubbed" manner some of the intersting things we discussed:

1) Nomination Forms in Infopath ... ? how will that work. in India hardly anyone has InfoPath ... or you are expecting someone will download the demo to file his nomination ? you can create a ASP.NET webform that can utilize the same backend ... for ppl who want to submit it online..

My answer:
there is a SP1 that is available for download for free on infopath. people can download the same. it is a fully functional standalone download of 135MB :) (functional till July when it expires). that means that even if you don't have Office installed on your machine, Infopath would install without any hitch.
infopath is meant for scenarios like filling forms etc and hence it makes sense to convert our forms to infopath. later in time we will directly connect the form to the backend and nominations would be automated..
infopath is a rich client for filling out form based information and i like rich clients for the ease of use and amazing in-built functionality..

2) see most of the guys are on a crunch internet connection .... downloading something large is just too much pain !! you need to look at the usablity part for a country like India ... downloading InfoPath to fill 1 form .. will be too much..

My answer:
i agree with you on the bandwidth issues.... we are not looking at "people".. we are looking at MVPs... and the form goes out to around 20 in a quarter..
we actually plan to ship Eval copies to people who don't have Infopath. rather ones who can't download the same.. to those select prospective 20 MVPs in a quarter.

Addendum: it would do both ... let you use infopath ... and let the evals sent to ppl who could test the functionality of this new tool

3) isn't that to nominate NEW MVP's ? or its a renomination of existing MVP's ??

My answer:
For both. New MVPs as well as for re-nomination. for old MVPs, they already have MSDN subscriptions and hence should not face any problem.

4) "Another feature this time is that the nomination will be concentrating on more experienced people who have made the Indian Programming landscape noticeable in the world." - can you throw some more light on this ? i am really interested to find out where this whole program is going ...

My answer:
you would see more diversified set of people coming in now. people with experience and community drive... on more experienced people, we mean people whom industry respects.. the community activities remaining the MAIN focus.. that is where this thing is headed.. internally people have to associate MVP program to experienced industry people.. and externally, the voice of MVPs need to be heard at quarters where it is not heard currently..

people will realise the voices of MVP's are stronger ... its already started in Redmond ... i have been interacting with a lot of PM's etc ... and they respond back .. quite nicely .... since they have realised the power of the MVP Program.. the situation is only different in India ... where, most MS guys we interact with ... are no dev people but from support teams (PSS).. hence .. they only know / hear a few WELL KNOWN people ...

5) the last thing i want to happen in this program is that MVP's start to feel neglected ... since they will never get heard.. only the powerful few will get heard. .. you yourself said that experienced people will get the program more accepted and ppl will hear ... and we know ppl will hear them .... and only them .. .. which may or may not be the view of all MVP's !! people don't treat everyone the same ... its not just Human.

My Response:
don't worry about the "powerful" part.. an MVP is an MVP is an MVP.. there is no tiering within MVPs.. i said that important people in industry will hear from the experienced people.. within the program, all are same...
in community, powerful is not one who is experienced but one whose ideas are respected and honoured.. these guys are leaders by virtue of their thought leadership and anyone who generates them is powerful and experienced..
don't you want urself recognised at every location that you go to... without having to explain what is MVP ?

6) very famous people like Richard Grimes, Scoble (was) were MVP's.. and many more on the IT Pro side too.. when someone says MVP .. there are Offices which say .. WHO MVP's? so my point is ... big names being a part of the MVP Program does NOT essentially make the program famous.. my personal thoughts are .. that even if well known personalities join the program.. the program will not get as much attention..

My answer:
Current MVPs are the eyes and ears of the program.. if you know some prospective MVP please let me know...
the work that one does should automatically get one noticed and respected.. if we are facing that problem in india it means 2 things:
a. people are blind to contributions
b. we are not contributing enough or contributing correctly

i would tend to take the latter opinion as we really can't do much with the former :)
well known personalities are there, as they have done something good and worthwhile.. they have reputation 'cause people have seen value in them and their contributions.. they are leaders by virtue of people who believe in them..
if they are there to work with MVPs everyone gets benefitted..

7) i think in the Goa meet we should come up with activites that MVP's can do to make ourselves famous.. discuss community activites like Projects, Books etc ... that makes the program famous ... and one good project .. or book.. and everyone knows about it

My Response:
That's why we are meeting.. more at the "India Advocates Day" in Goa..

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.


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