Community Star Discussions and Future

In my continuing discussion with Community Stars across the country, I had a discussion today with Sadashiv. Though he works out of chennai and was here for a short trip, he found time today to discuss the opportunities for Community Star program to improve on.

Some of thoughts we generated out of the discussion are as follows:
1. Community Stars are disengaged 'cause of lack of communication with them from MS. Better communication channels need to be developed.
2. Award experience and delivery of the Community Star benefits leave a lot to be desired.
3. Community Stars feel that MS is not laying enough importance on Community Stars and do not value their contributions much. More information needs to flow to CSs.

From our end, we are doing the following:
1. Launch an extranet portal exclusively for Community Stars. We will host issue submission on this site. Also, we will share opportunities via this site e.g. beta opportunities
2. Re-launch the Community Star distribution list
3. Provide more guidance on activities that CS could be doing
4. Provide more information on benefits for CS
5. Hold more meetings with MS employees on technical topics
6. Hold Community Star webchats and provide opportunity to CSs for hosting expert sessions

On the 27th Sept. or before, we will be asking CSs to take a little survey on the CS Extranet Portal and validate their information. for all the people who do both, we will ship them a VS 2005 Beta CD. We will be pulling the information from the Community Star website.

We remain committed to Community Star program and are looking forward to increase the numbers of CSs in all spheres of technology domain like Windows XP users, Office Users, Network Administrators and Developers.

Got suggestions or ideas on how to improve the experience for our important advocates? Post a comment here.
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.


Raghu Boddu said…
I agree with you Abishek. Being a community star and participating in the communities are like two sides of the coin. Community stars should start participating in the UG meetings, and tech sessions, wherein they can learn something and at the same time can help other users also. Apart from the ideas that you have suggested, I would like to add some more point:

- The expertise of the community stars should be identified and should encourage more in sharing their expertise with the other CS.
- Encourage participation in the community forums.

Will ping you again with some more new ideas J

Anonymous said…
I work in ITES and very good in sharing the solutions and practices. I would like to know a better place to share my knowledge as a Community star. I only see more stress on software stuff :-(
Hi Abhishek,

*There can be a forum where all community stars can participate by posting questions and answers for the questions.
*And also MS can send updated information or news on technical products they are going to release.
If so, we can share within our colleagues, friends and our tech groups.
*More CS doesn't know many features in MS site. There may be some documentation or HOWTO messages to use that
*There can be monthly session where all can share knowledge within them.

Karthikeyan Muthurajan
Anonymous said…

As Karthikeyan suggested, a forum may be a good option, where CSs can provide answers for technical questions by other members and also share knowledge. I understand that there are several forums already existing in the web. But if we can have one for the CSs, that will provide a good platform for all of us to share knowledge and also to help others.

- Tony John
Ashish said…
I really agree that the programs like "Community Star" is an amazing break trough for researchers like me. The program actually grooms the interest in people to solve issues for others and share the information. The Discussion forum is really a very good idea. It works!!!
......Let have something specific and different also where you have options to chat with the person and the chat script can be saved.
Vadivel said…
I guess the Community stars already have a forum to discuss among themself! (

Best Regards
Hi Abhishek,

It was a long silence and we have broken this. It is a good idea to have a seperate discussion forums for community stars but it would still be better if everything goes through the User groups since all these efforts are to share the knowledge, it can happen through the same channel where everyone is equal and no one stops anyone to post their technical queries on the MSN groups and it is the best way where we can identify new people who have stuff with them and if we are going to seperate out groups like MVP/CS then it will not help identify new stars.
Rupreet Singh said…
Hi Abhishek,
Yup, those ideas are good. As someone said, CS's should be given some regular technical updates and more interaction with MS. Moreover relaunching CS List is also good....because it was kind of cut-off from the rest of CS. We didn't get to know who are the new CS and other things(or may be i was not keeping myself update :P)
Shamir said…
Looks like someone has sneaked into my mind & blogged my thoughts.

Bringing all CS's together, discussing, testing, evaluating beta prods, sharing knowledge etc., is an effort worth taking and I really love to see its success.

Waiting on Sep' 27
Shamir said…

Adding to the list,

Each CS can be given an email id that will be the primary mode of communication between CS's.

This is important 'cause emailids that are actively used by CS change as they swift companies (If they have given their company emailids for communication).

A friend of mine is already facing this prob. His updated details follow,

Name: Srikar kumar. B

If you can do something abt this, let us know.
Yes, like there should be site for CS and all its details can be published here along with the list of CS and their time of award etc. The site can have a discussion form, related informations etc. Also if possible MS can give link at thier site about this new site, so that everybody can access this site.
Sajay said…
There are quite a aspects that comm stars seem to lack compared to the MVP's.. basically lack of definition of technology domains.

I noticed in the last teched that topics like the compact framework were almost untouched. where as being interested in such things we should bring out sessions that target other areas also beside mainstream topics.

I agree like MVP's we could start up a something more official that lays out a foundation for comm stars to meet up on a regular basis.

More support from MS also in promoting their beta releases should be provided.. I had to attend tech ed to get the whidbey release and have been using that since then parallely .. all the comm stars should have already got this release is what i think . helping them to bring out things faster and in sync with the releases.

I guess meeting can be organized on a more frequest basis.. so that like a PDC we could have smaller discussion in like what happens in PDC. I know its far fetched .. but a small move towards that can help in getting the comm stars interested and kicking agian.

Meeya said…
Hey Abhishek,

Is it possible to expand accross to the small island Sri Lanka too ! I would love to help the CS program.

Ruwan Dissanayake
Anonymous said…
Abhishek, Very good initiative. Like the MVP meet will it be possible to start a community star meet once in 6 months, this will help CS to meet in person, share the experience and knowledge.

As you mentioned please work towards providing the beta opportunities ASAP to community stars.

Hari Prasad
Joydeep said…

I dont know but many of the CS may feel disconnected. May be we can arrange a meet initially and discuss all our thoughts and ideas which will help us function in a better and effective way. We can also plan our strategies to help the .NET Community in a better way.

I do appreciate your concern in bringing up this.

Thanks & Regards
Naveen K S said…
Hi Abhishesk..

Idea seems to be great of having a separate forum/web site etc for CS. In real sense CS should be also get (if not all) exposure as MVP's etc ..Beta's, journals, mailids, information about new beta testing, yearly/half-yearly meeting, research etc etc from Microsoft. Apart from this oppurunties for giving a talk during UG meetings, ExpertChat, automatic volunteership cosideration during TechEd's, DevDays etc etc

I feel having a separate website for CS would solve most of above problems and things would be more clear and in align with MVP lines...

CS like me are lost in crowd due to negligence.....

Let me know if I am worng some where

With Regards
Naveen K S
KanthaLakshmi said…
Hi Abhishek,
This is a great idea to have all CS under one forum which would reduce the lack of communication which is existing right now.
I suggest we all have regular meetings and discuss ways to improve the community objective.
This way all CS will feel their own importance for the community and will make them more active participants too.
Thanks and Regards
Ram said…
Hi All

Glad to hear that at last MS is bringing all CSs under one roof and also give access to some extranet portal. Aligning CS program in the lines of MVP program, will definitely add more value to the CS Program, help the CSs and also help MS to make the community dream a reality.

CSs can really contribute much more than what they are doing currently. It is just that they are not properly guided to do so.

Post 27 Sep, I feel, this should no more be problem.

A BIG THANKS to all those who are behind this.

Anonymous said…
Well buddys, being a community starts we should take the initiative to attend the UG meetings regularly. I feel this should be the first step towards acheiving something.

Then regarding creating a seperate portal for community starts, I don't think this is an best idea rather we can use the existing forum for it, as it is a matter of sharing experience it should be available to all irrespective of being an communicty star.

Providing beta versions for Community starts is a very good idea and will definately boost CS's.

Also there should be a way for updating the CS details as many in this field especialy shift their companies quite often, what has happenned with me now and I do not have the way of updating it in the user group.

Anonymous said…
Hi abhishek,

Its nice to see you acting very fast. However i got disconnected for the last three days.. Well, lets start the website for community stars and get connected.

With regards,

Sadha Sivam S,
Abhishek Kant said…
thanks everyone for the enthusiastic response on the community star program..
when we launch the site, will make sure that all the feedback gets reflected in our actions..
your responses have provided very valuable feedback on Community Star program..
would need your constant support and feedback to ensure that we are able to maintain the highest code of conduct and maintain our values of humility, expertise and helpfulness.
Hi, Acknowledging CS's with a VS CD is definitely a good move towards enusring a higher level of participation and dedication among the CS's but i and mostly everyone (hope so) feel that a MSDN kit will be very much useful in getting the CS's ever-ready in tech and commitment..

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
Arvind said…
Its really a good intiative. It will be great boost for community star to test and get hands on VS2005. I will also appreciate and request if other upcominf technology is also included like Modile, SmartPhone, BizTalk,MapPoint based application developement,and share the knowledge with rest world.

Arvind. Maheshwari
srini said…
Hi Abishek,
This looks really great :).
1.Launching a portal would bring together the community and if this site could host some updated info from MS like new releases, some interesting/useful tips etc this would be an excellent idea.
2.Guidance on the various activities that CSs could be doing would really be helpful. Particularly when people move onsite they cannot participate in the UG meets etc. There can other innumerable ways in which one can contribute to the community.
3.Interacting more with the MS tech team would be exciting. We can have the accurate info and can easily drop a query or two in case we are struck ;) or in desperate need of a suggestion.
Looking forward for the portal to launch
Anonymous said…
Hi Abishek

A separare extranet portal for Community Stars is a good idea. There should be a way for Community Stars to interact with MS people and gain knowledge on up coming technologies.

Anonymous said…
Hello Abhishek,
SOrry for posting quite late. well i give 100% Yes to your idea and agree with all other peers.
i cant write long as i again have to go but i think what we need is here to kick off is a COMMUNICATION PROCESS and should be followed there on.
Personaly i have experienced of not being in touch with other CS's since there is no chain. is not a official email from microsoft so there should be so many things to be in place but we can start by communicating on whats going on and what needs to be done.
Since you are on right place you can start with some updates, passdowns and then we can all start adding pieces to whole cake!
gotta go now dear but i would like to contribute in any possble way....
Good day to all,
Anonymous said…
Hi Abhishek,

This program is a real good one.This gave me an oppurtunity to serve the user community in a better by participating in Core meetings and drive the community.
Points mentioned in the action items will gel all the CS members and can share ideas more easily.

Shri said…
Quite a lot has been already suggested. We should get together for action now. So, all of us need to be present for UG or wait for Abhishek to fix a venue and get going.
Hi Abhishek
Niceto here that MS is developing communication channel for MSCSs.
The CSs are lagging behind in developing more communication skill.
They need a good support in building a communication and presentation skills.
Like Blogging,writing technical articles…
Encourage CSs to participate in variuos community activities.
Like Forums,seminars…
Let them know what are the benefits they can enjoy being a CS.
How to Develop them self to next level i.e., MVP :)

The List goes on…

I am very happy to see that MS is recognising the CSs and concentrating on them.

Hi Abhishek
Nice to here that MS is developing communication channel for MSCSs.
The CSs are lagging behind in developing more communication skill.
They need a good support in building a communication and presentation skills.
Like Blogging,writing technical articles…
Encourage CSs to participate in variuos community activities.
Like Forums,seminars…
Let them know what are the benefits they can enjoy being a CS.
How to Develop them self to next level i.e., MVP :)

The List goes on…

I am very happy to see that MS is recognising the CSs and concentrating on them.


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