New Version: Microsoft Forums

Microsoft has been running newsgroups and forums to provide community support for its products.. incidentally, many MVPs come from forums where they are TOP contributors to the forums..

but this isn't about MVPs today :)

it is about MS forums... to begin with Microsoft used Community Server from Telligent to host its forums. And now they are revamping the same on to its own code.. in the background, there seems to be an entire Community Platform emerging with blogs, tags, forums & wikis within Microsoft.. (very much in line with MSs focus on community)..


The new forums are available at:


http://forums.msdn.microsoft.com/

http://forums.technet.microsoft.com/

http://forums.community.microsoft.com/

However, the older forums are also around and the migration will be done in a phased manner. there are plenty of exciting features in this release:


· Dynamic Posting, Quoting and Paging: Now posting, quoting posts and paging in a thread are now all client site events. Users can post replies or quotes to thread without having to wait for the server to reload the page. These features makes the application snappy, dynamic and friendly.


· Inline Posting: New posting of questions or replies keeps you on the same page which you can still scroll and see the contents of as well as page through the threads or posts while creating your message. This allows you to “Multi-Quote” when replying to a thread. This makes it easy to respond to several posts in a single post.

· Thread Preview: This allows users to view the first 20 posts of a thread in line without needing to commit to a post back or page navigation. Users can preview threads and then decide to dive in and participate.

· Real Time Updates: Every page updates with new activity. Home pages update to show changes in recently online users, forum pages continually update to show recently updated threads and new posts pop up dynamically to users viewing threads.

· Code Formatting and Spellchecking: Users have the ability to include code and format it to the specific code language. C++ users want their code to look like C++ code. People adding XML want it to look like XML. This is now possible with the latest editor. Users can also spell check their posts if they so choose.

· Proposed Answers: Any user can now more actively participate in helping other users by selecting "Proposed Answer" in any question thread. This should help others that have the true authority to validate the answers, Moderators and Question Askers, find questions that may be very close to being resolved.


Community Features

· Online Avatars

· Recently Online

· Filtering By Users: Users can scope down the list of contributors to a particular thread by simply selecting the user filter bar. This is especially useful for users who know "who" they are looking for and want to see contributions from trusted sources.

· User Recognition and Affiliation: A medals recognition system rewards users for their participation. This can help users understand whether the source of a post is from a novice or someone who has invested a lot more time and effort in continual online forums participation.

· User Based Tagging: Users can apply tags to threads which help other users find content the community find relevant to a particular term. Users can select multiple tags, every one, applying a more targeted query to refine the pool of threads.

· Browse Users: Simply browse the user list and review any user's recognition status or last participation date and clicking "view threads".

Discoverability Enhancements

· Enhanced Filters: A powerful set of additional filter options allow for finding threads of various types, states and properties. e.g. a moderator can look for people that have posted questions with no replies that include code snippets.. Better yet, these filters can also be subscribed to as RSS!

· Tag Browsing: Users at any level of the forums application (brand, forum or thread) can find threads by tag.

· Top Level Filter Entry Points: Users that always like to start off at the top level of the forums list can now quick link into the unanswered or answered threads in the forum of their choice. This saves what used to be three or more clicks, anchoring the user into a context pre set for them.

· Search Result Filters: When search results come back and seem overwhelming users can select a filter for various thread states and properties. Users can choose to select only answers, only questions or any of these threads that may contain code.

the base to a successful community is the community platform it uses.. with this release, MS has reaffirmed its commitment to the community!

What remains to be seen in such a high usage site is how well will the site be able to run without any hiccups? MS has a lot of experience running high traffic sites and this should be also run smoothly.. but u can never be sure of 1-2 bugs lurking in the vast expanse of code :)..

IMHO, Microsoft should also think about releasing these community platforms for the community so that community software on .NET technologies become more widespread!


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Comments

Stellathomas said…
People are still surprised when they hear that the people who work on the actual products in Developer Division answer questions in the forums. They are surprised to hear that our blogs are 100% uncensored and unfiltered (I just type my entries in Live Writer and click "Publish".) They are still surprised to hear that customer filed bugs go straight into the same database that we use for internal tester-found bugs. And it's still fun to tell people.
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Stellathomas

Internet Marketing
Shaguf said…
Microsoft MVP Donald Belcham to Speak on Visual Studio, C# vNext, Aspect Oriented Programming, Live Mesh

Bangalore, December 1, 2008: When writing Microsoft technology-related applications to have strong separations of concerns you inevitably run across some items that, while appearing as separate concerns, do not behave in the same manner as the other concerns. Instead of interacting only with their immediate neighbors, these concerns can interact with some or all of the concerns within the application. Donald Belcham is coming back this summer to India's biggest summit for the developer ecosystem - Great Indian Developer Summit (http://www.developersummit.com/) to explore crosscutting concerns, how you can use Aspect Oriented Programming to maintain good separation of concerns in your code without losing the crosscutting functionality you also require.

Microsoft MVP Donald will also conduct an early discussion of the impending changes in the upcoming version of Visual Studio and the C# language, and how they will affect your every day development work.

On April 25, Donald will conduct a 3 hour workshop about Live Mesh for creating Software as a Service (SaaS) applications -- he will detail the architecture of Live Mesh (from the developer's standpoint), how to code to interact with the framework and what possibilities there may be for application in mainstream business software.

The President of the Edmonton .NET User Group will also explore the problems encountered during the life of a project -- technical, social and management related. A battle hardened team lead who has survived trench warfare, Donald will explore the problems, solutions tried, successes and failures (there were many) that occurred along the way to help you get your project to near-utopian levels.

About Great Indian Developer Summit

Great Indian Developer Summit, produced by Saltmarch Media (http://www.saltmarch.com/) is the biggest gathering of software developers from Java/J2EE, Microsoft computing technologies, Rich Internet Applications (RIA), Web 2.0, Ajax, Agile, SOA, and Enterprise IT. For both veterans and newcomers to the world of .NET, Java, and the Rich Web, the Great Indian Developer Summit provides participants with a well-balanced learning experience that guaranteed they went back with a richer understanding of the technologies that make a difference to their careers. See the GIDS 2008 Red Stripe Report: http://www.developersummit.com/2008/report/pdf/Red_Stripe_Report-GIDS08.zip

Over 3000 qualified and talented delegates - Source, attended GIDS 2008: The Hindu - Monday, 26 May 2008 (http://www.developersummit.com/2008/report/postPress.html). With outstanding educational sessions, powerhouse speakers, a high-profile award ceremony, GIDS 2009 will feature premium knowledge, action plans and advise from been-there-done-it veterans, creators, and visionaries.

For further information on GIDS 2009, please visit the summit on the web http://www.developersummit.com/.

A Saltmarch Media Press Release
E: info@saltmarch.com
Ph: +91 80 4005 1000

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