This article is part of the Wiki series: MSDN/TechNet Forums.
This is a question that current Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs), Microsoft Community Contributors (MCCs), and Microsoft employees get quite often. And the question pops up in the forums quite frequently.
The fact is, there is no individual path. There are many potential paths, and you'll have to find your own path. The selection process might not be as detailed as we want, but that's by design (for flexibility and other reasons).
When you become an MCC or MVP, then you receive the appropriate "MCC" or "MVP" title in your Profile and whenever your name is listed on various Microsoft online community tools, such as TechNet Wiki, MSDN Forums, or Microsoft
The "MCC" and "MVP" titles on these community tools only reflect that the award was given... and the Recognition Points might inform the award. But the award itself has nothing to do with the Recognition system, the Profiles, TechNet Wiki, or the Forums. Read
the answers and links below to find out more information about how to become an MVP or MCC...
PROCESS: Microsoft automatically reviews the contributions of participants who offer their time and energy to online technical communities such as Microsoft Answers/Community, MSDN,
and TechNet to identify those who make notable contributions for possible recognition as a Microsoft Community Contributor. Microsoft employees cannot become MCCs, but MVPs can become MCCs. MCC is an automatic reward (nobody can help you win it by nominating
The MCC site was moved to this page: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/badges/mcc
REWARD: The reward is a "small benefit": the award status in your profile on the online community (MSDN, TechNet, etc.) and your name on a list of MCC award recipients. The MCC badge ends after ninety days (three months) from the date found
within the welcome email.
1) Make an impact in the community, using tools like TechNet and MSDN Forums. Maintain quality and quantity in your contributions.
2) Rule the Forums. Find a technology's forum (on MSDN or TechNet) where there's a huge need for moderation and answerers. Become an expert in that technology. Then answer a ton of questions with quality answers, propose a lot of answers (especially
ones that aren't from you), and then request to be made an Answerer or Moderator. See
How to Become an MSDN or TechNet Forum Moderator. Try to get a lot of quality answers completed.
NOTE: This award is based on your contributions in the last 3 months. In other words, if you just started one week ago, you'll need to continue your efforts for a few more months.
NOTE: MCC is an automatic reward (nobody can help you win it by nominating you).
Current page MVPs: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-US/Pages/default.aspx
Become an MVP: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/becoming-an-mvp.aspx
Nominate an MVP:
PROCESS: After reading the "Becoming an MVP" page, you'll see that the process is rigorous. "MVP nominees undergo a rigorous review process. A panel that includes members of the MVP team and Microsoft product groups evaluates each nominee's
technical expertise and voluntary community contributions for the past 12 months. The panel considers the quality, quantity, and level of impact of the MVP nominee's contributions." Essentially the panel evaluates the nominees and then bases their award on
those evaluations in quality, quantity, and level of impact. They look for three qualities. The candidates can possess all three qualities or can be incredibly strong in one.
To be considered, you should be a leader in these three qualities (not just a contributor, but you lead others in these areas):
NOTE: These tips are not guaranteed to get you the MVP status, and not all these tips are required (you can focus on some more than others). However, these tips will set you on the right path. And the right path is merely to share your knowledge
and abilities. That should be our only motivation.
1) Give quality assistance, advice, processes, scripts, and consultation. Test your own advice and ask first (don't make assumptions that you're answering questions when too little data is given). Experts in your area will be evaluating samples
of your community work. You don't want them to be evaluating the one communication issue you had or the one mistake you accidentally made (and thus thinking that you make mistakes or miscommunication a regular practice). Test out your solution before you post
it on your forum replies, blog posts, and Wiki articles. You can edit all of those, so if you don't catch the mistake, you should correct your solution as soon as possible.
2) Give high-quantity contributions. Be active in your technology's forums and on blogs. The TechNet and MSDN forums are being monitored by current MVPs and Microsoft personnel. Quality is more important, but quantity is also very admirable
3) Become a Moderator, Answerer, and/or MCC on your technology's forums (post high quality and quantity answers and then approach and ask moderators and owners to be considered or nominated). Then make a case (given your Forum experience and
abilities) to become a moderator. See
How to Become an MSDN or TechNet Forum Moderator.
4) Share your knowledge in online community tools like blogs, Wiki articles, white papers, and Galleries (you can upload your white
papers on TechNet Gallery). You must create your own unique content and help build the community around your content.
5) Lead others on TechNet Wiki. On TechNet Wiki, we built a reward ecosystem that gets you recognition. There are two sides of that.
First, we show off your accomplishments on TechNet Wiki (your articles, edits, etc.) in seven different ways. After you make some contributions.
(1) we'll invite you to an
Interview with a Wiki Ninja.
We have had Wiki Ninjas (contributors to TechNet Wiki) get awarded the MVP status as a result of this interview blog post (where teams were made aware of a contributor's accomplishments as a result of the blog post) - not to mention job offers. In addition.
(2) we reward you with Profile Recognition (TechNet
Wiki: How to Earn Recognition Points and Achievement Medals).
(3) we feature articles on the home page of TechNet Wiki
(4) we feature a weekly list of Top Contributors on our Wiki Ninas blog.
(5) we hold the monthly
TechNet Guru Awards.
(6) we compile the top articles into celebrated TechNet Wiki Community Ebooks (see
TechNet Wiki White Papers), and
(7) we have the Wiki Ninja Belts award system (Wiki
Ninja Belt Rankings).
Second, we give you responsibilities for you to help lead the community in four ways.
TechNet Wiki: Featured Article Teams
keep the featured articles for each language up to date.
(2) The Wiki Ninjas bloggers (Wiki Ninjas Blog: The Contributors) become the voice of the community (see
Wiki Ninjas Blog: How to Become an Author).
TechNet Wiki International Council helps
build language-based communities around the world (we launch forum sites, Twitter accounts, and even blogs for languages' Wikis as their communities grow)! and
TechNet Wiki Community Council strengthens the Wiki
values via the TechNet Wiki Community Council:
Areas of Focus (you can help them out even if you're not a member; also see TechNet
Wiki Community Council: How to Become a Member). Finally, once you become an MVP, you can join the
TechNet Wiki Advisory Board to champion and
lead the content area in your MVP-awarded technology!
6) Speak at conferences, local groups, meetings, and user groups. Speak online in virtual events. Go show your expertise and teach large groups. These conferences and events are different for every product. Go find them.
Here's a testimony of one MVP who speaks at conferences. See Paul Randal's
Public Speaking Primer and Kimberly Tripp's
Getting started in speaking publicly.
7) Write articles, guest blogs, or books. In addition to writing for your own Blog, Wiki, and Forums, become a guest blogger on other famous blogs. Research the online and print magazines for your technology and then submit articles to try
to get published. Ask to complete technical reviews of books that are currently being written. Eventually submit pitches to book publishers as well and establish yourself as an accomplished author in your technology areas. For more ideas and specifics, see
How to Start a Blog.
8) Become the leader. Instead of just plugging into conferences, events, local groups, and user groups, build them, organize them, and lead them. Bring the community off-line. Many MVPs I know run user groups with an online communication
platform and with regular telecommunication meetings (using Lync or Skype).
Here's the testimony of an MVP who started an off-line user group, which led to other great opportunities.
9) Be consistent. This is a "marathon award", and not a sprint award. Because an MVP award is evaluated based on the previous 12 months of contributions, you have to be active and consistent for over a year. If you're three months in, then
you have 9 more months to go before you can even be considered (you're being evaluated with folks who have a full year of leadership contributions). And after you win it, you should continue your successes in order to be considered for the next year as well.
Other resources from MS contributors:
This article is part of the Wiki series: MSDN/TechNet Forums.
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