On New Year’s Day, I received an email with this subject line: Congratulations 2016 Microsoft MVP!
Just being nominated had been exciting. In fact, I had my “It’s an honor just to be nominated” statement all ready even as I filled out the forms.
What I didn’t know was how happy I’d be to actually be selected.
Why It’s So Cool
MVPs are phenomenal people. They have their own jobs and careers. They have to keep doing their own jobs and careers.
And they still manage to find time to share their wealth of knowledge, and help make things better for all of us.
So now I’m part of this group that I look up to, filled with people I talk with almost every day (online, that is), and others I have yet to meet.
What I’m talking about here is Yammer.
Build It And They Will Wonder the Heck You’re Doing
I’ve been working with Microsoft’s Yammer platform since 2014. That’s not that long, but then it doesn’t take that long to click a button and set up your very own internal Yammer community for your company.
It’s what you do after this that counts. And thank goodness for people who have done it before me.
The thing is, you can’t just set up something as powerful as a culture-changing community and then walk away. You have to provide reasons for people to use what you just built. You also have to make like Moody out of Harry Potter and perform…
I can list dedication, reinforcement, convincing, and bribery as just a few of the key factors for getting everyone who wasn’t me to adopt Yammer in my company (Protip: Yammer kick-off party + food = win!).
But all of this would still fall flat if I didn’t have access to a community beyond my own: The Office 365 Yammer Network, overflowing with people all around the world who do what I do in various stages of what I’m doing.
And it’s brilliant.
Because all the while you’re building out this community, you’re also continually learning about the product yourself, which is also continually learning about itself. Which means enhancements, evolutions, and other side-eyeing changes that you decipher, distill, and introduce to your home network.
So What DOES It Mean To Be An MVP?
This is how I see it, here on Day 6: We have strong opinions about what we want our communities to do for our users, and how we’d like to see that happen. You could perhaps say we opine a lot.
But we try not to without also having a solution or an idea for a solution, or at least a bunch of screenshots so the people who fix stuff can fix it, and that’s kind of where I’m leading with this whole MVP designation: We’re truly invested in making what we’re building better so we can help our folks back “home” get what they need to do what they need to do.
That’s been my philosophy since I started in social media as a career, and that’s also why I am really loving this Yammer journey–now with the added benefit of being an MVP.
Are you an MVP? How’s your experience been?
Also read: What Yammer Did For Our Company (So Far)