Congrats New SDL Tridion MVPs

TridionWorld, the online community site announced the 2012 SDL Tridion MVPs. I wanted congratulate the new winners and write a little about past/current/would be MVPs.

Congrats to:
Regardless of expertise, title, or status, the SDL Tridion community needs you.

What's in a Title?

The SDL Tridion MVP program recognizes people that have shared online about the product.
Employees of SDL, the company that sells SDL Tridion are eligible to earn a similar award, but with the title, "Community Builder."  This phrase is so catchy that the company released a software package previously known as User Generated Content (UGC) as "SDL Tridion Community Builder" with the SDL Tridion 2011 Service Pack 1 (SP1).

Non-Active MVP Status

The MVP program (including CBs) recognizes contributions over the course of the year. It's somewhat related to expertise, but isn't solely based on knowledge. The emphasis is on the sharing of that knowledge.

If you've been nominated, selected for, and accepted an award, you get the title along with an active year. After winning, you're asked to continue sharing to keep the title for subsequent years. There is the possibility of not earning the title for a given year.

However, unlike the Mission Impossible Force, not having the title in a year does not mean disavowed status. If you've been active in the past, it's likely you're still on Tridion projects, developing with the software, or are in contact with the community. The instant messages from MVPs goes on, the TridionWorld forum continues, and you're free to work on whatever Tridion-related projects that interest you (hint: PowerTools!).

From my perspective, your contributions (to the PowerTools and) the community are more important than your role, title, or status. I consider non-active MVPs as having "alumni" status. Or in other words, it's like Tridion where you have quality content, but haven't been able to publish recently. 
More importantly, do what you love and find something you're passionate about. If it's not Tridion, no problem. In past lives I was breaking boards or cha cha cha-ing (not at the same time).

What's Next?

We have a new year, a new group of MVPs, and new projects (including "old" ones like the PowerTools!). If you're not an official awardee this year, don't let that stop you. Here's my pitch for everyone to share.
I think all knowledge workers, especially those related to pure "mind-stuff" like software can create an amazing triple-win scenario by sharing. My topics and platforms of choice are Tridion, business analysis, and information systems through blogging and forums, but the ways and reasons you share may be different. I believe there's a win for ourselves, our organizations, and our customers in sharing.
  • If you're learning something, share.
  • If you hate work, share.
  • If you love work, share.
  • If you want to help someone, share.
  • If you're lazy, share.
Of course protect intellectual property, be respectful, and give credit where it's due but consider the possibilities. By sharing even the basic steps of what you do, you demonstrate your expertise, contribute to your software's visibility, and hopefully help someone in the process even if it's months or years later.

If your job isn't a great fit, leverage what you know and the currently wide-open platform of the internet to demonstrate what you're good at, explore other interests, and develop your personal brand so you can find that dream job somewhere or it can find you.

If you're tired of people making the same mistakes or having to give the same answers over-and-over again, put it online for others to learn from, add to, or improve upon.

Sally Hogstead describes 7 fascination triggers, to best reach out to others.
  • Power (I'm not going to say it...)
  • Lust (Pleasure Seeking)
  • Mystique
  • Alarm
  • Prestige
  • Vice
  • Trust
By participating you can increase your power over others in community-developed projects (cough PowerTools!). You can create the amazing interface or integration that authors will love. You can be a part of a unique group of fascinating professionals. You can avoid the pain of falling behind the job market, create job security, or find/create that ideal career. You could earn rewards or become recognized in your niche or community. You could be the "bad boy/girl" of the bunch, do things your way, and even tease those that don't get it. Or you can build a personal brand that people know and trust. It's up to you. Did I get all 7 triggers?
Btw, I cleverly went back in time to 2007 to make sure the acronym of my blog (CB) would match this new title. Yes, I secretly made Community Builder for 2012, which means more posts on Tridion, business analysis, and information systems including more code, videos (with sound... eventually), and projects (did I mention PowerTools?).

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