Congrats 2016 SDL Web Community Winners!

Congrats to the SDL Web 2016 Community MVP Winners!

Five quick tips for a successful year:

  1. Enjoy the uber geek status. Be sure to get to the retreat if you can. It's awesome.
  2. Keep sharing. Year two is harder than winning the first year.
  3. Don't under-appreciate what you have to offer.
  4. Don't get complacent or over-confident either. Winners aren't "the best," though the best often share.
  5. Connect with others and encourage the next generation of sharers.
To previous winners that "fell off" this year, welcome to the alumni group. Here are thoughts back from 2012 on having MVP alumnus status. Big thanks to those that shared less but maybe mentored more.

For anyone else interested in this award, 2017 will be even harder for a few reasons:
  1. Community members can get an SDL Web 8 developer license for research and sharing. The list is growing. Don't wait to get started.
  2. Alchemy.
  3. DXA.
  4. DD4T.
  5. The Next Big Thing in the Community (I've seen it. You're not ready for it. It's impressive.).
You may have read how to win my vote in a post from last year. That's old advice. To join the 2017 MVP class first join today's community. Then optionally see what everyone else is doing. And then share more than everyone else.

Thank the Mentors

In my last post I talked about too much and not enough SDL Web knowledge. Several posts ago I once asked who do you trust. This post thanks some of those that encourage community involvement around SDL Web.

I'm seeing a good amount of recent sharing for both technical and business audiences from the following groups. See a mix of content from veteran to new sharers on:
Thanks to JohnNickRyanRobert, and Phillip, a few I know that have encouraged other sharers in the above list. Thanks to those behind-the-scenes that I've yet to meet or miss in this post.

When I asked how others encourage sharing in a recent Skype chat, Robert Stevenson-Leggett shared four points recommendations:
  1. "Don't directly offer incentives, but reward good sharing"
  2. "Compliment good tips and tricks and say stuff like 'that would make a nice post,' etc."
  3. "Don't push too hard"
  4. "Innovation time can be used to create healthy competition to share between peers"
He remarked that this approach "needs to be grassroots though, not top down." Chris Morgan agreed it's about rewarding initiative and we should "nurture not dictate." Pankaj Guar pointed out encouragement throughout an organization helps as well, both from the "top as well as bottom."

Ryan Durkin also pointed out that sharing can be scary. "It's kind of like presenting in front of hundreds of people which a lot of technical people won't do." You need to work with your team to mentor, review, and praise sharing to create momentum. He concluded by saying, "I'm a fan of catching people doing something good rather than catching them doing something bad. You get more out of people that way."

These thoughts match what I've seen personally as well as the science and art behind motivation. See Daniel Pink's Drive for more on motivation or anything by Seth Godin on overcoming that scariness.

I don't have much hesitation now when I blog, but I remember my mix of excitement and fear in this early Tridion post on BluePrinting. Today, I worry more if I'd say something that makes someone else's job harder. It's less about fear and more about respect.

I would also add these four points to the above advice:

  1. Sharing may not change everything overnight, don't worry about your reach at first.
  2. Some posts will help others in small, meaningful ways at the end of a Google search months to years after they're published.
  3. You'll meet and connect with people from all over.
  4. Sharing changes the sharer.
Personally, I've been inspired by at least two phrases from some of my own mentors:
  1. "Share more."
  2. "Don't ever apologize for not being technical," as encouragement to a relatively new Tridionaut who doubted his value to the community.
Did I miss anyone? Leave a comment citing helpful encouragement, inspiration, or challenges from your own mentors (in the Tridion community or elsewhere). Or by Midas Rule, write your own post to thank your mentors.

Tridion Doesn't Work That Way...

This post contrasts things you may or may not know about Tridion (SDL Web) connected by an embarrassing moment in my role as a product manager. Let's talk about too much knowledge, not enough, and why I'm not asking you to share this time.

Too Much Knowledge... Can be Embarrassing

We were recently discussing the idea of "tagging" content in SDL Web Experience Manager (XPM) as seen in the rough wireframe below. This specific idea won't end up in the final product without a bit more discussion, validation, and iterations. Or it might get swapped with something with a higher priority.

Rough wireframe exploring the idea of "in-context" tagging. Our UX designer stressed it's very rough. Don't tell him I showed this to you.