UPDATE: Scott Bellware has just made the grade as well. Welcome to the program, Scott!
UPDATE: The DSVP program welcomes Louis Salin. Way to go Louis!
Karl Seguin (among others) is a bit miffed about Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) program. Or at least mystified. Seems that the rules of induction to the program have become a bit obscure. Why does Microsoft have the MVP program? According to Microsoft:
We present the MVP Award to thank individuals for their exceptional contributions to technical communities worldwide. When a community participant sees an MVP in a technical community, whether in a newsgroup, as a user group host, a conference speaker, or a respondent in forums, that community participant can be confident that the information shared by the MVP will be of the highest caliber and will help every user make the most of the technology.
So what kind of community contributions does Microsoft consider "exceptional"? What kind of information shared by MVPs in various forums does Microsoft consider to be "of the highest caliber"? I don't know - they don't really spell it out. But Microsoft is a publicly traded company, so I'm sure their primary goal is providing value for their shareholders. If I were in Microsoft's shoes I would consider information that benefits me in achieving that goal to be "exceptional" and "of the highest caliber".
I'm not in Microsoft's shoes. In fact, I'm not wearing shoes at all (I'm from Mississippi). And I have my own goals, chief among which is providing value for my employer and my customers so that I can earn a paycheck (hey, a guy's gotta eat). As it turns out, Karl Seguin has helped me achieve my goals over and over again by his activity in the community, as have many others. Those folks deserve an award!
So I hereby institute: <insert fanfare here> the DALE SMITH VALUED PROFESSIONAL (DSVP) PROGRAM. Why do I have the DSVP program?
Dale Smith presents the DSVP Award to thank individuals for their exceptional contributions to technical communities in which Dale Smith participates or trolls. When a community participant sees a DSVP in a technical community, whether in a newsgroup, as a user group host, a conference speaker, or a respondent in forums, that community participant can be confident that the information shared by the DSVP will be that which Dale Smith considers to be of the highest caliber and will help Dale Smith make the most of the technology.
Here are some questions you're probably asking yourself:
How do I become a Certified DSVP?
Well that's really kind of up to me, Dale Smith (see above). If you would like to be considered for the program, feel free to apply via the comment box below. We will consider your application carefully, and my legal team will contact you when a decision has been reached. I guess the main thing to remember here is this: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.
What does being a Certified DSVP get me?
First of all: Once a DSVP, always a DSVP. None of this you-have-to-renew-once-a-year stuff. That's just the kind of guy I am. (To be honest with you, this one is more about me avoiding paperwork than anything else.)
Second: I'll give you a warm smile and a hearty handshake if I ever run into you at a conference or something.
Third: You will have the right to use the letters D, S, V, and P after your name, like so -
Dale Smith, DSVP
See? Pretty spiffy, huh? If you use this baby after your name, you better believe that folks will know that when they see you in a technical community, whether in a newsgroup, as a user group host, a conference speaker, or a respondent in forums, that Dale Smith thinks you are one righteous dude.
Last, but not least: You're welcome to use this nifty badge on your blog, business cards, and any other self-promotional marketing materials you desire:
So why is the badge a cassette tape?
Microsoft is a lot cooler than I am. No, seriously, they really are. Granted, they sometimes exhibit some bewildering behavior in the way that they engage the development community. But the fact is, their achievements both in business and technology far outshine mine. So receiving an award from them, compared to an award from me, would be like getting the entire recorded output of the Replacements on pristine vinyl, still in the original unopened shrink wrap, plus all Paul Westerberg's and Chris Mars's solo material, records from Tommy Stinson's post-Mats bands Bash-n-Pop, Perfect, and even the new one from Guns 'n' Roses. While we're at it, let's throw in a high-quality bootleg of whatever you can find from Bob Stinson's post-Mats band Static Taxi.
In contrast, getting an award from me is like getting a self-made cassette from a local unsigned band. Nothing earth-shattering, mind you, but certainly earnest, sincere, charming. Definitely has its moments. And twenty years from now you'll probably run across it again in a box of long-forgotten tapes, and you'll throw it in the deck and think, "Oh yeah! I remember this! This was actually pretty cool!"
And now I'm going to induct Karl Seguin as the very first Certified DSVP. So here goes:
Yea and verily, be it known henceforth and forevermore that Karl Seguin is hereby Certified as a Dale Smith Valued Professional (DSVP) in the region of Ottawa, Ontario. Oh, what the heck! Let's make Karl's jurisdiction all of Canada! Congrats, Karl!
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