As part of our new community focus I've been spending more time lurking in the ASP.NET forums and related news groups.  Yesterday, I spent an hour in our new community room reading newsgroup posts and answering them.  At first, I answered some of the easier questions that did not require much research, but once those were resolved I had to tackle some more difficult questions.  How did I find the answers I was looking for though?  The answer is:  COMMUNITY.  A few google searches provided me with the answers to many of the more complex issues I came across.

I feel that it is imperative to have a strong community around our products and platform.  Until recently, I was not sure how strong that community was.  Even in its infancy, the support provided to everyone through community web sites, newsgroups, chats, bulletin boards is astounding.   Today, if people put in the time to research they could find the answers to the majority of their questions already online.  What is even better is how easily developers can connect with each other to exchange ideas and advice, leading to better software and stronger skills. 

The question that I pose to you is how can Microsoft and I help build a better community around ASP.NET and our products (Visual Studio/Web Matrix).  Do we need to foster more shared source community projects like dotnetnuke?  Is it that we need more community developed control offerings to ease web development?  Easier hosting?  What would make your lives easier?  Let me know.

Also, I'll be in TechEd Dallas from June 1-6!  Should be fun, I'm planning on hanging out at the ASP.NET booth and heckling the ASP.NET presenters in the sessions.  Feel free to introduce yourself and rant ;)  Hoping to participate in the TechEdBloggers initiative.  Very innovative, should be interesting!