We > Me: Joe Morel's Blog

Thoughts about online communities, Power Toys for Visual Studio, and personal experiences with Windows Media Player and Zune

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  • Blog Post: Online Community Unconference 2007 - A Recap

    Last week I traveled with my manager down to Mountain View to attend the Online Community Unconference. I went to the conference last year when it was in San Francisco, and I found it to be a great gathering of ideas and people who are truly excited about this whole "Web 2.0" thing that seems to continue...
  • Blog Post: Traveling to Online Community Unconference 2007

    Tomorrow I will be attending the Online Community Unconference in Mountain View, CA. It's been a little bit over a year since the last time I attended this conference, and I'm looking forward to seeing whether or not people's focus has changed over the past year. Last year most of the topics revolved...
  • Blog Post: Report a Bug to Microsoft...in the forums

    As part of the larger group of feature improvements in forums that includes the reputation changes that I blogged about earlier , we're also adding in something that people have been asking about for awhile--product feedback and bug reporting. The idea is simple. If you've ever used Microsoft's Connect...
  • Blog Post: The Reputation System We're Actually Working On...

    Over the past year, I've done quite a bit of blogging on reputation and got quite a bit of feedback back from you as a community. Well...I've got good news and I've got bad news. The good news is that we're actually working on a reputation system. The bad news--it's "step one", and fairly basic. Below...
  • Blog Post: The Role of Microsoft Employees in our Forums

    Recently, a forum moderator asked for some clarification from me in the moderators forum, and I'd like to respond to his question publicly. His post was quite eloquent and long, but his question could be summed up with: Why are there tons of Microsoft employees in certain technology forums and none in...
  • Blog Post: Who's Rated the "Most Helpful" in the forums?

    A little bit ago, I started talking about ways that we could measure the success of the community without using pure "answer count" as the only barometer for community health. I decided to do a little bit of data mining today and looked for the people who have received the highest number of "Helpful...
  • Blog Post: Off-Topic Posts: What To Do With Them

    Last Edited: 4/10/2007 There has been much discussion on what to do with off-topic posts, especially in the moderators forum. I've gotten a request to make an executive decision and stick with it, for here on forth, here is the official Microsoft guidance on how to deal with off-topic posts in the...
  • Blog Post: Sounding Off: Feedback from the Forum Moderators

    Last Edited: 4/6/2007 [I'll be amending the lists in this post based on the comments and continual feedback that comes in. Thanks for hanging with me here.] We've recently released a service pack for the forums that have changed some functionality in the forums. It's the first batch of noticeable...
  • Blog Post: What is a "Healthy" Online Community?

    For over year, we've been measuring a few key metrics in the MSDN Forums to monitor overall forum health. We track them aggressively, send out biweekly mails about them, and use them as guideposts to make decisions about what we should or should not do with regard to the forums. For example, our basic...
  • Blog Post: Can We "Digg" Forums?

    When at a loss for what you might want to blog about, go to Digg.com...and voila--the top entry on the page was about a new site that's using Web 2.0 online community concepts to bubble up the best technical pieces of content to other devs. http://blog.wired.com/monkeybites/2007/03/tweako_a_social...
  • Blog Post: Forums SP3 Deployed - Paste Code Snippets in the Forums

    I've gotten the message so many times it's ridiculous--the MSDN Forums display emoticons in the middle of code snippets. Nothing, I mean nothing, will make a developer more mad than a cutesy little light bulb rendering in the middle of their carefully constructed code snippet that they made in the forums...
  • Blog Post: What Was the One Millionth Post in the Forums?

    James asked a good question in the comments section of my last blog post, and I thought the topic might be a fun blog post to end a Friday on. What exactly was the one millionth post? Well, the one millionth post on the MSDN Forums was the fifth post in a thread entitled " Results to row instead of column...
  • Blog Post: MSDN Forums: 1 Million Posts and Counting!

    Today I was doing a little bit of housekeeping on the MSDN Forums and I noticed the post ticker at the bottom of the page... In case the picture comes through fuzzy--today we broke through 1,000,000 posts on the MSDN Forums, almost exactly two years after they initially launched ! And to think, people...
  • Blog Post: Takeaways from the MVP Summit

    Another MVP Summit has come and gone. Maybe it was the fact that I was busy moving the weekend before it started, but wow, it just seemed to fly by! I had the opportunity to meet with some great MVPs that I've been working with in the forums, sit in on the Microsoft.com community team's discussion about...
  • Blog Post: MVP Summit 2007

    It's that time again...the MVP Global Summit is happening this week in Seattle and Redmond. The first Summit was one of my favorite experiences so far working at Microsoft--I love talking to customers and hearing it "from the horse's mouth." It's not often that I get to actually meet with people face...
  • Blog Post: Democracy for Online Communities

    When I first started with the DevDiv Customer Connection team, Josh gave me the thirty-second elevator speech about his goals for the forums. The phrase "self-sustaining community" was used more than once. The idea was that just creating the forums or getting Microsofties into the forums would make them...
  • Blog Post: How Can We Make Forum Content More Discoverable? Part 1

    Josh forwarded around a Channel9 thread yesterday where some Niners were talking about how they got sought out help and support. (He's also currently asking the same question on his blog .) http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=270306 It's interesting, but no surprise, that phone support...
  • Blog Post: Looking Back at 2006

    It's been nearly a year since I started this blog, and unfortunately as of late, I've been pretty bad at keeping it updated. I'll blame it on the craziness that was December 2006—between traveling for the holidays and Washington's recent string of weather-related maladies, it's been difficult to find...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio "Orcas" Forums Launched

    Has it really been almost a year since Whidbey launched already? One year later, we've started to share out our first CTP of the next version of Visual Studio , codename "Orcas". Of course, with any new version of a product like Visual Studio, you're going to have questions when you are trying things...
  • Blog Post: How Are People Using the MSDN Forums?

    When every calendar month is finished, I usually take a few minutes to browse the site statistics for the MSDN Forums and see how fast we are growing. Although we do track the percentages of questions getting answered and volume of questions being asked, the site statistics paint a clearer picture of...
  • Blog Post: ForumExplorer: A Better(?) Way to Moderate the MSDN Forums

    A couple of months ago I created a small tool that utilized some of the cool meta tag searching capabilities of MSN Search and published it out to GotDotNet. It was simple, but definitely helps overcome one of the biggest limitations in the forums--lousy search. That little tool catalyzed a project...
  • Blog Post: Time to Have a Little Fun on the Forums!

    I recently had a thread with one of our MVPs who's been very active in the forums in the past, and he brought up something that I hadn't really realized--the MSDN Forums have no "chat" area. The forums, up until this point, have been purely technical Q&A, and there's been no area to blow off some...
  • Blog Post: Best Practices for Running a Forum Community

    Recently, my team has gotten quite a few requests for guidance on how teams should be engaging with their fledging forum communities that are popping up all over the Microsoft Forums. From our experiences with what has and has not worked with the MSDN Forums, we've been sending random mails out with...
  • Blog Post: Why Are People So Vicious Online?

    Hey, you! Yes, you. The one with the keyboard in front of you and the mouse in your hand. Step away slowly from the computer, with your hands up. Oh, you were thinking about typing something really nasty, weren't you? Something truly stinging. Yes, that person on the other end of all of these "pipes...
  • Blog Post: How Am I Supposed to Find the Right Forum?

    I'll admit it--the MSDN Forums have grown to the point where it's very difficult to find the appropriate forum to ask a question in, especially if you are new to the forums. If you just get dumped off on the homepage of the MSDN Forums you'll likely have to CTRL+F on the page to find what you are looking...
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