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: 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: Microsoft Popfly - Why I'm Excited

    Popfly has been out for about a week now, and I'm excited about it. Why? Is it because I've seen the site evolve internally over the past few months? Is it because it's the first "real" application I've seen that really shows off the power of Silverlight? Is it because I can finally create that umpteenth...
  • 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: Fixing the Zune in Five Steps?

    As you probably know if you follow this blog regularly, I'm a big digital music fan that's been trying to move from iTunes to a Microsoft-based platform for over a year. I bought a Zune right after the Zune's release in November, and I've generally been happy with it . Today Engadget posted a short piece...
  • 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: Moving iTunes Library to Windows Media Player – The Final Word

    I've gotten lots and lots of questions about my previous couple of posts about how to move your music library from Apple's iTunes to Windows Media Player over the past couple of months. Jerry Leynes of Jacksonville, Florida has cleaned up and augmented my posts along with a few others to create a definitive...
  • 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: 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: Trouble Getting AJAX Beta 2 to Build Sample Apps

    I guess it's the pain of using beta software, but boy, trying to figure out what CTP works with what sample application can really be a pain. I recently downloaded Beta 2 of the ASP.NET AJAX Extensions (the extensions formerly known as "Atlas") to see if I could build a neat little site over Thanksgiving...
  • Blog Post: Eye Candy Getting Closer to Prime Time...

    I remember when I was back in school and saw some of the demo videos of what was then called Avalon. At the time, I was becoming a Mac head...bored with Windows, I was in love with the eye candy and application refinement I saw in OS X. Things just looked...pretty. I remember seeing some demo of Avalon...
  • Blog Post: Doom and the Magic of "Live"

    If I was ambitious enough to create a "medium-to-very geeky" category, I'd make one, but I'm not. I just downloaded Doom on Xbox Live Arcade. It's great--it's the Doom you knew and loved ten years ago, in its big screen glory--I can actually sit on my couch and play it on my big TV instead of in my basement...
  • Blog Post: Orcas September CTP Available to Everyone

    Over here in Developer Solutions land, we're working hard on delivering the community power toys, solutions (and great Developer Forums!) that focus mainly on Visual Studio 2005, but the rest of the division has been hard at work on both VS2005 SP1 and the next version of Visual Studio, codenamed "Orcas...
  • Blog Post: Apple Disbands Forum Support Team

    Yikes...this wasn't an article I expected to see coming: http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=1923 (AppleInsider link, via Sandy ...thanks.) There are a few things that aren't clear from this article, but here's what it looks like. Apple simply decided that they weren't getting enough...
  • Blog Post: One Year at Microsoft...Assimilation Complete?

    Six months ago, I started this blog with a post commemorating my first six months at Microsoft , along with a few things I had learned during my first six months at the company. Today is August 1st, and I just got an (automated) email from HR congratulating me on my one-year anniversary at Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: Where Can I Ask Questions About Vista or Office 2007?

    Well, we do! A couple of months ago the "sister" forum site to the MSDN Forums, the TechNet forums , were launched. The TechNet forums are to information technology professionals and power users what the MSDN forums are to developers--the best place to get technical questions answered about Microsoft...
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