The Holiday Season is upon us yet there is no rest for the wary at this busy time of year. Lately, I've been working to establish an online social community for Professional Developers and Architects working for a Microsoft Partner in the United States. After a short assessment period, I have settled on Facebook and their Group application to launch a social network for communicating with my partner community. Though not an optimal solution, in terms of feature and functionality, Facebook does provide the built in infrastructure I sought for managing group membership and allowing opt-in/out model for partner participation.
You are probably curious as to why create yet another destination for the community; are there not enough resources out there already! Well the answer is yes and no. Most professional communication channels today are publish-subscribe models such as newsletters, emails, and web sites. Some of the content is very good, some of it not. In many cases the scope of content is so robust, discovering what is important and relevant to you can be a challenge. And, opting out of the subscription model brings with it a whole set of problems and concerns. Blogging and RSS feeds have opened up the door for a better experiencee yet the truly social element of blogging is somewhat absent.
So, I'm looking to Facebook Groups to create the professional social experience I seek for working with hundreds, if not thousands of Microsoft partners in my region.
From my perspective, the key benefits of using a Facebook Group are:
Officially, I've named the Facebook Group, Partner Huddle. And officially, Partner Huddle will be a social community for members of the Microsoft partner community; specifically Professional Developer and Architects within these organizations. The group will serve as a forum for the Microsoft Developer & Platform Evangelism Team (D&PE) and Microsoft Partners to share best practices; highlight early adoption success stories; increase awareness of Microsoft sponsored or partner sponsored readiness training; and increase awareness and enrollment in Microsoft early adoption programs. More importantly it provides a forum for members to socialize ideas that will strengthen and improve the Microsoft partnership.
Where does my blog fit in? Do you join the group or simply subscribe to my blog to get the same information. Personally, I hope everyone subscribes to my blog and that partners join both as each will have its own identity and purpose. Think of them this way:
Partner Huddle is for Professional Developers and Architects working for a Microsoft Partner in the United States. But, all members of the Microsoft Partner Community are welcome.
It's easy. There are three simple steps for membership:
Once I have confirmed your partner status,I will send you an invitation to join the group.
Why? Because if you join today, I will let you in on a special holiday offer that I'm running to launch Partner Huddle. Offer expires on December 21st 17th.