imageAs we kick off 2014 and say good-bye to 2013, I thought I’d take a few quick moments to look back and recap some of the milestones, anniversaries, top posts, etc. from 2013 in case you might have missed them. After all, we all know how hectic our days can become in this fast paced world of technology and social media streams we live in, and if you blink for too long or at the wrong time, you can completely miss something that you really wish you would have seen earlier.

Let’s start with a few quick and easy ones: Anniversaries:

  • Today actually marks the one year anniversary of my return back to the Microsoft U.S. Team from our Worldwide Team. Some of you saw my original post on my move back and some of you saw some of the articles, such as: “Microsoft's Ligman: Back to the U.S. Partner Group.” Either way, it has been an incredibly exciting year back here on the U.S. Team and I am looking forward to what 2014 holds in store!
  • New Year’s Day also marked my anniversary of joining Microsoft. I can still remember going through the interview process (I owned and had been running my own Microsoft Partner organization for a little over 5 years at that point) and every single interviewer (it was an all day round-robin interview process at the time) asked the same question (which I later heard was the one answer that stumped everyone I gave it to). Interviewer’s question: “So why do you want to leave your company and come to Microsoft?” My answer: “I don’t want to leave my company. I’m here to hear about what this opportunity looks like, but make no mistake that if this doesn’t work out, I’m more than happy to go back to my company and continuing running it successfully.” What a wonderful journey it has been with all of you throughout the years since making the move to Microsoft, and I look forward to many more together with you all.

Top posts:

Even with the move back to the U.S. Team in 2013, and my role shifting to more of a behind the scenes focus to help enable stronger success for our Microsoft partners through their sales efforts, the fantastic feedback and input from the readers of my blog has been wonderful. Plus, as has been the case in many of the prior years, topics and information from posts earlier throughout the year continue to be high volume drivers and key pieces of information that partners really enjoy. With that, here are the Top 10 posts from 2013, based on number of reads for each:

Probably not surprising to many of you, FREE stuff continues to lead (the free ebooks and Office training posts as an example), plus how-to information/cheat sheets seem to always get high marks. As has been the case for each of the prior years, the annual video post from leaders across Microsoft draws a ton of attention and views as people like to see and hear from the various leaders across the company. Some of you might also find it interesting to see that security topics (such as the Fake Fed-Ex alert) and Cloud (How to sell O365 & O365 event) also made it into the Top 10 for the year.

Now while the posts above are the top posts created in 2013 by views, what you might find interesting is that the top post being read on a daily basis right now in 2014 is my: How to recover that un-saved Microsoft Office Excel, Word, or PowerPoint file you closed before saving post. That’s right, it is outpacing even the free ebooks posts each and every day, and I have to say, getting the messages from the readers of that post telling me their stories about how “hours of unsaved work was recovered” based on the information shared in my post brings me a great deal of satisfaction just knowing I was able to help someone in their day to day lives through my post. One of my favorites was the story about how a guy had spent many hours compiling a body of work, only to have his power go completely out before he had saved his work. When the power came on, he was in a frantic state, sure he’d miss his deadline. Fortunately, he came across my post, followed the steps, fully recovered his work, and made his deadline successfully.

Milestones:

  • Speaking of FREE stuff, I shared with you in 2013 that not only did we successfully hit my goal of giving away over 1 MILLION free ebooks in just one week, but we also had exceeded the 3.5 MILLION total free ebook download mark.
  • Not only did we surpass those awesome feats earlier in 2013, but as I look back at the free ebook posts, we’ve also eclipsed some other AMAZING milestones:
  • In December, my blog surpassed its 9 year mark in existence! That’s right, just over 9 years ago, my Welcome to the new MS Small Business Community Blog! post launched the blog as an expansion of my social media reach out to Microsoft partners everywhere. It’s funny nowadays to hear people talk about “social media” and how they’ve been doing it for “so long” and then tell you about the 3-4 years they’ve been in it. Just think, we were all involved in this digital, social media world, building connections together here on the blog way back before many people could spell “social media.” Thanks for being a part of it with me all these years!
  • For those of you that have been following the journey my family has been on with our daughter (Thank you again to all of you that have been with us on this journey for all of your support and kindness!), 2013 had several big milestones for us:
    • Not only did 2013 mark two years since our journey began, it also included our one year mark free from any surgeries. (YAY!!!)
    • Also in 2013, we completed the establishment of The Samantha Smiles Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing research, diagnosis, and treatment of childhood brain tumors and hydrocephalus in addition to funding uncompensated care for these, and just before the end of the year, we launched the Foundation’s website. In 2014 we look to host our first fundraising events and achieve our 501(c)(3) status as well. For us personally, being able to help other children and families who face any of the challenges we have on our journey is very important to us and something we look forward to taking on.

As I look forward into 2014, I am extremely excited about what our partners and Microsoft have ahead of us and what I believe we can accomplish together! As always, I thank you all for being a part of our community and for being a reader of my blog. Whether you are a new reader today or have been a follower for years, I look forward to continuing to connect with you through all of my social media outlets throughout 2014. Plus, for those of you going to WPC 2014 in Washington D.C., I look forward to seeing you there!

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Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric LigmanFollow me on TWITTER, LinkedIn, and Facebook
Sales Excellence Manager
Microsoft Corporation
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

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