If you’ve been paying attention to the MSDN or TechNet Blogs and Forums or the TechNet Wiki over the past week you may have seen some changes that include little hovering user profile cards and a new recognition system. I’ve mentioned it before but after a mighty effort by many teams last week, the major web sites across MSDN and TechNet are now running on one shared recognition system.

The new recognition system is using a “two-economy” approach. One, Recognition Points which are only earned when someone else in the community validates the quality of your contribution (downloads, votes, marked as answer, page views) and two, Achievements which are earned by general participation in the different apps. We have more details on the economies here if you want more information…

We are going to share more specific details as time goes on, like exactly what earns recognition points, what earns achievements etc. For now though we are watching the recognition system to make sure things are running as expected, our algorithms are working as planned and the integrated platforms continue to perform well.

For today though I’d like to share a little about the integration into the blogs itself. Firstly, if you hover over the authors name above a post you’ll see more details about the user including their avatar, name, affiliations (MSFT or MVP etc.). You’ll also see their total recognition points as earned across the network and the achievements they earned participating in the community. For those people who write comments while signed in, you’ll be able to do the same thing. Hopefully this helps you as a reader to better understand those who are long-term quality contributors vs. those just new to the sites.

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If you watch closely over the next few weeks you’ll probably see your favorite blog authors points continuing to rise. We are in the process of replaying all blog activity since 2002 and are somewhere in 2006 right now so we have a lot still to process. Once that replay is done, things will settle down and it’ll be more obvious when blog authors are contributing quality content that perhaps we should be paying attention too.

“What about me, I’m not a blog author?” – true, the option to earn recognition points is currently restricted on the blogs to Microsoft Employees who can author on a blog. But we’ve got a few other ways for our blog readers to earn some achievements. Those include commenting on a blog post and rating blog posts. We have a few achievements at different levels for these interactions.

Now, as the title of the blog post suggests, we have been working to bring recognition across the entire network. You’ll now find Forums, Galleries, Blogs and the TechNet Wiki are all reporting your activities to your profile. You can build your own recognition up by contributing and participating across these applications in various ways. We are also working on integrating the Library and Silverlight.Net sites into the system and hope to have those online in the next few months.

We’ll also be continuing to expand the recognition system to give you deeper stats on how you earn your points, in what technology space, when you earned them etc. We are also looking into the social graphs that are being created as people interact with one another, tracking your favorite topics and working out potentially what a personalization story might look like.

Lots more to come and I hope you’ll stay and be part of the journey!