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Here we are…one month later with the second post in a series about the PDC2008 Content Owner role. If you don’t know what a Content Owner does, I’d recommend reading PDC2008: A Day in the Life #1 for context. As mentioned in the prior post, one of my responsibilities is to coordinate and drive two meetings each week with many representatives from across Microsoft. The members of this team are critical thinkers who help define, create, and shape the content we’ll present at PDC2008 in October. But how do we select our content? How do we know which sessions make sense and which ones don’t?
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that many Microsoft employees have an engineering mind-set, and we tend to want everything defined in terms of an algorithm (yes, I’m guilty too). But when it comes to content, though we do have many measures and metrics, a bunch of smart people talking and arguing about what makes the most sense provides the secret ingredient. And that’s okay! That’s why we spend so much time in meetings. Embrace the power of the human brain, I say!
For a big event like PDC, a lot of our product teams want to present sessions on their latest technology. As a matter of fact, I receive e-mail almost daily asking how to integrate “these 10 sessions,” or asking “how do we get our own track?” If we accepted every suggestion, we’d probably end up with over 500 sessions, and we have neither the space nor the time to deliver that many (not to mention the feedback we receive from attendees that tells us to keep the session count reasonable).
Here are some of the filters we use to vet our topics:
There are other filters, but these are the most important. Also, PDC is frequently used to announce new products and technologies, and for those topics, we tend to allocate more sessions simply because the content is brand new.
As you can imagine, with a “budget” that limits the total sessions we can deliver, this really becomes an exercise in weeding out inappropriate content, prioritizing the best content, and often times combining two or more sessions into one. This last tactic has a desirable outcome, because it generally forces multiple topics or technologies to come together and provide clear guidance, rationalization, or differentiation.
Okay…here’s where you come in. While we could easily fill all of our session slots with topics suggested by internal teams, I’d like to ask which specific topics you’d like us to cover. To set expectations appropriately, I can’t promise that just because a topic is suggested here that it will be represented at PDC2008, but I can promise that every suggestion that is added to feedback will be reviewed and considered by someone on our content team. While we’re at it, are there any Microsoft speakers you’d really like to hear from? If you have other colleagues or friends who may have input, please send them our way.
Thanks in advance for your participation!
I’ve put this one off for way too long. For everyone who has sent me e-mail over the years asking how I create my wallpaper images, I’ve finally taken the time to write down my thoughts, techniques, workflow, tips, and tricks. Wow…I never realized how many steps I go through! I’m sure that I forgot a few things, and I’d be happy to revise the article with more detail. Please leave feedback, and tell me what you think.
While I was at it, I added 16 new wallpaper images to the collection. You can thank Bellevue Botanical Garden and the beautiful weather we’ve been having here in the Pacific Northwest. My favorite of the new batch, though, is easily Leaf 62 which was taken in our own back yard. Enjoy!