When the quarterly list of MVP’s is released (new MVP awards and renewals) you might wonder how people are chosen to become an MVP. One thing I would say is Microsoft give the award to people who deserve it, if you look at the list of MVP’s then you see that most of them have written books, have excellent blogs and contribute thousands of answers to the forums and wiki articles.
but for those of you out there who would like to become an MVP then I saw a couple of interesting articles which talked about it. The first place to start is the MVP site itself and it’s advice on becoming an MVP
The MVP Award recognizes exceptional technical community leaders from around the world who voluntarily share their deep, real-world knowledge about Microsoft technologies with others.
Potential MVPs are nominated by other technical community members, current and former MVPs, and Microsoft personnel who have noted their leadership and their willingness and ability to help others make the most of their Microsoft technology.
To receive the Microsoft MVP Award, MVP nominees undergo a rigorous review process. A panel that includes members of the MVP team and Microsoft product groups evaluates each nominee’s technical expertise and voluntary community contributions for the past 12 months. The panel considers the quality, quantity, and level of impact of the MVP nominee’s contributions. Active MVPs receive the same level of scrutiny as other new candidates each year.
MVPs are independent of Microsoft, with separate opinions and perspectives, and are able to represent the views of the community members with whom they engage every day.
Click here if you would like to nominate an outstanding community leader, or an exceptional contributor to the technical community, for consideration as an MVP.
one amusing thing I note from the snippet above is you can nominate yourself! I can’t imagine many self nominated people getting the award.
How to become an MVP is probably a very popular question so someone (probably an MVP) has written an excellent Wiki article on the subject, you can read the whole article here, it also mentions how you can become an MCC (Microsoft Community Contributor) but I will just paste the part about becoming an MVP
MOST VALUABLE PROFESSIONALS (MVP)
Become an MVP: http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/gp/mvpbecoming (if it doesn’t open, paste into a new tab or window)
Nominate an MVP: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/nominate-an-mvp.aspx (if it doesn’t open, paste it into a new tab or window)
PROCESS: After reading the “become an MVP” page, you’ll see that the process is rigorous. “MVP nominees undergo a rigorous review process. A panel that includes members of the MVP team and Microsoft product groups evaluates each nominee’s technical expertise and voluntary community contributions for the past 12 months. The panel considers the quality, quantity, and level of impact of the MVP nominee’s contributions.” Essentially the panel evaluates the nominees and then bases their award on those evaluations in quality, quantity, and level of impact.
REWARD: The reward is a “set of small services and benefits”, which include (among other benefits) the award status in your TechNet/MSDN profile, a listing among the official Microsoft MVPs, and an MVP profile page. The MVP award ends after one year (and then a renewal assessment is triggered).Tips to becoming an MVP (based on the MVP site)
NOTE: These tips are not guaranteed to get you the MVP status, and not all these tips are required. However, if you work on them, you’ll likely become an MVP through the process.
1) Give quality assistance, advice, processes, scripts, and consultation. Test your own advice and ask first (don’t make assumptions that you’re answering questions when too little data is given). Experts in your area will be evaluating samples of your community work. You don’t want them to be evaluating the one communication issue you had or the one mistake you accidentally made (and thus thinking that you make mistakes or miscommunication a regular practice).
2) Give high-quantity contributions. Be active in your technology’s forums and on blogs. The TechNet and MSDN forums are being monitored by current MVPs and Microsoft personnel.
3) Become a Moderator on your technology’s forums (post quality and quantity answers and then approach and ask moderators and owners to be considered or nominated). Or email me (edprice at Microsoft). Then make a case (given your Forum experience and abilities) to become a moderator. See How to Become an MSDN or TechNet Forum Moderator.
4) Share your knowledge in online community tools like blogs, Wiki articles, white papers, and Galleries (you can upload your white papers on TechNet Gallery ). You must create your own unique content and help build the community around your content.
5) Speak at conferences, local groups, meetings, and user groups. Speak online in virtual events. Go show your expertise and teach large groups. These conferences and events are different for every product. Go find them. Here’s a testimony of one MVP who speaks at conferences .
6) Write articles, guest blogs, or books. In addition to writing for your own Blog, Wiki, and Forums, become a guest blogger on other famous blogs. Research the online and print magazines for your technology and then submit articles to try to get published. Ask to complete technical reviews of books that are currently being written. Eventually submit pitches to book publishers as well and establish yourself as an accomplished author in your technology areas.
7) Become the leader. Instead of just plugging into conferences, events, local groups, and user groups, build them, organize them, and lead them. Bring the community off-line. Here’s the testimony of an MVP who started an off-line user group, which led to other great opportunities .
8) Be consistent. This is a “marathon award”, and not a sprint award. Because an MVP award is evaluated based on the previous 12 months of contributions, you have to be active and consistent for over a year. If you’re three months in, then you have 9 more months to go before you can even be considered (you’re being evaluated with folks who have a full year of leadership contributions).
The tips above highlight why the MVP award is so prestigious, it’s based on contributions over 12 months, which is a long time. The tips also highlight the number of different areas MVP’s contribute, which shows you the contribution they have to the community.
I also found this discussion on one of the forums about becoming an MVP.
The tips above were taken from conversations the author (s) had with people who had been awarded the MVP award. There isn’t any magic formula or set criteria, so if you want to be nominated for an MVP award just get contributing.
Of course remember any comments I make on the subject are only me thinking out loud, I’m not an MVP so I would advise anyone who wants to become an MVP to get chatting with the MVP’s at convergence and ask the experts for tips.