This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: New blog articles in Microsoft Tech Community.
Quarantined Ninja says, "It's time to launch our new Microsoft Wiki Community Council!" He also says, "It's cool. I always wear a mask and keep my hands clean. Oh, and I throw ninja stars." Anyway...
I'm going to start with the history of the council and the blog (well, this is one perspective on the history... there are a lot of ways to tell this story). But then, keep reading, because this will lead up to today's announcement at the bottom of this blog post!
The TechNet Wiki Community Council started in 2010, to help shape the launch of TechNet Wiki:
Some of the key Microsoft FTE members of the council then included Eric Battalio (Wiki founder), Monica Rush, Tony Soper, Kim Ditto-Ehlert, and Larry Franks. For the full list of all the members, over time, see the following article:
I was a founding member of the TechNet Wiki, but I didn't join the Council until 2013, when I was asked to lead it (Eric Battalio passed the torch as he went on to champion the Visual C++ community). To understand why I was asked to lead it, let's rewind to mid 2011, when I made a second attempt to pitch to the council something crazy... let's use a blog to promote the wiki. The first time, that didn't land well. Why not use the Wiki to promote the Wiki? My short answer was/is... that wasn't my vision, I didn't understand how that would work (still don't), and so I wasn't going to do that.
So I didn't pursue it or anything like it. And then I came back with Yuri in mid 2011 to help me pitch the idea of the blog again. This time, it landed better. And ultimately, I think what it came down to was that this Ed guy wasn't going to run a promotion program unless he could do it his way... thus let's just let Ed try it his way and run the blog. (Something is better than nothing.)
Thus, in 2011, the Wiki Ninjas blog was born, which existed to build a community around TechNet Wiki. The vast majority of the posts existed to talk about what the community was doing... essentially to say Thank You. Our interviews we conducted have helped our members get MVP awards, jobs, and book projects (um, even this week, actually, but I digress)... it's been a powerful 9 years of the Wiki Ninjas!
And through that blog, the community took shape and became the Wiki Ninjas. Before the blog, "Wiki Ninjas" was a fun brand the Microsoft employees called ourselves (courtesy of Eric Battalio) and a Twitter handle (see Wiki Ninjas - Why ninjas?). But it was you, the community, that made the Wiki Ninjas blog and brand come alive! Here are our earliest blog posts, starting on October 30, 2011:
- About Wiki Ninjas - The Official Blog of TechNet Wiki - My first post on this blog.
- Monday: Interview with a Wiki Ninja - Yuri Diogenes - I interviewed Yuri, who helped me pitch the blog.
- #WINNING: TechNet Wiki Community Council - I think this was by Eric Battalio, and you can see some info about the early council, in 2011.
- Top #TNWiki Articles of the Week! - Tony Soper leads the pack! - Check out my first Top 10 blog post! This was before Peter Laker turned it into an machine (literally).
- Interview with a BizTalk MVP Wiki Ninja!!! - Steef-Jan Wiggers - I interviewed Steef-Jan in November 2011. He was one of our first MVPs to join the Wiki Ninjas community!
- Wiki Ninjas - Why ninjas? - You know you've been wondering this! I explain it all, in a silly/creative multiple choice style concept. Did you know that I drafted a blog post that I never published (my second blog post, so it was right at the beginning), to create a Ninja Belts award system! It wasn't until years later, with the help of folks like Margriet, Peter Laker, Durval, and Kamlesh (and many others) that the dream became a reality!
- Interview with Ed Price: What is a Wiki Ninja? And Why? - I think this was Tony Soper's idea when I talked about doing interviews. He just showed up at my office with Eric and a camera, and we interviewed each other. Tony was a pro.
- Interviews with Wiki Ninjas -> Tony Soper + Eric Battalio - And here are the video interviews I did of Tony and Eric. See some of the OG's in action!
- Interview with Arnie Rowland, SQL Server MVP - I believe this was Monica interviewing one of our earliest non-Microsoft Council members, Arnie!
- Developer content on TechNet Wiki - This post has a funny story (funny to me). I named the blog post something like, "New MSDN Wiki!" Then it was a joke that it was actually the TechNet Wiki and developers can post articles there too. Well, I kind of got in trouble for that one. The MSDN managers told me I couldn't do that (imply a brand change that didn't exist)... even if it was just a joke. So I tamed it down. =^)
- Wiki Life: Should I use the Gallery or TechNet Wiki? - I liked these articles. People were really asking these questions, not understanding the beauty of synergy. But we showed them! =^)
- Interview with a Forefront Identity Manager MVP: Peter - Our first interview with Peter Geelen!
- Top Five reasons to use MSDN/TechNet Forums & TechNet Wiki - More synergy thinking.
- Top 7 Reasons why TechNet Wiki will change your world - Because everybody needs a Wiki sales pitch! From January 22, 2012.
- Top 6 Fears of TechNet Wiki - And let's take it the other way! So this addresses the negative questions/comments I heard.
- Interview with a Wiki Ninja: Luigi Bruno, MCC - I finally interviewed Luigi Bruno on Feb 13, 2012.
- Interview with a Wiki Ninja: Kim Ditto-Ehlert - I think this is Monica interviewing another Wiki Council OG, Kim Ditto-Ehlert!
- Wiki Life: Why should I use TechNet Wiki if I already blog - More synergy!
- Interview with Artem Pronichkin, a Windows Server and... - I interviewed Artem, an MVP and original community member of the first Council.
- To Learn and Translate - Another classic from Luigi Bruno.
As we got the blog going (in late 2011 and early 2012), I was struggling a little to get Microsoft employees signed up to post on the blog. I was blogging too often to give the blog and community the strength and momentum that it needed. I needed more bloggers.
Enter the community!
- TNWiki Article Spotlight – Forefront Identity Manager. - Peter Geelen's first blog post! Peter was an MVP (before he became a MS employee and went back to an MVP). So he was one of our first community (non MS) bloggers!
- Wiki-Ninjas on Technology: BizTalk Server - Steef-Jan jumps in!
- The First Time You Never Forget - Luigi Bruno joins the fray!
By the time we hit April/May 2012, we were really rolling. We had lots of community (non-MS) bloggers and we could comfortably rotate in and have fun with it. And we never looked back! The community has grown! Some folks graciously bowed out and stepped out of the way as our new leaders have emerged!
Fast forward to early 2013, and Eric was moving to his Visual C++ community management roll. He wanted someone to carry on the mantle of the Wiki Community Council. Who better than that one crazy guy with the idea that a blog can harness the passion of a community around a wiki?
And on May 26, 2013, I published our first blog post, talking about our new "doer" wiki community council, which included folks like Peter Geelen, Peter Laker, Luigi Bruno, Steef-Jan Wiggers, Margriet Bruggeman, Luiz, Ana, and Richard Mueller:
Over the years, that council has ebbed and flowed. We've been super organized (like the blog post above shows), even meeting monthly. And then other times we were more flexible, continuing our broader goals and running programs as a community, nay a family, in our Skype groups.
There have even been times when I got busy with projects involved in my work (which is now helping drive results in Azure datacenter deployments). And then I would wonder if the Wiki Ninja Community has survived my absence. So I check back and see it thriving! Sure, there are times when the blogging hasn't been as active. And the transition to this blog on Tech Community isn't quite done yet, meaning that we don't yet have the following we had on TechNet/MSDN, but we're getting close. But the point is that this community is much bigger than me, Eric, or any one person (although folks like Peter Laker, Ronen, Kamlesh, and Peter Geelen, have certainly helped keep the lights on in incredibly astonishing ways).
Ronen (RA) stepped up to support a resurgence in the council! I am humbled by his passion and ready to partner with him and the community!
And so, we're digging back in. We're going to go back to full strength (thanks to the help of the Microsoft MVP, Ronen), and you'll see us blogging here about the new progress we're making.
The New Council Team Members
Here are the profiles of the new/returning team members (in alphabetical order):
- Ed Price - United States
- Edward van Biljon - South Africa
- George Grammatikos - Greece
- John Naguib - Egypt
- Kamlesh Kumar - India
- Luigi Bruno - Italy
- Paul Long
- Peter Geelen - Belgium
- Peter Laker - UK
- Ronen Ariely - Israel
- Syed Shanu - Korea
And then there were 11! We're looking forward to working together and seeing what's next for Microsoft Wiki Community and what we can do together to take our community to the next level!
We're up for adding more members, and we'd love to have women on the council again, so anyone should feel free to chat with us about this! We want the person to be a leader in the Wiki community, so we'd start with that... publishing articles for the Guru Competition, then becoming a member of our blog authoring team, etc.
Expect to see us return to this blog, where we'll tell you about our projects! We'll also be updating the Wiki articles about the new council. You'll see us blog about our focus areas...
And then this article shows our history with various focus areas:
We're looking forward to collaborating with you! Thank you for reading!
And remember to jump on in. The Wiki is warm!
- Ninja Ed
*The Quarantined Ninja banner was created by Mohamed El-Qassas. You can see all the 2020 banners in Ronen's blog post: Microsoft Community Wiki Banners & Logo for 2020 - Contest result!