SharePoint Knights and Award/Recognition Programs
I decided to blog about this because I figured I might as well give my two cents on this and clearly illustrate why I completely and wholeheartedly would support almost any program such as the one called SharePoint Knights proposed by community members and Joel (http://www.sharepointjoel.com/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=218#Comments).
To me the concept represented by the SharePoint Knights order, and any other award/recognition program designed for and based on community contribution is a wonderful idea. The reason I believe it’s a wonderful idea is because these programs DO increase community contribution and provide extra motivation for people to help and contribute to the community.
I understand that we don’t want to mar, muddy, or confuse the power and importance of the MVP status (which personally I think is a well run program considering the challenges this kind of program typically runs into). I think the entire advantage and best part of this idea/concept has been harshly criticized without people taking a step back and seeing it for what (in my honest opinion) the idea represents. (I could be mistaken and I apologize if I am.)
The primary focus of a program like this should be/is to provide more awards and recognition for community contribution.
That’s it. It’s not about what the rules are for this, or how this will be facilitated or handled (BTW great post by Jeremy on this outlining a lot of the challenges a program like this needs to consider: http://wss.made4the.net/archive/2009/05/05/sharepoint-mvps-vs-sharepoint-knights.aspx). As far as I am concerned there is no substantial reason (if we ignore personal/emotional reactions) that seems to indicate more programs like the MVP program (hosted by ANYONE in my opinion) aren’t good for the community.
So in my opinion I really hope that more of these programs and ideas pop up, not less. I want us to get saturated with them. I want everyone to feel like they are awarded for contributing to the community. It will strengthen the community not harm it. It will also cause the best programs to make their way above the others in the same way award systems have a ‘top award’ or ‘most respected award’ in their respective communities. We will have that too, and yes, there is the possibility that maybe the MVP award (in the long run) won’t be the top/most respected one. Personally, I think it will and that this healthy competition will enable it to grow and become an even better program than it is right now.
Keep it coming guys and it’s great to see people trying to make new change and empower the community further,