I've been an MVP now for 3 years and it's that time of the year where my MVP status comes up for renewal and so I thought that I'd blog some thoughts about the program and revisit this old post from Dave Lemphers:
First, the MVP program is many things to many people. To some it's just a bad form of Kool Aid, while to others it's a set of rules. Heck, according to this guy, it's now actually being run by Kofi Anan! So whatever your take on the MVP program, it's clearly an emotive discussion point.
For my part I'm in agreeance with Dave Lemphers thoughts about it and would really like to see a greater churn in the program for a couple of reasons. First, by having greater churn I think that you could keep the size of the program down and, in turn, reduce the administration effort that is required to maintain it. Secondly, greater churn would provide an opportunity for some people who may not otherwise get the opportunity - because of timing or bad luck - to be an MVP; and that would be a shame.
Aside from the obvious benefit of the free MSDN Subscription the MVP program is great because of what it allows you to do. The MVP program is really a set of tools that allow you to plug in to Microsoft at a pretty low level and to use those tools and your own energy to do things that might otherwise have been unachievable.
I'd like to see that the MVP's that are awarded are those people who are most likely to benefit from the use of these tools and the doors that they can open. For example, take some of the guys that I've worked with in the community of late: Joseph Cooney (WPF), Paul Stovell (Languages), Keyvan Nayyeri (.NET Developer Community) and Tatham Oddie (Web 2.0). Nice guys, great attitude, 1000% more energy than me - not MVP's. So here is me, with this terrific network that I've built, sitting at the top, licking cream. While they are stuck with having to work two or three times as hard as me just to get the same level of information. It's an exaggerated example used for effect.
If those guys were MVP's they'd get the invites to the right meetings; they'd get access to the right newsgroups, and they'd have the opportunity to mix their current levels of energy with the product teams to create unique and interesting things with the product. And just as important... they'd get the recognition that they deserve for the effort that they've put into the Microsoft developer community.
So this is why I agree with Dave when he talks about being a nominator. It's not just about sharing the love, it's about being a leader and growing the community. It's a mentor mindset as opposed to a me mindset.
And "Yes", while the satisfaction of giving someone else a go will be great, letting go of that MSDN Subscription will be hard :-)