"My forum debut was around the launch of Windows 7, about the same moment Microsoft Answers (now the Microsoft Community) was launched. It came with this announcement, ‘Microsoft Answers now receives a flood of questions about Windows 7, so we need your help!’ This word from Microsoft’s support community prompted me to become active in the forum,” says Takae Sakushima, who has been a Windows Expert-Consumer MVP for seven consecutive years.
While she says her main business is "MOM," her encounters with Windows 95 in 1996 were definitely a starting point for her to be involved with the personal computer. "Since I started to use Windows 95 at home, I began to look for the most efficient and safest way for using the PC and then I found myself in the position of telling people how to use their computers,” she recalls. Today, as a freelance technical writer, she primarily provides Windows-related tips through community sites and her own blog between intervals of housework. And what is more, she writes a serial article for a magazine as well as having written a book together with Kazunori Hashimoto (Microsoft MVP for Windows Expert-IT Pro). As you can see, she is a multi-talented mother who plays an active role in a wide range of technical activities.
Takae began participating in forums seriously since becoming an MVP and her avatar shown on the forum page is now widely recognized by forum users. According to her, she has begun to receive wonderful comments, even from total strangers, such as, “I have seen this avatar! Thank you very much for your great support!” That is because she now shows her forum avatar on her business card! This is a great story demonstrating that many users are now browsing her feeds.
While Takae tries to provide instructions in the forum that are as easy to understand as possible, sometimes she receives very difficult questions that she cannot solve by herself. “When I’m faced with difficult questions, I ask for help from fellow MVPs and they teach me until I get it right. Thanks to their wonderful support, it eventually becomes possible to provide answers smoothly even to the complicated questions. And vice versa: I do also support other MVPs when they have difficult questions. As you can see, we are helping each other to conduct forum activities,” she explains. Needless to say, being an MVP and these cooperative relationships provide her a great advantage.
Some of her favorite moments as an MVP come when she gets comments such as, “I could solve the problem because of your helpful feed. Thank you very much!”
“Once I get complements like that I hold up fists towards the monitor as well,” Takae says. For her, other favorite moments come when she’s able to figure out difficult issues working cooperatively with fellow MVPs.
Lastly, Takae says this about being an MVP: "I used to be just one of many PC users. Once I received the MVP Award, however, everything changed completely. Windows-related issues used to be a dilemma and kept only in my mind as an inner voice imagining, ‘This could be like that!’ But now it can be sent directly to Microsoft as my feedback. Believe or not, some of my thoughts are actually reflected in Microsoft products. This is an honor being an MVP, and I wish more of my feedback will be accepted in the future.”
“Sometimes I also meet people who want to be an MVP. MVP is the best title for sure, but at the same time, we have various responsibilities. Not to distribute wrong information is observed as a matter of course, in addition, I strongly believe that keeping your dignity is another important thing about being an MVP. In other words, even someone who has wonderful skills but doesn’t have dignity would never gain people’s trust. Being an MVP, therefore, I do make my best effort to not only keep up my skills but also to maintain my dignity, such as not taking a high-handed attitude by showing off my knowledge and/or using my influence as an MVP in the wrong manner.
Finally, I truly believe I received the MVP Award because of support from the community. I would like to thank you all for the encouragement and I do very much appreciate all of your support. Thank you very much.”