Book author, magazine editor, award-winning writer, highly-influential blogger—Ed Bott has been a leading voice in the computing industry for decades, which provides him a unique perspective as an MVP.
“We’re in the middle of a major inflection point right now in technology,” he explained. “Nothing is obvious anymore. There are so many choices, so many devices, so many configurations, and people are struggling to understand what they can do with them. It’s mind boggling to me how much evolution has sped up. And the pace of change doesn’t seem to be slowing.”
He sees one of the important roles of MVPs as serving as the voice of community to Microsoft, bringing those struggles and pain points into sharp relief in their many conversations with Microsoft product teams.
“A lot of people have the misconception that MVPs are recognized by Microsoft because they are evangelists. That’s not it at all,” said Ed. “They’re influential in community and they work as advocates for the community. They come to events like the MVP Global Summit to give feedback from the community—from their clients, customers, colleagues. It’s a critical opportunity for Microsoft to listen to real-world feedback.”
Value of Being an MVP
It’s also an opportunity for Ed to gain insights from a large number of MVPs. “I get to meet a lot of people who collectively add to my knowledge enormously,” said Ed. “Because I’m a journalist, people are often guarded in everyday discussions. At Summit, we all understand discussions are under NDA (non-disclosure agreement)—even hallway conversations are assumed to be private. Most of us don’t have the opportunity to have that level of discussion with colleagues in our everyday lives. When I’m wearing my reporter’s hat, I can keep those two worlds separate and bring something of value to both sides.”
Favorite MVP Moment
Ed picked the same favorite MVP moment as Ed Horley did for his MVP Spotlight: the opportunity to have a caricature drawn at the November 2013 MVP Global Summit Attendee Party of the “FourEdedMonster,” including himself, Windows Expert - IT Pro MVP Ed Horley, Windows Expert - IT Pro MVP Ed Gallagher and Remote Desktop Services MVP Ed Liberman. “Somehow, we had never all four been in the same room before. Time after time, one Ed would walk in the front door of a room as another was walking out the back door. This moment was special because it was unplanned and we could seize it.”
I’m a Windows MVP, but I’m also fluent in Office. One of the best-kept secrets in Office, as far as I’m concerned, is OneNote, which now works on just about every platform and syncs with OneDrive amazingly well. Over at ZDNet, I’ve put together a list of six OneNote shortcuts and secrets that can definitely make anyone more productive. See Six clicks: OneNote tricks to make you an instant expert.