The last several weeks have been quite hectic - busy on a number of fronts, which is a thankful thing, given the economy has slowed down a bit - but here is something quick that I wanted to share - I was awarded "Most Valuable Professional" (MVP) status by Microsoft for some of my ongoing work in Virtual Earth. Hierarchically, there isn't exactly a "VE MVP" program, but VE falls within Microsoft's broader Live Platform.
While I am quite thrilled and honored to be recognized by Microsoft, this is not to toot my own horn - but rather to get the word out to fellow geospatial developers that this is a great program, and to encourage them to look into it if they are doing integration work with VE. Only a week into it, I am finding that the program provides a tremendous amount of outreach, technical resources and other things, such as teleconferences, message boards, newsletters and other great technical information (awardees are required to sign and comply with an NDA) and best of all, a complimentary subscription to Microsoft's Developer Network (MSDN). There are also other great nontechnical benefits, such as $150 in credit at the Microsoft store and others which I am only just beginning to explore.
The way it works is that they receive nominations on a periodic basis - folks with talents in a given Microsoft technology can have friends nominate them - I would recommend putting together a portfolio of projects and related items, demonstrating innovation and engagement in the community, such as technical blog articles, engagement in online technical forums, any pro-bono work, and so on, and ask folks who are already MVPs to nominate you for your work. It's a great program, and a great idea from Microsoft toward promoting and evangelizing their platform that they are supporting their developer community so well.
With ESRI now partnering so tightly with Microsoft and supporting VE and Silverlight integration and other MS-oriented capabilities, this type of program is something that would be fabulous to see from them as well... (hint to Jack Dangermond...)