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Saturday, July 22, 2006

(another) MVP Rant

Now, if this had just been a little rant about one or maybe two points, it probably wouldn't have warranted a mention but Jacek's latest rant about MVPs is so big and contains so many thinly veiled attacks on not only MVPs but other notible people in the WM community that something has to be said about it.

One of these people has seen an attack that was aimed squarely at him and has mailed us. At this point he wants to remain anonymous but he has said we can publish this:
"A while back Jacek accused me of "brownosing to become an MVP" in public. He then kept attacking me, trying to make out that I only help people for what I can get out of it. So I had a little chat with Jacek on MSN, explaining to him that the thought of becoming an MVP hadn't even crossed my mind until he had started going on about it. He asked me if I would turn down MVP status if it was offered to me and I replied honestly saying "no, I wouldn't but I wouldn't actively seek it either". Of course he replied with some bullshit about me being a liar and said that if I wasn't lying then I was subconciously seeking to become an MVP. A very long and drawn out argument ensued and Jacek became highly abusive towards me, which is nothing new. Anyway, the last time he did that, I threatened to send the chat logs to Jacekwatch if he ever did anything like that again and blocked him on my MSN. Two minutes later I get a very apologetic email from him practically begging for my forgiveness. At the time I accepted his apology but after this latest rant where he says:
"Furthermore I despise muppets who claim things like “I don’t want MVP but I wouldn’t reject it”. This is very delusional thinking and lying to oneself. Of course they want MVP. If not consciously then subconciously and this subconsciousness dictates often their dirty behavior with regard to some MVPs or some non-MVP Windows Mobile enthusiasts." can be sure Jacekwatch will be getting some very intersting chat logs, quite soon. How soon? Well, that's for Jacek to worry about ;)
So what has triggered this reaction? Have a read of this...
Among mobility MVPs (i.e. Windows Mobile specialized MVPs) there are quarrels and wars. I could reveal it all in details, and not just allegations but also proofs, etc, etc, but I will not do it. Not just because I am good guy, but because I wouldn’t like to hurt Windows Mobile phones sales. My contribution to sales of Windows Mobile phones is extremely huge and positive - exceeding those of majority of MVPs - so I wouldn’t like to hurt these sales by revealing these details.

Furthermore I despise muppets who claim things like “I don’t want MVP but I wouldn’t reject it”. This is very delusional thinking and lying to oneself. Of course they want MVP. If not consciously then subconciously and this subconsciousness dictates often their dirty behavior with regard to some MVPs or some non-MVP Windows Mobile enthusiasts. “Dirty” meaning: saying and writing things based on ignorance, things containing offensive words that are totally false but dictated by emotions, not by logic. In reality they are just “working towards getting MVP” and their claims “I don’t want MVP but I wouldn’t reject it” are just pure bullsh-t. If otherwise is true I wold like to see on their blogs statement like “I work for Windows Mobile community ONLY and if Microsoft would ever award me MVP then I hereby promise not to accept this MVP”. Such statement could clear the air and provide the proof that they are not deluding themselves and bullsh-tting whole community and everyone else.

Another category of muppets are MVPs who claim that they don’t care about their MVP award, but still continue accepting it every year and further more even arrange MVPs (i.e. nominate for MVP) people who contribute content to their own websites. This is simply hypocrisy and it’s pathetic.

Some people are also confused that I am interested in pleasing or satisfying so called “Windows Mobile community” - that is understood mostly as fans and activitis and NOT as “just end users”. I am not. I am interested in 2 things and 2 things only: a) increasing sales of Windows Mobile phones, b) ensuring that when users of Windows Mobile phones are buying new phone, that this phone will also be Windows Mobile powered or in other words I am interested in: a) gaining new customer, b) increasing customer retention. I am not interested in quarrells, wars, and publicity plebiscite among “Windows Mobile community” that usually is understood “mobile MVPs + people who write stories for websites dedicated to Windows Mobile”. No way. I don’t care about those people. I care about end users and not about activists like MVPs and their brownnosers.

One is for sure: the mobility MVPs - approximately 70 people - are one of the most conflict-infected MVP groups. I am sure that for example Tablet PC MVPs or Windows Media MVPs don’t hate each other so much… and don’t do such nasty things to each other. The conflicts are huge… and go so far as publishing libel about other MVPs by certain MVPs… and badmouthing in private emails… and this all is really cranky and wrong.

What to do to resolve problem of these MVP-internal wars? Well, one is for sure: the conflicts exist very much across various groups, websites, forums, etc. Even across countries. There is no easy solution to this problem and Microsoft would have to apply some radical solution to solve this problem wholly. What it could be? Here are some suggestions (I use in examples certain “Arnold” but of course it applies to any mobile MVP):

— limiting number of years that given person can hold MVP award. Now it seems is so, that some people have MVP title for ever. Fro example: Arnold should have MVP only for 4 years what means: he should not be getting it since 2004 anymore. Now Arnold writes arrogantly (highlight is mine) things like: “Arnold is recognized by Microsoft as a Most Valuable Professional for Mobile Devices (MVP); an award - given by Microsoft every year “. Every year? EVERY year? WTF? This is really bad.

— limiting number of people that can be awarded MVP from one website. For example to 2 only. For example: Arnold can arrange MVP award for his pal Damian, who is writing for Arnold’s website, but then Carlos who was writing for Arnold’s website before should be not awarded MVP any longer. In other words: the number of MVPs from given website should be constant and not bigger than some fixed amount (I propose 2 but maybe 3 could be better, I don’t know).

— any MVP that has it proven that he/she was badmouthing other MVPs or other non-MVP Windows Mobile enthusiasts, should be immediately taken away his MVP award - before the yearly renewal period ends. Of course it must be hard proof and that remote guesses, but clearly currently in era of criminal anonymity sometimes proving anything is simply impossible. I have no solution ready for this proving but obviously there are some undeniable proofs of bad mouthing by some MVPs and these should be sufficient for their removal from MVP next year or immediately. This negativity towards other MVPs AND towards non-MVP Windows Mobile fans should not be tolerated by Microsoft as it is now.

— MVPs should NOT be invited to Mobius invite only mobility conference but only such people that no longer are MVPs or never were MVPs, and who can through objective criteria (like Alexa) prove that they are truly influential.

— “elected for party A, so I keep my content at party A” principle should be used. Now it happens often that given person got MVP because of participation in certain forum/community/website/blog but then he/she moves out of this place and very often is “stealing” (or taking with him/her) materials/articles that he/she wrote for that place. If some mobile MVP would violate it and would start copying his “old” articles from place for which he got MVP to some new place then he should be taken away MVP immediately without waiting for yearly renewal.

— many MVPs have contributions that are very old, older than one year… but Microsoft nonetheless is still renewing their MVP every year. This is not fair. This should be stopped. So what that Arnold has written a book about Pocket PC 3 years ago if his contributions lately were more focused on reporting his impressions about latest Apple iPod players rather than presenting new applications for Windows Mobile phones.

— people who have websites, that cover all mobile platforms (and I mean not only symbian but also Apple iPod) and are not focused on Windows Mobile only should NOT get MVP. It is that simple. For example if Arnold covers all platforms on his website and forums and still gets MVP every year then it is not OK. It should stop right away.

— criteria of selection of mobile MVPs should be objective and not subject to personal feelings or subjective impressions. For example alexa web traffic or number of recommendations from non-MVPs etc should be taken into account and not just nepotism practiced by now. Criteria should be clear and if criteria are no longer valid (because person moves to other place or stops contributing) then MVP should be taken away immediately without waiting for yearly renewal.

— being MVP “by nature of it” is designed to please Microsoft employees and not to satisfy end users of Windows Mobile phones. This leads to situation where MVPs on forums are not only brownnosing Microsoft employees but also are justifying mistakes of Microsoft (like that removal of ActiveSync-ing capability over Wi-Fi) rather than admitting that these problems are mistakes indeed. This cushion or layer of brownnosers among MVPs leads to situation that Microsoft is blinded and is not working on improvement of some crucial features, usability, GUI design, etc. Shortly speaking: brownnosers should not be getting MVP at all and should not be taken away MVP next year during renewal.

— it is wrong that sometimes the same person at Microsoft is selecting MVPs for many many years. This person or these persons should be rotated and it should not be so that the same people select MVPs over longer than 2 years. After 2 years totally different set of Microsoft employees should select MVPs. Now the situation is corrupted and people are too close minded to have any objectivity.

Finally: the bottom line is that MVPs have little influence on the overall situation and impression among end users who don’t care who is MVP or not, etc. However these internal quarrels are manifesting itself in some bad practices like public badmouthing, blacklisting other sources, spreading negativity about non-MVP Windows Mobile fans, etc. etc. So in overall scheme of things the mobile MVP wars doesn’t matter but Microsoft is discouraging other non-MVP or non-yet-MVP enthusiasts when people see what is going on among MVPs. Microsoft should finally sort out this mobile MVP mess. Will it be done? I don’t know. However don’t say that I have not contributed also in this area! ;)
Now, correct us if we're wrong but isn't Jacek guilty of pretty much everything he's attacking others for? Yeh, silly question really, of course he is. You only have to be a regular reader of this site to know that ;) So there you have it, another great rant by Jacek Rutkowski, owner of