Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Sitecore MVPs announced

While those of us nominated have known this for a while, Sitecore today officially announced the Sitecore MVPs for 2008. A select list of 13 Sitecore professionals, of which I am proud to be named as one. Reportedly I am the first (and so far the only) UK based Sitecore MVP - and given I make my living here in London as an independent Sitecore consultant, I can only hope this award helps open up a few doors down the road. Up until the nomination came through on email, I didn't actually really know if the MVP programme was "alive" or if it was just something that would be "nice to have" inside Sitecore circles. I know Alex De Groot used the title for a while (and considering he probably wrote 10 blog posts for every one of the rest of the community put together, probably rightly so :P), but other than that the title didn't come up very often. Obviously Alex works for Sitecore now, and so probably no longer qualifies as such - not that his community contributions are less noticed for that reason. Cheers Alex, for being the one nominating me for this. This brings about a point that I consider to be important. The MVP programme nominates people outside Sitecore itself. Which, with some reason, should make the MVPs a reliable source for real impressions and opinions on Sitecore as a product, Sitecore as a company and Sitecore as a business partner (well maybe less so). Without restrictions being imposed, mind you, as Alex himself commented on earlier in 2008. While personally I certainly have a vested interest in Sitecore (as I make my living from implementing it), I'd also like to think that I keep an open mind and share my thoughts on it all - be it positive or negative. No doubt this has been the source of some controversy from time to time ;-) For that reason, here is the official list of Sitecore MVPs for 2008, with links to their blogs. I may not have been able to locate you all, so if you're on this list and have a blog I have not included - drop a comment. Sitecore will eventually make a similar list available on their site but until then, this should help the interested reader. Australia · Alistair Deneys (Next Digital Group) Canada · Eric Briand (Ergonet) · Glen McInnis (Non-linear Creations) Germany · Christopher Wojciech (Netzkern GmbH) · Julius Ganns (Netzkern GmbH) Denmark · Klaus Petersen (Alpha Solutions A/S) · Thomas Eldblom (Pentia A/S) The Netherlands · Justin Sjouw (Caesar Optimit) · Marc van Aalst (Evident) The United Kingdom · Mark Cassidy (CorePoint IT Limited) (btw, please don't click the company link... yet... :P) USA · Andy Uzick (FMC Technologies, Inc.) · Sasha Pfandt (Digitaria Interactive, Inc.) · Ben Golden (Aware Web Solutions) (must be cold in the Twin Cities this time of year :P) Congrats everyone, and happy new year :-)


Alex de Groot said...

Hello Mark,

To be honest: Somehow you get related to Sitecore. But like Microsoft MVPs you are independent and free to share your opinions.

We have a very open way of communicating with 'the cloud'. And as you have seen in some recent discussions, we're not afraid of sharing our own thoughts on the internet.

I believe that's one of our powers. Therefore we decided to thank the group around the world who's building on this critical but very worthfull atmosphere.

About my restrictions: this has a lot to do with trust. E.g. a record label tells me their next web strategy. Although I like it, although I help them on implementing it in a right way, I would simply unleash to much when blogging about it.
Beside of that, I'm fairly new to Sitecore. I'm still in my first year here. It feels comfortable to write this comment to explain a bit further the why and what's.

Please go on with your great work. Like all the others I've nominated, you do a great job. And please keep your critical but valuable notes coming!

- Alex

Mark van Aalst said...

Hi Mark,

Congratulations with your MVP title!

You can find my blog at www.markvanaalst.com and the url of the company I work for is www.evident.nl

Kind regards,

Mark van Aalst

Mark Cassidy said...

@ Alex,

While I have no doubt you're very much of the original "Blogosphere" mindset, as described in many places on the web but summed up pretty nicely by Nicolas Carr; "That vast, free-wheeling, and surprisingly intimate forum where individual writers shared their observations, thoughts, and arguments outside the bounds of the traditional media..."

But having taken on a few bloggers isn't really in itself proof that Sitecore as a company is embracing "the cloud". Or at least not in the way many blog pioneers would see it.

Like any other media in history, blogging is changing - not only for us that blog, but for companies everywhere. I know it may seem a bit tame to just quote someone else, but I highly recommend reading through Who killed the blogosphere?. Blogs are becoming corporate (or falling under corporate restraint). I have ex colleagues and friends who were flat out forbidden to start a blog simply because it raised too many questions on form, content, what it might signal and how that would align with the corporate image.

As will be no surprise, I am a believer of the original spirit of blogging; a sharing of thoughts and immediate reactions to what I encounter in my daily life. In this case restricted to my daily life as far as working with Sitecore as a product is concerned.

And that's the difference I was referring to. Blog 1.0 and Blog 2.0 if you will... ;-)