This is the continuing series of special interviews appearing first here in the Canadian IT Managers (CIM) forum from top-ranking business and technology leaders.

Last week we began our discussion with Nestor J. Portillo, and provided Nestor's rich history in the industry.

Today I put these questions to Nestor:
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SI: Provide your three predictions of future trends and their implications to MVPs?

NJP: I cannot predict the future however based on my experience working with MVPs in different geographies and dealing with communities around the world I see the following trends:

Trend 1: Dynamic and collective Content

Implication: The demand for technical content is increasing year after year at the community level. Today communities are not only defining the format (online/offline) or the delivery channel (whitepapers, Webcasts, Podcasts, etc), but they are tending to take more control over the quality and applicability. Collaborative initiatives like wikipedia for example are gaining popularity because the content generated is enhanced by experience, real usage scenarios, comments and the most important written by users in a simple language (including slang). MVPs will need to move their knowledge sharing approach from the traditional Question ? Answer schema where the MVP has all the knowledge into Question ? advice model where the advice includes the answer plus knowledge sharing via collaborative content.

Trend 2: Shared product development

Implication: Microsoft and other few technology suppliers are currently providing early access to the product's bits/builds with the idea of drive more innovation by offering the opportunity to the community to work with the product/technology prior to its release. The MVP role will evolve to an innovation role because they will be able to translate the community feedback and channel it through product specifications and features that will enhance product/technology functionality.

Trend 3: Accessibility

Implication: A special characteristic that distinguishes MVPs is its accessibility- today one of their strength is that they are accessible to the community members. With the growth of the community neighborhood and the apparition of new participation spaces, I can see MVPs carefully selecting their participation spaces because they will be attracted to those that will allow them to continue driving high impact/reach. My opinion is that federated communities will become the natural targets because these will offer the opportunity to leverage their contributions to more and more people, thanks to the federation model.

SI: Which are your top five recommended resources?

NJP: Microsoft offers a comprehensive set of resources oriented to help communities and customers to take the most of our products and technologies. The resources provided fulfill "Break-fix" and "How-to" needs and are available in different formats such as: White-papers, code samples, multimedia, etc. To mention some that I have top of mind:

  1. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/default.aspx
  2. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/default.aspx
  3. http://support.microsoft.com/newsgroups/default.aspx
  4. http://support.microsoft.com/search
  5. http://www.windowsitpro.com/

SI: Closing Comment: We will continue to follow your fine work and the contributions of MVPs. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. We wish you much continued success for the future.

NJP: Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you and share with your audience detailed information about the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Program. I would like to invite them to visit http://mvp.support.microsoft.com for further information.
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I encourage you to share your thoughts here on these interviews or send me an e-mail at sibaraki@cips.ca.
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Thank you,
Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P.