This week Microsoft invited quite a few community influencers (I totally hate it when someone uses the term "community leader") to meet in Barcelona. Tuesday at the airport, I met my fellow Austrians Christian Nagel (INETA, Regional Director) and Ingo Rammer (Regional Director, MVP). As they were doing a presentation on community Wednesday afternoon, we decided to find ourselves a nice cafeteria and let creativity flow to add more "juice" to the slides (photos to follow: Ingo, Christian).
Being in the community (see "Deutsche Resourcen" in the blogroll sidebar) for quite a long time, I was able to provide input into what makes communities tick - online as well as offline.
In case you were wondering how far we'd go to find a cafeteria - it was visible in the background of Ingo:
Before continuing with the scheduled program, one view from the hotel:
Nice view. But we didn't come for the nice view, nice weather and hospitality. We came for providing input to various community issues and initiatives. And that we have done - the good, the bad and the ugly (they were asking for it). Hopefully it helps to shape the efforts of Microsoft in a way that creates maximum momentum for communities without any side effects - admittedly a very optimum scenario, but hey, we are optimists, otherwise we wouldn't spend time for community.
Aside from various discussion points on community, there is one conclusion I'd single out as most important that I came back with from the event: Dear community influencers, don't get suckered into the future-only drive. .NET 1.1 is exciting. Communicate that message. Just because you have mastered (to a degree) .NET 1.1 doesn't mean it is boring and the entire world has to wait for vNext holding their breath - repeat after me: .NET 1.1 IS EXCITING!