Sean O’Driscoll: MVP (Most Valuable Professional) Program, MVP traits, the Future; Top Resources.


This is the next interview in the continuing series which is featured here “first” in the Canadian IT Managers (CIM) forum.

Sean O'DriscollIn this blog series, we talk with Sean O'Driscoll: Global Senior Director for CSS Community and MVP Worldwide, Microsoft Corporation.

We started our chat with Sean on Friday where I profiled Sean’s background. We continue our discussion with Sean…

Stephen: You talked earlier about the MVP award program. As its director, can you expand on what the program means to ICT professionals and to communities?

Sean: As I said earlier, what makes communities valuable are the experts within them that so willingly share their knowledge, experience and insights. Communities (and their experts) would exist without the MVP award – but the award certainly makes it easier to identify many of the outstanding technical leaders in the industry. Your readers can have a look at to see a directory of MVPs. There’s also a great site managed by the MVPs themselves at with links to 3rd party web sites and blogs maintained by MVPs. I hope that after reading this interview, your readers might take more notes when they see the MVP logo and recognize that the person on the other end has been recognized by Microsoft for their outstanding technical contributions to the communities.

Stephen: What traits do MVPs generally have in common?

Sean: I think I can boil this down to three things.

  1. They are independent experts in one or more Microsoft technologies.
  2. They have a passion for actively sharing that knowledge and expertise with others in communities.
  3. The community participation motivation for them is the process of learning, sharing and helping others.

Stephen: What do you hope to accomplish with the program in the future?

Sean: It starts with continuing to run a great program that is true to its roots and history. There are some core principals for the Award that are part of this.

  1. Preserve the independent voice of the MVPs in the community.
  2. Preserve the fundamental principals of an award program – awarded for past contributions for actively sharing technical expertise in online and offline communities.
  3. Ensure we are identifying and awarding the most deserving global contributors to protect the quality of the brand and its awardees.
  4. Continue to globalize the program and broaden its award competencies to ensure its awardees represent the diversity of Microsoft technology and the worldwide presence and impact of communities.
  5. Enhance opportunities for MVPs to network with one another and people throughout Microsoft in the areas they are recognized.
  6. And most critically, to preserve the award’s fundamental purpose of saying “Thank You” to these amazing individuals.
  7. Continue exploring and learning new community spaces to award outstanding contributors

Stephen: Which are your top recommended IT resources?

Sean: #1 is Communities…communities…and communities. Seriously, I use an online community for some purpose literally every day. I hope your readers will start with some of the links I included earlier to start their exploring.

Additionally, I’d recommend:


In the next blog, Sean provides his
predictions of future trends and their implications/opportunities: Communities grow, Social Networking blends online/offline, Corporate transparency, Consumer empowerment

I also encourage you to share your thoughts here on these interviews or send me an e-mail at
Thank you,
Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P.

Comments (2)

  1. ki says:

    I didn’t know that MVPs were this pool of talent that are available. Great information. Thanks.

  2. Wes says:

    This program needs more attention from the media and industry. I didn’t know they existed until now. Enjoyed the chat!

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