Rory Blyth recently blogged that he was invited to attend the 2004 Microsoft MVP Summit without being an MVP. This has caused some outcry from some members of the .NET programming community. I've seen some complaints from Roy Osherove who wrote Non MVPs at the MVP summit - looks bad, smells bad and Ted Neward who's written MVP: What's in a name? that inviting people who aren't MVPs to the MVP Summit diminishes the value of being an MVP. As the community lead for my team I tend to share their sentiments. I'll reserve comment about this particular incident since all the details are not available.

I did feel drawn to post because Ted Neward wrote 

 Meanwhile, for those who've asked over blogs and mailing lists, becoming an MVP is not a mystical or mysterious process, but it is somewhat subjective and arbitrary: as I understand it, in essence, when it comes time to select new MVPs, existing MVPs nominate names they've seen active within the community (writing books, speaking, blogging, activity on the newsgroups and various community portals, and so on), and from there the rest of the MVPs in that "group" sort of hash out who's worthy and who's not.

I don't know about other products and technologies but that isn't how it's worked for the case of the “Visual Developer - XML” category. Various internal and external folks can nominate MVPs through myself or two people from the MVP program, Ben Miller is one of the other people, and we actually enter the nomination information. Then three of us vote on who should be an MVP based on what we know first hand or second hand about the individual. I'm sure some teams encourage the MVPs to be directly involved in the process but that doesn't mean that is the rule for how things work with regards to MVP nominations. Also I'm sure product teams and the MVP program have veto power on whoever is awarded as an MVP even for folks nominated by other MVPs.


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