Leaving Microsoft to become an Ant
Just over four year ago, I joined the Community Online Support Team at Microsoft as part of the MVP Award Program. While 2006 does not seem that long ago in normal years, in internet-time it’s been almost a lifetime. During this time period, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate and work alongside an amazing group of individuals inside and outside the walls of Microsoft. This list includes an incredibly diverse group of passionate customers of Microsoft products and services that have been recognized and awarded as Microsoft MVPs. If you’re a current MVP or an Alumni of the program reading this post, then I want you to know that your passion and commitment to the communities that you participate have been an inspiration for me on both a personal and professional level.
During my time at Microsoft, I also had the opportunity to help define our strategy for a healthy community experience in the online communities on Microsoft properties. This work involved working with the most active participants in the community forums, the product groups, the support delivery teams, the platform and site management teams, and last but not least our business analysis teams putting a model in place that would make it was easier for customers to talk with each other and back to Microsoft.
From launching a community support/engagement model with our amazing team in Shanghai China targeted at the Developer and IT-Pro communities to the launch of Microsoft Answers in 12 languages supporting Windows 7 and Office 2010 I was able to participate in some amazing things.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve thought deeply about the road ahead and what the next steps would be for me professionally. It was during this time period, that I connected with some old colleagues and friends who had fought along side me in the trenches, helping to take the “community” flag to the top of the proverbial corporate mountain. A little over a year ago, they left Microsoft and joined a group of likeminded individuals with the vision of transforming how customers engage with large corporations. As a side note- the proliferation of social sites sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube is shifting our preference for engaging with companies to a model that is much more conversational. As it relates to this transformation, rather than taking a “birds eye” view of a company, they believed in taking the view of the customer, or an “Ants Eye View” and working with corporations who have awoken to this shift.
A week ago today, I joined this group of “Ants” as Social Business Strategist (sexy way of saying consultant) at Ant’s Eye View. I’m excited about that next stage of my career, getting out from behind the walls of one large corporation and having the opportunity to work across many during this transformative period. Be sure and check out and subscribe to the company blog or follow us on Twitter