In the latest of our Six Question Series posts we will be going over the Microsoft Technical Communities (MSTC) program.
For this article we sent our questions over to Anne Michels who is a Tech Evangelists / Community Manager over at Microsoft.
1. Why did Microsoft choose to start the program?
There are hundreds of user groups worldwide whose members share a common interest in products, services and technologies by Microsoft and other companies. These user groups regularly organize events for their members or have websites that foster the active exchange among the visitors of the site such as forums or a discussion board. We love the fact that user groups gather in their free time to teach other people about our technologies. We love their passion, their energy and that they want to get engaged with us. To support them with their community engagement, that is exactly the aim of the Microsoft Technical Communities (MSTC) program.
2. What is the purpose behind the Microsoft Technical Communities (MSTC) program?
MSTC helps community leaders and speakers grow the technical passion and capacity of local communities worldwide by supporting community efforts with technical content, speakers and a wide range of value-added assets. Through this program, members connect and collaborate with each other, find and connect with speakers, benefit from great offers like event advertising and free eBooks, access high value technical content and attend TechTrax Train-the-Trainer live webcasts.
3. What makes this program special?
It’s free. It connects community leaders and speakers worldwide. It lets them network and share best practices among each other as well as with Microsoft employees. It supports them with their community engagement in a variety of ways. And there are no responsibilities for the members. After signing up, they can decide themselves how many resources they want to use and which level of engagement they want to seek.
4. What is the process for becoming an MSTC member?
Community leaders and speakers can sign up for the program at www.technicalcommunity.com. In order to join, you do need a Microsoft account (formerly Windows Live ID). For detailed information on who is eligible to join the program please take a look at the MSTC FAQs.
5. What are some of the benefits?
Main benefits for the members are:
Offers: MSTC members cannot only download one free eBook per quarter for themselves, but they can also request an eBook voucher once a month to raffle off at their user group meetings. Also available to community leaders is a free 1-year Office 365 subscription to help collaboration within their user group.
In addition, MSTC helps them to promote their events with Event Advertising. MSTC will place ads ($100 value each) on Facebook or LinkedIn to help boost attendance at their meetings. Lastly, MSTC is working with TechNet and MSDN to promote their events on their sites! All they need to do is submit their event in MSTC!
Content – MSTC members can access technical TechTrax webcasts on community topics as well as Train-the-Trainer sessions, presented and recorded by top technical experts from Microsoft. Best part is, this material is available for them to download to use at their events (e.g. power points with speaker notes, demo scripts).
Speaker & Leader Connection – Members can find the right event speakers, connect with other community leaders, and contact local Microsoft representatives via the speaker search and MSTC Yammer network.
6. What tips would you give to someone thinking of becoming a MSTC member?
If you are a user group leader or a speaker, simply go to www.technicalcommunity.com and sign up for the program!
This program could be a great resource for people looking for people to speak at events. I am registered in the community as a blogger and love the Technical Resource section. Playing around the site Community leaders will like the Speakers section as it lists all the speakers and their area of expertise.