February 11th, 2014 by NerdBlurt

Continuing on with our Six Question Series, today we are going to look at the networking world and Cisco’s community  program the Cisco Champions.

We sent our questions over to Amy Lewis Influence Marketing for Data Center Virtualization at Cisco Systems

Here are my six questions, very simple and straight forward, but can give someone a starting point to becoming a Cisco Champion

cisco_champions BADGE_200x200


Six Questions

Amy Lewis’s response below

1. Why did Cisco choose to start the program?
To formalize and extend our relationship with the technical community.
2. What is the purpose behind the Cisco Champion program?
 Education and amplification. Our goal with the Cisco Champions is to connect interested technologists with experts and information. We want to hear candid feedback and amplify their voices.
3. What makes this program special?
Cisco Champions is special because of the variety of opportunities we are building–blogger briefings, meetups, podcast, videos, etc. We are learning as we go, from each other. I think that give and take makes the program pretty special.
4. What is the process for becoming an Cisco Champion?
For Cisco Champions for Data Center, we run a nomination process in October–you can nominate yourself or be nominated. For the broader corporate program, it’s a rolling admission cycle while we build the program. They contact the potential Cisco Champion and evaluate their body of work and footprint in the community.
5. What are some of the benefits?
The benefits are great access to Cisco experts and information, and more of a voice in the community on hot topics of interest. And of course shirts.
6. What tips would you give to someone thinking of becoming Champion?
Participate, be interested, and raise your hand. Our job is to make heroes of the brave, be brave!
You can find out more on the Cisco Champions
Nerd’s Blurt
This is a good opportunity for those involved in the Cisco Community to gain valuable insights and exposure.

Posted in Tech Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

February 7th, 2014 by NerdBlurt

It is that time of year again for the folks in the virtualization community, vExpert program is accepting applications for it’s 2014 class of honorees. I have been humbled to be selected for the last 2 years,and hopefully will make it three years in a row.

There are a couple notable changes to the program this year versus years past.


1. Quarterly application process – The application process is now open all year long! Every quarter they will review a nominations and award vExpert status accordingly. So if you don’t get it in the 1st qtr then try the 2nd and so on.

2. Fast Track for current vExperts –  They have streamlined the application if you are currently a vExpert, which is a great thing!

Paths to vExpert

There are three paths you can apply to become a vExpert.

  • Evangelist Path
  • Customer Path
  • VPN – VMware Partner Path

Check to the official  announcement here

Nerd’s Blurt

I love the vExpert community, I’m wondering though how logistically the quarter nominations will have an impact on the program from a work load stand point to those involved. And why exactly go into an open quarterly process?  This is definitely something to keep an eye on going forward.

So be sure to apply and hopefully we make the cut this year!

Posted in Tech Tagged with: , , , , , ,

October 7th, 2013 by NerdBlurt

I love being involved in the community, being part of something other then yourself is a great feeling. This probably started for me when I was in the Military, having a sense of worth or value to something other then myself. Many years and different roads later I found myself part of a community that like the Military sparked a huge passion and drive with-in me. I finally found a place I loved to be and enjoyed being a part of.

In this journey I came across user groups, and found out about community recognition programs. Today we are going to look at EMC’s community advocacy program EMC Elect.

Now EMC headquarters is about 5-10 minutes from my house, I have a lot of great friends and associates that work there. I myself worked there for short time as a contractor and that experience helped shape this blog and my own social journey. But today is about the EMC Elect, I sent over six simple questions to Matthew Brender who is on the Social Media team at EMC and his primary role is working with the program.

Here are my six questions, very simple and straight forward, but can give someone a starting point to becoming an EMC Elect member.

  1. Why did EMC choose to start the EMC Elect program?
  2. What is the purpose behind the program?
  3. What makes this program special?
  4. What is the process for becoming an EMC Elect?
  5. What are some of the benefits?
  6. What tips would you give to someone thinking of becoming EMC Elect?
 So please enjoy the Q&A with EMC’s Matthew Brender.
Emc Elect

image courtesy Matthew Brender

1.  Why did EMC choose to start the EMC Elect program?
 Simply said, EMC recognized an opportunity to connect important dots across our community. 
We are blessed with passionate contributors and a diverse portfolio. When you took a look around, you saw rich, engaging blog posts over here and lively, informative discussions there. You saw EMC customers recognized for being incredible references, EMC partners recognized for their dedication to our relationship and rockstar employees across every department. 
A couple questions came to mind. First, if anything, what do all these contributors have in common? Is there a thread – a motivation – that everyone has? 
Secondly, and something always on our mind, could we do a better job at showing our commitment to this community?
Upon inspection, both questions had clear answers. Yes, there is a passion for enterprise technology behind every post from our community. And another yes: it is time for a community without the boundaries that job titles or specific expertise demanded of us in the past.
This train of thought lead to EMC Elect.
What was unique for the company was the holistic view of community contribution. EMC Elect allows us to see beyond social platforms, beyond specific product expertise and even beyond employer.
We now have a single name for those individuals who have contributed and want to continue to engage with the company, and they are called the EMC Elect.
2. What is the purpose behind the program?
The full outline of our purpose is here, but here’s my abridged version.
Public recognition for past contribution was first and foremost for the program. We can note here that EMC Elect is thanking you for past contribution only and never forward looking.
This fact leads right into the other half of it: unprecedented amounts of opportunity.
Through the program, members have had early access to content related to our launches, behind-the-scenes access to our live events and a small-but-dedicated army of supporters to connect the dots inside the company. We recently broke the barrier between community and press by sending EMC Elect to Mega Launch in Milan. You can read about Dave Henry’s experience there.
So while we don’t require continued contribution, we do everything we can to ensure EMC Elect feel empowered to be the leaders that we see they are.
3. What makes this program special?
What makes EMC Elect special is the breadth and background of its members. You can see from our infographic just how many countries and specialties are represented in just 75 people.
What makes us truly unique is that the judging process is done by members, not EMC. My colleagues and I provide a framework to keep the playing field fair, but the ranking of potential members is always driven by top members who are recognized as judges for the following year. I believe that approach is first of its kind in the industry.
4. What is the process for becoming an EMC Elect?
The program is a yearly recognition beginning with a nomination here by November 15th. We then reach out to each candidate to confirm their interest and a few details about them. Next, we begin the analysis phase with members selected as judges for the following year.
Candidates find out their status in early January, which is followed by our annual public announcement on January 15th.
5. What are some of the benefits?
The core benefit is public recognition. We keep a list of EMC Elect members available on our blog and an updated list to follow on Twitter. We also syndicate member’s blog posts so you can easily find them.
Beyond recognition, there’s incredible amounts of opportunity for members. We range from member access to events, private meet ups with executives and loads of exclusive content. As I’ve mentioned, members joined the Mega Launch event out in Milan, Italy this past month, but we’ve also had incredible hangout space at EMC World and VMworld 2013.
The main point is, that as EMC Elect, you’ve been identified as a highly engaged contributor and trustworthy. We enable you to do whatever you think would be awesome. Our world is your oyster.
6. What tips would you give to someone thinking of becoming EMC Elect?
The process begins with a candidate’s everyday contribution. No one moment makes someone EMC Elect – it’s about regular commitment.
The best advice to be eligible is public on our blog, but here are some more specifics:
The three most common reasons community members did not receive EMC Elect this year are:
  • The nominee’s contribution was not easily found online
  • There were too many community members within a single product interest
  • Nominee’s social footprint did not include technology-oriented content in their own name

The four most common ways people can improve their rankings as influencers are:

  • Join and regularly contribute to the EMC Community Network
  • Maintain a strong social and technical community on Twitter
  • Expand into new domains of interest in your social community
  • Start a blog where you talk about your trials, errors and expertise on EMC products

Nerd’s Blurt
I love seeing a program grow from concept to reality, one of the things I like most about the EMC Elect program is the selection process, you have a clear date on the announcement if you made it and it’s chosen by your peers.
I will be covering some other community recognition programs in the coming weeks, I will ask them all the same questions and hopefully one of my readers gets inspired to get involved.

Posted in Tech Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

September 16th, 2013 by NerdBlurt

I know this all to well as I under went chemotherapy personally and have had positive results thus far. I don’t hate many things but I have lost family to cancer and have friends fighting this with loved ones or themselves. If you are reading this and have never had cancer impact your life yet, I hope it stays that way.

So you are probably wondering what sparked this movement? Great question.

Community member Gaberial Chapman aka Bacon_is_King sent a tweet

“Just a year after losing Dad to cancer, Mom’s has now spread from lung to other areas. Too soon for this shit.”

The community reacted and quickly came to our friends side, the Podcasting for Cancer event was organized. I am here to share that with you all and in hopes you all will partake in the event and give a donation or spend time with someone going through the battle with cancer.


podcasting for cancer

Goto – http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/podcasting-for-cancer 

After this unfortunate tweet an idea was bounced around the vBlogging community: vExperts and vBloggers will get together with vBrownbag and VMUG folks to put on a series of top-notch podcasts on relevant upcoming technologies that affect the virtualization industry.  We would stand up a fundraising site with the proceeds going towards a cancer donation in the Chapman family name.


The response to this idea has been overwhelmingly positive.


Nerd’s Blurt

I try and support cancer awareness initiatives. I hate cancer. Let’s help a great cause and hopefully this is the 1st of many of these events.


Posted in Tech Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

August 26th, 2013 by NerdBlurt

My good friend and Hulksmashingly (just coined that term btw) awesome blogger and all around great dude Hans De Leenheer is on a machine while at VMworld. More importantly a CEO interview mission. I fully support Hans in this and wanted to share with all of you his happenings. I have been toying the idea in my head for a few years of doing a CEO Corner type series interviewing various CEO’s on my blog.

Hans VMworld Youtube CEO

Nerd’s Blurt

I love this idea and be sure to follow Hans and his adventures on his blog. I look up to Hans as he is a great man and truly passionate and honest about what he does.

Posted in Tech Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,