Microsoft MVPs: NDA + Twitter = Yammer


Every year, Microsoft MVPs gather for a summit where they talk about <NDA> and <NDA>.  Just like any other conference, they want to talk about this stuff over social networking sites like Twitter, but they can’t because it’s NDA.

There’s an app for that.


Yammer is a free private version of Twitter.  You sign up with your company’s email address, and you can only see tweets (yams?) from people with that same domain name.  For example, us Questies use it to communicate about internal projects we’re working on. It’s not perfect – it doesn’t work with Twitter clients, for example, but at least there’s Windows desktop clients and even an iPhone client.

Wouldn’t it be cool if every MVP had an account on a specific domain (like, say, and then we all used Yammer to communicate during the MVP summit (and beyond)?  Here’s one way someone could make happen:

  1. Set up an email server with Active Directory accounts for each MVP
  2. Do some kind of screen-scraping to find out when MVP profiles disappear, and then revoke the associated user’s AD account
  3. Profit!  Okay, not really, but you’d endear yourself to a lot of very high-profile IT people, and maybe get consulting gigs out of it, so possibly profit.

I’m throwin’ it out there because I’m an idea guy.  (Translation: I have no Exchange or screen-scraping skills.)

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Hey Brent,
    Yeah, I completely agree. There was a semi-attempt to do this about a year ago using Windows Live Groups but it was unworkable due to constraints inherent in that service. It made complete sense (to me anyway) to use a service that every MVP already has an account for (cos every MVP has a Windows Live ID) so it was a shame that it didn’t work out.

    Here’s hoping that the new MVP website (which is currently in development) gets something like this. At the summit 2 years ago every MVP was invited to a brainstorming session about the new site which I went to but unfortunately only about 10 people turned up and there were more MVP leads there than actual MVPs. I put forward on that occasion that there needed to be better collaborative solutions in place for MVPs than the newsgroups so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. One that doesn’t rely on screen-scraping (eurgh)!

    I’ve argued for a long time that there needs to be some sort of Active-Directory-type-service-in-the-cloud which allows someone to define users and then groups of users and (this is the important bit) allows permissions from 3rd-party services to be federated to those groups. I think I blogged about it once, yeah, here it is:!550F681DAD532637!3074.entry


  • One complication with screen-scraping is that presence / visibility in the online MVP directory is voluntary. Several MVPs (well, I know of at least one) elects to *not* be visible in any shape or form in the online directory.

  • Maybe something where you have to sign in with the private newsgroup credentials…

  • Toeing the line of Brent Ozar’s pledge #1
    I will never use the term NDA in public.


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