Microsoft has awarded three web developers with its Most Valuable Professional status. The MVP program is Microsoft’s way of recognizing the work and contributions of independent developers and these individuals are rewarded with a fast-track to product feedback teams among other benefits. The first three awards include a consultant in Australia who maintains the Via Virtual Earth community and a consultant in Washington D.C. who creates Microsoft gadgets.
Recognition of independent third party developers and community leaders will play a significant role in the rollout of web as a platform strategies from big Internet companies. How do you reward exceptional contributors to your development community and keep them loyal? Independent developers want to be heard, an on a small merit-based scale it’s achievable to receive high quality feedback from the people who tweak your product every day. I would like to see more companies introduce MVP-like programs to reward outstanding external contributors.