The Microsoft folks made a lot of the fun, enjoyment, and enthusiasm that existed at the Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) in Orlando last September. Much of the excitement was due to the return of MEC after a ten-year hiatus, some of it was due to the imminent release of Exchange 2013. Or maybe it was the just the opportunity to dash around Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park running at 2% capacity, enjoying the sight of nerds going wild at the Harry Potter and other rides.
For whatever reason, people enjoyed themselves at MEC. Microsoft vowed to keep the excitement going and the community informed through a brand-new web site, www.iammec.com. The site received a good reception when it launched but since then it’s proven to be rather a damp squib. I wonder why…
Despite some recent glitches around TechNet content, the Exchange development group generally does a good job of communicating with its community through the EHLO blog, one of the most heavily trafficked blogs at Microsoft. It takes a lot of hard work to keep a blog refreshed, current, and interesting and the team responsible for EHLO excels at providing in-depth coverage of interesting topics. My suspicion is that so much effort goes into EHLO that little is left for Iammec. At least, that’s the impression that’s given.
It could also be that some of the community purpose proposed for Iammec was already taken care of by the TechNet forums. These are pretty active and offer people the chance to ask questions and weigh up the replies that flow in from others around the world, including MVPs and Microsoft employees.
It would be sad if the community site withered on the vine and I hope that this doesn’t happen. The site needs some tender loving care right now to keep people coming back to it and participating in the community. Having a live Twitter feed for the #iammec hashtag is not enough. Content needs to appear there on a regular basis, content that is fresh, interesting, and worth reading – or at least worth enough to encourage people to come back.
Perhaps more content will appear as the TechEd season swings into view and thoughts turn to presentations that have to be given. Or perhaps Iammec will be the place to hear about Exchange 2010 SP3 and co-existence with Exchange 2013 as well as some of the hot topics that will soon emerge such as public folder migration.
Or maybe Iammec will simply become an offshoot of MEC, a place to learn about upcoming MEC events (hopefully there will be one in 2013) as well as retrieve content presented at MEC.
Whatever happens, Iammec has to improve. If not, it will soon be one of those web sites that is visited once and quickly forgotten.
Follow Tony @12Knocksinna