Interview with Ed Price
The long awaited interview with the one and only Mr Wiki Ed Price:
First question… I think for a lot of the readers (including me), you are mister Wiki. You have been there since, what I call, the First Light article (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/695.wiki-about-technet-wiki-en-us.aspx), and your activity levels are beyond-normal. Who is your Wiki “mr. Miyagi”? And outside of Wiki, who is your example?
Eric Battalio had the vision and the stubbornness to get this going. Tony Soper, Monica Rush, and Kim Ditto-Ehlert were all vital to getting the wiki ball rolling. And now we have important contributors that are both in Microsoft, like Tom Shinder, Nathaniel Scharer, Kurt Hudson, and Roger Doherty, and out of Microsoft, like Fernando Veltem, Patris, Luciano Lima, Luigi Bruno, Richard Mueller, Thiago Luiz, you, and Susan Bradley.
But if I was going to name one person who inspires me the most, my Mr. Miyagi, it would be the shirtless man… Yuri Diogenes.
Outside of Wiki… I’m inspired by Benjamin Franklin. If he could write the wildly popular Silence Dogood letters when he was 16, then is anything I write or edit all that impressive?
You’re a SQL Server Experience Program Manager at Microsoft. Why did you start working for Microsoft and what does an Experience Program Manager do?
To be honest, I was starting a family, so I needed to think of working for a larger company. Microsoft takes care of it’s employees, so I naturally looked here.
I started working here back in 2005, focusing on assistance design and content for Microsoft Surface, our touch computer (we just announced a line of pretty sweet tablets). I’ve got five patents filed for Surface (4 pending). I later worked on Hardware (mice, keyboards, webcams) where I got to redesign our manual (working with our designer, Azy), removing the text and making it more of an IKEA or Lego like instruction booklet (pictures and arrows). Then I moved to SQL to work in the content team. I had a fun time of Wiki work, videos, redesigning Help layouts, and driving efforts to integrate more assistance in the UI. Then I moved over closer to our UX team to be an xPM.
Experience program managers (at least in our group) focus on end-to-end experience envisioning, working with our Designers, Product Planners, and product PMs to help build out the experiences and scenarios and help make sure the customer is at the center of it all (here’s an example of what focusing on customers feels like in a design). We also do a lot cross-team collaboration building, communication, and we sometimes own other Design-focused programs. Personally, I own our personas program, I’m trying to help redefine and redesign the future of Help, I’m working to put a stronger focus on our customers, and I’m really driving toward some extreme team collaboration. I also sometimes make fun
videos like this one I made with Ehren (that’s my voice as the stick figure).
Your TN Stats are insane: a total of 77,855 points, 1000s of forum replies, you’ve received more than 300 4 star ratings for your blog posts, 20,000+ Wiki activities… How do you fit this into your normal working schedule/life?
I broke 80K points. Woot.
I use clones. A whole army of them. I dress them in white armor and give them blasters.
Some people play videogames. Community is my videogame. =^)
Hey you didn’t mention my achievement awards. I have the most of those in the whole world. I’ve got 17 gold ones.
There’s one thing I’ve noticed about your TN Stats: no translations at all! If you had to learn a foreign language to get this number up, which one would it be?
I actually translate Spanish articles for TechNet Wiki. I lead a team of folks who help me refine the translations. Here’s one: Wiki: Acerca de TechNet Wiki (es-ES)
That other stat on the profiles (Translation Wiki) is for translating on MSDN/TechNet Library, using a Translation Widget that’s similar to what we have on TechNet Wiki and blogs. So on TechNet Wiki, you can translate an English article, and then similarly any edits you make go out to a moderator to double check them. They call the Library version the Translation Wiki, which is a little confusing because we also translate articles on TechNet Wiki, and then we have the Translation Widget with the same wiki-like features on the Wiki and blogs. So there are three different types of “translation wiki”.
I believe you are married and have kids too. If so, does Wiki mean anything to them or is this just a “weird hobby” of daddy?
They’re too young to really know. But my one year old is involved. I sit her on my lap while I write or edit sometimes. I put two stickers on my shirt, she takes them off and puts them on hers. Then I take them off and put them somewhere else on my shirt or hers. We go on like that for hours. Days even.
For my wife, the interaction is more like, “Are you working?” “Sort of.” Then she gives me the look. I can see it even when I’m not looking at her. You can always see the look.
You often sign a blog post as “Ninja Ed”. Now, to find a proper definition, I’ve looked it up and a ninja (or shinobi) was a mercenary in feudal Japan specializing in unorthodox warfare, including espionage, assassination, and open combat. Should we be afraid of you?
Yes. Be afraid of my wiki editing skills. You know how they say the pen is mightier than the sword? Well that was before they invented the keyboard.
I’m very fond of the Ninja stick figure, I think it’s hilarious. Where did this idea come from?
Eric Battalio, the grand master of TechNet Wiki. I think he’s a fan of stick figure online comic strips and stick fighter animations… either way he likes the simplicity of it. He started out making a ninja stick figure icon for the Twitter account. Then he made some stick figure images for stickers to promote TechNet Wiki. Yuri followed with the Brazil Wiki Ninjas Twitter account and a ninja with the Brazil flag in the corner. Other Brazil members also made stick figures. I brought the concept of the Wiki Ninjas name and stick figures over to the blog.
I got the collection of ninja images from Eric, and I began adding to it, like the image above.
If it was possible to get a present from the TN Wiki community on your birthday, what would you like to have?
A medallion that grants peace to everyone you hit it with. Or… A Wiki Ninja stick figure image of me… tall, beard, glasses, and wearing a nametag that says “EDitor".
Any famous last words?
In the famous words of Winston Churchill, “Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober.”
In the famous words of Eleanor Roosevelt or someone else, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
In the famous words of Benjamin Franklin, “Necessity never made a good bargain.”