Interview with Wiki Ninjas: Bruno Lewin, Philippe (Yagmoth), and Gokan Ozcifci - All about the Microsoft Technical French Contributor (MTFC) awards

How's that for a title???

Well, Florian had this idea to interview several people about a unique Wiki topic: Interview with a Wiki Ninja: Richard And Ed

He interviewed people on a team (Richard and me in this case), and the result was a nice collaborative conversation. When Gokan and Philippe asked to interview me about helping out with the MTFC awards, I gave my entire interview in one sentence. You can see my interview at the bottom of Gokan's blog post here: New winners announced for our MTFC Award - June 2013 !!

Instead, I countered with an offer to interview all three of them in this collaborative style that Florian started.

Let's meet our interviewees...

Bruno Lewin - MSFT's avatar

Bruno Lewin- Bruno has been key to getting translation options and features on TechNet Wiki. He works in the Server and Cloud International team as a Senior Program Manager. He helps lead the International aspects of the TechNet Wiki. He assists product teams at Microsoft in creating a great experience for International users – covering areas that range from Planning, Design to Quality Assurance.


Yagmoth555's avatar 

Yagmoth55 (Philippe) - Authored 54 Wiki articles, made 968 Wiki edits, and left 321 Wiki comments! He's posted 14 times on this blog, he's a member of the TechNet Wiki Community Council, he's an MCC, and he's the top French translator of content on TechNet Wiki. He works on IT's that work in the field and for managed service customers. Microsoft MCTS : Exchange 2007. Citrix XenDesktop CCA. Citrix XenApp CCA. Dell Equalogic Specialist. HP Accredited Platform Specialist. CompTIA A+. Lenovo/IBM Technician. Helper on TechNet Forum. Enthusiast Blogger.


Gokan Ozcifci's avatar

Gokan Ozcifci - Authored 298 Wiki articles, made 2,213 Wiki edits, and left 2,001 Wiki comments! Gokan was voted best SharePoint contributor in all of Europe! He contributes in four languages: English, French, Turkish, and Dutch! You can be mesmerized by his contributions here: Gokan Ozcifci. He is the SharePoint Pirate/Ninja!


Enjoy the interview!


How did this idea of MTFC come about?

(Gokan): It was a little bit the idea of Bruno to begin a French Community Award system. Everything began on a WikiNinja blog post where I said "I want the same as the Brazilian Community" ( Luiz is running TechNet Wiki Day & Luciano Lima is also featuring key Brazilian contributors). And Bruno came to us and said we can start! And we finally built our Microsoft Technical French Contributor Award a few months ago. Our concern and goal is to promote the french community. What do you think Bruno? 

(Bruno): Indeed, when I saw what your contributions were, it just seemed so natural to go this way.  


Who’s involved in making this happen? What do they do?

(Gokan): Philippe helped us a lot and I can proudly say he was the brain and a little bit the pusher of our program! He always thinks twice and sends us new ideas! He is the hidden brain of this Award. Philippe, where do you get all these magnificent ideas?

(Philippe): I thank everyone, Gokan, Ed, Bruno and Florin. Teamwork is always the best thing!


How do you select the candidates?

(Bruno): This is the most beautiful aspect of community – people really select themselves by contributing interesting material, and since the French speaking community is still relatively small, there is a lot of opportunity to be seen. From a strictly practical perspective, we are relying on the more mature Community of TechNet forums users that have a regular friendly challenge -- they find and highlight the valuable posts.


How do you determine a winner?

(Philippe): The winner is determined by the online community by the article they create in the forum. After they create the content, we help the user to migrate it to the wiki! :)


What does the winner receive? Who sends it?

(Gokan): The winners receive a wonderful certification made by the Wiki Ninjas that is only valid for 1 year. The winner will also receive recognization on the TechNet Forums and is featured on the Blog Posts at the Wiki Ninjas blog (this blog). This is the best way to promote the contributor and the French Community! I prefer that a Microsoft employee sends the mail and it's always Bruno. It's a real gift from God that we have Bruno!!

(Bruno): Come on, you are doing the hard part! It’s just a pleasure to be able to provide some help with logistics.


What’s been your biggest challenge with this program?  

(Bruno): This is a less formal program: members of the French language Community recognize other members. There is no big Microsoft team, budgets, etc. The success hinges on the passion and work of people like Gokan and Philippe, and how they were able to use and bring their ideas, time, and contacts. This meant stepping back and letting them decide the direction. After having worked together for a few months, that part is obviously no longer a challenge!

(Philippe): The biggest on-going challenge is to get more active French contributors to participate.


What surprised you the most as you started running the MTFC program?  

(Phillippe): The help and the spirit of everyone who wants to make it work and continue the effort !

(Bruno): Yes, I agree, though in retrospect this should not have been a surprise!


Where do you see the MTFC program heading? What’s the potential future of MTFC?

(Bruno): In the short term, as Philippe hinted, a big part is still fostering growth of the French Community and Content. The program is very much about peer recognition so I see Gokan, Philippe, and active French language members taking the feedback and agreeing to the next steps. And feedback is of course welcome here.




Thanks again to Philippe, Gokan, and Bruno! I'm honestly not too sure what I did in this process. But Philippe came to me, and so I started connecting people together, and they formed their team and ran with it. It's a privilege for me to see their progress!

Do you want to do something like this for your language? Leave a comment (preferrably in English)!

Do you have any feedback for Gokan or Philippe? Leave a comment (French is okay)!

Do you have a comment? Leave a comment (maybe in Yiddish)!


Wiki while you work,

   - Ninja Ed