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Data Masons Blog

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'Convergence Climbs the Social Ladder' with Microsoft MVP Joris de Gruyter

March 27, 2013 @ 17:03 PM

This is the first post in the series “Convergence Climbs the Social Ladder” that features the perspective and insights from the Microsoft-appointed Convergence 2013 official bloggers.

Picture1Last week was huge for many reasons, one of which was the prominent emphasis on the social community. Prior to the event, Microsoft tapped 11 bloggers to serve as the conference’s official bloggers and promoted the social community with its release of the Live Wall. Once onsite we heard from Wayne Morris, Corp VP of Microsoft Business Solutions Marketing, about the integration of mobile and social capabilities within its go-forward strategy. The Result… A measurable growth in the Microsoft Dynamics social community with a very impressive ranking for the Twitter hashtag #CONV13, climbing to one of the top 10 trending hashtags for the week (that’s global, that’s a huge success!)

On that success, featured Convergence 2013 Official Blogger: Joris de Gruyter , Senior Developer and Technical Services Supervisor at Sikich, LLP and Microsoft MVP , shares his thoughts on the Dynamics social community:

How did you leverage social media during the event?

[JG] Convergence is a growing event, with 11,000 attendees this year, and Microsoft is trying to open this up further by making it available online in real-time and offering recordings post-conference. With many announcements made about future plans, state of the products, etc., this effort makes total sense. Social media these days is a source of real-time information for a lot of people, so it’s a natural next step for Microsoft to also push it during the conference - partly through our "social media command center."

For me personally, both my blog (Dynamics AX Musings) and Twitter feed are about sharing what I feel is important information for my topic of choice (Dynamics AX development/administration). If I didn't read it myself and find it interesting, how can it possibly be interesting to my followers? So, sharing my excitement, announcements and new information I gathered at Convergence were my main goals for using social media at a Conference. Since there is typically not much free time at this event, Twitter was really the quickest and easiest way to share tidbits as I got them. I'm sure in the weeks to come I'll get to writing up some things on my blog and sharing them on LinkedIn (just blogged this one - http://daxmusings.codecrib.com/2013/03/performance-info-from-convergence-2013.html )

How do you think Microsoft's focus on social integration will affect the community in terms of engaging social channels?

[JG] I think the effort being put into the community site (community.dynamics.com) is important and a good way to unite and open up the community for sharing information, which traditionally has been very closed. It’s starting to work in my opinion, and a result of that is that people get to know other experts in the field, they start following Twitter feeds, blog posts, etc. It's a natural progression in today's social media world. So Microsoft and the Community Site are getting a lot of social media engagement for free that way. This year at Convergence, they kicked into the next gear by promoting and actively engaging community members that are already heavy social media users, and I think it's working. Kicking it into high gear generates a lot of buzz and excitement around our beloved Dynamics products, which is a good thing for everyone. And it builds the community out even further.

What would you tell community members who have not yet jumped on the social bandwagon?

[JG] Twitter is almost the successor to RSS feeds - you get real-time updates from the experts that you know have something relevant to say. Community members should check the authors of their favorite blogs, the forum experts, etc. and check if they are on Twitter. Chances are they are active Tweeters as well, which means a great source of real-time information on what's happening in the community or in the product groups at Microsoft. And I'm sure before you know it , you'll be sharing too. Facebook is not quite the medium for our business world, but LinkedIn is definitely another way to follow those experts you like, and there are some valuable forums on LinkedIn as well.

About Joris de Gruyter
Senior Developer and Technical Services Supervisor at Sikich, LLP. Started developing for Ax in 2002 in Belgium on Navision Axapta 2.5, been on implementations in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, England and across the continental US. Heavily involved with AX 2012 in the beta program, wrote content and presented for Microsoft at the 2011 AX Tech Conference in Redmond, and reviewed and wrote Microsoft AX 2012 technical training manuals. MCITP, MCT and MVP in Microsoft Dynamics AX Development.
View his complete profile and visit his Dynamics AX Musings Blog.

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