I think that some MVPs and a very small percentage of Microsoft employees misrepresent these groups because it makes them feel more important and/or makes the program look very desirable to those on the "outside". This has a positive and a negative effect:
Positive - many developers desire to be in the group so they answer many questions on the newsgroups and in the process they help many developers.
Negative - some people feel they are slighted for one reason or another. It might be that they feel entitled to the information the "special" people are getting or it might be that they feel they deserve to be in the group (NOTE: I AM NOT saying that any or all of these reasons are what motivate people here - just examples at the forefront of my puny brain at the moment). There is a laundry list of reasons why the group may be viewed negative. Read Roy's message and ensuing comments for more negative.
I work in the evangelism group so I am always interested in what you, the developer, feel we can do to make your development experience on the Microsoft platform a pleasant one. Here is what I gleaned from Roy's post:
- Paid developer support should be free to all developers.
I didn't really see any other constructive feedback in that post. I did see a lot of misunderstanding of both the MVP program and the private newsgroups purpose/function.
I believe Microsoft has the most comprehensive developer support in the industry with its tools, paid support options, free support options like MSDN, and volunteer community (MVPs, 3rd party websites, etc.).
So, to wrap up this post I'd like ask you all to add a comment to this post that details what you'd like to see from Microsoft in the way of developer support? More of X or less of Y is perfectly acceptable. I'm NOT looking for “fix this bug“ but if you want to post it then I can check to see if it is a known issue. Please help us build a better developer support mechanism for you.