Ilana Smith, the founder of the CRM team blog, has recently taken up a new role the Dynamics NAV team (based in København). As she alluded to in her final post I will be taking over some of her duties in this space.
The practice of blogging has been ‘virally embraced’ at Microsoft. Almost every team seems to have a blog and pretty much any employee with something to say has also got into the act. Many years ago, when I was one of the <100 employee bloggers out there, I don’t think I could have imagined the current ‘state of the blogosphere’ inside Microsoft.
I thought I would take this opportunity to re-iterate some of the goals of the CRM blog. I believe the team blog is first and foremost a forum for engineering and support team members to share their knowledge and expertise with our customers and partners. At all times we will strive to only post ‘supported’ techniques – but we will not be posting ‘production ready code’ or actual ‘products’. From time to time we will invite external authors (MVPs and other CRM experts) and members of our Product Management (aka Marketing) team to post content.
We will also endeavor to keep the tone of this blog to be an informal one. I don’t believe that a team blog is the appropriate place for formal content. Our engineering team has some excellent technical writers (who also contribute informal content to the blog) who produce invaluable resource such as the SDK, Implementation Guide, Online Help Updates and a plethora of whitepapers. This blog is also not the best way to learn Microsoft CRM from scratch. For that I highly recommend the book: Working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM™ 3.0 by Sonoma Partners (published by Microsoft Press).
The comments feature of our blog is a great way for readers to give us feedback (positive and negative). However they aren’t the best mechanism to obtain product support. Most of the ‘participants’ in the team blog are the Program Management (PM) team. The average PM might be an ‘expert’ in their feature set – but they aren’t always diagnostic experts. Our support teams are the best diagnostic experts when it comes to Microsoft CRM. The best place to start for support issues our support page which can redirect to the most appropriate resource in your geography.
One final point before I cease my manifesto. Statistical analysis shows that many readers are consuming this blog using a web browser. One of the best ways to stay up to date with blog content is to use an RSS reader. Some suggested RSS readers are: Internet Explorer 7, Outlook 2007, RSS Bandit, Bloglines and Newsgator. Personally I’m a Bloglines fan as it enables me to consume feeds easily from multiple computers. Our RSS feed is located here.