Last month, Microsoft Answers launched its NNTP Bridge—in large part in response to requests
by the community and the contributions of two passionate MVPs.
Visual C++ MVP Jochen Kalmbach and Internet Explorer MVP Kai Schaetzl volunteered to work
with Microsoft to bring this popular feature back to the Answers platform, after it was not included
in the major upgrade of Microsoft Answers last year. The lack of an NNTP reader was highlighted
by MVP power users, who lauded its simple ability to review and answer a large number of posts
in a short amount of time.
As Jochen explained, “After building the community bridge for MSDN/TechNet, I was hot to do
such an adoption for Answers.”
The Microsoft Answers team has a commitment to the co-creation philosophy, recognizing that
community is an ecosystem where there are many constituents, including MVPs, Microsoft
Community Contributors, other forum power users, new users, browser/lurkers, service delivery
agents, and business representatives. With this development approach, all voices are heard:
the NNTP Bridge is a manifestation of that.
To make the NNTP Bridge development possible, Microsoft provided a CPS Lite Service, on
which Jochen and Kai built the NNTP Bridge application. Kai said, “I’m very happy that there’s
finally an NNTP bridge for the new Answers website available. It’s taken quite a long time and
I had given up hope, almost. I’ve learned how long decision making and funding processes can
take in a large company like Microsoft, but I’m also amazed how quickly the technical side of it
was done once a decision was made.”
The new NNTP Bridge application is optimized for Answers 2.X and serves as a channel for
NNTP newsreaders to read and write content to Answers forums. Through the NNTP Bridge,
users who want to participate in the Answers forum through a more traditional newsreader style
interface may once again do so.