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Dear Reader,

If you have read my previous post, you know that one of my articles was in the running for the first ever SQLServerPedia Awards.  And guess what?  I’ve won in the Business Intelligence category!

At first I wasn’t convinced that I’d be able to get enough votes.  Jen Stirrup had been scoring quite a bit as well.  But after a couple of days I noticed that my votes kept coming in too.  So I decided to contact some more people, such as ex-colleagues, the experts at Experts Exchange, and even my neighbours!

The result: 181 votes, which is 53 more than the next contestant in the category.  If you’re one of those 181: thank you!!  In the overall score list, my article ended up at the third spot!  Not too bad for a first-time nominee I suppose :-)

I can now add an extra logo to my blog:

SQLServerPediaAwards_badge-winner-bi

And my statue is on its way too.  Plus every nominee will receive a T-shirt.  Hopefully it’s one for regular use and not another one in the “suitable for household chores and bike cleaning only”-category…

Ow, congrats to all other winners and nominees!  To be honest, the nomination means more than the actual voting.  To get nominated, the editors (Iain Kick, Kevin Kline and Jeremiah Peschka) need to select your article out of all those present at SQLServerPedia.  Which means that it needs to be of a certain quality.  While the voting only shows how many people you know…  But the winner badge sure looks nice of course :-)

Have fun!

Valentino.

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I Need Your Help

Dear reader,

Usually I’m helping you out by posting articles, quick tips or just some narration of my experience on my blog.  This time however I’m the one who needs your help.

I’m happy to announce that one of my articles – Your First OLAP Report, republished at SQLServerPedia – has been nominated in the 2010 SQLServerPedia Awards!

So, may I kindly ask you to vote for my article?  You can find it in the Business Intelligence category here: http://pulse.sqlserverpedia.com/awards/category/business-intelligence/

As you can see, I’ve got quite some competition so I can really use all the votes.

Many thanks!!

PS: I’ll reward you by continuing to post articles and other posts on my blog ;-)

As usual, have fun!

Valentino.

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Since a while now, about two months and a bit to be exact, I’ve been publishing some of my articles on Experts Exchange.  It all started when their Content Coordinator found my blog and convinced me to start doing that, thanks for that Jenn (aka jennhp)!

In total I have now six articles published and four of them are EE Approved.  What does that mean?

EE-Approved is a designation awarded by the Page Editors to show that your Article is of superior quality: either it discusses something new, or provides a unique and original solution to a particularly interesting problem. If your article is selected as EE-Approved, you will receive 1,500 points.

When I published my first article back in September, getting an article EE Approved earned me 1,500 additional points on top of the 500 for getting it published.  This was recently changed to 4,000.  Which I really appreciate and I think was needed to make this a success.  When comparing the effort that goes into writing a good article with the effort to decently answer a 500 points question I think it is still not comparable.  A question can earn me 2,000 points (when the answer gets A-graded, most of my answers do) in just a couple of minutes – which doesn’t mean that all questions are solved this easily,  believe me.  But an article always takes several hours to write and publish.  Just to give you an idea: for my last article it took me one hour just to get it converted from my version in Live Writer to the tagged format expected by the “Write a new article” feature.  But then again, the minimum length requirements for an article is 300 words while my last article counted close to 2,500 words.

What should I conclude from the above paragraph?  That I should learn to make my articles shorter?  Or that Article Points and Expert Points received by answering questions are not comparable?  Well, probably both.  What I should learn is to split articles up when possible, but I will still keep mentioning the necessary details which in my opinion increases the quality indicator :-)

Anyway, it seems that I’ve been doing a good job because this is what the situation looked like on November 23, 2009.  Following screenshots were taken while filtering on Microsoft articles.

Five articles in Microsoft top 10

Not only did my articles control the Top 3 of most popular Microsoft articles,  they were also at position nine and ten, so in total I had five of my articles in the Top 10.

(The filter on Microsoft articles is highlighted in green btw.)

Highlighted on the left you can see one of my articles being featured.  This is a result of it being EE Approved.

As the next two screenshots show, it wasn’t the only one.

One of my EE Approved articles featured at Experts Exchange

And here’s number three:

My "Pie Chart Techniques" article feature at Experts Exchange

On that same page we can also see the Top 25 of Microsoft Contributors.  I was at position 7 with almost 15,000 points.  (Today I am at position 6, with about 20,000 points.)

Me at position 7 in the Top 25 of Microsoft article writers

So, why am I doing this?  Let’s see, I have several reasons:

  • I hope people will find them useful, which means I have been able to teach them something
  • It helps to improve my writing skills
  • It encourages me to explore details about certain topics that I wouldn’t need to explore otherwise
  • It brings me into contact with interesting people
  • I found out that writing can actually be a fun thing to do!
  • Points == T-shirts :-)

Right, so I started this post by thanking someone, let’s finish it the way it started.

I’d like to thank mark_wills for his enthusiasm and support.  He’s the Page Editor that has reviewed my articles and selected several for the EE Approved status (in cooperation with mwvisa1 I believe).  Just to make sure I haven’t missed anyone, I’d like to say thanks to all Page Editors that have approved my articles!

If you’d like to have a look at the articles, they are mentioned in my profile at Experts Exchange.  While you’re at it, if you like them I wouldn’t mind if you clicked that little YES button :-)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some articles to write.  (In an attempt to control the Top 5 – erm, yeah right – just kidding of course.)

Happy reading!

Valentino.

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