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Congratulations and thank you to all our newly minted VMware vExperts. Email went out tonight informing around 300 hard-working bloggers, user group leaders, and virtualization evangelists of all types that they had received a VMware vExpert Award. VMware vExperts were chosen on the basis of the contributions they had made to the community of VMware and virutaliztion users in 2008.

We are not publishing a list of the awardees right now. There will be a public vExpert Directory where the award winners will be able to publish a professional profile.

This is an amazing group of people. The amount of intelligence, experience, and energy in the entire list of nominees was humbling. I'm grateful that they have such passion around this paradigm-changing technology. A big THANK YOU from everybody here at VMware to everyone who applied.

Choosing the final list was challenging, but we had a limited number of awards. There were highly qualified candidates who were either: (1) deeply experienced VMware experts, but without as much demonstrated or organized community contribution as others — we need to come up with an award for these guys! (2) great bloggers who just recently started — we hope they'll keep it up and join us next year; and (3) early adopters with valuable contributions, but before 2008 — and I hope they'll be able to join us next year as well.

I'm sure we forgot somebody, and I'm going to kick myself when we figure out who. I'm happy to chat with anybody about the process or what you can do to increase your chances next year. (jtroyer@vmware) The online and offline communities have just exploded this year, so there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.

I'm honored to be working with all the vExperts this year. My goal is to help them where I can, make them all more successful in their virtualization efforts, and with a little luck get them big promotions and raises. For those of us not on the vExpert list, I hope we'll be rewarded with deeper blog posts and white papers, more informed and interesting user groups, and amazing new tools.

Community contributions often happen outside of work, and not everybody can spend their nights and weekends telling people why virtualization is so cool. Thanks again for all the hard work and long hours you put in. It's going to be a great, great year.

–John Troyer
VMware Communities Outreach and
VMware vExpert Program Manager