NOTE: If you have questions remaining after reviewing this FAQ, please visit the Profile and Recognition Forum located at http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/Profile/threads. The forum is monitored daily by the engineering and support teams.
Why should I create a profile?
A profile is just the start of membership in the network of sites and applications across MSDN, TechNet and Expression. Your profile gives you access to all the sites, applications and content. It allows you to easily contribute and to build a reputation so that others know to trust what you contribute.
For example, with your profile you can:
Each of your contributions is linked to your profile and your recent activities are shown on your profile page. As your contributions accumulate you may also become eligible to receive points or achievements in our recognition system. See the recognition system section later in the FAQ for more information.
So go ahead and click the Sign in link at the top of this page to begin creating your profile!
OK, I want a profile. What do I do?
Click the Sign in link at the top of this page. You’ll be prompted to sign-in with an existing Windows Live ID. If you don’t have a Windows Live ID, then click Sign Up on the Windows Live ID page and register for one.
After signing in you’ll be prompted to choose a display name for your profile. It must be unique so you may find that your preferred name is already taken. If that is the case, enter something else and try again.
Once your profile has been created, you can choose to edit additional profile information such as your biography, company name, website URL and upload a favorite photo of yourself.
What is a display name?
You display name is the public name that is associated with all contributions that you make. It helps other community members to identify the author of the contribution (e.g. forum post, sample contribution, wiki article).
When signed in your display name appears at the top of the page and is linked to your profile.
How do I get to my profile?
When you are signed in you can get to your profile page by clicking on your display name at the top of the page.
How do I edit my display name?
After signing in and navigating to your profile page, you can edit your display name by clicking on the Edit My Profile link under the picture. On the subsequent page (Edit Profile) you can edit your display name and hit Save.
Note: Your updated display name must be unique in the system so if your desired display name is already in use you will need to enter something different and try again.
Why am I receiving an error while setting my display name?
You might receive a message while setting you display name because of the following reasons:
What is an avatar? How do I change my avatar?
An avatar is the image or picture that appears on your profile and often next to your display name. Until you upload an image the profile system will generate a random pattern using information in your profile to help create something unique to you.
You can change your avatar by clicking on the Edit My Profile link on your profile page (after signing in). On the Edit Profile page, upload a new image and hit Save.
We recommend uploading an image that is 220x220 pixels in size. The profile system will then save the image and scale it appropriately for use on our network of sites and applications.
Note: Your avatar image is cached on our global content distribution network. It can take multiple days to update your image across our network of sites and applications for users around the world.
Why am I receiving an error while setting my avatar?
You might receive an error while setting your avatar because of the following reasons:
What else can I share about myself?
The profile system is focused on promoting you as a professional. So we don’t store information like your favorite movie or band, or when your birthday is. Instead we give you options for a few pieces of information including:
Once you’ve updated the fields click Save and you’ll be returned to your profile page where you can review your changes.
Why do some people have labels under their display name?
The labels displayed below a display name are known as affiliations. Affiliations are displayed for Microsoft Employees, Microsoft Contingent Staff, MVPs, Microsoft Partners and Microsoft Community Contributors. More information is available at the Information onProfile Affiliations page.
What is the “Recent Activity” section on my profile?
This is a live stream of your activity and actions across our network of sites and applications. Only actions deemed as public and useful for the community will be recorded and displayed on your profile.
This stream of activity allows other community members to learn more about you and your contribution to the community. For those super interested in what you do, your profile has a unique RSS feed available for others to follow your actions.
What activities are being recorded?
Each site and application across the network reports different activities. New types of activities are being updated and added regularly. Some of the activities being recorded today include voting posts as helpful, receiving a high rating on a galleries contribution, answering a question in the forums and creating articles in the wiki.
Note: Each activity reported contains a direct link back to the specific contribution or event to make it easy to for you and others to drill into the content.
I do not see all my activities on my profile. Is there a problem?
There are a few reasons why you may not see an activity on your profile:
If you believe there is a problem with your activity feed, please click the Site Feedback link at the bottom of this page to let us know about it…
The Recognition System has changed, what’s up with that?
Over the past few years there has been a point and medal level system specifically for the Forums. Over the past few months a new recognition system has been deployed across the entire network. This system incorporate points, achievements, leaderboards, affiliations and soon statistics, areas of expertise, and badges/labels. As parts of the system come online more details will be provided here in this FAQ.
At this time (September 2011) the recognition system is in place for Forums, Galleries, Blogs, TechNet Wiki and Profile. Other applications and sites will onboard to the new system over the coming months including the Library etc.
Why did you change the Recognition System?
First and foremost, the MSDN, TechNet and Expression network is bigger than just the Forums. There are many sites and applications that our community contributes to and we want to recognize all contributions.
Beyond that the existing recognition system mixed the concepts of quality contributions and quantity of contributions. This makes it hard for community members to quickly know who to trust and what content to trust.
So in designing a new system we continually asked ourselves the following questions:
With those two questions in mind and a need to expand the system across more applications, a new Recognition System was developed.
Fun Fact! The new recognition system is powered by Windows Azure!
How does the new Recognition System work?
The Recognition System rewards your activities across our network of sites and applications. From those activities we drive the two different “economies” that exist in the Recognition System:
Going back to our two original questions then (see the above FAQ question) a community member can use the Recognition Points to help determine who and therefore what content to trust. Recognition Points and the Achievements encourage the community to provide quality content.
Can you help me understand the two economies better?
First, let’s find the Recognition Bar so you can see the visual representation of the economies. If you view your profile without any application filtering enabled you will see a new section near your display name:
The first section is your Recognition Points and is shown next to the Recognition Points icon (and is shown next to the Recognition Points icon (). It is the combined total of points awarded based on the quality of your contributions as determined by other community members.
The second section is your Achievements Earned. There are three different levels you can earn achievements at:
|Gold||These are the hardest achievements to earn and require a complex and extensive set of activities to be completed.|
|Silver||These achievements are given in response to a continued and broad use of the sites and applications.|
|Bronze||These achievements are easy to earn by simply exploring and using the sites and applications.|
How do I earn points?
Points are earned by first participating and contributing positively to the community across our network of sites and applications. Then as others recognize your contribution (say by voting or downloading your sample or rating your content), you’ll receive Recognition points. As a reminder, points aren’t earned by purely participating, that’s what achievements are for.
Below is a table that shows the activities we track in the recognition system and the points associated to those activities. There are many activities that award zero (0) points - those are listed to help you understand what we deem as quality contributions. Also note that not all activities in this list will appear in your activity feed; negative actions for instance are not listed publically.
|Forums||You asked a question on the forums.||0|
|You contributed a proposed answer.||0|
|Your post a reply on the forums.||0|
|You marked a forum post as an answer.||0|
|You marked a forum post as a proposed answer.||0|
|You moved a thread from one forum to another.||0|
|You reported a post as SPAM or Off-topic||0|
|You started a new discussion on the forums.||0|
|Your forum post contains a code snippet and is confirmed as an answer by the community.||0|
|Your forum post is confirmed as an answer by the original question asker.||+15|
|Your forum post that was marked as an answer is removed by the original question asker.||-15|
|Your forum post is confirmed as an answer by the original question asker in less than 8 hours.||+20|
|Your forum post that was marked as an answer when contributed in less than 8 hours was removed by the original question asker.||-20|
|Your forum post is confirmed as an answer by the community.||+10|
|Your forum post that was marked as an answer is removed as an answer by the community.||-10|
|Your forum post is confirmed as an answer by the community in less than 8 hours.||+15|
|Your forum post that was marked as an answer when contributed in less than 8 hours was removed by the community.||-15|
|You identified a helpful topic.||+5|
|Your forum question thread has more than 5 votes in it.||+5|
|Your forum question thread has more than 10 votes in it.||+10|
|Your forum post receives a vote by the community.||+5|
|Your forum question has a confirmed answer and has been viewed 20,000 times.||+10|
|Your forum question has a confirmed answer and has been viewed 40,000 times.||+15|
|Wiki||Create a New Wiki Article.||0|
|Edit a Wiki Article.||0|
|You contributed a comment on the Wiki.||0|
|You contributed a comment while editing an article on the Wiki.||0|
|The article you authored reached one out of 10 possible page view milestones. The various milestones range between 500 and 1 million page views.||+5 to +2500|
|The article you edited reached one out of 10 possible page view milestones. The various milestones range between 500 and 1 million page views. You are eligible to receive a portion of an available set of points, depending upon your edit quantity and the milestone reached.||+1 to +2500|
|Blogs||You published a blog post.||0|
|You commented on a blog post.||0|
|You rated a blog post.||0|
|The blog post you authored reached one of eight page view milestones. The various milestones range between 500 and 1 million page views.||+5 to +5000|
|Your article receives a 5 star rating.||+10|
|Your article receives a 4 star rating.||+5|
|Your article receives a 3 star rating.||+2|
|Your article receives a 2 star rating.||-2|
|Your article receives a 1 star rating.||-5|
|Galleries||You published a contribution to the gallery.||0|
|You rated a gallery contribution.||0|
|You started a new discussion on a gallery contribution||0|
|You replied to a discussion on a gallery contribution.||0|
|You reviewed a gallery contribution||0|
|Your gallery contribution was downloaded 20 times.||+20|
|Your gallery contribution was downloaded 50 times.||+50|
|Your gallery contribution was downloaded 100 times.||+100|
|Your gallery contribution was downloaded 1,000 times.||+500|
|Your gallery contribution was downloaded 10,000 times.||+2000|
|Your gallery contribution was downloaded 100,000 times.||+5000|
|Your gallery contribution receives a 5 star rating.||+10|
|Your gallery contribution receives a 4 star rating.||+5|
|Your gallery contribution receives a 3 star rating.||+2|
|Your gallery contribution receives a 2 star rating.||-2|
|Your gallery contribution receives a 1 star rating.||-5|
|Translation Wiki||You contributed a proposed translation to the library or magazine.||0|
|Your proposed translation has been approved for use.||+5|
|Your proposed translation has been reported as spam.||-10|
|Your proposed translation was selected as not best.||0|
|Your proposed translation was reported as bad.||-3|
|A moderator approved, modified or rejected a translation.||0|
Can I lose points?
As you can see from the table above, it is possible to lose points if your contributions are considered poor quality so put your best effort forward and you’ll be richly rewarded!
How do I earn achievements?
Achievements are earned by participating in the community across our network of sites and applications. As described earlier in the FAQ, you can earn achievements at three (3) different levels.
Below is a table that shows the achievements you can earn in the recognition system including what activities you need to complete to earn those achievements. While this is a comprehensive list there are a couple of achievements we have kept secret as surprises...
|Better Galleries Together||Demonstrated an on-going commitment to making the galleries better for all.||Gold|
|5||x||Published a Contribution|
|1500||x||Gallery Contribution Download|
|30||x||Rated a Gallery Contribution|
|10||x||Replied to a Gallery Discussion|
|Blog Commentator III||On-going contributions of comments to the blogs.||Gold|
|Blog Party Starter||Demonstrated an on-going commitment to content contribution which inspires high levels of community engagement.||Gold|
|150||x||Received Comment on Blog Post|
|Blogger III||On-going contribution of quality posts to the blogs.||Gold|
|50||x||Publish a Blog Post|
|20||x||Blog Post Receives 500 Page Views|
|Blogs All-Star||Awarded to bloggers who publish an incredible amount of blog posts.||Gold|
|500||x||Publish a Blog Post|
|Code Answerer III||Provided many forum answers with code.||Gold|
|100||x||Answered with Code Snippet|
|Forums Answerer IV||Provided multiple answers to questions in Forums.||Gold|
|500||x||Answered A Question|
|Forums Curator III||Identified valuable content for Forums users.||Gold|
|1000||x||Identified a Forums Answer|
|100||x||Voted Post as Helpful|
|Forums Replies V||Replied multiple times to Forums.||Gold|
|5400||x||Forum Post Reply|
|Forums Replies VI||Replied multiple times to Forums.||Gold|
|15000||x||Forum Post Reply|
|Gallery Contributor III||Demonstrated an on-going commitment to share quality contributions to the galleries.||Gold|
|10||x||Published a Contribution|
|3000||x||Gallery Contribution Download|
|Gallery Rater III||Demonstrated an on-going commitment to rating contributions on the galleries.||Gold|
|100||x||Rated a Gallery Contribution|
|Gallery Reviewer III||Demonstrated an on-going commitment to reviewing and rating contributions on the galleries.||Gold|
|10||x||Reviewed a Gallery Contribution|
|25||x||Rated a Gallery Contribution|
|Gallery Storyteller III||Demonstrated an on-going commitment to keep the discussions going on the galleries.||Gold|
|50||x||Replied to a Gallery Discussion|
|15||x||Started a Gallery Discussion|
|Proposed Answerer III||Provided many proposed forums answers.||Gold|
|2000||x||Contributed a Proposed Forums Answer|
|Ratings Board President||Awarded to those who have taken the time to rate multiple blog posts.||Gold|
|100||x||Rated a Blog|
|Thread Mover III||Helped users get answers by moving their questions to the right forums.||Gold|
|Wiki Commentator III||Demonstrated an on-going commitment to participation in the Wiki community.||Gold|
|Wiki Community Editor II||Demonstrated an on-going dedication to the quality of the Wiki through multiple edits with comments.||Gold|
|Wiki Contributor III||Demonstrated an on-going commitment to high quality Wiki contributions.||Gold|
|50||x||New Wiki Article|
|20||x||Wiki Article Receives 500 Page Views|
|Wiki Editor III||Demonstrated an on-going commitment to providing meaningful revisions to the Wiki.||Gold|
|100||x||Edited Wiki Article|
|20||x||Wiki Article Receives 500 Page Views|
|Wiki Ninja||Demonstrated an uncanny commitment to the success of the Wiki. Thank you!||Gold|
|500||x||New Wiki Article|
|Wiki Ninja Master||Demonstrated a superhuman commitment to the success of the Wiki. Amazing!||Gold|
|1000||x||New Wiki Article|
|Wiki Ninja Supreme||You are the Ninja Supreme of all that is Wiki. Simply incredible!||Gold|
|2000||x||New Wiki Article|
|Blog Commentator II||Contributed multiple comments to the blogs.||Silver|
|Blog Conversation Starter||Contributed content in such a way that inspired outstanding community engagement.||Silver|
|50||x||Received Comment on Blog Post|
|Blogger II||Published multiple, quality posts to the blogs.||Silver|
|10||x||Publish a Blog Post|
|4||x||Blog Post Receives 500 Page Views|
|Code Answerer II||Provided many forum answers with code.||Silver|
|10||x||Answered with Code Snippet|
|Forums Answerer III||Provided multiple answers to questions in Forums.||Silver|
|150||x||Answered A Question|
|Forums Curator II||Identified valuable content for Forums users.||Silver|
|50||x||Identified a Forums Answer|
|20||x||Voted Post as Helpful|
|Forums Replies III||Replied multiple times to Forums.||Silver|
|250||x||Forum Post Reply|
|Forums Replies IV||Replied multiple times to Forums.||Silver|
|2000||x||Forum Post Reply|
|Gallery Contributor II||Published multiple contributions to the galleries.||Silver|
|3||x||Published a Contribution|
|500||x||Gallery Contribution Download|
|Gallery Rater II||Rated multiple contributions on the galleries.||Silver|
|25||x||Rated a Gallery Contribution|
|Gallery Reviewer II||Reviewed and rated multiple contributions on the galleries.||Silver|
|3||x||Reviewed a Gallery Contribution|
|10||x||Rated a Gallery Contribution|
|Gallery Storyteller II||Started and replied to multiple discussions on the galleries.||Silver|
|10||x||Replied to a Gallery Discussion|
|5||x||Started a Gallery Discussion|
|Making Galleries Better||Participated in multiple facets of the galleries through publishing, rating and discussing contributions.||Silver|
|2||x||Published a Contribution|
|250||x||Gallery Contribution Download|
|10||x||Rated a Gallery Contribution|
|5||x||Replied to a Gallery Discussion|
|Proposed Answerer II||Provided many proposed forums answers.||Silver|
|500||x||Contributed a Proposed Forums Answer|
|Rated 'A' for Awesome||Awarded to those who have taken the time to rate multiple blog posts.||Silver|
|25||x||Rated a Blog|
|Thread Mover II||Helped users get answers by moving their questions to the right forums.||Silver|
|Wiki Commentator II||Contributed multiple comments to Wiki articles.||Silver|
|Wiki Community Editor||Revised multiple articles and contributed comments for your revisions.||Silver|
|Wiki Contributor II||Published multiple, quality Wiki articles.||Silver|
|10||x||New Wiki Article|
|6||x||Wiki Article Receives 500 Page Views|
|Wiki Editor II||Made multiple edits which contributed to continued community engagement.||Silver|
|25||x||Edited Wiki Article|
|10||x||Wiki Article Receives 500 Page Views|
|Code Answerer I||Provided first forum answer with code.||Bronze|
|1||x||Answered with Code Snippet|
|First Answer Confirmed||Confirmed a reply to your question as an answer for the first time.||Bronze|
|1||x||Asker Confirmed my Answer|
|First Forums Reply||Replied to a forums thread for the first time.||Bronze|
|1||x||Forum Post Reply|
|First Forums Spam Report||Reported first forums SPAM post.||Bronze|
|1||x||Reported SPAM Post|
|First Helpful Vote||Voted a post as helpful for the first time.||Bronze|
|1||x||Voted Post as Helpful|
|First Marked Answer||Marked an answer to a question for the first time.||Bronze|
|1||x||Identified a Forums Answer|
|Forums Answerer I||Provided multiple answers to questions in Forums.||Bronze|
|3||x||Answered A Question|
|Forums Answerer II||Provided multiple answers to questions in Forums.||Bronze|
|20||x||Answered A Question|
|Forums Curator I||Identified valuable content for Forums users.||Bronze|
|10||x||Identified a Forums Answer|
|10||x||Voted Post as Helpful|
|Forums Replies I||Replied multiple times to Forums.||Bronze|
|25||x||Forum Post Reply|
|Forums Replies II||Replied multiple times to Forums.||Bronze|
|100||x||Forum Post Reply|
|New Blog Commentator||Posted your first comment to the blogs.||Bronze|
|New Blog Rater||Gave your first rating to a blog post.||Bronze|
|1||x||Rated a Blog|
|New Blogger||Published your first post to the blogs.||Bronze|
|1||x||Publish a Blog Post|
|New Gallery Contributor||Published a contribution to the galleries for the first time.||Bronze|
|1||x||Published a Contribution|
|New Gallery Rater||Rated a contribution in the galleries for the first time.||Bronze|
|1||x||Rated a Gallery Contribution|
|New Gallery Reviewer||Reviewed a contribution in the galleries for the first time.||Bronze|
|1||x||Reviewed a Gallery Contribution|
|New Gallery Storyteller||Started and replied to a galleries discussion for the first time.||Bronze|
|1||x||Started a Gallery Discussion|
|1||x||Replied to a Gallery Discussion|
|New Wiki Commentator||Posted your first comment to a Wiki article.||Bronze|
|New Wiki Contributor||Published your first article as a Wiki contributor.||Bronze|
|1||x||New Wiki Article|
|New Wiki Editor||Made your first revision to a Wiki article.||Bronze|
|1||x||Edited Wiki Article|
|Profile Complete||Completed all aspects of your profile.||Bronze|
|1||x||Change Avatar Image|
|1||x||Change About Me|
|Proposed Answerer I||Provided first proposed forums answer.||Bronze|
|3||x||Contributed a Proposed Forums Answer|
|Thread Mover I||Helped users get answers by moving their questions to the right forums.||Bronze|
|Translation Contributor||Submitted first translation to Translation Wiki.||Bronze|
|Translation Moderator||Submitted first moderator activity to Translation Wiki.||Bronze|
|TW Contributor I||Multiple submissions to Translation Wiki.||Bronze|
|TW Contributor II||Continued submissions to Translation Wiki.||Silver|
|TW Contributor III||High volume Translation Wiki submissions.||Gold|
|TW Moderator I||Moderation of multiple translation submissions.||Bronze|
|TW Moderator II||High volume Translation Wiki submissions.||Silver|
|TW Moderator III||High volume community moderation.||Gold|
|TW Superstar Moderator||Ultimate moderation skills.||Gold|
|TW Superstar Translator||Ultimate translation skills.||Gold|
|TW Translator I||Submission of multiple, quality translations.||Bronze|
|TW Translator II||Continued dedication to quality translation submissions.||Silver|
|TW Translator III||Outstanding translation quality and high volume of submissions.||Gold|
Where can I see my achievements?
When you earn an achievement you’ll be able to see it on your profile. Your most recent achievements are shown below your activity feed:
Let’s look at this in more detail:
Note: You will also see the achievement count in your Recognition Bar at the top of the profile page.
In addition to the achievements section in your profile, an achievement may be logged into your activity feed. That lets you and those following your activities know about your achievements as they are earned!
Do Achievements have any effect on my Recognition Points?
Potentially they do…
On the flip-side, recognition points do not directly contribute to earning achievements.
Do I ever lose the achievements I’ve earned?
Unless we discover you cheated your way to it, then no, you’ll never lose the achievements you’ve earned. Even if the requirements to earn an achievement change you’ll always keep what you’ve earned.
What can I do with the points and achievements earned?
Today, you can use them to demonstrate your contributions to the community. Points will also be used as we add to the recognition system for leaderboards, statistics or area expert recognition.
In the future your recognition status may also be used for opening up more functionality on a site or receiving special invitations to programs such as the MVP or MCC programs.
What should I do if I’m not seeing the points or achievements expected?
We’ve designed the Recognition System to be as real time as possible; however if things get busy it may take up to 24 hours to process the points and/or achievements.
If you do not see your updates after that time, please click the Site Feedback link at the bottom of this page. Please include any information you can to help us identify the missing points or achievements.
How do I display my Profile and Recognition status on my own blog, website etc.?
We are currently working on implementing a widget framework and embeddable user card that can be self-hosted on your own site. Stay tuned for more details.
System Requirements & Issue Reporting
What browsers are supported?
We test our profile and recognition system across a series of browsers based on the traffic our metric system reports. At the current time that includes:
Other browsers may work but some features may not be fully functional. Please note that Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 is no longer supported.
What are the recommended screen resolutions?
A minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768 is recommended. Lower resolutions may work, but some features may not be fully functional.
I have found a bug. Where do I report it?
Please click the Site Feedback link at the bottom of this page and include any information you can to help us reproduce the problem. Thanks in advance!
I have a suggestion for a feature, or a question or concern that is not answered here. Where do I report it?
Please use the Profile and Recognition Forum located at http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/Profile/threads. The forum is monitored daily by the engineering and support teams.