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Why don’t they let me blog?

This week in Mark Finnern’s absence, a good number of complaints have been channeled my way about blog approval. I thought I would use this blog to clarify a few things about the blog approval process (and perhaps even save Mark a little of the grief that this subject seems to evoke).

So you wanted to blog?

You went to Submit Content on the Top Navigation of the SDN homepage and saw Weblogs -> Become an SDN Weblogger


Hopeful, you pressed that link and were given a form to fill


Your expectations are set. You receive the message: “Please fill out this form and we will contact you within a week”

But some conveniently don’t remember that they have 3 different email addresses in SDN.

Some feel entitled. “I have filled this out; they had better get back to me”

Never mind the fact I didn’t really take the time to fill out the form completely and read what I wrote.


Hmmm.. plans for weblogging? When the muse strikes me?

No. We need to know WHAT you are thinking of writing about.

Perhaps this subject has already been written about a gazillion times in exactly the same way you intend to write it. Maybe your topic isn’t really represented in any of our developer areas or knowledge centers. Hmmmm “I think I’ll write about… my new puppies..?”

Seriously, maybe you don’t keep up with reading the blogs in your subject area and suggest redundant topics or subjects that are fully covered in forums.

I know that there are a great many modest and humble people in our ranks who balk at expanding self-flattering description. Hey, we are not looking for brag, just substance.

How can we judge interest when someone says they are going to blog on “subjects that interest me”; or “about making this technology better” .WHAT technology, how improved?

So, friends, what I experience here occasionally (and forgive me as I am relatively new to this space) is that a few folks are a little huffy about our slow response to approve, yet I also see that it might be a little unfair for some folks to take great pains to read through applications and go the extra step to invite others to enhance their submission contents only to find that some other folks don’t even bother finishing a sentence or proof reading.

The bar has definitely been raised on SDN. We expect contributors to fill their business card details and, although it is optional, we also encourage attaching pictures, to the weblog application as well as Business card, to personalize and enhance community identity.

When it comes to the format of the actual content of the blogs, much has already been written here by SDNers.

Brian: The 1-2-3 Steps To Producing a Weblog and Mark: Weblog formatting Tips and Tricks

If I may add a small additional reminder that descriptions used in blogs should DESCRIBE and they are used in RSS feeds as well… and finally, as some discovered this week, aesthetics DO matter.

So I’ve finished my rant of “why they don”t let me blog.”

And after I’ve taken a little personal inventory I might discover that “some” of the responsibility for why I am not yet blogging, just maybe, possibly, is mine.


Marilyn Pratt

SAP Developer Network

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  • Very nice Marilyn, and something that needs to be occasionly restated just like Brian's "Rules of Engagement" in the BSP forum.

    Allow me to add this comment:

    Awhile back we had some blogs which pointed out the problems that exist in SAP and their "installation" routines. However the blogs never stated a solution. Myself and several SDNers made it clear to those bloggers that we expected a solution to a problem pruposed in this regard and that if you just wanted to use the blog to express your unhappiness then get a personal blog we all have limited time and don't want to waste it just because you felt the need to vent your anger.


    • I really like your blog Marilyn, it's good to show people that a blogger must be a collaborative person, and not just a points hunter.

      I also agree with the "Blog Aproval" system...Because when you become a new blogger you need some guidness until you know how to do things the right way.



      • Thanks, Alvaro.  Collaboration really is the name of the game, else you would just be reading help documentation, rather than coming to SDN, no?  It never ceases to amaze me how many folks are ready, willing, and able to give much of themselves and their personal time to interact with others and help others and learn from one another.  I even marvel at the commitment of many of my SAP colleagues who spend inordinate hours after hours.  You have to love this kind of work to engage in it.  I'm glad to meet people here on SDN who obviously care about others.
  • Well, for Brian McKellar's program, it works only in specific SAP versions.

    Structured weblogs go a long way in helping people read.

    Picture is worth 1000 words. And 1000 pictures are just too many words...

    Subramanian V.

    • Hi Subramanian Venkateswaran,
      I hope you meant that my fonts were too bold 😉
      I have changed them.
      If you meant that my content was too bold, I would like to know that as well.  I just tried to "tell it like it is" from the perspective of the readers of blog applications.
      Too many pictures?  I don't get it.
      • Yep, the text. The content was nice. Thanks for the blog. I thought the too many pictures remark was obvious. For eg. pictures(can be read as screenshots) assists readers to associate content with, and at the sametime, too many screenshots , the reader gets inundated. It was a general advice.

        Subramanian V.

        • Phew! Thanks for the clarification.
          I feared for a moment that I had overstepped the boundaries of good taste, in your opinion 😉

          That's also a lesson.  We are a very self-moderating entity here. Generally public censure is the result of poor content, poorly articulated content, poorly formatted content, or redundant content.  Too many pictures would absolutely be redundant.  Thanks for pointing that out and reminding everyone.  That should go in to an updated "Tips and Tricks" for bloggers.

          Also thanks to Craig, for his tip that once one adds new content to the blog, it could be marked "Updated".

          I think we find that the community is actually a more powerful editor for personal content than the SDN team 🙂


  • I too concur on having something to talk about. However is there a feature by which any blog of mine say from can be shown here instead of the my homepage link alone?
    That might lead many to maintain their separate blogspots and display the link here. That way SDN would not be responsible for the content.

    Also in the middle of the blog if I want to change the content to a newer one .. it again goes into the cycle of approval. I do not say approval is wrong but it is necessary to have control over what is published over SDN and unfortunately Weblogs also carry points which means the person will definitely apply for a weblog - more like after reading a weblog - hey I can do better than that but not too sure on what to blog about!!!

    And as mentioned I have not given a solution since I do not know one !!!  a pretty catch 22 situation I would say but I still think the initial euphoria of having a weblog on SDN will wear out and the number of requests will be less.


    • Most of us feel that if the blog is related to SAP and development and solutions or directly to SDN then we publish it here. If not we publish it on our own blog away from here.

      As for SDN being responsible for the content, well it's a risk they take in terms of less content but also a chance they take to ensure that proper content is posted. I for one like the idea that when I come here I find weblogs directly related to the topics at hand and I'm not bouncing from website to website reading several personal blogs from many different people, I mean I do that in my free time 😉

      As for modifiying the blog, well most of us mark the blog with an UPDATED or something and show the differences.

      I would say that most bloggers here use the blogs in the form of small articles or tutorials and not so much in terms of a journal.

      You're right and there is the possibility of the weblogs decreasing but at the moment the activity here would suggest otherwise and as more get motivated and involved in the new technologies coming from SAP I think we will continue to see and increase, personally I hope we see and experience that increase for a long time to come.

      For this to happen though it's we the members of the community that will have to drive it though!

      Just me with my two cents...

  • dear Mariliyn,
    when I look at the points that "your" top-contributors achieve I must admit that there have to be persons who spend about 12 hours a day in accumulating points on sdn. I wonder if there are some "virtual persons" who do not really exist but who are a whole company in reality.

    I just got back my application to weblog and even though I was not surprised that it did not get through on the first try i was a bit surprised by the way SAP treats its customers when you are turning down an application.

    My intention was to give back to the community, and even though you turned me down - I will try to improve my application and try again.
    If you won't let me in in the end - I will try somwhere else, I am willing to contribute my experiences (and my colleagues keep telling me they are interesting) and one way or the other I will manage to do so, if SAP will let me - so much the better.

    btw. tastes a bit like an AUTO-REPLY System to me.

    Thanks for applying to become an SDN Blogger.

    We read your application and one or more of the following items need improvement before we can accept you.

    - There is not enough information in your bio. SDN members would like to know more about your background.
    - You start your short bio with your name or you don't have your full name in your bio.
    - Spelling is not correct. Unfortunately we don't have the time to copy edit your posts. If you already make errors in your blogger application, that does not bode well for your future posts and we will not approve. (I am glad that I am a blogger already, I would have a tough time clearing this hurdle)

    - Your blogging plans didn't inspire us or your themes are covered by many good SDN bloggers already.
    - Lack of experience can be compensated by extra effort for example a link to a sample of good writing of yours

    You have one week time to update your application. If after that week you still don't reach our admittedly high standards we will decline your request and there will be no further discussion. You have this one chance to get it right.

    This may sound harsh, but with the amount of applications we are getting, we had to streamline our operations and we want to insure high quality for the blogs.

    Hope you understand, SDN Blog Team

    • Hi Jurgen,
      Thank you for your very valuable critique of the blog message.  We certainly need to review the wording because if it becomes a deterent to participation then it is obviously a failure on our part.  I am fairly certain that such a response was a reaction to an overwhelming number of poor quality submissions.  My feeling is that this is no longer the case, so perhaps it is time to review this response.
      Again, thank you for your candor and I am relieved that you are still determined to try again.
      I'll forward this to Mark


    • "Tastes a bit like auto-reply" - well it is, the first response always is.

      However we hardly ever stick to the "you have one week" and I work through with everyone (99%) to ensure they get their chance here.


      • I have posted a draft blog waiting for approval - I have given my best to follow all the rules, and recommendations. I am not an active SDN user in terms of making points, but I wish to share my insights and findings after more than a year long journey along SAP, Linux, Virtualization and Itanium scenery and landscapes (not a usual trip) ... I didn't get any note (mail) about the status - is this usual ? Hope someone will hear ...
        • Someone does hear. It sometimes takes time for relevant moderator to release.  Perhaps you did not release for Approval and it is still sitting in draft?
          • I have released it for approval about a week ago, I will have to wait more - in the mean time, how can I find out who is moderator and how can I bounce him/her if it takes more than a week or two ?
          • It is released Zorin, but perhaps one of the reasons for the delay was a very long summary content. It looks like the summary is the blog rather than an abstract. Please take care to keep it clear and brief next time.
    • In that case blog at bloggger itself. If you got substance then I'm sure your blog will appear as the first link in google searches for the topic you wrote. That will be the real winner for you; yes the google page rank.
  • Hi

    I have query on time frame for Blog Approval..
    My Application to blog has been accepted but still my Blog is in Ready for approval stage..

    Is there any helpdesk or number which we can contact to check the reason or this is normal timeframe for apporval?