One of my New Year’s resolutions was to try to bottle my anger up and to keep my shirt on when I get frustrated/annoyed about things. Unfortunately the latter didn’t last for long. Well to be honest it’s not so much due to frustration as disillusionment. And this disenchantment was caused by you – member of the SDN community. What happened?
On Dec 19th (my birthday), Mark, as by tradition, initiated a Best of SDN 2005 your suggestions … asking us to look back over the past year and praise what we considered to be the best of SDN. Due to the time difference I was unable to respond immediately and only did so some 9 hours later. I was rather surprised to still be the first to answer, knowing that 9 hours are donkey’s years in the ABAP forum. In next to no time a multitude of answers can be formulated. Even if I set my RSS reader to a 1 minute interval and I type my answer real quick, others can often get ahead of me with the same answer.
However this certainly wasn’t the case for this particular thread. In fact it took almost another day before the next answer was posted. Even after a month (period Dec 19th – Jan19th), and prompting from at least 5 people via web logs, e-mail and the contributors corner for people to post their experiences, the counter indicated only 54 posts. If we subtract the SDN community manager’s posts we end up with only 46, including the posts from people who either didn’t seem to understand the question or misused the thread for other purposes. If we look at this number in proportion to the amount of people who’ve been reading Mark’s Best of SDN in 2005 (522 on Jan 19th), we have a meagre 8.81% response rate. This is a generous approach since we didn’t calculate in other web logs, etc. If we do, I come to roughly a 2 – 4% response rate. Direct marketers may be in raptures over this result, but I certainly am not, certainly not in this context.
So I started searching for reasons for the mediocre response rate and came up with this subjective list:
- given the time of the year and the festivities, you didn’t have a single spare minute of time to respond. It’s possible, but why did 6 people still find the time to write full working applications, in far less time, in response to Craig’s SDN: POINTS BLOW OUT!! – Entries are in!? Yes, if you want to challenge me on that, I admit that the response rate over there was not spectacular either, but the requirements that needed to be met were much higher
- there is nothing in it for you. Now that’s interesting. Why do you want to put yourself out to respond to other forum threads with the chance that the thread initiator will reward you with 10 points (if anything)? Whereas the whole community (including you) would benefit from your response to Mark’s call for input.
- you don’t care. Shame on you! The community managers and the whole SDN team deserve better. You don’t need to do it for me, a grumpy old man. And if you don’t want to do it for them, do it for yourself. At the end of the day you are the beneficiaries.
Summing it up, it’s kind of déjà vu to me. In my Several SDN specimens gathered in a clubhouse and grooved with an excellent coffee in their hand. of late September I commented on the TechEd Vienna that had just taken place: “Speaking of SDN, I was rather disappointed by you the SDN community. I expected more commitment from you guys. The SDN team (and that’s not only Mark and Craig) put a lot of effort into setting up an attractive programme in a nice clubhouse. The response was sometimes rather poor. Sure there were plenty of people when there was nothing else to do or when there were things to give away. However the clubhouse was sometimes practically empty during sessions, even though there were equally interesting things going on there.”
You may find this/me very rude, offending and very subjective. I certainly hope so. It’s up to you, from now on, to provide evidence to the contrary. No need to search for examples in the past, it’s the future that matters.