I often wonder how much time members of the community spend browsing SDN and BPX blogs in comparison to area homepages. Of course, then I realize that as a member of the SDN content strategy organization (CSO), I have access to a heap of statistical reports designed to answer exactly these kinds of questions. And, well, it’s kind of my job to know.
First of all, there are about a zillion forum hits every week. Seems like there always have been. But to my surprise, I looked at the statistics from one year ago at this time (it was the week SDN reached the 500,000 member milestone, and pre-BPX launch) and I was surprised to see that there were only half a zillion hits. I suppose with the community still growing, and there always being questions to ask and answers to share, the increase makes sense. Forums have always been the cornerstone of SDN.
Blog numbers were about the same from last year to this year, but with roughly an equal number of wiki hits on top of that. The SDN universe expanded, and people are exploring it, adding and shaping content, creating profiles. It’s great. And if you do the math, the sum (blogs + wiki) roughly doubled from last year.
Homepages (such as ABAP, Business Intelligence Performance Tuning, or Composition Environment) are remarkably consistent number-wise, and this gets me closer to my point (hope I haven’t lost you already). Some areas are naturally more popular than others, but they all tend to stay in their respective statistical ballparks over time. Why haven’t these numbers doubled as well? New pages are born out of existing, keystone areas, while entirely new areas arise (indeed, an entirely new community!); some even drop off and float away. There are always new places to go.
So finally, the point: There’s another new place to visit in the SAP Community Network–the SAP NetWeaver Process Integration homepage. And in order not to lose anyone, I want to spread the word about some changes. Venture into SDN Community and scan the left-hand navigation and you will see: Process Integration replaced Exchange Infrastructure.
What this means is that we’ve got the main rollout channel set up for upcoming releases of SAP NetWeaver PI, including the 7.1 release scheduled for ramp-up at the end of 2007. Meanwhile, Exchange Infrastructure Process Integration (PI) & SOA Middleware and blogs live on, as does the Exchange Infrastructure wiki page, and even the Exchange Infrastructure homepage itself. Just see “Previous Releases” on the new page.
What Else Is New?
Go to the Process Integration page and it doesn’t look remarkably different from other homepages, but there are a couple of important things to point out. First, all Exchange Infrastructure materials from SAP Service Marketplace (SMP) that were already available there to customers and partners will be made available here, to everyone. And as the main rollout channel for future releases of PI, this is the place to find the official documentation on this SAP NetWeaver capability.
Second, the Knowledge Center is restructured to some extent, with seminal key topics and “Getting Started” pages split out from related areas, release-specific information, and other important documentation such as How-to Guides and SAP Documentation on Help Portal.
Stay tuned for more SMP content and redesigned Knowledge Centers in the coming months.
One thing that definitely has not changed: The value of community contributions and interaction behind these homepages. Without articles, blogs, forum activity, and everything else, there would only be smoke and mirrors. As a content strategist, my goal is to weave together different community elements and official documentation in a newsworthy, central access sort of way on the homepage… and let you all do the rest!
Topic of the Month
Speaking of community contributions, the other thing I wanted to mention, and in fact this was really what I wanted to tell you all along, is that the new Process Integration area is “Topic of the Month.” Throughout August, every Process Integration article, blog, and wiki entry will earn you twice as many points as usual. For more information about how to submit content, and what “usual” means, refer to the How to Contribute page atop SDN and the Contributor Recognition Program FAQs.
Until next Topic of the Month!