Forget the 1 Million…
I was blown away when I saw it and I’m sure you were as well but what really nailed me was the mail I got today.
Please take a moment to reflect on and celebrate this significant achievement. And please make sure to convey my congratulations to all those within SAP — and to the customers and partners who are the most-active members and supporters — who have helped build, manage, and energize these online communities.
I’ve been smiling all day and mainly because of this part of that statement, well this is actally all just a part of the email that Henning sent to us, “who have helped build, manage, and energize these online communities”. Now why might that single little part mean so much to me? Well because despite the size, the activity, all of it there is one thing that still sets this community above all others that I’ve had the pleasure of working with dating all the way back to the late 80’s when I first got involved in online communities.
This is a community of friends! What everyone should do is pull of he list of “contributors over all time” just glance through and see how many you have contact to, how many you know and how many you’ve met. You’ll be really surprised I think.
With that in mind I want to share “my” story with all of you, maybe then you’d like to share yours? OK many of you who know me, know I have several stories and some I am never allowed to repeat publically 😉 but this is one of the first for me with the community.
SAP TechEd 2004, the point system was new and I was just a member of the community. I was on vacation with my (now) wife in the US and had planned everything that I could actually finish publishing a series of blogs – my motivation was to secure my spot on stage t the first EU TechEd where a “SDN Clubhouse” was involved and also my first ever SAP TechEd. You see prior to April of 2003 I knew what SAP was but had no desire to do more than fill in CATS and even that was not a desire. SDN was what actually got me excited about SAP and what possibilities it presents!
So while on vacation I was also publishing my blog series and working hard to provide the information, I would have done so anyway but I was working extra hard in a shorter time frame for a selfish reason, I felt OK with those because it was something that I would have done anyway and I actually had several emails and messages from people wanting me to hurry up anyway.
Needless to say I made it and got the blog series published in time, it was a success I ended up with a nickname “Guiding Light for all Newbies” and was able to enjoy the rest of my vacation including proposing to my (now) wife. Weheaded back to Germany. We arrived 8 hours later I was in the office and then 9 hours after that I was in a car driving to Munich (this was a cool year being back in Munich).
There in Munich I met Gregor, DJ, Piers, Mark, Brian and many others made my way through the whole day (standing room only in sessions, etc) blogged (on paper as there was no wireless and the clubhouse was a couple of tables in the corner) then decided finally to have a beer before the evening stage event as we were told we would go up shake hands and go down. I went up, relaxed, dead tired and ready for bed. I stood there shook hands was ready to walk away and Shai decided to have a conversation I was taken off guard and decided afterwards I should of have had a coke instead LOL
Afterwards I partied with the guys and we walked away knowing that bonds and friendship had been started.
So my title of this post might seem a bit sensational but let me put the whole thing here,
Forget the 1 Million and think about the 1
That 1 is you, you make this community what it is. You make it what it is more than anything else and we are excited that you are a member – we’d been even more excited if you shared your story with us as well.
What made you a member? Was it like Abesh back in 2006 at SAP TechEd? Was it like Eddy our very own Grumpy Old Man? Maybe Gregor, Piers or DJ? I know there stories, as well as Raja’s and many others but what is yours – maybe with a little prodding these guys will share theirs as well?
I still remember when Kartik’s daughter drew a picture for my son when he was born, or just recently when Abesh’s new wife joined us in the evening at the Community Day. How about Marilyn’s son who hung out with us in Bangalore? How about my son who sent a video mail to Mark’s daughter and Gali’s son?
Friends and Family are what make this community so strong, share your story…
Very nice blog...It touched my heart... -:)
Many of my friends know my SDN story...It's actually published on SDN...But why can't I tell it again? It's a short one -;)
"I was looking for some PHP stuff and discover PHP and SAP Integration on SDN...I was so happy...I begin to post on the forums and some guy name Craig ask me to join as Blogger."
From that time till now, I have become more involved with SDN that I could ever dream off...Made my first TechEd this year...Meet a lot of "internet" friends face-to-face...Become a Moderator, Mentor.
I have always thought about SCN like a big family...And thanks to Craig...I'm part of that family.
Towards the end of that year Craig announced the SDN Points Blowout challenge, a very interesting challenge around a specific HTML feature proposal, HTML canvas. I was working really hard during holiday season to create a nice interactive collaboration tool (at a time when 'collaboration tool' was not yet so buzzy like it is today. Contrary to my expectation I didn't win the contest but actually more disappointing was the fact that this work did not lead to any feedback (for instance in terms of downloads of the example app).
2006 brought some blog contributions of mine all of which centered around PHP apps integrating with SAP by means of web services and regular participation in the scripting languages and PHP forum. Scripting languages had some hype that year culminating in several intersting sessions at that year's TECHED in Amsterdam. At that TECHED I got to know some SDNers in personal which was a joyful experience for me. Especially I remember Marilyn, who I witnessed to promote her then recently launched BPX community which such a honest passion that one had to love it. I wrote 'her BPX community' because personally I was a bit sceptic about that BPX stuff at that time.
Ah,and of course it was the year showing Blag and David Halitsky appear on the scene for me, both of which I liked a lot, understanding one very well and the other one not at all. But I read nearly all contributions of both of them.
Then came 2007, a year of great SDN - no, SCN now - frustration on my behalf, with a few outstanding exceptions - introduction of the Coffe Corner, TECHED '07, where I met a lot of great people for the first time or again and the invention of the 'Community that Cares'.
I am looking forward to see what 2008 brings. Oh, 1 Million was the topic. Grats. I am happy to know a few and get to know a few more in the future.
I am very lucky to have a wife who shares my passion for SDN. (We ditched our honeymoon plans so that I could attend TechED.) SDN for us is just a part of our extended family.
I thought of writing a big huge comment on this post when I clicked on this link but somehow words fail me...
what a tremendous statement! thanks for being a guiding light, craig.
Long story short: I had so much problems to solve while I am working on SAP-BSP pages: show content in a nice looking table, make fields editable, select the right content out of the huge SAP-database...
And I never could solved all these obstacles and finally get my project working without the SDN Forum!! So thanks very much.
All these webapplication [wiki, forum....] (most people call it Web2.0 - I don't really like this ) are remind me on opensource projects... 😉 And that's great for products like SAP deliver.
From that day onwards I have developed a passion to contribute in SDN & motivating my colleague to contribute on SDN. I have decided to do a case study, How spending time regularly helps me to develop my SAP and related skills. I can see great returns from SDN contribution.
Now I am sharing results of my achievements with others. I have referred over 100 members to join SDN and explain them how to get bet out of community centric learning & development.
All SDN participants, Thanks for your Support and Reorganization, especially for Craig Cmehil, because he is the person always encourage the team and giving guide lines, suggestions for entire SDN Community. I wanted to see my name in # 1 position in over all 2008-2009 SDN Ranking, but because of my work I’m unable to respond for the questions which posting in Business Information Warehouse. At least I’m happy to see my name in 3rd position in Business Information Warehouse.
Anyway Thanks to SDN world.
Surendra Kumar Reddy. Koduru.
SAP - BI