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Craig’s predictions for 2008

As much as I hate to do it, here are my predictions on what will be huge in the community for 2008!



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  • Hi Craig,

    Well, you are an intelligent boy and I am an admirer of your work. You are a sucesfully example of an SDN contributor. Jumping from a small company to heart of SAP, even being SAP employee of the year 2006.

    I remember yet your first BSP blogs in 2004. You made an excellent material and your sap-php book is excellent and one of my favourites sappress books.

    But now I see you is losing the focus.

    Please don’t take this personally but, quality of your contribution is declined.

    I see you are a twitter fan, and that is ok, but I think is not enought relevant for this community. When I see the huge problems implementing Enterprise software , scalability problems, performance problems even licence problems and you talking about twitter, well, something is not in it place.

    You have an incredible privileged position, everybody knows about you and you have a big influence, that is my worry.

    If we expect twitter adding some value or resolving some enterprise implementation real problem we are in troubles.

    You have interests but now I see your interests more outside SAP world that inside SAP world.

    About video, well, even your videos are just you talking, SDN TV could be called Craig TV ( with special guests ).

    I like this community, and you are two things, a community contributor and a community evangelist, warning, I see you making evangelism from your personal interests …



    • Well Rex, nice to meet you I see you are a member of SDN since Jan 6, 2008 but based on your comments here I take it you created the account just to reply – please no need to hide yourself to reply to me – in fact my mobile number and email are in my Business Card if you’d like to chat directly with me.

      Glad that my blogs and book(s) have made an impression always awesome to hear that! As for losing focus, well that is hard – my focus is actually community and collaboration and primarily collaboration. This in terms of methods of communication. So my focus has changed quite a bit from 2004, even from 2006 but that comes with the nature of community and the social aspects of such large communities.

      It saddens me to hear you think the quality of my contributions have declined, that is very hard to hear especially if you feel that is since my BSP blogs as I no longer work with BSP or even WDA or WDJ these days. Often times though I am lucky to be able to combine aspects of technology into what I do daily so I can then still work in the development area such as connectin various API’s to the NetWeaver platform to show how flexible and capable the platform really is but those sadly are few and far between these days.

      As for my interests, of course I have interests outside of the SAP world, but those are limited as the SAP world does encompass a huge portion of my life these days, I see your focus seems to be “twitter”, do you use it or have you? I’ve found their are either those that find it useful or those that find it a complete waste of time. Personally I find it very useful, professionally and to address a point you made above, “If we expect twitter adding some value or resolving some enterprise implementation real problem we are in troubles.” the answer is YES. Will it improve scale issues, implementation issues or performance issues or help with license problems – not directly no – not even the forums here will directly alter that BUT what the forums, blogs, wiki do is the same thing that Twitter does.

      All of these things (glad you commented – it’s always good to force someone to clarify their comments and stance on technology) adds the two way communication facet to conversation.

      You post a question in the forums and wait for a response, those reading the same forums will read and perhaps reply – no one was bothered though in the process – you did not email or IM all your friends directly nor did you interrupt their daily lives simply because you have a question. Write a blog post and it’s the same you wait for comments, now in both cases once the comments/replies come you begin communicating and working out the problem. Thus indirectly effecting the above mentioned issues in Enterprise Software (or any environment for that matter).

      Now enter twitter, it’s the same as asking a question in the forum expect you are targeting it to a group of people you choose to interact with (not like IM where you interrupt their day either), so in a sense Twitter (or an application like Twitter) simply becomes another means of communicating with your fellow peers about the topics that interest you. Sure it’s not 100% the same as you have limited input (only 140 chracters) but you can help to target attention and responses.

      While discussing something similar I learned (via Twitter of all places) “Web Dynpro 7.1 has a Real Time Messaging Service”, now imagine taking something like the concept of Twitter (short and passive aggressive communication) you would be able to enable your user base, your tech/dev base or even your business base to reduce email and improve efficiency of communications. IM was predicted to do this in the Enterprise but has yet to yield solid and tangible results, will something like a “micro-blogging” platform be able to, it’s hard to say but when you see what is coming into the industry at the moment (e.g. twitter, pownce, Jaiku, Orkut, etc.) the progression seems to be heading in that direction. The millenials or Gen Y folks (the generation coming into our jobs next) are said to have a 6 mins attention span – that’s it 6 mins so if you can’t communicate your message efficently enough you have issues – email is a dinosaur, one that we seem to not be able to escape. Personally I think it’s partially because we have no other means of communicating that do not involve a box popping up on your screen with a message from a single person (IM).

      Now as for the video, unfortunately not everyone is taking advantage of it so yeah I can see what you mean about it being “Craig TV” (I do have my own personal channel though), question to everyone else why are you not using the SDN TV more? No interest? No Time? Nothing to say? Anyone can go and produce a show right now and as long as it’s understandable and appropriate (not hte bad stuff you know) it gets published.

      So Rex I hope my response makes sense and perhaps adds to my “predicition” choice, or at least helps you and the others to understand it more.

      Again feel free contact me directly or more here, it’s a new year and I strive to ensure my contributions are as much of value to everyone as theirs are to me – so input is welcomed.

      • Hi Craig,

        Side comment. You write: “IM was predicted to do this in the Enterprise but has yet to yield solid and tangible results”

        I talked to someone at IBM a couple of years back and he told me that over 50% of all conversations went over IM and that email is often only used as confirmation/logging medium: At the end of the conversation the IM thread is copied into an email and sent to all participants.

        I was quite surprised that even stogy old Big Blue is that active with IM.

        It will be interesting how Twitter or an internal intranet version of it will fit into the enterprise communication landscape. 2008 is going to be interesting for sure.

        All the best, Mark.

        • IBM I think has proven the exception to the norm, of course they also bundled it up together with mail, “Dogears” (sweet program) and their “Blue Pages” and released it as a suite. I believe the latest numbers put them around 60% if I remember correctly – a dream for many.
    • …”I see you are a twitter fan, and that is ok, but I think is not enought relevant for this community.
        When I see the huge problems implementing Enterprise software , scalability problems, performance problems even licence problems and you talking about twitter, well, something is not in it place.”…

      Relevant: Twitter and kyte are community centric tools. Community is about connecting people so that they can address problems, issues, and interests.

      Irrelevant: Anonymously posting “constructive” personal attacks.  If you don’t like it, don’t read it…move on.


    • Hi SDN Rex
      I found out about this conversation and your blog comments on Twitter (even for this grandma it proved faster breaking news than going to my RSS feeds for SDN/BPX blog comments)

      It is always helpful to understand who our community members are so that we can better serve their content needs.

      1.     We are SAP professionals – all things SAP interest us
      2.     We are SAP Evangelists  – passionate about SAP community content needs and transparent about who we are
      3.     We are SAP Adult Learning professionals – We recognize that content consumers have different preferences for content delivery and different methods of learning and sharing knowledge
      4.     We are SAP community content creators – We recognize that content is served and received via multiple channels and styles dependant on the different types of adult learners and learning needs (we help community provide and receive graphics, auditory, text or any combination thereof)
      5.     We advocate SAP community interests – we support content that can be detailed, illustrated, lengthy, succinct, consolidated, aggregated – you get to select according to preference

      From a community contribution perspective:
      We have an open and visible suggestion and comment forum: SCN Support
      We have a “ranting” topic for blogs – Ranting Topic and every blogger there has an author profile which tells community all about him/her
      We have a Community Wiki Corner with further opportunity for comments and suggestions- Contributor Corner
      We have SDN and BPX TV – Thomas Jung has spent inordinate energy populating an ABAP Freak Show
      We also have a twitter channel for SAP Community Network : SAP Community Network

      We avoid personal attacks promoting the “ad hominem rule” see suggestion  #8
      Blogging 101 in SDN and BPX


  • Hey Rex, good to see you are asking the hard questions. Did you see my post on the Twitter thing? It drew a lot of comment with different people having different perspectives. All of which is absolutely fine because it’s a topic that needs to be understood.

    If you did then you’d have seen that I was talking about some of the very things you mention.

    I guess the thing to understand about these media is that they are tools – nothing more – that hopefully will make all of our lives better.

    I can’t speak for Craig but that’s how I see it.

    I also see them as an adjunct to the other stuff. I agree there’s no way you could use Twitter to answer technical questions but you could use it to get fast track access to help. Video can be used as a teaching aid as well as a form of communication (guess what – I want to know what you look like – with 1 million in SDN, that’s important to me.)

    I could go on but hopefully something this is useful  in understanding the thinking of those among us who walk perilously close to the cliff’s edge but who are genuinely searching for the right answers while pushing the boundaries of innovation.

    Here’s the link to my post on the topic. I invite you to comment. It’s all up for grabs.

    OK SAPpers, who wants to be a Twit(terer)?

    Thanks for your attention.

  • Many folks are dismissive of twitter at first. I even have a recording on my hard drive somewhere of Dennis H saying that Twitter is a ****ing waste of time…

    I use it alot for work and pleasure. I read the SDN stuff via twitter, rather than on email or RSS. Indeed, I clicked here from Twitter to make this comment.

    Steve Clayton from Microsoft has this to say about it.

    SDN is a community, and all these tools help grease the wheels.

    Video will play a role too, So keep it coming Craig. It is well time we did another podcast.