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With all the talk of Blogging 101 in SDN and BPX and Why I have/haven’t created or modified a wiki… lately I wonder if everyone has grasped the basic of “Do I blog it or do I Wiki it?”So what’s the difference between me writing a blog about something or writing a Wiki entry about something?

Well first the basic difference is the Wiki is designed to grow and the blog not. So does this mean you shouldn’t blog it? Of course not, but you should consider to Wiki it!There’s an unwritten standard here in the Community, Blogging 101 in SDN and BPX gives some of the golden rules but as for the standard well that’s something a bit different and those of you who started off blogging on “SDN” back when I did know that standard pretty well – we after all created it!

Since then we’ve been joined by thousands of more users as well as hundreds of more bloggers gone are the days where it was easy to read through each and every blog whether it related to my areas or not, gone are the days where when someone posted a blog you didn’t like you could comment tell them and have no worry that it would happen again, gone are the days that our blogs were Please subscribe to our new links and even better gone are the days of static content as well as gone are the days that we “developers” are left on our own to hack away, now we are joined by another group of excellent individuals that present challenges to us and offer their understanding Embrace Change are now in our community and we should be happy for the explosion of new content and new thought.

With all of these changes over the years (wow I wrote my first SDN blog back in June of 04 happened to be about PHP and SAP, together at last?! as well) now we live in a new Community one with new players each and every day one that needs to open itself up to new thoughts and ideas one with a strong foundation but as you go up and out into each of the branches it can get a little shaky (kind of like yesterday in Germany with Hurricane “Kyrill”).

So how does one adapt to this brave new world? Well first and foremost one has to think and remember back to the days when you first started and how overwhelming it all seemed, back to the days before we had a Wiki when you had limited choices for updating or sharing your content.Well now that you are thinking about it, think back to all of those blogs you’ve written and ask yourself how many of those could (if you were do them now) go into the Wiki for others to expand on instead of sitting here as a blog where the best that can happen is long drawn out comments that end of forcing you to write a whole new blog as the comments have evolved into a whole new topic? I found at least 10 (e.g. BSP/HowTo: Generate PDF Output from a BSP.) of my own blogs that if I did them today I would put them straight into the Wiki, whereas blogs like this one (e.g. or How I started with SAP Web development…) I would leave as a blog.

Let’s throw out an idea here,SDN or BPX Blog – a weblog written for the purpose of sharing an idea or thought, personal experience or that of real life dealing with business, technology or SAP or Industry related. News, thoughts, ideas and a way of doing something. Generalizations and theories are here.

SDN or BPX Wiki entry – a creation of content concerning the “how to” of this or the “how to” of that, step by steps and how to achieve a specific goal. Specifics are here.

Again just an idea, does it address the concern of quality? I think so as it encourages a different approach and at the same time makes clear a concept of “blogging on SDN or BPX”.

Now are those the only two options? What if I “blog it” and “Wiki It” what if it fits into both? My sharing an idea a way of doing it and then adding it to the Wiki so others can expand it and make it better? That works as well!Is this something you have to do? Not at all, this is something you may do – SDN and BPX does not “force” anyone to do it a certain way we leave the decision up to the community and you are the community therefore you decide.

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So how does one “Wiki it” if you should chose to do so, well it’s quite easy in fact easier than when you want to “Blog it”, oh and I’ll share this little bit before I go further.

It happens to be something that is really annoying to me, the mails I get saying “What about points” and they close the mail with “Points are not that important” come on, if you want the points just be honest I can live with it! My 20K jacket is awesome and the 30K bags are even cooler Rich will have his in the mail soon! So as everyone can see in the screen shot the Wiki has points as well! We will give points for good contribution based on community response just as we do for all contribution here.

Updated! – You all know now that points have a much greater purpose and we no longer send out t-shirts, etc.  

In the Wiki we just made it even easier for you to “say” something, notice also in the screen shot the tab “Notify Moderators” check that out it gives you the chance to notify us (good or bad) about a page or changes to the page – use it! Have you used the Wiki yet? Have you changed or added to the Wiki yet? What are you waiting for? Oh wait not sure how to use it? How about we go through a short and simple little exercise and not only will you learn more about the Wiki but you will also get something for your trouble – can’t beat that deal right?So how do you “Wiki it”? It’s actually quite simple and for that I’d like you to click the follow link then do the follow steps.

  1. Click this link
  2. Now click the tab that says “EDIT”
  3. Go into the list of “test pages” and type “YOUR NAME – My Test Page”
  4. In the previous step be sure to replace “YOUR NAME” with your actual name
  5. Now find your Business Card URL and highlight your name, click the little icon (looks like a globe) and choose “external link” see it? Good now enter your Business Card URL there.
  6. Now hightlight the words “My Test Page” and click the same icon again, this time type “Your First Name” followed by Test page (e.g. Craig Test Page) in the alias field at the top.
  7. Save the page

What you should have is something like this.image

  1. Now click the link and it will open a new page with your current title (e.g. Craig Test Page) with the area for you to fill in your content
  2. Add some content (anything it’s only a test) and save the page
  3. If you click the “bread crumb” at the top back to the page before

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You’ll notice the little plus sign is gone and your link is now a normal “wiki” link.Now why do I want you to do all this extra work for a “test” page well because I want to help you learn the Wiki and since I’m so generous I will give everyone that does this “2” points just for doing this little exercise. Add your name and on the 1st of each month I will update the points for everyone who has done (this is why I need the Business Card URL) remember only one entry per person and no cheating!

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35 Comments

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  1. Alvaro Tejada Galindo
    Hi Craig:

    Nice guide…but…Shouldn’t this be a WIKI? LOL

    If hope that all the SDNers who reads this, take a note a try to make more contributions to the WIKI, which a powerful tool that I coming to love and share -:)

    Greetings,

    Blag.

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    1. Community User
      This one I think falls into both categories 😉 one because it’s purely a thought and two because it gives a specific step by step 😉

      It’s a learning process for all of us though and the ultimate decision remains with the community.

      As for the second part of this, take a look

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  2. Ajay Das
    Craig,

    What you define as target content to go to WIKI (how-to, step-by-step, specifics etc), would mean 80% of current blogs should be there. Not bad per se, but the usage pattern of blogs page (where people come to look for such content) would significantly change.

    How would you search WIKI (what you search in Blogs now)? It may not be as structured as blogs or forums are, and may impede user experience. Eg I can drill to topic area which are well-defined/static in forums/blogs before searching, it may not be the same in WIKI.

    How would you award points to WIKI content? Let us say I create a ‘How-to’, and there are 10 additions to it by 10 others users (say within a day). Would it be easy/possible for SDN folks to objectively identify the relative contributions, weigh them and award accordingly?

    Just some thoughts…

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    1. Community User
      Hi Ajay, interesting points you have let me take a crack at them.

      Points, well in the screen shot you might notice that it shows “page version” meaning that we look at each page version for changes and then base any points on what they changed (small minor corrections may not count) and on the “notifications” to the moderators so community input. We are also looking into “ratings” same as we are for the blogs. It’s a learning process though as NO ONE has ever done this with a Wiki so  your help and input will help make that a reality.

      Searching the Wiki – well for one thing you have multiple specific spaces for different areas (click the “My Home” in the bread crumb and take a peak at what all is there) so “drilling” down works as well, search engine is a bit touchy at the moment and a high priority that our teams are working on as well as the “labels” in the Wiki each page can have labels and those can be used to find things just as the blogs have topics. Again we are working hard to make sure it “works as advertised” hang in there with us. Once it is working the right way you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can find anything and everything you need – we use a version of this Wiki internally at SAP and I gotta tell you it rocks!

      So again hang in there we are on and things are not going to change overnight – 80% of the current blogs could be an accurate number but as the content from the BPX community starts to increase I think it might be something more like 50% maybe 60% – yes times are a changing and the community seems to be wanting to move our little Blogosphere more to that of the outside world still keeping to our own high standards – some users are spewing out rubish about being “elite” so these are all things that need to be considered, looked at and thought about.

      Key though is that all of this lays in the hands of those who choose to use it – I for one choose to use the Wiki and the Blogs depending on the content just as I use the forums or articles for other types of content – everything has a place it’s up to each user to decide on what that place is.

      So either I helped with some things and probably added more questions/concerns for others…

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  3. Michael Nicholls
    Hi Craig

    The main issue I have with wikis is watching them. Yes, I can watch an individual wiki page, but I don’t think I can easily watch a page and and children pages that are created under that wiki page.

    As a simple example, I’d like to find any wikis created or changed relating to portals. I’m watching the main portal wiki page here, but I can’t watch any pages created under there.

    It is also possible that contributors will create FAQs under the main wiki page related to portals that I’ll never think to look for.

    A couple of suggestions…

    Can we change the wiki creation so that we get a selection box for what area(s) the wiki relate to, similar to the way blogs are created? We also need a way to watch wikis and child wikis based on this capability.

    I feel that one of the ways to enhance the wiki usage is to make it easier to find them. The creation process is simple, but finding them later can be like searching the proverbial hay stack.

    Cheers

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    1. Community User
      One thing RSS feeds for the different Wiki spaces are coming – another week or so and they will be ready I believe (still testing)

      As for watching a space, did you know by clicking “My Home” you see a list of “Recently updated” pages there? Did you also know from the “ALL” tab on the left you can click the little star icon next to the spaces of interest to you and then click the “My” tab to see only the changes made to those spaces?

      Typically a Wiki works in regards that you enter into your “space” and from there you create your content normally you are there already so would making the option help?

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      1. Matthew Harding
        I would love to see what is happening with Wiki’s daily.  Every day I check out all new blogs on my Blackberry, and the blog approach make it very easy to catch up similar to an RSS feed. When it comes to Wikis though, I tried just then to view recent changes, and what I saw was  “Bild XX Seite 9.JPG (Wiki)” mentioned many times (not much business value to me).  Maybe if Wiki pages had additional attributes like Main page and we could filter on this; then we could use Wiki in the same way as Blogs?  Perhaps I just haven’t tried hard enough to work with the structure either?

        Regards,
        Matt

        ps. Any chance of an official blackberry/mobile enabled page for viewing recent changes like what Thomas Ritter did for blogs (http://tknight.org/sdn)? Not sure how personal settings could work in this scenario???

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  4. Mark Finnern
    Hi Everyone,
    you can subscribe to all the changes of a wiki topic. It is not straight forward, but it works.
    You go to the topic that you want to get emails when anything changes. You select ‘additional features’ on top. Then ‘advanced’ and in the left hand navigation you find: ‘Start watching this Topic’
    Happy wikiing, Mark.
    P.S. The Portal on the main page is linking to the topic area, therefore there should no FAQ pages be regarding Portal be created there, and if then they can easily be moved.
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  5. Bobu George Putheeckal
    Hi Craig

    I would like to put some of my Blogs which are already published to be published in WIKI Pages.

    How can I do so, if i want them to come in KM Wiki Pages?
    Will this Blogging process also involves the same approval workflow from SDN side?

    Will this also have Point Scheme?

    Regards

    BP

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    1. Community User
      Hi BP,

      Don’t get me wrong – we are not saying the Wiki is a replacement for the blogs just that sometimes content fits better there than in as a blog.

      Now for you to enter pages in the Wiki – you simply go to the page where your content fits (just like you did by following the instructions above) and do the same thing 🙂

      Yes points as I stated in the blog are also there – the thing to remember is that the content you enter can and most likely will be updated and modified by others to make it even better as time progresses and technology improves.

      Craig

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    2. Mario Herger
      Hi Bobu,

      let me know, if you want to wikify your blogs for KM. I actually could help you with creating a separate space (like in Visual Composer or BI), so that you can track that space separately (and have your own KM namespace).

      Points: we are working on better statistics. At the moment it’s me who follows that and distributes points (better be nice to me ;-), but with the current tools it’s a pain in the behind…

      (0) 
  6. Bharathwaj Ragothaman
    Hi Craig,

    I am not sure if somebody else also has the same feeling..

    Two reasons.. i find it tough to use Wikis is ..

    1. Like help.sap 😉 Wiki navigation is too complicated (for me atleast..). There are so many links .. cross links.. references.. we get completely lost.. even for reading FAQ.. there is FAQ s in home.FAQ in content home.. general FAQ s ,specific FAQ s..

    Sometimes its overwhelming..

    Wikipedia.. has related links inside the content itself. instead.. of a navigation structure like SDN wiki.. I find it more easy to follow.. like .I Search for a specific content.. read it.. look into the links specified… and continue..

    2. The fear of  – What if i edit somebody’s content.. and it ends up that.. his content was more appropriate and correct..

    And how abt that left navigation panel collapsing by default when we view wikis.. it would offer a lot more space to view the content..

    Just my thoughts on what i feel in using wikis..

    Regards
    Bharathwaj

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    1. Community User
      Hi Bharathwaj,

      I can see your concerns, however they are easy to overcome. It’s the nature of the wiki.

      1) If you want it, add, Wikipedia does to some extent automate this process but the most is done by those editing the pages meaning that you can add in the “related” links to any page you like. Now yes we did start with a central place for FAQ’s but that quickly expanded to individual areas (choose “My Home” in the breadcrumb) and inside each of those areas you’ll find your content all related to the topic is there.

      2) Happens, will happen and you know what it’s no big deal. If you make a change to a page and what you change is not the “best” then someone else will change it again, it’s the nature of the Wiki so I would not worry about it – quickly things will get worked out and the best tips and tricks and information will find it’s way to the top.

      Craig

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      1. Bharathwaj Ragothaman
        Hmm.. Yes.. I guess.. its just like u had said in ur blog.. it wud overwhelm in the initial period.. we probably would get used to it..

        A great search would do wonders for wiki.. 🙂

        Thanks again for the prompt reply..

        Regards
        Bharathwaj

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        1. Community User
          Search as well as the ability to “click a label” and see all items related to the label are being worked on – we are still relatively young with the Wiki so as we work through things – we make them better but it only works if everyone jumps on board 🙂
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  7. Vijay Vijayasankar
    I think your blog certainly clarifies what goes into a wiki and what goes into a blog ideally.

    As with a lot of others, I did not find wikis as user friendly. I am new to blogging too, but found almost no difficulty taking to it. This might be just be a beginner’s prejudice.

    This kind of aversion to new things is something I face every day in the projects that I manage. One of the most succesful strategies I have seen to overcome this is to physically prove that a feature works in real life. As an example, in one project – users found it easier to type free text instead of choosing 2 drop downs on the same screen. We started using a dataquality tool and converted text in a lot of cases into the two fields. Once that was done, we showed the users how to search by these fields and they loved it. Resistance dropped dramatically – almost overnight.

    The point is – unless someone shows you in a fashion you understand, most people don’t get it. The same information that we showed in the system, I had showed in powerpoints for ages. These were not dumb people – these were managers who ran a very succesful company .

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    1. Community User
      Funny you should use this example, the Wiki actually offers the same options of “free text” and “free labeling” which the blog system does not.

      However we are working hard to find the best way to help everyone find their way into the wiki space!

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    1. Dirk Herzog
      Ok, now it’s working but your nice 6-step description didn’t work for me. I now have created a test page somewhere but I didn’t really know what I have done.

      Best regards
      Dirk

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      1. Community User
        This bog as actually from last year but I felt it was relevant so reposted it – I just updated the wiki area, you only missed the “link” from the home page to your new test page.
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  8. swapna gollakota
    Hi Craig,

    I totally agree with the fact that blog functionality is sometimes misunderstood (even I did in one case)

    But there is one concern which motivates us at least me to give my input in the form of blog rather than wiki, i.e in case of wiki, if someone updates some really nice content the visibility factor is less comparatively with that of the blog.
    Checking blogs are very eaiser like reading news paper headlines. (It is what I feel)

    But we need to thank  you and your team for your efforts on improving wiki in terms of its look and usability.
    Your suggestions (of course your how to “wiki”…Steps) will certainly help us to categorize our contribution to help our community in a better way.

    cheers,
    Swapna.G

    (0) 
    1. Community User
      I am hearing a lot lately that the Blogs are more visible, yet the wiki has more activity and more people viewing the pages and a solid 20% more comments.
      (0) 
  9. David Crossley
    OK, I followed the instructions and made a test page. Unfortunately deleting somebody elses in the process (Sorry, Juan!) but one question … What the hell is a ‘breadcrumb’ in this context?

    If you are giving information for begginers at this stuff, please don’t assume knowledge they (I!) might not have.

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    1. Community User
      Quite right, and no worries – the wiki also allows to revert versions so we could just revert to the previous version and Juan’s would be back (deleting is actually disabled so it’s not lost).

      The bread crumb in this sense where you are in the wiki in relation to the “home” of the wiki itself, the dashboard.

      From the image just above it would be “Home” where you are or if you are on the page you created then “Home” would be the next step “back”, followed by “Wiki Sandbox” then back finally to “My Home” or the dashboard as it’s called. The breadcrumb is located just at the top left above under the main SDN/BPX menu should be right under the link to “Wiki Blogs” in the menu.

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  10. Gail Moody-Byrd
    Craig and i have been talking about taking this subject futher with more explicit, demonstrative distinctions for experienced and new users. The passion in the responses confirms to me we HAVE to offer more on this in SDN-BPX.
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  11. David Halitsky
    Craig –

    Just want to mention something from my own on-going experience right now. As I’m building my section of the SDN wiki here:

    https://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/EmTech/Scripting+Languages+and+Bio-informatics

    I’m also blogging on the root page to let folks know what’s new and mention anything else of importance.

    If folks decide to build a section of the wiki “as they go” (rather than putting up an entire set of pages already created off-line), then I think they should consider doing the same thing.

    Thanks again to you and the entire SDN team for making the SAP wiki a reality.  I’ve seen a lot of “skunk-works” in my time and the wiki is one of the best ways SAP could have picked to “let a hundred flowes” bloom (flowers that may eventually make SAP some money, honey.”

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    1. Community User
      It”s an interesting approach and it’s fun to watch this area of yours grow especially considering it’s so different than what you might normally find with SAP technologies but it seems to be a perfect fit in terms of the power behind the platform.

      There’s a learning curve with wiki’s but very seldom does one start to use them and simply say “they are a waste of time” and the major power behind it is the fact that others can add on and enhance what you are doing – ok with your topic David it might take a bit longer but eventually it will come.

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