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Author's profile photo Craig Cmehil

Contributing to contribute…

I wanted to share with everyone some thoughts as well as a story about contribution, but doing so for the sake of doing. I’ve often spent hours, days and weeks working with individuals as well as groups going all the back to 2005 when I joined SAP and “SDN” as Community Evangelist and Manager. I fondly remember many a con call with companies such as Wipro and Intelligroup, people such as Blag and Abesh and so many others.

I’ve made many great friends here – however from my “job” perspective I’ve also made many great accomplishments – I just mentioned a few of them, companies such as Wipro and Intelligroup, people such as Blag and Abesh. Now how can I call them accomplishments, I mean they did something so what did I do? Well for starters a major portion of my job is to help “you” do what you want and need to do here in the community. I am here for “you” and to help you do what “you” are trying to do, you just have to ask, reach out or even yell and I’ll do my best to help “you“!

Many times what I do is not something that can be easily measured therefore for a very long time I used to joke with everyone and told them I counted my day a success by comparing the number of emails with a “thank you” against those with a complaint. Unlike being a developer where I compiled and ran my code at the end of the day I had no real stopping point. Now that little joke of mine was actually not a joke and today I still actually do that, I compare the positive responses to the negative ones to determine if I made an impact today, this week, this month or this year so far. It’s not very accurate nor scientific but neither is the job role of an evangelist. 

Some may even say our job (there are a couple of us here who have this job role) is a thankless one or one that equates to something along the lines of being a cheerleader. My little sister is a kick butt cheerleader so I’ll take that as a compliment, but I also want to point out that our job role is one that is all that and a million more things. We are connectors, bridges and hunters, we hunt human beings with passion, motivation and desire but instead of capturing them we add them to our hunting pack and we move forward. Our prey is problems, questions and requests and we attack them together by motivating others within the community to do more. We strive when those we help succed. Ironically in the middle of typing all of that I saw a tweet with a link to a video titled “Best Video I’ve Seen Today Will Make You Smile” so I decided to click through and take a look. Reading the first bit of the text with the video I was sold and had to watch it,


If this video doesn’t bring a tear to your eyes and makes you smile for the rest of the day, you are a cold hearted bastard. Watch it from beginning to end—you won’t regret it.


Watching I realized that it was a perfect example of our community and our evangelists and topic evangelists – we stand by each other haromoniously all around the world and we help for the sole purpose of helping our fellow community members. So one thing I’ve not done in a long time is let everyone know that I for one am available if you want to chat, discuss the community, procedures, policies, etc. you can try me spontaneously or you can actually “plan it” your choice.

At some point someone is going to be reading this and call me out on the fact that I talk about contributing to contribute and helping to help when in fact it’s my job therefore I am motivated by that to do these things, and on one level you’d be correct however I could also do other things to accomplish my job but I’m the type of person driven to communicate, to help and to be “with people” I like crowds and at SAP TechEd I often joke about the fact “they gave me the mic” again. So yes it’s my job but so many things I do under the guise of my job are in fact not really my job, I just do them and hope my bosses don’t come and tell me to stop and that I should focus on this instead of that. Let me share a story about me and something I recently did, and like many in this community I did this because I thought (and still think) it was the right thing to do. This community and it’s actions, though many times motivated by me are in fact what motivate me to continue to “give” and not ask for in return.

Originally posted on Craig’s Rantings…

It’s hard to believe that it was just 5 days ago that I sat down at my computer with 3 cameras hooked up and prepared myself to launch into a 24 hour long marathon for the Doctors without Borders. The idea spawned back in December and I finally picked a date and launched the blog and announcements on my show – I was ready!

The original goal picked was $500, and within 30 minutes $160 had been donated online and $200 offline and I had not even started the marathon yet. A few hours later I raised the goal to $2000 and decided to hope for the best. I had given myself a few weeks time from first announcement to actual live broadcast and thus began calling, im’ing, tweeting, and emailing folks to find others who might be interested in participating (to help take the load off of me and maybe give me a few minutes breaks here and there). The responses to help were immediate and the video clips and scheduling began!

It was an exciting time and many began to ask, “Why”? I did my best to answer this…

The Friday Morning Report, for it’s first ever 24 hour Marathon starting on April 23, 2009 at 15:00pm CET (Central Europe) has signed up to accept donations on behalf of Doctors without Borders. We look around the world we live in and realize that it’s not a perfect place, we know that it has problems and that we as a community need to be more aware of the problems and do what we can to help provide critical care to those living amid armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition and natural disasters around the world.

Thanks to our support, Doctors without Borders is at work right now saving the lives of women, men and children in more than 60 countries where people would otherwise not have access to medical care.

Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support Doctors without Borders.

So join us during our 24 hour marathon and help make the world a little bit better and please take a moment to share your comments and thoughts of the show here for everyone to share in!

I even snagged a audio snippet sharing my thoughts as well,



Shortly before the planned event in February I suffered a back injury, yes I know many think I did it just to have a better understanding of how doctors work and all, but really it was a painful experience and was not until April that I was I able to reschedule and proceed with the marathon.

Again the excitement starting to grow, I mean just the idea of putting so much of yourself into any single event can be overwhelming as well as breathtaking. On top of that add the total support of family and friends, especially my wife, a huge thank you goes to my wife for supporting me and helping me make this happen. We discussed it for a long time, should I do it? Was giving money every year enough? What can we do more and how can we set a positive example for our growing children? Our final decision was for me to do what I spend so much time doing anyway, be online and do it for a good reason something more than my hobby, interest and career but to help those who are helping others.

The marathon I associated with my Friday Morning Report show, an experiment in technology and social networking in itself I’ve become very fond of doing the show and so it made sense to associate the two together.

The program developed as such,

15:00 – 15:30    Kicking it off and tuning in
15:30 – 16:00    Laying out the program and activities for the remaining 23 hours
16:00 – 17:00    Doctors without Borders, Who they are and what they do.
17:00 – 18:00    Girls Day
18:00 – 19:00    Sneak Peek – FlyCam
19:00 – 20:00    ASUG Simulcast – Community, CSR
20:00 – 21:00    smeepe
21:00 – 22:00    The Day of German Beer
22:00 – 23:00    Tom Raftery, GreenMonk, Sustainablity
23:00 – 00:00    Product Review: LiveScribe
00:00 – 01:00    Doctors without Borders, Who they are and what they do.
01:00 – 02:00    Earth Day 2009
02:00 – 03:00    ITSInsider interviews Tina Williamson – Women Worldwide
03:00 – 04:00    Product Review: Acer One Netbook
04:00 – 05:00    Geeks and all nighters
05:00 – 06:00    Doctors without Borders, Who they are and what they do.
06:00 – 07:00    Ginger Gatling, Our book and Doctors without Borders
07:00 – 08:00    Starting your day off positively
08:00 – 09:00    Using Tech to optimize your day
09:00 – 10:00    Homecamp crowd
10:00 – 11:00    Doctors without Borders, Who they are and what they do.
11:00 – 12:00   
12:00 – 13:00   
13:00 – 14:00   
14:00 – 15:00    Where we stand, what we learned and who we meet!
15:00    Say goodnight!

I did my best to record each hour and capture it as we proceeded, however there were unfortunately a couple of times where the recording simply did not work but for the most part I managed to capture 23 hours of show, if anyone actually watches all 23 hours I’d love to hear how long it took you and what you thought.

Throughout the show I shared several links, videos and had several join me via remote video calls.

Almost becoming our official commercial during the show was this little piece from Jim Spath.


Of course what action would be complete without having it’s very own cartoon made about it? Thank you Blag!

Also throughout the show I made the point that if silly, irrelevant or even crass things can reach such unexpected heights within the various “social” tools we have available today why can things that need to be share not reach the same heights? Therefore we tried a little experiment, around 6pm (about 3 hours into the show) we picked a video from the Doctors without Borders from their YouTube site that had around 70’s, when then encouraged everyone to “tweet” about it and ask others to retweet it. As of writing this post it’s about doubled the number of views.

I also had two other videos made, both having made big impacts on the audience. The first was from Ginger Gatling about a new SAP book where each author has decided that all proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Doctors without Borders and the second was from Susan Scrupski and an interview she did with Tina Williamson from Women Worldwide (see Part 11).

Some of those that joined me via remote video were Abesh, Graham, Marilyn, Tom, James, Dennis, Chris, Andy and many many more! Some even wrote about my little adventure afterwards like Eddy. Many many more shared their thoughts on Twitter which @eventtrack tracked beautifully (it helped of course that I encouraged the use of the tag “fmr24”)!

In particular Jim (mentioned above) also organized a “simulcast” through ASUG which had roughly 40 participants. The setup was quite straightforward yet complex. My camera was pointed at my monitor which was logged into a remote session with Jim and I was dialed in via voice to his session as well. The end result was that both audiences were seeing the same presentation from Jim and both were hearing both myself and Jim – it was quite interesting and worked very well.

Broadcasting, as I mentioned earlier went very well, there were only 3 specific times that I had to break the “endless” broadcast and restart a process or two as my system got overloaded so viewing the stats of the show proved quite easy.

6:00am on Apr 23, 2009    until 9:14am on Apr 23, 2009
Broadcast Length:    3 hours, 10 minutes
Viewer Hours:    48 hours, 9 minutes
Unique Viwers: 82
Total Viewers: 172
Avg Viewers: 15.2

9:57am on Apr 23, 2009    until 8:53pm on Apr 23, 2009
Broadcast Length:    10 hours, 53 minutes
Viewer Hours:    195 hours, 32 minutes
Unique Viewers: 180
Total Viewers: 410
Avg Viewers:    18

8:59pm on Apr 23, 2009    until 6:04am on Apr 24, 2009
Broadcast Length:    9 hours, 1 minute
Viewer Hours:    182 hours, 33 minutes
Unique Viewers: 161
Total Viewers: 311
Avg. Viewers:    20.2

All of these activities generated (as of time of writing) $4,400.10 with many more offline donations I’ve yet to totally calculate. Not to mention how many actually took my show challenge and “dropped a coin” after each hour of watching?

The question that became apparent after spending the weekend offline and relaxing and recovering was, “did I achieve something?”, and I have to say that I achieved several things. I learned something about the technology I use, I learned something about people, about friends and associates, I learned something about my family and I certainly learned a lot about myself and at the same time I learned a lot about the world out there that I am often shielded from.

The question also arose on whether I and the Friday Morning Report would do this again, the answer is a clear and definite YES (just not so soon).

My plea from throughout the show as well as now is that everyone please take a few minutes from your day, week and/or month and share a story, link, video, etc. from a group or organization that is doing good in this world and share it with your own social networks.



I know that was rather longer than you might have expected but again this community is comprised of endless depths of understanding, knowledge and committment to the larger community and as I review April (we spend the last few days of each month reviewing what has taking place) I can’t help but smile and make the decision that the positives outweight the negatives once more and the community is as usual on fire in terms of cool stuff happening.

The Semantic Web from Semantic Web Technologies Part 1 – SPARQL has gotten people talking as well as a deeper look into the idea behind “presence” as covered from one angle by Web 2.0 Expo 2009 – Part 2: Sense of presence to another angle by Win Big With Telepresence. Many of the breaking edge technologies are being explored and members are starting to ask “The specified item was not found.“, while others are exploring even further over the edge like Mrnial a strong member of our RIA community. Not to mention me pushing out a Are you the next Top Contributor? to the community this month. Give me “30 seconds” and although the response in terms of quantity is not huge the response in terms of quality has been off the charts! 

oh and don’t forget, Hot news for May! SAP get’s religion, Eclipse DemoCamp in Walldorf on May 19th, 2009!

It still amazes me what many in the community can do with zero resources and an over abundance of motivation, desire and passion – this community inspired me to achieve what I did last week so now I’m back and will do what I can to inspire “you” to reach your goals!

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Your marathon was both educational and great fun for a worthy cause. My husband was excited when I told him that you were playing the "30 second" video he had recorded of our special-needs dachshund Peg and me in our garden, and it was being watched by friends and colleagues around the world. I can't wait for next year's event! Thanks again!


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      You updating the wiki right in the middle of me showing other ones was just "perfect timing" I ended up playing all of them at least 2 times throughout the day/night/day 🙂

      So glad you took the time to do yours and to tune in! Next year, well I'm already thinking about it 😉

      Author's profile photo Jim Spath
      Jim Spath

        You rock!  I don't think I could pull off what you achieved.  I'm glad I could help.

        More of my perspective in Marathon Man.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Thank you and having you simulcast was very cool! Proof that a lot can be done with existing technologies!