I have known the community sites, discussion forums, developer forums etc. for quite some time now. I have also used the resources sometimes. Contribution from side so far has been little or none. Even if there was any, it got diluted with multiple Identities used for different employers. Surely, I did not contribute much to the community so far even it was diluted in multiple Identities.
I have been in this dilemma for a long time as to whether to write or not. Recently, I started reading the blogs regularly. Lately I came across few articles, which tipped my thought to write my first blog. Below are the two thoughts on community contribution, which I have struggled for long in my mind and were brushed again.
To contribute, or not to contribute
I came across this interesting It needs to be said from time to time: GIVE and TAKE from Holger Stumm. It was interesting to read, especially the healthy discussion in the comments. I have not been a very active user; neither passive nor active; of SCN. For some reason most of the needs were handled by the standard SAP documents, SAP notes and other official documentation. Or maybe I was lucky to have some really good friends working with me who could always help me with their expertise :).
- One interesting point, which I came to know about is the “1% rule” in the online communities. It looks like that old and tested Pareto principle (also known as 80-20) principle got worse in this side of the world to become 99-1 principle!!!
- Another interesting term I came to know was “leecher” and “lurker”. While leechers is quite a common terminology in P2P networks, it was surprising to see that in community. My view on this is tag “leechers” give a negative view on the users who use the information. Isn’t the information created in the first place, so that others can use it. And also, it has in general always followed the pyramid. Where the prominent contributor sit on the top and the users on the bottom. Is the reverse pyramid possible, useful or sustainable? I do not know.
Community and Career
Another thing which I had in my mind as a question is the usage of community to sell yourself in the job market. There have been some good discussions in SCN also ( I do not have the links now) on the importance of the contributions in differentiating from others. I am of opinion that contribution is good. But to make it a point to help in career is little challenge for my neural network to accept. Below points keep running in my mind on making the contribution a target.
- It becomes challenging to draw a line, who is contributing because he wants to, or who is contributing to use it for own vested interests.
- Will it not lead to another race than a healthy community at the end.
- People create internal network to raise the point bars.
- Some people are forced to contribute and achieve the targets points.
How much such contributions really value? I understand that having an ideal world is a theory and practical world will have other side of the coin as well.
How things will take shape in future, I have no idea. Leaving behind all the doubts and arguments, which kept my neural engine hot for some time, I have decided to join the community and contribute when I have any interesting thoughts to share. I hope that, I will be able to keep this passion on.
At the end thanks to all those people who keep the community portal alive.