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My first 100 days as an expert blogger

Heading back from my work for a public sector project in Koblenz, the train is running slowly along the river Rhine. It is the famous track of the old Trans Europe Express  “Rheingold” and the scenic landscape is gorgeous. In the last weeks, during the end of the winter spell, it was often cloudy and grey. People where reading books or typing emails in laptops.

Today, one of the first sunny and warm afternoons, the meadows and vineyards begin to show a sparse green, people where dropping books, stop typing and just watching the landscape flying by.  I took an early afternoon train, something that is not happening  very often

Good time to review my first 100 days on sdn as blogger.

Project work and company work is taking up and this is another point, where I started thinking about what has happened.

In 2009, I missed the “active contributor” mark by 20 points.  “You can do better than this” I thought  to myself and started blogging. First as a “youngster” waiting always impatiently for approval and then later as “expert blogger” all by myself. I have a longer blogger experience with my own roadblog  , so the act of writing and publishing was not new to me. My latest passion for videos was also included in my activity. Writing is always fun, as well as the chance to write for a big audience.

When friends or colleagues ask me, “Why are you spending so much time on this, there is no money in it?”, I told them, if they had the chance to write for the Ney York Times or the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung – for free or not – they would immediately do it. A web audience of 2 million is equal to the reach of a prime time newspaper. And besides the fun, I think it is an honor by itself if you find out, that indeed “the audience is listening”.  You need to have passion for what you are doing and you need to ignore the nay-sayers – just as in real life.

My style in writing has changed and also the thinking in sdn terms. Some topics came across better than I thought, others were not so well received and some just failed. I like all of them. The interesting part is, that my own anticipation and the anticipation of the editors at sdn, who give your points, are just one way of judging. The article, where I had the least points from sdn and where I thought myself it is just a “practice” for my video tracks, the “Web Dynpro ABAP on TV for beginner  (Hello World) was by far the most successful one. People obviously like it and the click rates are as high as on some TechEd videos.

Blogging and making videos for SAPInsidetrack Bonn 2010  was another great experience. It was not only a cool event, but everything was coming together: Preparations for my presentation where going hand in hand with discussion on sdn, with Marilyn Pratt and Marc Yolton and it was also the first time with getting to know the SAP mentors.

For me it was the time where the concept of community, in terms of learning, content and people showed the power of the concept “sdn”. SDN is not only another community, another forum with some blogs. It is one of the premiere corporate and business communities and it has a balance of economical reason, technical brilliance and vibrant discussions. Compare with others and you will see that you cannot relate them. SDN is not “better” in competitive terms, it is really different in audience, competence, business representation and at last, most important, the passion.

SAP was and is the core of my professional life. And as executive of an SMB company, you have to focus on immediate profitability more than big companies. My engagement for the SAP Inside track was cutting into my day to day business.  I had to cut back. If I look at some other bio’s of SAPMentors, with their relentless engagements, they have the luck of being backed up by larger companies or surrounding their business around sdn. Large companies (and SAP) can afford to sponsor their power users as a way of returning value: Giving back the savings in term of time and money saved. Smaller companies can’t afford that – or better said –  not on the required scale.

The “sdn blog lines” also lead me to new books, new thinking and developing new business models. “Social Networks” will be an direct and indirect element, especially in large SAP installations. Not ERP itself, but the way that computing in “social networked business ” will be changed, the embedding of workflow, the new models of “shadow information” properties, the enrichment of traditional ERP business models with crowd intelligence and microworks will have their way into SAP projects and SAP technologies.

The discussion around “Living Enterprises”  has left deep impressions and lead to new activities around my business.  (But this is stuff for some other blog –  my own business blog)

Blogging will not change your live as SAP as software will not change your life (or that of your company). It can be part of the landmarks along your way and part of the questions and answers that you will find going that road.

My next steps will be more technical articles. I think the core part of sdn is knowledge, and the features like this blog – are the icing on the cake for a blogger.

I can just recommend blogging to everyone at sdn.

Just start typing:   JUST DO IT.

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  • Hi Holger,
    I found it very interesting that on a beautiful spring day, you were reflecting on your blogging and SCN experiences.  Sometimes we need the opportunity to step back from the keyboard to appreciate our community and all who contribute to it.  We all lead very busy lives, but incorporating the SCN network into yours can be a very enriching experience.  Keep at it!
    • Hi,
      thanks for commenting on this aspect. I wasn’t really aware, how the intro will sound when looked at it this way. When you commute daily, you become “immune” even to the most scenic landscapes.
      So it was just a way of taking some time to blog and get inspired by what happened around me.
      And remember – I like writing, it is more fun than work. 
      • And how would others who may not have had first hand your experience (with the lovely scenery or the software for that matter) have know what is there unless someone like yourself shares it.
        Writing, blogging, sharing knowledge can be a very gratifying experience.  And as the beautiful scenery whizzes past you it is actually a service to capture it and immortalize it with words.  There are some who think that user-generated “in place” documentation is also a way of “enhancing” the software landscape.  But for the while, using this platform to collectively gather and enhance work methods and adding to that graphic story-telling (to illustrate and illuminate and amplify the experience) seems a very worthy activity.  Thanks for sharing your scenery … well as your productive work experiences and knowledge Holger.
    • Hi Peng,
      thanks for your encouraging words. I think we need more people who blog – this should not be an elite group, but rather a broad movement of knowledge and sharing.
      Keep blogging!