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Author's profile photo Otto Gold

The blogs: Roots of the tree of knowledge

Before I start about my opinions, I would like to ask you about yours. Do you blog? Why do you blog? What do you blog about? 

I often write the technical blogs (check my blogs about Adobe forms) after answering the similar/ same questions in the SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe. If people ask the same question again and again, it means the problem appears quite often (and/or the question has not yet precisely answered). In fact I write theblogs to answer the question, that made me write the blog, and to create some persistent knowledge (for the people interested in the topic in future) as well.

Of course this can only work if people will search before asking, but I am sure most of the people do that. In that case they find (hopefully) my blog and can understand (hopefully) the whole story. In a question (in the answer) one tries to be quick, to share the name of the function module, to point to the documentation etc.

But the blog (in my opinion) is the right place to tell the whole story – to present the whole problem in detail, describe the background, the reasons, the options, the possible solutions and all the pros and cons. That should help the reader get much better picture than reading through the forum threads. In the threads all parts of the problem may be covered but a beginner (or anybody under the time presure) cannot add all the pieces of the puzzle together. Quite often you´re not even able to understand which threads you need to combine to get the whole picture.

Knowledge into your mailbox

Blog can also help deliver the content/ the message to the readers. As I mentioned above, I expect the people to search before asking. But sometimes you learn something new even if you didn´t know you wanted to learn that before! Isn´t it cool?

If you receive the blogs right into your email (like me), you can sometimes (most of the time, thank you, all the bloggers!) read some very interesting content (and learn something new and valuable!!).

The same could the reader probably learn from some other source (like the mentioned forum questions, eLearnings etc.), but he would have to work hard to find all the pieces and of course would need to pro-actively search for the certain topic..

Concentrated knowledge

I believe there is connection between the quality and the number of the texts.

In my opinion one blog post is worth a dozen of questions (and answers). Count how many questions/ threads do we have in the forums and how many blogs have been published. One has to work much harder to tell the story in the blog – has to watch the language, cover the details, keep everything in a balance. It is much more demanding than to drop a line as a quick answer for a question.

I also believe the blog attracts more readers as well. Check the views number of an average forum question. Check the views number of an average blog. The numbers tell me that the value for the Community is far better if the topic is covered in a blog.

And… (believe me) it could be a way of relaxation to read a blog or two after the lunch.

I hope you will remember all the facts (at least these are facts for me) whenever you will see the repeatedly asked questions. Do not ignore this question (like some of the people recommend), do not just add “this question has been answered many times, search a little”. Write a blog about the issue. It will save time of the people with the same question for now and forever (if it takes you like 30 minutes to figure add, how to make something work, if there are 100 guys who need to make that work, what value have you created?). Hopefully more and more questions about the same will not drive you crazy any more. It worked for me.

Regards, Otto

p.s.: If you wonder if that will pay off to write a blog, just count all the views numbers of the questions about the same/ similar topic. You will find out how many potential users will your blog attract.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hi Otto, a nice way of introducing blogging and encouraging more people to write. I took the plunge and wrote a few blogs recently. One of the frustrating bits about blogging on SDN - is the very limited editor. I found that I had to go into HTML mode to display long lines of code correctly in the blog. So I hope it improves.

      Divya

      Author's profile photo Otto Gold
      Otto Gold
      Blog Post Author
      Thank you for the comment and of course for the blogs. I really belive the blogs offer a great value.
      About the blog editor: I have never complained about the editor and have never used any "specialties" but I can understand that you´re probably not the only one who would like to get some more features in the editor.
      I would recommend you (and all other people who would like to help make our beloved SDN better) to read through this thread: http://forums.sdn.sap.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1661965
      and if you would like to introduce your requirement to the other people who think like you, please do so.
      We believe (me and the other people involved in the thread) that through this thread we can gather the requirements coming from the Community and pass it to the SAP SDN team to see if we can have some of them implemented.
      Hope to see your opinions there.
      Regards Otto
      Author's profile photo Hermann Gahm
      Hermann Gahm
      Hi Otto, I agree that a blog is the best place to tell "a story" or present technical content. I started to write blogs a while ago. The only thing i don't like so much about blogs is the "sustainability". They popup in RSS Feeds quickly and they seem to disapear as quickly. And finding them later is sometimes not so easy. So i thougth about writing in a WIKI instead of a blog because a wiki seems to be more "durable". But i prefer the blog "format" over the wiki "format". Therefore i decided to combine the two in order to use the best things of both worlds. So i created a wiki which introduces a topic and serves as a collection point for the different blogs for this topic. I did this for

      ST12:
      http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/ABAP/Single+Transaction+Analysis

      and for
      Explain plan:
      http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/ABAP/Explain+Plan

      The only thing missing now is time to write more blogs 😉

      Kind regards,

      Hermann

      Author's profile photo Otto Gold
      Otto Gold
      Blog Post Author
      A blog comment is a great place to do a little marketing:)) That was my thought when I have mentioned the suggestions thread below, looks like I am not the only one, seems like you think the same:))
      Probably the combination of the wiki and blog type contributions are the future, that means: you´re most probably a visionaire:)) Keep going. I promise to check your blogs as soon as possible (hopefully today:)) Otto
      Author's profile photo Sandra Rossi
      Sandra Rossi
      I agree with Hermann. A blog is very useful at a given time to demonstrate one thing. Its drawback is that it can't live and evolve compared to wikis, and can't really benefit from the whole community experience. Wikis drawback is that people don't organize them, do many duplicates (probably they don't understand the concept of a wiki, or don't want to make the necessary effort to always organize), so it is very difficult to find out the interesting wikis. The blog is interesting because people do a neat work as it is kind of officially published, and seen by many people, and remain for years.

      I love blogs, but I prefer wiki concept. So I try to find ways to organize the SCN wikis (organization is the worst problem).

      Recently, I tried to create a wiki home page so that to make a directory of existing wikis, describe them, compare them, compare their qualities. http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/ABAP/Sending+Mails+-+Home+Page
      I also updated all the referenced wikis to point to that home page. I hope it will help reducing the number of questions about how to send emails programmatically.
      But it's a big job!

      Author's profile photo Otto Gold
      Otto Gold
      Blog Post Author
      Sandra the page is excellent, I have seen it before and have even recommended it few times in the past few days. I have also found the "data-types-copy-demonstration" which was a little too crazy complex for me but I could have imagined the effort to create such thing. Keep going.
      By the way: I know many people who don´t like the wikis and if you can help make the wiki space on SDN a better place, your place in the SDN history will be guaranteed:))
      Regards Otto