I am not sure how many people around are aware of the fact, how many active contributors do we have on SCN right now (Just in case you’re not sure who is an Active contributor, you can check the details about the “Active contributor” status and other details of the recognition program. To spare you the minutes reading the details: “An active contributor is anyone who earns over 250 points in a single year“.). By the way the active contributors on SCN are the talents from the headline… (From a perspective of a “company” like SCN, these “employees” could be considered talents in my opinion).
At the moment the number is slightly above one thousand, I believe. It was two weeks ago, I check the number the last time and it was not even a thousand. Second part of the year, that part of the year when the TechED is launched every year, is said to be busier. There are people who expect (guess, pray for) a number of Active contributors around two thousand at the end of the year.
I am sure you wonder “why is this guy so interested in the number of these active guys? Is he obsessed withthe points?” No, I am not. I am not interested in the number of the active people itself. I am interested in the comparison – the current number (I mean this year) against the number from the last year.
We had around 3,000 active contributors the last year. It was around 2,000 at the same time of the year we are now. (By the way, check the links I mentioned above to learn, how the number of active contributors is and received points connected with PlaNet Finance),
Maybe you can guess now, what it is about. The number of active contributors dropped. It dropped a lot! So I ask, why did this happen (or is happening)?
There are many people, who helped the others with their valuable content and insightful answers, without whom there would not be any valuable content we benefit from like every day. And these guys left. This is a huge loss. We miss all the active contributors of the past years, who left the Community or are not active any more. I believe a time, when they will come back, will come. I truly hope it will.
Mark Yolton, Senior Vice President of the SAP Community Network, announced he was going to send his Mail, he sends every year to the selected contributors, to encourage them to reach the “Active contributor” status. You can read his Tweet from 20th August on his Twitter account (@markyolton):
Hopefully we could get some more people to contribute on SDN, what would be cool. Some more people will reach the status around TechED. But the main question still remains? Why did we lose those thousand souls?
Is that because of the so-called “Crisis”, raging around the world? Do you find it more difficult to get a job or a project? So you work hard to get one, instead of spending time on SCN? Is it because your boss does not like SCN because he/she thinks, that we don´t have time to play, when the life is becoming tougher every day?
Or is that because the people see no point in contributing anymore, because they didn´t get anything back in exchange for their time and effort? Nothing but points? They were helping people and got some points but didn´t get anything “material” back (I can hear so many minds thinking about the feeling of being active, learning a lot, finding friends, but sometimes we have to be serious about our lives and then we would appreciate something more than just ideas, dreams, wishes and feelings). So they decided to stay passive, benefit from the Community without investing any effort, and getting the same nothing. Could that be true?
Maybe they got bored? The way the Community “works” has not “changed” in years. Except some selected people (like Mentors, who I admire a lot!) the active people are not listened much (by the SAP guys running the site), they are not addressed with any new challenges, they don´t feel like there are ways they could change anything (some of the contributors are convinced their purpose is to “change the world”), they could feel very unimportant in the crowd. Or maybe their life changed and they have found other hobbies, got kids etc.
What do you think about it? Do you think this is a serious issue? Could you share some stories to help to clarify the reasons? Please comment!