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Introduction

Many relationships are formed via SCN. And many collaborations take place to improve the site and leverage it to its fullest. But many of these conversations mysteriously drift off the site, on to other social media tools and end up in conversations about social media tools…coming full circle in doing all of this to make SCN a better community.

The story

Here is a story of two avid SCN members, who enjoy problem solving and connecting via social media.  A story being told to get out the message that we need an Admin Community Space, and to share some related learnings on rules around SAP and Twitter.

I’d like to solicit your personal support to create awareness that an “Admin Community Space” is needed on SCN – after the idea to rebrand  “NetWeaver Admininstration” to “Basis” was launched;  stay with me for more details and the call to action further below.

Second,  when I consulted Natascha Thomson, and SAP social media marketer,  about the legal rules for naming an “SAP-related” Twitter handle and hashtag, she suggested to make a blog out of the conversation, as to spread social media wisdom (her passion) and promote the “Admin Community Space” (my passion).  That’s what you get when you talk to marketing people J.

And here the story goes…

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3/21/11

Hello Natascha

I have a question for the social media guru 🙂

Last month Juan Reyes posted a blog on SCN to rebrand Netweaver administration back into “Basis” because of confusion on SCN forum posts being placed in wrong categories etc. I didn’t like the idea that much since Basis is old school term and doesn’t capture the broad area a SAP system administrator covers these days.

After some discussion, Martin English, Juan Reyes and me teamed up and discussed the issue(s) on Skype. The outcome was that rebranding the categories would not be sufficient. From that the idea grew to request our own space on SCN (Admin Community space).

To advertise for the idea, I thought it was a good idea to create a twitter hashtag that could be used when referring to system administration content which I named #SAPADMIN after discussing with Martin and Juan as it is a simple hashtag, it makes sense and it has not yet been used (important).

We have some other guys that want to jump on board to be evangelists to have a system administrator community, I was wondering what the rules are regarding the creation of a @SAPADMINS group on twitter like the @SAPMENTORS in which we could add persons that have a strong believe in the importance of system administration. Is it allowed to use a handler that has “SAP” in it?

Kind regards

Tom

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3/21/11

Tom:

thanks for checking in with me! Highly appreciated.

I think that having SAP in the Twitter handle name is indeed a breach of our “copy right” so to speak. I don’t think that we can stop you, as long as you don’t use our logo, but it is not well regarded. @SAPMentors is a different story as it is “run” and “owned” by SAP (Mark Finnern). The hashtag on the other hand should be fine (did you check if anybody else is already using it? You can simply Google it but there are also sites where you can register your hashtag).

Let me check on both with our social media governance guru on what he suggests to meet your needs and our guidelines. I hope that’s ok with you. I hope to get back to you again soon.

Natascha

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3/24/11

Tom:

I checked with our governance guy who pointed me to the SCN team for a final opinion and I am waiting to hear back from them.

For now, I think my guidance was correct that you can use the hashtag. But you might want to see if there is already an established hashtag that meets your needs. It takes a while for a hashtag to get a wide “following”. You could:

1. Google to see what kind of Twitter hashtags already exist in your topic area
2. Before using a hashtag (#) research the use of the hashtag on http://hashtags.org and Google. Some hashtags have already been established for certain uses.
3. Some reading: http://mashable.com/2009/05/17/twitter-hashtags/
4. Measure the reach of your hashtag: http://wthashtag.com

In regards to the Twitter account: Yes, it would be much preferred by SAP if you did NOT use SAP in the name but we cannot legally stop you as long as you don’t use the logo or our trademark. But we would appreciate it if you didn’t.

Best,

Natascha

3/24/11

Hello Natascha

Thanks for the information, I will not use a twitter account which has SAP incorporated in it, I already thought it might not be appreciated so I wanted to check with the social media expert 😉

Thanks for the links, interesting content.

Kind regards

Tom

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Social media legal requirements

Social media can be a strong advertisement channel but at some point there have to be some kind of rules or legal requirements to avoid the abuse of copyrighted material or brand names. While it might legally be allowed to create a Twitter account that has “SAP” in it I can perfectly understand why SAP would prefer it is not done. Of course using a logo or any other copyrighted material is not allowed.

#Hashtag creation

The creation of the hashtag  #SAPAdmin was a good thing, it clearly identified what the hashtag means and it is useful to mark future Tweets which are related to SAP system administration

AND HERE MY CALL TO ACTION:

I invite everyone that Tweets technical SAP content to mark their tweets using the #SAPAdmin hashtag to show that this is an important topic. And with this blog, I (and those joining me in this effort ), send the message to the SCN team to consider our request to add an ADMIN COMMUNITY SPACE to the site.

Thanks for your support!

Getting connected

Getting connected to other persons is what is so great about social media and the whole internet age. I like discussing things with Natascha and for those who are not familiar with my blogs I like writing and telling stories. I do have to hold back sometimes not to reply a whole book since the words seem to simply flow out of my keyboard.

The information age brings the possibility to message or tweet directors, CEO’s and so on which was simply not done some years ago. In my opinion this is a great evolution and it opens up new opportunities and it makes it possible for anyone to receive feedback and spread ideas in a split second.

Idea place

Natascha had the great idea to do something with our conversation in terms of creating a blog or a podcast and I instantly agreed on it as I can imagine many don’t know what the rules are in terms of using brand names and where you can check the reach of a hashtag and so on. The content of the blog is coming from both Natascha and me since it features a conversation.

One of the things I love to do is connect a blog to an idea on idea place. I haven’t yet seen the idea to have multiple authors for content on SCN but perhaps it could be incorporated in the future SCN so I created an idea that you can vote on. Cooperative actions are more rewarding than competitive actions. Let me elaborate on that a bit.

Rewards originating from group achievements

One of the key elements that makes Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG) such as WoW (World Of Warcraft) so compelling is the fact that you can achieve a goal with a group of persons A goal that would be unreachable on your own.

It is a fact that a lot of players that are that involved in those online gaming communities and that are really active in grouping up and reaching goals would like to do the same in real life. It is not easy to be part of a large organization and still have the feeling that you can actually change something and that you can make a difference.

This is where the challenge lies and if you embrace that challenge you can make a difference. Connecting to other persons and grouping to reach a common goal is possible, yes it requires effort and yes it is not so easy and like in WoW you sometimes also have to retry several times before you succeed. The same is true in real life. A lot of very popular products or hypes had to go through a number of iterations before they finally got noticed. Many started small and became large as well.

SAPMentors Quarterly

Otto Gold had the idea to launch a SAP Mentor Initiative and he did receive negative feedback that it would not work but he persisted and SAPMentors Quarterly is here and in my opinion it is working fine. Why does it work that well? Because of the collaboration of the great minds that are behind the Quarterly magazine. The cooperative actions  and the reward of having the Quarterly magazine posted and getting positive reactions are energizers for those who are involved in creating the magazine. It shows how working together can produce value beyond what you could manage on your own.

A platform to collaborate

SCN could take collaboration one step further. You already have many elements in place that make it possible for community members to collaborate but multi-author content could be a nice addition to the list of possibilities. 

I know it is already being done by a number of community members when you look at certain content such as SAPMentor Mondays, SolBros Podcasts and so on but having a platform in place that makes it more easy to create multi-author content could make the number of contributors grow. For example someone who has lots of expertise knowledge but is less fluent in writing could team up with a blogger and create quality content and thus added value to SCN.

How it should look like is another question of course but you could have a system in place to send a request to another community member to collaborate on creating content and in the end having a validation step for each contributor to confirm the content (thus locking the content) and once all contributors have confirmed the content can be released.  Such a request to team up is a hot trigger according to BD Fogg’s Behavior Model. Hot triggers create certain behavior and it is what engages so many persons on applications like facebook.

You could go even further than this and have achievements/rewards for  multi-author content. Business and IT have to work together is a line that I heard so many times during a SAP presentation that it still lingers in my head. But in the end it is a great one-liner and achieving the effect by having multi-author content could create content with a lot of added value.

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10 Comments

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  1. Natascha Thomson
    Tom:

    thanks for posting “our” blog :-).

    I hope very much that the #SAPAdmin initiative will catch on. It is always a great pleasure to talk/write/work with you!!

    Go SCN,

    Natascha

    (0) 
    1. Tom Cenens Post author
      Hi Natascha

      The pleasure is all mine, I’m honored to be able to collaborate with you. Thanks for bringing up the idea to co-write it and for making me smile so early in the morning.

      I do hope the initiative will catch on as I truly believe in the importance (believing in something is important).

      We should definitely do this more often.

      SCN rocks,

      Tom

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      1. Nicholas Chang
        Hi Tom & basis mentors

        Thanks for driving this but besides #sapadmin in twitter, any update on the SCN?

        hopefully there’s a section where we can share idea, run book and etc ;’)

        Cheers,
        Nicholas Chang.

        (0) 
        1. Tom Cenens Post author
          Hello Nicholas

          AS you mention #sapadmin is being in twitter now by already a nice group of basis admins, more are welcome and more content is welcome of course.

          With the new SCN site upcoming it is definitely time for action and this could just be the perfect time to get the admin community space.

          I will check with the SCN team to see what can be done and hopefully the space will be created.

          Once I have news I will either post a comment or if write another blog on the topic.

          Kind regards

          Tom

          (0) 
  2. Jon Reed
    Tom as you know I support the cause. 🙂 Amazed we don’t have more community for Admins/NetWeaver Engineers and miscellaneous network rock stars. #SAPadmin
    (0) 
    1. Tom Cenens Post author
      Hello Jon

      Thanks a lot for your support, it means a lot to me!

      I’m here to stay and I really believe in the need of an Admin Community Space.

      Kind regards

      Tom

      (0) 
  3. Martin English
    Hi Tom / Natasha,
      Two great ideas in one post, just shows off the power of collaboration 🙂  Administrators / BASIS people do have different information requirements from developers.  One thing people need to remember is that we also have the [BASIS Corner|http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/Basis/BCHomewiki] in the wiki.

    Everyone Else
    It need to be reiterated, that if you’re an Administrator / BASIS Consultant etc, and you do agree with Tom (and, for what it is worth, me as well), you need to make your voice heard.  If you don’t speak up, you can’t complain about people not listening !!!

    (0) 
    1. Tom Cenens Post author
      Hi Martin

      I have to point out that Natascha really was the brain behind the operation. She came up with the idea to collaborate and blog our conversation and should receive the credit for all this.

      I’m happy to see that our initial and current call for support is actually being supported by important community members such as Natascha and Jon who are not administrators / basis people.

      Kind regards

      Tom

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      1. Juan Reyes
        Thanks Tom/Natascha for getting your hands dirty.

        I think over the years we (Basis/Admin Community) have been gaining spaces and this is another little push in the right direction.

        Juan

        (0) 
        1. Tom Cenens Post author
          Hello Juan

          Thanks for commenting. Feedback is important.

          It is a start but there is still a lot of work ahead of us to make progress.

          Kind regards

          Tom

          (0) 

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