We used to exchange Business Cards. Now I have the feeling we hardly do it anymore. Instead, we say “Let’s connect on Facebook” or “Follow me on Twitter” and we sometimes do it on the spot, with our iPhone, Blackberry or another smartphone. Still, there is one place where a business card has importance every day, and it’s on SCN. Because an online community relies on user profiles to provide valuable and complete information about fellow members, the SCN Business Card plays an important role. Do you use all the potential of the business card? Hopefully this blog will help you understand how the SCN Business Card works and make the most of it.
How well do you know the SCN Business Card?
The SCN Business Card is like a user profile, it provides information about the members of the community and it should be the place to go to and learn more about a member who wrote the blog that got you so engaged in commenting, or created this How to guide in the wiki that just saved your day. OK, it’s true, there are the wiki community profiles and the blogger bios as well, but I’m personally in favor of one single place to go and the SCN Business Card should provide a good amount of information about yourself and your fellow community members.
First of all, it seems obvious, but to access your SCN Business Card you need to go to the upper menu “Update Profile/Business Card”:
It leads you to an overview of your profile information on SCN: account information provided at registration, password and newsletter subscription are just for you, but the information from your business card will be available to everyone else.
I’m going to focus on the Business Card in this blog, because it’s your window to the community and you should keep it up to date and provide as much information as possible – for your online identity and to faciliate networking.
Some general observations:
The completion bar shows how much information you’ve maintained in the whole business card and it should be your personal objective to reach at least 80% 😉
Most of the fields can be made visible or hidden to other community members. The button to do so may not be straightforward, hopefully the screenshots below will make it obvious to everyone now:
As an example: I’ve decided to share my work address to the community, but not my cell phone (and no… 650 555-5555 is not my real number!)
Remember: Whenever you want to see the Business Card as others see it, click on View.
“Personal Data” tab in Edit mode:
I admit it, the picture is a tricky part. You have to provide a url, you cannot upload a picture from your own computer. I wish things were different here but it is not possible due to restrictions given to us by IT. Here are a couple of ways to add your picture here:
– upload your profile picture in your flickr, picasa, or another account, and provide the url here in this box – or investigate using hosting sites like photobucket.com or tinypic.com that I personally have never tried but heard are helpful.
– if you have other tips please share them with us!
I don’t have a professional blog URL to share, but I thought I’d make a good use of this field so I’ve added the link to my SCN blogs, hopefully this makes it easier to get to my blogger page.
Because I’m moderately active on Twitter, I’ve also added my Twitter handle so that people can easily follow me and connect with me on Twitter. I’m wondering how many of you maintain this field, I don’t see it very often in business cards, so please make it visibile if you are active on Twitter so that we can follow you!
This is the “Skills Profile” tab in Edit mode:
In “Short Bio“, I’ve made it very short but please write as much as you want, and you can provide as much personal information as you’re ready to.
Because my profile is not technical, I cannot boast any SAP certification so I’ve left this field empty. Ideally we would like to connect this field with the SAP Education system to show your SAP certifications, this is something we are looking into but it takes time for reasons that the last part of this blog will help you understand.
I consider the “Areas of Expertise” box a way to highlight what I’m good at. It’s different from my bio where I explain how I got to where I am and how I became an expert in certain fields. I could have explained my life story under “Short Bio” and what led me to work for SAP in the US after a couple of years at SAP in Germany, but I don’t think it brings much to the community so I’ve just left it to when I joined the SCN Team. Up to you to share as much as you want, again. These fields help us get to know you better, so please share!
The “Additional Info” box is the box to add anything else that doesn’t fit elsewhere. You can make it fun too! How many of you have used it? I’m curious.
Now on to the “Community” tab:
Here, there’s not much you have to maintain since these details are taken from your membership information and point status.
When you view someone’s business card, you can make this person your “favourite member” and add him/her to the list that shows in this tab. I personally haven’t used this function a lot but it can be a way to show others who I am connected to, and a way for me to access their business card easily without having to search for them. I could easily imagine a case where someone sees a name in my favourite list and asks me to make an introduction to the person in question, that would be cool. My list of favourite members is not long, I have more friends on SCN so don’t feel offended if you’re not listed there 😉
This is how it looks like when you add someone to your “favourite members” list:
Under the “My Contributions” field, the lifetime points that I have accumulated on SCN are showing, and if I click on this link I access the history of my contributions:
There I can also see my points over the last 12 months, which determine my Active Contributor status and level (more information about that in the recognition program overview).
What are the benefits of a well maintained user profile?
Obviously, a well maintained profile/business card enables us, the community and the SCN Team, to know you better and to connect with you. When you want to engage with someone in the community, just refer to your business card and the person will be able to contact you via any channel you may prefer (don’t forget to make these contact fields visible!).
The business card is also a way for you to improve your visibility and reputation within the community by showcasing your area of expertise as well as your status in the community.
I am an SAP employee so the SAP Logo shows on my business card. I’m an Active Contributor Silver and proudly show the corresponding badge as well.
Improvements – what’s coming up next.
I agree that we could do more with the SCN Business Card. Personally, I would like it to be more social so that I can chat with other community members, or just send them a message – it doesn’t have to be instant messaging. I’d also like to be able to follow other community members and see what they’ve been up to and I could easily see their recent contributions on SCN.
The good thing is that the SCN Team is looking at such enhancements to provide a user-friendly, more social user profile for SCN members. So stay tuned, we will let you know as we progress on this topic.
Share more about you in the SCN Business Card! This is the spirit of the community!