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I was collecting inputs to this blog was for some time. I realize now that right after SDN will be upgraded to new platform this blog become obsolete. As we all know it is going happen quite soon I hope – see Mark Yolton’s post Behind the Scenes of the new SAP Community Network! and Better. Faster. Stronger.   The SAP Community Network … Coming Soon on a New, Modern Platform!. I could have post this much sooner to improve current platform. So even coming quite late to the party here it is.

This post can look like I’m only blaming on SDN. Actually it is not the case. After all my objections I am putting also input on improvements to avoid the situations described here.

I want to thank first to people who are working hard to maintain the site and keep it up and running. However there might be a situation I used to experience when I was not happy. Some of them are related to parts of site that are not available. Some others are just typo errors; etc. So let’s list it up:

 

1.   Blog URLs: There is an often error while links are not updated on SDN’s pages. Sometimes blog URL is like following: The Submission System is now supporting Firefox and Chrome! and sometimes like: http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/24738/irj/scn/weblogs [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken]

Here’s screenshot form such an error:

Blog URLs

 

2.   Rejection of posts to forums: SDN’s forum is to me the most precious thing on SDN. I can gain knowledge about new functionalities, I can research experience of others people with particular software etc. I like to contribute to forums as well. It is good to share the knowledge and I personally like it very much. However in some cases SDN’s forums moderators do reject my posts. There as a wiki page with forum “netiquette”. However it happened few times that I was not able to understood why my posts have been ejected. I can imagine effort of moderators to keep forums accreting netiquette. However just short sentence about reject’s explanation would be very helpful and the even a guy like me would not do the same mistake again.

2. Rejection of posts to forums

 

3.   Forum site unavailability: This has over last few years really improved. However from time to time I’m experiencing outage of forum or whole SDN site.

SDN down1

SDN down2

 

4.    Links in Forum posts notifications: If you post a reply to forum you are automatically signed up to receive an email whenever anyone else post reply to the same forum. Notification email looks like:

Forum posts notifications

 

If you click on link to forum thread, sometimes you get following error:

Forum posts notifications2

 

5.   SSO issue: not possible to login, for a while. Usually restart of browser a deletion of SDN cookies helps.SSO with your SAP Passport to SCN/Marketplace on iPhone/iPad

SSO1

 

SSO2

SSO3

 

 

6.    Checking of Points in last 12 months: This can also happen sometimes. I guess temporary error of platform (Jive)?

 SDN Points 

7.    Search engine of SDN: This isstill something in which SDN’s search engine cannot compete google’s search. I always prefer to use google to search over SDN. It is faster and it gets me to the results I need more effectively.

 ———————————————————————————————


So let’s close the topics that look like I’m unhappy and let’s a have a list of things that I would either I enjoy a lot at SDN:

1.    Subscribing to web blogs categories – this is something that I always wanted. To be informed about new blog posts from particular category by email. For long time we could rely only on RSS. Finally email notification feature is in place now.

Blog Subscription

My suggestion would be to implement this functionality for comments of web blogs well. A kind of Watch button functionality in web forums. So far in case of web blog comments there is only RSS feed available within Subscribe button.

 

2.   Navigation on the SDN pages:Yep, this is designed from very user perspective and actually it works perfectly. First navigation is coming from SAP Enterprise Portal. All the nice things that we now from Portal are here: Masthead (horizontal), Top-level navigation (horizontal), Navigational Panel (left), etc. Wherever on the SDN you are actually located you still can see how you got there and where else you can go.

SDN Navigation 1

 

Wherever on the SDN you are actually located you still can see how you got there and where else you can go.

SDN Navigation 2

 

3.    Narrowing search results: Great tool. If you know that you have read e.g. a blog on the topic that you are trying to search you can limit search result just to this area.

   Narrowing search results


4.    Top contributors area, Business cards, etc: Another examples of cool Ajax stuff retrieving content dynamically…

 

5.    SDN page look&feel in general: I really like the design of the pages, element’s spacing, colors, etc.

So again; I do not complaining just trying to get things working better even it might not look like at first sight 🙂 

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6 Comments

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  1. Mark Yolton
    Thank you, Martin, for taking the time to express these “crazy-making” aspects and positive benefits of the community.

    As you say, many of these things will be corrected when we make the big switch to a modern platform.

    I can now confess that many of the things you note also make me (and others) crazy.  But you forgot the awful blog publishing platform!  And so much else…

    Of course, as we migrate and modernize, we will try to fix what’s bad, keep what’s good, but we will inevitably miss some things and introduce some brand-new frustrations. The good news is that our re-launch is not an end-point, it’s just a new beginning and gives us a fresh starting point from which to make continuous improvement.

    Feedback like yours gives us direction; thank you for posting this. (Forgiveness and patience is also greatly appreciated when we make wrong judgements.)  Keep those ideas coming.

    Thanks for being active and engaged and committed enough to share this with us.

    Regards,
    Mark Yolton

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    1. Marilyn Pratt
      Indeed thanks.  Little to add to what Mark has written here appreciating your comments and critique.  It will be very interesting to see additional responses when we have completed the migration.  I have some guesses to why various errors occur.  The current blog system is clumsy and unforgiving when it comes to creating blogs that point to other blogs.  And when posts are deleted in the forums it is possible to get the kind of notification that you received.  Not sure the migration will resolve the second problem, but an intuitive blog interface should help to solve the first one.  You will, I hope Martin, be there to kick tires and give your feedbacki.
      (0) 
  2. Thomas Zloch
    As forum moderator who has to rejected posts regularly, I agree with your second point, it should be transparent why a post was rejected.
    When locking threads, we mention the reason in the text, however the rejection function only sends this generic mail.

    Common rejection reasons for initial posts (usually questions): FAQ, no research done, very basic, very vague, duplicate, cross-post, etc.

    Common rejection reasons for replies: spoonfeeding, plagiarism, copy/pasted, link farm, unrelated, asking for rewards, etc.

    I will monitor if there is a progress after the migration, and if not, bring the topic up in the moderator discussion forum.

    Thomas

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    1. Martin Maruskin Post author
      Hi Thomas,

      One question to you as forum moderator. I observed that posts containing links outside *sap.com domain are being rejected. Does this mean that there must not be any links out side SAP even they have useful content related to particular forum thread?

      Thanks, Martin

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      1. Thomas Zloch
        Hi Martin,

        I can mainly speak about the practice in the ABAP Development forums (although the approach should be consistent in all forums), there we are currently removing links to one site that contains interview questions and loads of pesky ads. For some technical reason it is currently not blocked automatically, but this will hopefully be corrected in the process of the forum migration.

        The general approach is that blacklisted sites
        are blocked automatically, and the rest is OK (unless a new contender for the black list appears…)

        Thomas

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