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Get ready for launch of the new SCN on Jive 5. It’s only a few weeks away. Watch how SCN modernizes and moves conceptually to a more social environment where forums, blogs, and documents are pulled together into the same space. “Space?” What is that? The concept of a space in Jive is new to all of us, and takes some getting used to.  New, but at the same time familiar: spaces are where members go to learn and socialize their knowledge about specific topics.

Understanding Spaces
The new SCN is organized into more than 300 “spaces,” which support small, self-contained communities. In our world, communities are typically focused around a topic, an SAP product , or an industry. Spaces are social media worlds unto themselves. Each space contains a complete set of social networking tools including a discussion forum, a blogging area, and an area where you can publish and collaborate on documents.

As a logged-on member, you can go to any space in the SCN landscape but it’s likely that you will be interested in visiting and following a particular set of spaces that reflect your particular range of interests and where members who share your interests are likely to hang out.

In the new SCN, spaces are where you interact with your peers, where you earn points for your contributions, and where you establish reputation as being expert on certain topics.

What’s happening to the forums?
We will migrate the forums from the old SCN to the new SCN landscape. In the new world, each forum belongs to a space and each space contains exactly one forum.  Your favorite forums move into appropriate spaces where they live as “discussion areas.”  You can think of forums as dimension or areas of the spaces where your colleagues, peers, and friends hang out and deep-dive into technology and business topics.

Like today’s forums, discussion areas on the new SCN will be moderated and open. As a logged-on member of SCN, you can participate in and contribute to any forum, and you accrue points in the spaces in which you are active.

How do you find your favorite forums?
To find your favorite forums in the new world, you need to find the spaces in which these discussions are located. Here is a strategy for locating the spaces where your forums now live:

  • First, try Search:  To optimize Search on the new platform, we’ve taken care to name spaces using familiar key words.
  • Browse the new SCN using navigation trees to find the right spaces and to see the lay of the land.
  • Use the A-Z index to locate the spaces where your forums live.

Once you’ve entered a space, you navigate to the “Content” tab where you find all blogs, documents, and discussions (forums) that belong to that space.

The new SCN launches on December 5. Watch for a new landscape populated by social networking spaces that support tightly-fodcused communities. Don’t get lost in the new world. It will be easy to find the spaces where your favorite discussion forums live and where your heros, peers, mentors, and colleagues interact and collaborate. 

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28 Comments

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  1. John Kleeman
    Keith

    What will happen to legacy material, for example all blogs in SCN in the past. Will they still be available? And if you search in the new Jive, will they be found, or will only new content be in the spaces?

    John

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    1. Former Member Post author
      Hi John,
      Legacy blogs will also be migrated into the new SCN and will be open to SCN search. But for various reasons, the blog migration will be handled differently than the forum migration.
      Watch for an upcoming blog on how we’ll handle migration of SCN blogs.
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  2. John Kleeman
    Keith

    What will happen to legacy material, for example all blogs in SCN in the past. Will they still be available? And if you search in the new Jive, will they be found, or will only new content be in the spaces?

    John

    (0) 
    1. Former Member Post author
      Hi John,
      Legacy blogs will also be migrated into the new SCN and will be open to SCN search. But for various reasons, the blog migration will be handled differently than the forum migration.
      Watch for an upcoming blog on how we’ll handle migration of SCN blogs.
      (0) 
  3. Martin Maruskin
    Hi Keith,

    nice speak peak given by you on new forums or let say “spaces” 🙂
    Looking forward to use brand new forum functionality.
    Counting down to December 5.

    Cheers, Martin

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  4. Martin Maruskin
    Hi Keith,

    nice speak peak given by you on new forums or let say “spaces” 🙂
    Looking forward to use brand new forum functionality.
    Counting down to December 5.

    Cheers, Martin

    (0) 
  5. Former Member

    Hi Keith,

    after reading your article, I tried find the information that was easily accessible in the old forum. To no avail … 

    I did anybody check the usability of the search function before switching?

    Spaces sound great but you run in to the old problem … where do you place a discussion about ABAP programming in a certain ERP module???

    To be frank I ´m quite unhappy with the new SCN, because it non-transparent.

    I´d like to have link to search all forums at least for starters.

    (0) 
    1. Former Member Post author

      Hi Rainer,

      We did indeed do some formal usability testing on Search before launch. Generally, the testers liked the “faceted” search, whereby you can filter for different attributes on the left side of the results screen. Site indexing is still going on, so we expect search results to be getting better over time.

      I completely understand your need to make content like a blog or a document visible in spaces other than the space where the content “lives.” In fact, we did a lot of development to solve this problem. The solution depended on attaching formal metadata (not folksonomy tags) to the content. We developed a custom widget that could be configured to display content tagged with any given metadata.

      Unfortunately, however, this customization turned out to be a performance issue so we removed it before launch.

      There is, however, a kind of work-around that enables content authors to get their content displayed in related spaces. We can try it right now: If in this reply I mention a given space, for example ABAP Development, or Getting Started, then because I mentioned them, this discussion should become visible in those spaces as “recent activity”

      Let’s see if it works.

      Best,

      Keith

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  6. Former Member

    The old SCN was certainly missing social aspects. Something as simple as directly messaging a fellow member was impossible. But now you have taken the social aspect, put it in the front seat, and let it drive straight off a cliff.

    The SCN is not about hanging out with friends and it never will be. It is simply ridiculous to position it as such. SCN should be about knowledge exchange and solving SAP related problems. Piling everything into a jumbled overloaded “Jive Space” does nothing to advance that.

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    1. Former Member Post author

      Hi Thomas,

      The new platform has some pretty strong content database capabilities That we’re all learning to use (yes, even the SCN team). From a content management perspective, we see some big advantages in aligning all the previous content into a global taxonomy. Utlimately, we hope that this alignment of content into spaces will lead to a more efficient knowledge retrieval system.

      Keith

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  7. Valerio Cicchiello

    Hello Keith,

    you are member of this community only since Nov, 2011. Please, follow an advice from who was here 5 years before your first logon as a registered user: bring the old forums live again.

    Best Regards,

    Valerio

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    1. Former Member Post author

      Hello Valerio,

      Actually, I’ve been Editor-in-Chief of SCN (formally SDN) since 2004, but it’s not reflected in my profile. It seems some of my personal info got scrubbed in the migration. 🙁

      There are some powerful new knowledge management features on the new platform that we hope will result in a stronger, more efficient platform. I hope that you are not discouraged from exploring around using the new functionalities like Browse, keyword search and filtering.

      Keith

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      1. Joao Sousa

        Even if there are some good intentions here, and some usability studies, the fact is I can’t find the forums/spaces (whatever you want to call them) when I log in to SCN.

        This is dreadful, and I really can’t believe it took so much time to produce this.

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        1. Former Member Post author

          Hi Joao,

          The system that we’re now using is pretty much out-of-the-box Jive software. By intention, we did not do much to customize the package. We want to be able to upgrade easily to future versions of the Jive software.

          Now getting to your forums should be pretty easy. I like to use the Browse > Places menu in the upper-right masthead under the Activity icon. Once you are on the Browse Places page, you can filter for the spaces that you are interested in using keywords. For example, if you type “ABAP” Jive will bring up a number of ABAP spaces and spaces related to ABAP. Try it! It’s a good way to find your topics in the new landscape.

          Finally, when you click to go to a space, you land on the Overview page, which describes the general topic that that space is about. Click on the Content tab, and you’ll see the latest active content including discussion threads, documents, blogs, and any polls that belong to that space.

          It’s easier to do than to explain, but I hope this helps you find the content you want.

          Keith

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  8. Former Member

    Sorry, you’re referring navigation trees, what exactly do you mean with that? I’m not able to find one to get to any forums.

    I also tried the search, which opens three new windows, to get nowhere I wanted to go.

    Then there is a temp link on the main page (is this the A-Z index?) which leads to some links to some spaces, where I need to do three additional clicks, to get something like a forum overview.

    Please tell me where is the benefit in just more clicks and less visibility?

    (0) 
    1. Joao Sousa

      I agree, I’m not able to find a clear navigation to spaces either. I’m also wondering where are all the benefits when you can’t even find the spaces.

      Very disappointing start to the new SCN.

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      1. Former Member Post author

        Maybe this Site Index will help. Let me know. We have some other tools as well.

        The main hierarchical drill-down is via the navigation in the masthead. Solutions, Industries, Lines of Business, etc are all starting-points in their respective hierarchies. We aligned this navigation as much as possible to the navigation structure on SAP.COM to make it easier in the future to navigate between related content areas.

        Keith

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        1. Former Member

          Hi Keith,

          today I tried to find information via global browsing. Nothing complicated I searched for “IDOC_INPUT_ORDERS”, for which I used to get tons of information. Nothing was found.

          I tried a few other things, sa,e result and have to say Joao, Valerio and the others are right.

          Please bring back the old forums.

          The current jive search is not efficient. Places sound great but if I can´t find anything, the whole site is worthless. This is really disappointing.

          Regards, Rainer

          (0) 
  9. Shyam Uthaman

    Hi Keith,

    I understand the intentions are in the right place, but SCN is a place where we need to focus on knowledge sharing, the look of the site doesn’t matter, the old site was much more transparent and user friendly. I could go to forums, blogs, articles, all in one click.. now things are too confusing. Even when I try to contribute a new whitepaper, link says file not found.

    Well, you are in beta phase, so I cant complain much, but I still do like the social networking style integration.

    ‘Spaces’ are something that still elude me… I hope we can go back to the old stuff ..if possible.

    In either case, I respect that you reply to the comments of the users.

    Thanks Keith.

    (0) 
    1. Former Member Post author

      Hi Shyam,

      The idea of a Space is something that takes getting used to. Now all the content pertaining to a topic, including documents, blogs, forum discussions, sit together in the same space and are displayed in the same content stream. My suggestion for you: go to a topic space that you are interested in. (You might find this Site Map useful.) When you land in the space, click the “Content” tab to see the latest activities. There are a number of ways to slice and dice this content that are powerful.

      We have a pretty good document on Browsing Content that explains how to leverage some of the filtering and sorting tools provided by Jive.

      Keith

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      1. Ravi Sankar Venna

        Hi Keith,

        Is there an option that the user can still switch to old forums or they are only forced to go with these painful new forums. These new forums are total disappointment, me, personally, not getting any motivation to contribute in SCN. I should say the exchange of knowledge was much better in old forums. Now, with this new look and design everybody is confused. Unfortunately, some of the people are believing (may be pretending !!!) that this new SCN is a big success. If that is the case, can SAP publish every month the number of forum threads posted / responded / answered / points awarded etc. for the corresponding previous periods comparing with current periods. You will find the obvious difference. These so called new forums are NO good for anybody. Please get us back the old forums.

        Thanks and Regards,

        Ravi

        (0) 
  10. Former Member

    Keith,

    Can’t say I like the new SCN. It is aesthetically pleasing but lost the ease of use of the old.

    I have been a member of the SDN since 2004 or earlier. Now my profile says I am a member since 03/13/2012 – the day I first logged on to the new SCN. Over time I have bookmarked several blogs that I find very useful. Luckily the links still seem to work but the old blogs have lost their original formatting.

    One other thing, I am unable to delete a photo and avatar I loaded for my profile.

    Regards,

    Ramki.

    (0) 
    1. Former Member Post author

      Hi Ravi,

      We’re on a completely new platform now. The old forum server has been laid to rest. We’ve implemented Jive pretty much out-of-the-box with minimal customizations and the reason for doing this is that we want to be able to easily upgrade as Jive progresses to better, later versions.

      A lot of the issues that we’re hearing about the new system are part of the out-of-the-box Jive user interface. SAP is, as you can imagine, an important Jive customer, which gives us good influence for shaping future directions of the product.

      Since launch, we have been working directly with Jive to stabilize the system and improve performance. That has been the first priority and will continue to be so until we reach a stable state. Then we can move on.

      There are lots of places to improve the user experience. The forums need to be a special focus. We are already setting priorities and making plans for the post-launch period, on to the end of the year. We will be working intensely with Jive giving them feedback from our community and working with them to get the UX that we need.

      Personally, I see lot of potential in this new platform. To get where we would like to be, no doubt that we have much to do: streamline the paths to information, connect topic spaces in more meaningful ways, improve tools for moderation and governance, optimize the forum experience to make it more efficient are high on my list.

      And also, not to forget, we all need to learn to use this thing more efficiently. In the end, I think we are going to have a much more connected community than we ever had before.  

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      1. Joao Sousa

        I don’t understand your focus on “Jive”. Do I care if the issues are “out-of-the-box” Jive, custom Jive or SAP Netweaver dressed up as something pretty? No, I don’t.

        A lot of people use SDN as a daily tool, and if you believed your solution (yes, YOUR solution, I don’t care if it is Jive or strawberries) wasn’t up to par on some levels like the all important forums, then you should have waited until it fulfilled the requirements. You’re talking like this is really a beta, it isn’t (if it was I should be able to opt out). You’re in full go-live mode, talking like this is an experiment which should be running ok in like a year’s time.

        PS: As a side note, it’s “funny” how after so many years selling “SAP Portal” as a collaboration tool for the enterprise, you embrace another software vendors product. Telling your customers to jump ship?

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        1. Former Member Post author

          Hi Joao,

          It’s not like we launched something new to the world and untested. Jive is a mature product already and has lots of customers. We at SAP have been using the Jive SBS platform for our internal communities for at least a couple of years of heavy usage.

          Funny you should mention SAP NetWeaver Portal because Jive as a Social Business Platform does not replace it. In fact, all of our managed content, which includes all library content, white papers, how-to guides, videos, etc. is staying in the portal content managment system. You may notice that in order to view certain content, you will need to “open” it in a new window. This is content delivered up by the portal.

          (0) 

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