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Blogging – Like Never Before!

It may just be my perception, but it seems that blogging (the real blogs, not the #notablogs) has taken on a whole new perspective on SAP Community Network.  There are still ‘newsy’ and ‘techie’ blogs, to be sure, and if I didn’t point out two of the most highly read, I would be remiss.

You can read Graham Robinson’s Call to Arms or Matthias Steiner’s The way of the Developer to see what I mean.  Always keep your eye out for blogs by Jocelyn Dart too (among my personal favorites is here)

But recently, there have been an increasing number of ‘social’ blogs.  Let’s start with the #blogitforward blogs, which was started by xMoshe Naveh (Old Acct).  A quick search on ‘Blog it Forward’ reveals over 140 blogs that have been written since August on this topic – from over 20 countries!  Many of these blogs were from first-timers – who were probably inspired by what they read from other #BIF-ers.  These blogs gave us all a chance to peek into the community, and read about our community members.  Where they are from (everywhere!), what they wanted to be as children (astronauts, doctors, dancers!), and who their heroes are.  (By the way, if you feel inspired, you can add yourself to the BIF Wiki and create your own BIF.  Extra points for initiative!)

I may be stretching things here, but I think that the Blog It Forward initiative may have opened up people’s minds as far as what this community means.  We are not all just here to get the answers to technical questions.  Sure, some folks are, and that’s fine – that’s how this network started.  But others are finding more than technical answers and ‘how-to’ blogs.  We are seeing blogs on sensitive topics that are generating huge streams of comments.  These blogs, and everyone who has read and commented on them, make me think that SAP Community Network has grown in the past several months – in ways that may have surprised many.

Marilyn Pratt has long been making us think about issues that confront us all…Take a look at her Cyberbullying or #empathy blogs.  Marilyn always sparks many socially-conscious events, blogs and discussions. I know we have Marilyn to thank for bringing Sueng Chan (‘Slim’) to SAP TechEd LV, where he delivered a thoughtful and incredibly poignant talk about Realizing Empathy.

Fred Verheul‘s recent blog following SAPTechEd Madrid may have touched off some nerves by bringing up some public perceptions on the SAP Mentor Initiative, but it’s all good! His blog opened up many eyes as to what this initiative is, and it garnered 73 comments.  I think if you read this blog, and then run into an SAP Mentor, perhaps you will find that they really do want to talk to you!

Then, Tom Cenens  blogged about #empathy and #serendipity – and I love the way Tom tells us how some community members had an impromptu gathering to learn about empathy and design thinking, and brings it all home with some very personal insights.

We have people like Moya Watson and Tobias Trapp and an SAP ‘n00b’ Kai Wurst who are all sharing their stories and strengths surrounding SAP’s ‘It Gets Better’ video, and the impact of bullying on the lives of our young people. Fehr

This stirring video is just part of the story, but I see lots of SAP Community voices – and they are all affected by the video and the stories that are shared. 

If there are over 31K views of this video, and the voices of the community continue to share the stories and the message, then this has to make some difference, doesn’t it? Their blogs are here: You can’t go home and just  cry (Moya)  SAP is making it better (a personal view) (Tobias) and Kai’s very first blog – Kudos Kai!  There is a community supporting you. 

The inimitable Thorsten Franz , who has written so eloquently on a recent blog on Ageism, and followed thru with a podcast.  I believe the seeds for this blog were sown on Twitter, when someone discovered some callous remarks that were made  by a senior executive on the preferred age of his employees.  Even though Thorsten is merely a youthful 39 years of age(or so) his blog and podcast have sparked many comments.  And perhaps this blog has opened our own minds to additional hidden ‘isms’?  I am sure there will be more to come.

And SAP itself just announced a program to provide scholarships to US Veterans – to provide education and training in technology and analytics.  11-30-2012 8-48-35 AM.png

So, besides giving you a link farm to some of my (most recent) favorite blogs, what am I really saying here?  I think we are evolving in the best possible way.  We are a group of virtual strangers, bound together only by our programming language(s), or our company’s choice of software, and have made this into something more.  We connect on so many more levels, and most of the time it improves all of us.  I am so proud to be a member of this community, and so glad to be able to read, comment and grow – whether it’s learning more about BPM, or the impact of cyberbullying.  I hope you feel as proud of this community’s growth as I do.

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.    Benjamin Franklin

I think Ben would be pretty proud of this community, don’t you?

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  • Great job pulling all this together Susan as I was thinking the same thing about some of the high quality blogs/topics the community has tackled in the last month. Hopefully this will help when people say that SCN is ONLY for technical folks.

    • Thanks Jarret!  I think I had to dial down the emotional impact that many of these topics have for me; but clearly, SCN is evolving - and definitely for the better!

      (now if only we could address #notablog too?)

  • Hi Susan,

    I definitely agree - there has been a real good selection of blogs that cover a number of issues and it's been a real pleasure reading them. I haven't seen all of them, so I'll be sure to read the others highlighted here.

    I can't agree more with Jarret. SCN is moving away from its roots in SDN, while still offering technical content for those that want it. The benefit is it is offering business and "social" content too, which is what makes it one of the best online communities around.

    Best regards,


    • Hi Luke,

      I think it's amazing - the depth and breadth of content - 'This is not your grandfather's SAP' 😉

      BTW, I hope you will come to Orlando for ASUG (ahem, SAPPHIRE) next May?  Seems like you owe me a beverage...

  • I *love* this collection of blogs and I intend to spend a lot of time going through all of them because I had not seen some of them before!  And I love your approach to highlight how, as a community, we go beyond 'just' 'techie' -- not that i don't appreciate the GEEKS R US.

    Can't wait to read this all.

    • Hi Moya, Thanks for the kind words.  Although, of course, you are one of the folks that inspire(s/d) me - so all I did was collect some good stuff. 

      And let the conversations continue...


  • Hi Susan,

    First of all thanks for the mention 🙂 .

    It's funny, since I was thinking the exact same thing the other day. Before I had a chance to put my thoughts on to 'paper' though, I noticed this blog of yours. So I totally agree with your perception 😉 . And it's amazing to see how this community prospers and enables these insightful and sometimes very personal blog posts. Despite that personal touch, I feel SCN is very much the right place for these blog posts, which says a lot about SCN and the people engaging on it.

    Thanks for taking the time to bring them together!

    Cheers, Fred

    • Hi Fred,

      I'm glad you were thinking the same thing - and I hope that the collection of all these great blogs brings more attention (not only to the blogs, of course, but to the issues that they address!).

      Keep on blogging,


  • Hi Sue, You have just made checking SCN on the weekend one of my must-do's! I have been thinking along the same lines although you express it so much more completely than I ever could.

    The recent spate of blogs on upskilling, empathy, ageism, and the like is taking the conversation to a whole new level. To me this is direct evidence that social technology works - not just because we benefit from collaboration on problems, not just because we humanize relationships between people who may never have met face-to-face, but because in so doing we coach and mentor each other to new levels of professionalism, awareness and advocacy.

    One of my favourite Twitter activities now is to trawl the @SCNBlogs feed, and it's not just the professionalism but the creativity of the bloggers that impresses.  I have to give a special mention here also to the ABAP Detective, Jim Spath, who has a gift for making the most frustratingly irritating and trivial of problems exciting and fun.

    As for the #notablogs the measures taken so far seem to be helping, but please just press the report abuse button & the SCN Moderators will deal with it.

    P.s. and many thanks for the mention :-))

    • Hi Jocelyn,

      Well, of course we spend our weekends checking SCN blogs!  But if I made your weekend reading a little more interesting, then that makes me extra happy.

      I would love to here your take on the views down under on some of these important topics <hint hint>

      My QOTD? '

      '...we humanize relationships between people who may never have met face-to-face, but because in so doing we coach and mentor each other to new levels of professionalism, awareness and advocacy'


      • Thanks so much Sue... you are such a great encouragement to me... and yes I do want to go there in blogging on such important topics.  It's just getting up the courage and finding the point of authenticity and relevance that's the challenge.  I have to say that the quality of some of these blogs is both inspiring and a little daunting... but I'm starting to see my way forward now I think.

    • i agree -- totally fantastic statement:

      > To me this is direct evidence that social technology works - not just because we benefit from collaboration on problems, not just because we humanize relationships between people who may never have met face-to-face, but because in so doing we coach and mentor each other to new levels of professionalism, awareness and advocacy.

  • Hi Sue

    Thanks for the mention and thanks for this great read! I agree with you, this community is evolving and social is a big part of this. It's great to be part of it. For me these type of blog posts do belong here 🙂 and they are important.

    SCN definitely isn't only for technical folks. I found it rather sad that during demojam, SAP organized dinners to which lots of SAPPHIRENOW attendees were invited. That seemed to have caused much less spectators at Demojam (maybe just perception) but how are they supposed to know about SCN when you voice for SCN while they are not even there?

    I hope they move the SCN matters in front of the keynote next time. Why not highlight the social blogs and aspect of SCN there and then to get more non technical people on board.

    Best regards


  • Hi Sue,

    couldn't agree more - there's been a lot of great blog posts recently and the days where SDN content was only hardcore techie stuff are looong gone!



  • Hi Sue,

    Very nice observation and well written blog. I would say that these blogs are at times very refreshing and also give a personal touch to SCN.



    • Thanks Kumud!  I'll be finishing up your blog on the Design Thinking and Empathy in Bangalore soon, I hope.  It was to good to race through.

    • Thanks Kumud!  I'll be finishing up your blog on the Design Thinking and Empathy in Bangalore soon, I hope.  It was to good to race through.

  • Hi Susan,

    Thanks a lot for this great blog and for playing such an active role in BIF.

    It is really amazing to read the "social" blogs and to get to know sides of community member that you never thought exist.

    I just hope more and more will join this virtual "Bonfire".

    Merry Christmas,


    • Hi Moshe,

      It's nice to get highlighted for writing a blog about other people's blogs 😆

      But I think all these 'social' blogs do show how much more than just a technology discussion forum we have become.

      See there is another under-the-radar effort right now.  Wonder who will pick up on it?  Maybe you?

      This is sort of initiated by our own Mark Finnern and Marilyn Pratt - and following in the footsteps of many SCN members who have found time, energy, and the reason to donate to Doctors Without Borders.  More fuel for this virtual bonfire?

      Belated Happy Hannukah to you!

      • I have heard about this special project and even knew a doctor that took part in it. I will touch base with Marilyn when you all come back from vacation and discuss how I can help.

        Happy Holidays to you all,