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Showcasing Topic Expertise – SCN Topic Leader program update

SCN is a place to grow reputation and demonstrate topic expertise, with several programs in place to help you. The recent introduction of gamification opened new doors for you to shine, and our Reputation Program now includes points, levels, missions and badges to guide you throughout your community experience and reward quality contributions and special achievements.

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Every year we run a contest to recognize SCN Topic Leaders. The purpose of the program is to recognize the most active experts in a certain topic. Prior to moving to our new platform in March 2012, we recognized top contributors in all of the points categories, listed their names in a blog, sent them a certificate of achievement and, if they attended, called them on stage at SAP TechEd for a live round of applause.

Because topic expertise is the key to your professional reputation as well as the heart of engagement and value on SCN, we will continue to recognize our SCN Topic Leaders. They are so important to the Community. However, the changes in the platform and addition of gamification necessitated modifications to this program, which I will explain here.

Changes in Topic Leader Recognition:

Last year was a transition period for this program. Since we migrated to the new platform in the middle of the Topic Leader contest period, for part of the year topic leaders posted against the old points categories, and for another part of the year, they posted against topics spaces. This year is the first time that all the contributions were made exclusively in the topic spaces on SCN.

In order to keep the Topic Leaders list meaningful, we decided that 3 names for each one of the 500+ spaces would be too many names, and it would include areas that have less activity. So we decided to include a new requirement for the Topic Leader recognition: Members participating in the contest need to have accrued at least 440 points during the contest period in their space of contribution in order to be considered for the recognition.

Members who got fewer points and are below the threshold will not be considered for the recognition. Their contributions and achievements continue to be recognized with points and badges for completed missions, and if they are among the top 10 contributors in a topic over the last 12 months, their name appears in the space leaderboards.

The table below summarizes the changes:




Contest period

August 1, 2011 to July 31, 2012

August 1, 2012 to July 31, 2013

No change

Threshold of points

No threshold was applied

440 points within the contest period

New point threshold is applied to select active and meaningful areas of expertise (a space audit was conducted to determine the appropriate threshold)

Areas of expertise


~110 to be announced

Updated number to reflect areas of interest and expertise in the community

Topic Leaders

Top 3 in each area

Top 3 in each area with minimum 440 points

No change, except that in some areas there maybe be just 1 or 2 Topic Leaders meeting the “440 points minimum” criterium

Recognition activities

Blog, Acknowledgment of Achievement per email, Stage recognition at SAP TechEd

Blog, Acknowledgment of Achievement per email, SCN badge, Stage recognition at SAP TechEd

Same as in 2012, plus a badge 🙂


To summarize, a Topic Leader in a category is someone who got more than 440 points in a topic space between August 1, 2012 and July 31, 2013, AND is among the top 3 contributors in that topic (SCN space). Please keep in mind that points in a sub-space do not roll up to the parent space, as reflected in the space leaderboards today.

For those who like programmatic explanations, here is the logic:

If time frame >= 2012-08-01T00:00:00-08:00 and time frame <= 2013-07-31T00:00:00-08:00 and space ID==XY and user Z.point_total >=440 points and user Z.contribution_ranking in (1,2,3) then user Z=SCN Topic Leader in space XY.

(Yeah, you’re right, I didn’t write that by myself…And feel free to suggest an improvement to this logic ;-))

The Topic Leaders will be announced in a blog post in about 1-2 weeks.

Teaser for SAP TechEd 2013


This year we are thinking about a couple of special achievements to recognize on stage this fall. These will be fun, meaningful, and supportive of good community behavior. We’ll give you more information as we get closer to the event. So stay tuned!

And as always, I am looking forward to hearing your feedback. Please note that as in the past years SCN Topic Leaders are not eligible to get a free pass to SAP TechEd.

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