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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

Book Report: A Rough Look Back

I finished reading Craig Cmehil book A Rough Look Back which is available on Amazon Kindle.  Generally it covers the history of SCN, SAP Mentors, the SAP Blogger program and more. He talks about the definition of community, what it means to “garden” a community, and more.  It covers the timespan of SCN from 2005 to 2010.

For anyone interested in SCN, I highly recommend this book.  Here are some of the things I highlighted:

  • Tips and tricks for blogging
  • What are wikis and blogs
  • “Search before you post” on SCN – an SCN Moderator’s favorite saying
  • Advanced tips for asking for help on SCN
  • Profiles of bloggers such as Alvaro Tejada Galindo
  • Profiles of SCN moderators such as Gregor Wolf

I particularly liked the way he described who is a community influencer and the definition of one and describing “thought leaders”.  He goes on to describe the beginnings of the SAP Mentor program and the efforts of Mark Finnern.  He also describes how events came to be such as SAP Inside Track, SAP CodeJam and more.  Do technical people belong at a marketing event like SAPPHIRE NOW?  Read the book to find out.

He talks at length about SCN Moderators, who moderate SCN on their own free time as volunteers.  He mentions A day or three in the life of a forum moderator. by Matthew Billingham (have you thanked your Moderator today).  Thank you Matthew Billingham for moderating.  He also references Thoughts from a Forum Moderator (everyone please read before you post on SCN).

If you spend time on SCN you will want to read this book.  The tips provided are still relevant today.  Not only will you learn more about SCN and the community, you will learn more about the “extended family”.

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      Author's profile photo CH Raman
      CH Raman

      Very nice information and Thanks for letting us know.

      Thank You

      Author's profile photo Jason Lax
      Jason Lax

      Thanks Tammy: I was waiting to read a review on Amazon and happy to see one here on SCN as the first 🙂

      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Jason - you should go buy it, as a quick search on the Kindle shows your name is mentioned in the book 🙂

      Author's profile photo Jason Lax
      Jason Lax

      Really! Okay...gonna order a copy now!

      Author's profile photo Frank Koehntopp
      Frank Koehntopp

      I'm half way through it, definitely worth getting.

      Reading is a bit rough on the Kindle, there are quite a few formatting issues, and the graphics don't read easily (well, I may need to get new reading glasses...).

      That actually had potential for two books:

      • The serious one, with all the help, howtos, tips & tricks
      • The funny and heartwarming one with all the good stories and anecdotes

      Putting it in one makes for a strange pacing, I find myself skipping some serious parts to get to another 'good bit'.

      What if we start crowdsourcing a "Community Edition" book with just the good bits? 😉

      Well done, Craig!!!!

      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      Blog Post Author

      Sounds like it could be an SCN Wiki in the making 🙂

      I enjoyed both parts - the tips and the history, since I participate in both now (but not really so much in earlier SCN)

      Author's profile photo Craig Cmehil
      Craig Cmehil

      Thank you everyone for the great comments - and yeah I found out there was some goof in the Kindle formatting - looks like my last 2 revisions never got processed 🙁

      I actually thought about 2 books but since it was more a historical one I figured I should leave it be. As for a community sourced - I did make the challenge 😉

      Author's profile photo Jitendra Kansal
      Jitendra Kansal

      This is really fantastic stuff !!!

      I ll order it.



      Author's profile photo Vivek Singh Bhoj
      Vivek Singh Bhoj

      Glad to know about such a book

      Thanks for sharing about it Tammy



      Author's profile photo Matthew Billingham
      Matthew Billingham

      ooo - fame at last. - do I get any royalties for the republication of my blog? 😉

      It mentions (obliquely) the infamous "gumpy" incident...

      Author's profile photo Marilyn Pratt
      Marilyn Pratt

      How do you read so fast Tammy?  Are you cloned perhaps?  You are ubiquitous - existing everywhere and being everywhere at the same time.

      Thanks for this "book report".  I think I had the distinction of being the first person a few years back to order the hardcover version which unfortunately didn't make it to print.  For those that don't have a Kindle, I just ordered and "speed read" the Ipad Kindle edition.

      Goodness, I'll say again, you all read so fast 'cause it's 289 pages long.

      Craig Cmehil thanks for the generous mentions and the historical retrospective that is so very timely for scnis10 .

      Tammy will you be publishing the "at 20" version?

      Author's profile photo Matthew Billingham
      Matthew Billingham

      It's easy to read quickly. Just skip the dull bits until it talks about me.

      Author's profile photo Alvaro Tejada Galindo
      Alvaro Tejada Galindo

      I'm reading it as well...after all...I'm mentioned in the very beginning of the book...and my picture with Mark Y. and Marilyn is there too 😉

      So far...I really like the really bring some nice memories...Community Day...RIA Hacker Night...Inside Track...

      I wanted to add it to my bookshelf of GoodReads...but it's not there yet 🙁

      Also...I's sometimes kind of hard to read it on the Kindle...but if you're part of SCN's really doesn't matter 😛

      Great job Craig...I'm really enjoying my reading...and believe me...I was going to read my next Neil Gaiman's book...but put it on hold to read yours...that gotta mean something 😉



      Developer Experience.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Tammy,

      Thank you so much for your information,

      Its very useful.


      Hari Suseelan

      Author's profile photo Arjun Pawar
      Arjun Pawar

      Thanks Tammy for sharing.! Glad got to know there is such a book and excited to read it .. 🙂