In the past couple of months, there have been a plethora of conversations about what type of content belongs on SCN. Many of our seasoned community veterans have presented their opinions about what they like and what they don’t like. So we have one audience’s point of view. (See Fred Verheul‘s blog What kind of blog posts do we want on SCN?)
But I have to ask, is that the only audience and does everyone share their opinion? I’m pretty sure that there are more people out there who aren’t even aware of the debate. Why?
Hello, who’s there?
In 2013 there were ~20 million unique visitors who came to SCN. Of those, ~1 million logged in. Overall, an even smaller number did anything more than find the content they wanted and moved on. Let’s face it, there is a lot of great content on SCN and visitors find it through Google search and run with it. Grab and go…it’s great! (I certainly wish I’d had SCN when I was doing R2 and R3 consulting back in the ’90s!)
So how can we be certain that the opinions of 10 to 20 of our most experienced members reflect the broader audience? We can’t, unless we do further investigation. The exercise is complex, especially with Internet privacy laws that limit what we can track. But we are doing as much as we can with current tools available to us. We are also investigating a new tool that will help us ask people if they like what they are seeing in somewhat of an Amazon style. (Don’t worry, you will be able to check “don’t show me this again”.)
But even without that data, I can answer who SAP wants to engage with, based on SAP strategy.
- Prospects – If someone is looking to purchase a business application, for example, of course we would like to dialogue with them about their needs, how our products and services can help them, and why we could be their best choice.
- Customers – This is a very broad audience and could overlap with some of the others listed here of course. We want to engage with our customers to help them get the best results from their SAP products and services. We want to hear their feedback so that we can improve what we provide. We want to know how we can make them successful.
- Developers – We need developers to engage with us and each other more than ever. With SAP in the cloud, serving up applications that can be used by a broad base of consumers, we need all types of developers to join in and help us meet demand.
- Partners – Critical to our success, we need close connections with our partners, who help us deliver products and services to our customers.
- Decision Makers – Like it or not, there will be high level executives who want to connect with others like them to understand their experiences with SAP.
- SAP Employees – This includes developers and industry experts, consultants, product managers, support engineers, account execs (aka sales) and more. (In my opinion SAP Employees are not an audience in SCN, but more of a host.)
Can I take your order?
With such a broad set of audiences invited to connect, it is obvious that there needs to be an equally broad offering of content and ways to engage. So how do we serve up these varieties to the appropriate audiences?
Currently, we have a very open environment. What is published in one space is viewable by everyone. Additionally, when new blogs are published, they are fed through an RSS feed to Twitter. Anyone who follows that feed could see every blog that is published on SCN.
In the future, we want to offer personalization that enables you to view only the content you are interested in. Efforts are underway now to define the personas and taxonomy so that you will be able to choose what types of posts you want to know about. This could eliminate the perceived noise that is made by postings you don’t want.
Is that good?
I agree that some pretty poor quality posts get published on SCN . That’s why we have moderators for each of the various spaces. And it is the moderator of the space who determines what content they will allow there. (Although there are a very few occasions when Global Moderators need to override decisions.)We need to let them do their jobs and make the decisions of what gets published and what doesn’t. And when content is poor quality, the moderator should take it down and inform the author of why it was rejected, as well as how they can improve it.
Lately, I’ve seen a lot of “alert moderator” reports, repeated reports after the moderator approved the content, and negative comments to the author. In most cases, the blogs were very well written, and were posted in an appropriate space. So why the need to hit the report abuse button, especially when the space moderator decided to allow the content? I hope that in the future we will take the time to provide some guidance to the author that helps them improve versus shaming them into leaving SCN for good. Isn’t that an aspect of good community?
What do you think?
I expect this post will get a lot of lively discussion, and I welcome it. I’d love to get your thoughts on:
- What do you think about the audiences shared above?
- How would you manage this so that various audiences would see only the content they care about?
- How can we help new members contribute more appropriately?