The True Value of a Community
A community member’s recent comment on a blog started a lively exchange about SCN being a “community” or “just a tool”. I chipped in my two cents there but after some further thought, I felt that maybe it might be worth its weight in gold to be highlighted in a blog post.
Below is my response reproduced in whole:-
Let me share the finest example (IMHO) of the value of this community, which coincidentally happened just today.
I was given a task to assess a new requirement and I recall it sounded similar to some of the conversations I had with another community member on that. So I sent out a short email which sounded like “hey I got this, wasn’t this what we talked about regarding the challenges you faced on your recent project?”
Lo on behold, I received an email at the end of my work day which was 3-4 pages long detailing all the specific challenges with the requirement and how each was addressed, what the official response from SAP was, links to the blogs that the member has published regarding certain aspects of the challenges and even included a slide deck on the work done! It probably would have taken at least 30 minutes to compose that comprehensive reply.
And from my end, I had just expected a “ya, this was exactly what we talked about previously” to confirm if it was a same requirement or not.
Now imagine that…. and consider the fact that
- Both of us are not SAP employees
- We live 8 timezones apart
- We only started to interact with one another in the last 1 year
- We have never met in person (but will do so when both of us attend TechEd Barcelona for the first time this November 🙂 )
This is not something that you can get searching on OSS, SCN or Google. This is not something you can get by posting a discussion thread asking for answers.
And this wouldn’t have happened if both of us were not participating in SCN and saw it as just a tool rather than a community.
Additionally from my own experience, I have grown so much professionally (technical skills and otherwise) due to my participation here on SCN which was just over 2 years, and I would dare say you would too and invite you to do the same. You won’t regret finding the time to do so! 😉
PS: I’d suggest you have a look at the Member of the Month’s to see what inspires others to do the same
With the impending 1DX launch, some of us have voiced our misgivings (I’ve certainly had a few!) on the impact of its premature launch date.
However, my experience as mentioned in the comment above has come as a timely reminder for myself as to the true value of this community. It is not in the platform, Jive or 1DX or any other for that matter. It is not in great features that was promised in 1DX and not delivered. It is not in how fancy 1DX will look like on a mobile device. It is not in whether or not the search will work, or if the blogs will be migrated properly.
The true value of this community is in its people.
This community has shown me a world beyond the physical boundaries of my workplace and my home.
This community has opened my eyes and my mind.
This community has challenged my viewpoints, and helped me grow because of that.
This community has exposed my bigotry and shown me the errors of my often self-righteous ways.
This community has shown me kindness and grace when I myself have fallen short of the mark.
This community has welcomed me and given me names that I could call friends.
This community has given me laughter and fun when we were seeing goats everywhere!
In no particular order, thank you Bhavesh Kantilal Colleen Hebbert Jason Cao Jelena Perfiljeva Jeremy Good Matt Fraser Michael Appleby Tammy Powlas Vadim Klimov Veselina Peykova Roberto Cantero Jürgen L Simone Milesi Christopher Solomon Raphael Pacheco Steffi Warnecke Susan Keohan and to the countless many who daily continue to find their sense of belonging in this community.
And to the mysterious individual who nominated me for SAP Mentors. I might never know who you are (unless I’m able to pry that information off Jason), but I am truly grateful and indebted for that.
Come 1DX (warts and all), yes, we will miss the status updates and other what-nots, but that won’t stop us from being the community we are and have always been.
Because when all else is stripped apart, the true value of this community is in its people.