Are you a <Gasp> SAP Community Lurker? We need you!
I’m sure there are hundreds of blogs out there on the subject. Do you have to participate in the SAP Community to be welcome? NO, nope, nien, non.. Well you get it. No you don’t have to participate. I would love you too. As I enjoy different view points and ideas. But I would guess the majority of the SAP community are lurkers. And that’s OK. Those of us who post just like that you have read something we have written. I think that Susan Keohan had written / said somewhere “That typing something on SAP is better than talking to my dogs. They really don’t care about SAP. ” I agree. Although I think my cat may like what I have to say about SAP. He does seem to like watching me type.
In Michelle’s handy, dandy words. Who is a lurker?
“It’s a person who knows a lot. A person who is just starting. A person who has a “real” job and not a lot of time after getting the answer to their question. A person who doesn’t want to ask that first question in case they are ridiculed. A person whose blog was rejected. They are people struggling with this platform. And…”.
Am I asking you to change?
No. I’m celebrating the fact that you are out there. Thank you for stopping in and reading something of interest. Woohoo!
If you are a lurker. There is a reason. It’s a very valid reason.
I could send you all to the personal branding blogs. There are a lot of those, and they are very good. In other words the same old thing is changing with technology. You want to be searchable for future opportunities.
Here are some – and I can’t find the others – dang it, but please do a search if you find these interesting.
Implementing Effective Branding
When the time is right – participate. Until then enjoy! The SAP Community is happy you are here. You are someone who actual has read this blog. And that’s totally awesome for me! If you have some time – leave a comment, a different opinion, or just plain say hello. And yes just typing “hello” works.
BTW – it took me a while before I posted my very first question. SAP was so new back then, this was the only really great resource we had. Of course I looked on other SAP answering websites as well. This is just the best. I still believe it is the best.
Want to post, but don’t know the rules?
In the comments from Jerry Janda, there is a link to just about everything you want to know about the community. OK, not everything but the rules of engagement are there. It will help!
Polished methodology and Education go as one.
"Searchable for future opportunities" is a good reason you have mentioned which could and actually should lure many out there who don’t see any benefit in contributing to forums where they could showcase their skills, not only technical but also many others such as communication.
Another reason: Participation in a discussion shows not only one's interest but also his/her existence. I have been asked number of times, by some colleagues, what do I get out of the time I spend on different forums, writing blogs and joining discussions. My usual answer is, “recognition”.
Thanks for saying it, Michelle!
Just between us, I was probably saying something like 'Writing about SAP is better than talking to my kids about SAP' (because the kids don't care, and the dog loves anything I say to her)
And by kids, I don't mean...
I am heartened to see more of the old gang getting back to the Community. It makes my day so much brighter.
Calling out Matt Fraser Colleen Hebbert and Derek Loranca
Oh, and BTW... Here's the first image that came up for Lurking Goats... Can anyone tell me what is going on there? Is the child gonna get bonked with the barn door? Is the dark barn a metaphor for the Community?
Well if they are bonked with the door - they are now assimilated. <evil laugh>
It's cautious optimism for engaging with the Community, while the trickster goat awaits a chance to give the uncertain a bit of a nudge to enter.
I'm of the mindset that the goat is just gonna leave the kid there and see what happens....he's a lurker, too! 8^)
Maybe its time to turn back on notifications and see where this goes, huh? Hopefully it's a fun ride!
I must admit that I sometimes include my name in a search when I'm looking for information and recollect being part of a discussion but can't remember the answer.
Susan Keohan is right on observation- it has been great seeing so many regulars starting to return and be active. I hope it continues but lurkers of all levels respect the ROE.
Where’s the +100 button?
Thanks so much for this, Michelle. It’s great that former contributors are contributing again, but you nailed it — we want to see new faces and hear new voices too! I’m glad you’re encouraging members to take that first step, as I know most people are nervous to get started. (I think I had a panic attack the first time I tried posting in Coffee Corner )
Colleen mentioned the rules of engagement (ROE). I recommend that all first-timers pay a visit to the About the Community section. They can find the ROE there, plus all kinds of tips for getting started. And the SAP Community Experience team, moderators, and friendly members are always happy to answer questions about participation and provide guidance.
Nobody should feel intimidated. In addition to using the community to build personal brands and exchange knowledge, it’s just a fun place to be and network.
P.S. I broke the news to Caroleigh, Michelle — you are now our official illustrator for all future caption contests.
P.P.S. I added "Using SAP.com" as a secondary tag to get the post even more exposure.
I'm pretty sure that I still re-read my posts about 500 times before hitting Publish...
I probalbly should do that, too, 'cause when I try to edit a spelling mistake in a blog comment I often get this "your not really logged in" error message.... 😐
Ha, Ha, Ha...
I'm not so good at drawing. But I didn't want to mess with copyrights.
YES! Do visit these great links - they are going into my blog now.
How simple is that?
We need more and more goats.
Yes, but don't feel like you need to be a goat before you post. If there is something you want to say - say it. The first time is hard. Then next time is easier.
I really like this community. Most of the time there isn't criticism. Instead you find out more about your subject or answer. It's cool to get that extra information that you may not have known in the first place.
The emphasis is quality vs. quantity. If you follow the ROE, then you will find that you are well received. Don't think your idea, thought, answer is not a quality one.
Personally I prefer quality over quantity no matter what. This is personal choice. I totally agreed what you said regarding posts. Sometimes you need to start from somewhere or some day.
BTW I saw that you putting extra space between 2 sentences is there any reason behind it? Don't we already have enough white space on community!!! (This is not my comment 🙂 )
Two spaces. 🙂 It's a habit. One that will be hard to break. Thank you for letting me know. (Whoever, commented)
Quality - well I'll agree to disagree. Sometimes the quality is in the comments.
For a long, long, long time (my personal typing class was in 1970), it is standard typing training to put two spaces between sentences. Probably going into disrepute with modern texting practices.
I'm STILL trying to unlearn the "two spaces" rule. I graduated high school in 2003...
Speaking as a lurker... for quite some time. I need to make a personal goal to participate more actively.
Thank you Michelle Crapo for taking notice!
Thank you for the comment. Now you aren't a lurker. You are a former lurker.
Nice to hear from you!
First off, thank you for posting this blog. This was a great subject for myself and the like to see.
I think one of the hardest things, in my opinion, is knowing that the extremely knowledgable contributors are out there viewing blogs and questions, and even contributing before some us get to it.
For example, I found an ABAP question the other day, and I thought to myself, "oh man, I think I could help this person, I'm knowledgable enough to give a suggestion". As I scroll down to comment, I see someone beat me to it. It was a comment from a highly reputable contributor in the community. And even though my solution would have been different, it got me thinking if it was now wrong, or unneeded to contribute my solution, which in turn deterred me from commenting and me continuing to remain "unknown".
Should I have contributed anyways? Would this reputable contributor thought I was undermining their answer? I didn't want to offend anyone.
I think a lot of people could have the same concerns as me, and that's why they remain "lurkers".
I think it all depends on the phrasing, Colby. You could have started with, “That’s an interesting solution. I was thinking of a slightly different approach.” You could then share your answer and ask the expert whether he thinks that could work as well.
The thing about experts…they’re always learning too. Perhaps this expert could have gotten some knowledge from you! Or if he had a difference of opinion, he might have explained — and you might have picked up some ideas as a result.
Any contributor who sees someone else’s perspective as “undermining” probably isn’t much of an expert. If you firmly think you know everything, you stop learning. I think any expert is intellectually curious and welcomes opportunities to get information from others.
It comes down to a respectful exchange. In the end, the expert might learn something, you might learn something, and the poster might get a variety of options for fixing a problem. Best of all, you might all connect and grow your network — growing your education in the process.
And if you do post and someone is a jerk…well, that’s why we have moderators who determine what’s truly offensive behavior. Professionalism and courtesy are musts in a community.
Hope to see you more active in future!
This was great, thank you Jerry!
Even though I'm officially against separation of comments and answers, in present situation we can use "Comment on this answer" button to add something to the existing answers. E.g. I mostly agree but either want to add some small tip or just another solution along the same lines - in those cases I just add a comment.
As long as you're not just repeating another answer, it's perfectly fine to chime in, no matter how minor detail it may seem. It might turn out quite important.
The best thing on SCN is that even if I post a wrong answer then someone will correct it and then everyone, including me, will learn. There is absolutely no need to be embarrassed about it. I did learn though to word my replies more cautiously after being corrected many times. 🙂
Great point! Thank you for your input Jelena!
Thanks a lot Michelle Crapo for posting this blog. We constantly think of ways that would help people unlurk 🙂 and it's always a pleasure seeing someone taking his first steps in the community. I want to invite all lurkers (and existing members of course:) to join the What Do You Do challenge where they can introduce themselves, share their expertise, engage and elegantly unlurk:).
Nice blog! Really cool how you allways keep going, Michelle!
It's always pleasure to read your blog Michelle. Now added with pictures. So, where do you make such expressive pictures? Thanks!
I made my pictures the good old fashion way of making pictures of course. Drawn by pen and paper. Then scanned in! 🙂 I'm not a great at drawing - but I used to have fun doing it.
Thank you for the kind comment!
Hi Michelle! As an old-school ABAPer I always enjoy your posts!
Hello back - thank you so much for commenting. I enjoy writing them. It is also fun reading the comments!