So as I sit by the Christmas lights on a rather cold and rainy night — realising that the first day of December (which also happens to be First Advent Sunday here in Germany) has already come and past — I can’t help but ponder where the year has gone.
I guess I would like to just take some time to reflect back on an amazing year we’ve had in the SAP Community. We’ve made improvements and progress, but are we exactly where we want to be? No, but we are getting there.
Even as I type that, I can imagine the reactions. Some may wonder how I can claim that we are getting there. Others may say, “Hey, cool!” And honestly, whatever your take on the steps we’ve taken, you are probably right. I mean, there are so many ways to connect the dots or to analyze where the SAP Community is these days.
Those connected dots above mean absolutely nothing without more context and details, yet that chart makes me smile every day. And I think maybe isn’t that what SAP Community should be — you find the part that works for you and you focus there? I’ve had many conversations this year and each one has shown me a different perspective or a different aspect on what community means. It’s hard to decide what to look at and what not to in terms of saying, “We are getting there.”
I have another graphic that looks like the one above, only a mirror opposite, and it holds as much value and meaning for me… However, I’ve digressed into the philosophical, so let me just say that the chart above shows an increase in active users. And with that, we can move on to something a bit more concrete — namely, what the year of 2019 has held for the SAP Community:
- During this year of discovery, we learned about motivations, agendas, passions, and more from various people as we worked through our differences and continued to evolve ourselves.
- We’ve held 30 SAP Community calls, and the replays of the calls have hit almost 20k on YouTube.
- Over 40 SAP Inside Track events have happened already, and 2020 planning has already started. (WOW! Go, Community!)
- Our SAP Champions have been announced and can be found in the new SAP Community Influencers finder.
- We’ve made some progress on our UX and filters in the Q&A environment.
- Our blog categories have worked well to help sort content.
- Our notifications got a bit of a boost, giving you the ability to receive them via your profile and/or email — as well as allowing you to get notifications now on followed content.
- We’ve now been featuring “Topic of the Month” content through the homepage and our social channels, such as Twitter. (More about that in the last paragraph!)
- We brought the community members to SAP TechEd and let them have a stage with almost 100 sessions taking place across Las Vegas, Barcelona, and Bangalore.
- Unconferences were brought to SAP TechEd as well with great participation. (Topics in Barcelona such as climate science and horror movies were not expected but successful nonetheless.)
- We borrowed from our friends in the Developer Center and rolled out three tutorials for you — a tour of the SAP Community, an overview of Q&A, and an introduction to blogging.
- We added podcasts to the site. (Are we missing any? Let us know in the comments!)
- openSAP, Mobile Maestros (formerly Champions), and others came together with us with new missions and badges.
- We removed the idea of “old stuff,” bringing the archive back to life and adding your SCN contributions to your reputation.
It’s humbling to read back over the year and see all of the things that happened — because there is so much that encompasses SAP Community. On one hand, we have what makes the community.sap.com site itself, and even now, I’m reviewing the roadmap and backlog of feature requests, looking for the indications necessary to create a priority list. But the real highlights for me are all of the SAP Community activities that have taken place outside of the website.
I’ve had opportunities all over the world to discuss your thoughts, passions, and motivations for being part of SAP Community. For example, at SAP TechEd Las Vegas — as well as in Barcelona (see picture above) and Bangalore — I scheduled open forums to talk about SAP Community.
I’ve also had plenty of opportunities to talk to people one-on-one, and the conversations have always been interesting (and, yes, sometimes philosophical…if we want to go there again).
It wasn’t always smiling selfies though. I’ve been in debates about what qualifies members as an official part of SAP Community — is it when they ask their first question or when they start answering? Again, that’s somewhat philosophical — and fun — particularly when compared to heated discussions about what content is appropriate or what content is spam. It gets even trickier when the two cross, such as the recent discovery of content that became spam after being online for a couple of months. That scenario made us all do a double take and create new processes for catching spammers in the future!
In addition to meeting with small groups and individuals, I was honoured to have the chance to speak at several events and share stories with all of you — including one presentation that covered one of my own passions.
Another personal highlight was to see firsthand the next generation take the stage and present.
I’m sure you have your own SAP Community highlights as well for 2019, and if you do, I’d honestly love to hear your story. In fact, I’ll soon be doing a quarterly “Hey, SAP Community, What’s Up?” webinar as part of our SAP Community calls — to let you know about updates as well as to listen to your thoughts.
On top of that, in a couple of weeks (after the 11th of December), I’ll start a monthly “open chat” — no agenda beyond “I want to talk to you.” I do hope you can join me, as everyone is welcome to participate and add their voice! And for the months when you can’t join, not to worry — we will be recording and publishing these calls in my SAP Community Report podcast.
If you’d like to make sure that you don’t miss out on all of these upcoming activities (and if you want to stay on top of everything related to SAP Community), please follow the SAP Community tag (blogs or answers).
Which brings me back to the bullet about the “Topic of the Month.” (I said I’d have something to add in the final paragraph, remember?) For December, the “Topic of the Month” is SAP Community, and I’m helping kick things off with this blog post. Keep an eye on the homepage and our social media for all kinds of content and announcements related to the SAP Community — and, again, please follow the SAP Community tags. We have more to share as we close 2019, and we are looking forward to a strong 2020 working together!