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What is STILL wrong with the SAP Community?

Disclaimer: This blog post is my opinion of what needs to happen. Not linked to any organization. And not linked to the SAP Champions program.  Just linked to me!

Disclaimer 2: This article doesn’t cover the technical fixes to the platform. Never fear there are many people working on that.

I’m a SAP Champion. So I like to hear everyone’s side of things. So feel free if you to comment if you think I’m missing something or I’m totally wrong. That happens.  By the way, I felt that way before I was a champion as well.

So here is my wish list:

  1. We still need technical blogs and technical people in order to build trust.
  2. We need to convince some people to come back. There are a lot of really technical people that have been absent lately.
  3. We need to take advantage of WIKIs.
  4. We need more people’s ideas on what the content on the platform is still needed. Again not technical – sorry – I can’t help with that.
  5. We need people like you to find a Champion, write a blog post, or think of other ideas to make our SAP Community better. And just thinking it isn’t enough.  You need to do one of the above – Champion, blog post, Linkedin, twitter, just get it out there somewhere.  In the community is of course the best place.  I did write a blog post that refers to what you can do.

And now you are thinking, Michelle, you are crazy. No one listens. They are hearing you. However, one or more voices that represent you should help. All the champions are willing to give you a greater voice. Again Non-technical in the platform – we can’t do a lot about that. Just know they are fixing things.

So I leave you with some thoughts. If you read a blog that doesn’t sound right in the community, be kind, but leave feedback via comments. If it is completely wrong, see nice and try to suggest were the issues are in the blog post. You might want to alert a moderator.  But give the blogger a chance to fix the blog.  Also remember that many customers are not on the most current version of SAP. So those blogs that you think are worthless to you, might really help someone who is in a lower version than you.

The community has a lot going for it.  I did write a blog post on that topic.

The SAP Community is unique.  The thing that makes it truly great is you.  Yes, you, the ones who are reading blogs, showing interest, commenting, blogging, answering questions, and a whole lot more.

 

This is cross posted in Linkedin.

13 Comments
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    • You and I seem to have interesting discussions.   I agree with you quality over quantity.

      But who determines the quality?

      What if it will not help me if I am on 6.0?

      Or it would not be a good idea to do it on a HANA system?

      The version does make a difference.  Perhaps in the comments if you see something like that you could mention the better way to do it on the platform you are in.

      Just poor quality should not be something we should allow.  Something that no matter what version you are on, it doesn’t make sense.

      • I think old product versions have a place here.
        The trend to limit information retention to 3~5 years has got to stop.
        Old doesn’t mean bad or irrelevant. Going to be a cliche here “those who do not remember history bound to repeat it” 🙂

        For my product , there are 10 year old KBA’s that’s still relevant.
        A blog that shows how to go from “this doesn’t work” to “well the problem was in another piece” – is relevant even long after that “this” or “piece” no longer exist, because it shows a path to solution, not simply spoon feeds the answer.

        Quality is in details. Does the ask-er took time to describe the problem in a professional manner ?
        Was the due diligence done ?
        Does the blog has an actual technical value or is something trivial that anyone supposed to know from “basic training” ?

        p.s.
        I agree on our discussions. You have a talent asking right questions. 

        • “Quality is in details. Does the ask-er took time to describe the problem in a professional manner ?”

          A lot of the time you might not consider what I wrote as “in a professional manner”.  It’s just a different style of writing.  So professional is up for debate.  (I think we have debated that before).  🙂

          Was the due diligence done ?

          Yes I really like this one.   Is it something that has already been done.  If it has, and you are doing it the same way don’t repeat the blog.

          For questions, when I go there, I sometimes add to the comments how to find the information.  And if they have tried everything then come back list what has been done.

          Does the blog has an actual technical value or is something trivial that anyone supposed to know from “basic training” ?

          Now that one is open for discussion to.  A lot of people come here, that have never touched XYZ (OPD, CDS, even ABAP).   So that basic blog might really help them.  So it becomes a matter of putting yourself in that mindset of just learning, and would this blog help you out.

           

          • yes, yes we had 😉
            and professional is not up for debate, because what you write is actually professional.
            or maybe we should settle on calling it competent ?

            in agreement on diligence. It is very annoying to see “i got error, solve it for me” questions.

            I concede the point on “basic”. But it has to be well written, at least 😀
            We need to have standards.

  • Hello Michelle,

    Very good discussion. Recently published blog on our community and no of likes were very minimal and same link was later shared in other platform where response was awesome.

    Feels like reaction on our platform is very less( I might be talking over few tags ) and every community member atleast make an habbit to atleast like the content if it’s helpfull to them or if they go through them ,since the effort publisher put to help others is significant.

    Also whatever the content that is shared with tag SAP Community should visible in all the other tags(atleast from announcement perspective or for community initiatives communications.)

    Regards,

    Sriprasad shivaram Bhat

    • I agree about reactions to our community compared to other sites.  The like button is so helpful.  It’s nice to know at least one person has read the blog.

      Tag SAP Community shared with all the other tags.  I think that one is harder.  There are a lot of people who want to quickly get to relevant blog posts.   If SAP Community is added – it would slow them down.

       

    • It used to be that if you wanted to share good quality content, SCN was the place to do that.  There was engagement, support, and activity that you could count on from a high quality blog post.  But now, none of the benefits are there compared to other sites… so, frequent bloggers eventually have to ask themselves, “why blog on SCN?”.

  • I think this is an important blog, and you kindof answered your own question when you emphasised “STILL” in the title, and then disclaimed the platform with “Never fear there are many people working on that.”

    Yes, its been several years now (4? 5?), and they’re STILL “working on that”? This platform is an embarrassment for a multi-billion dollar top-tier tech company, but worse still their Borg-like approach to community input, which was a big factor for me jumping ship. I come back every now and again, haggle briefly with the ghastly UX and go back to other more engaging pursuits on platforms that are a pleasure to use.

    And by UX I am referring to the full meaning of the term “User eXperience”, not just the technical side of the platform.

    In fact, it was the simplicity of adding a screenshot into a GitHub conversation a few minutes ago (by pressing ctrl-v) that reminded me of SCN and prompted me to pop in and have a look and find this blog.

    Just look at Sriprasad’s comment above, why was the other response awesome? We know for a fact that the UX is a major factor because it all changed here when the platform changed.

    SAP must fix the UX. Simple as that.

    • I agree with all of your points.   I have no real control over the technical plans/details.  Hence I felt the need for the disclaimer I do know if I was a developer with a site this big, it would take a lot of time.   Can you imagine all the possible errors that would occur.   The testing would be intense too!

      There is a What’s New area.  I also think about one of my favorite race car drivers when I think about the platform “It is what it is”.   Then I think, but they are changing things.

       

  • Well, by what measure do we arrive at the conclusion that anything is “wrong”? If you look at the KPIs on the SCN home page (2.8 mil users, 287k daily visits, etc,) then it looks like SCN is doing just splendid. There are 119k blogs available, so that sound fantastic (unless you actually read them, of course 🙂 ).

    I’m rarely on SCN these days and honestly, I feel great. Instead of SCN, I check Twitter almost daily and most of my “SAP friends” and Mentors are there (join the dark side, people, we have cookies!), I get news from there and if someone posts an SCN blog worth reading, I’ll also find it. (I stumbled upon this blog by accident, while browsing RSS feed at lunch.)

    The tech enthusiasts moved on to YouTube, GitHub, Stackoverflow, even Twitch and what’s not. developers.sap.com is marching to their own tune these days.

    For years already we’ve been running around with “we need to get back to the island!” but do we really?

    To me it seems that SAP got this community right where they wanted. All the old grumps gone, Mentors turned into “influencers”, blog roll full of freelancer blogs and self-congratulatory corporate drivel. Just enough useful technical content to avoid sucking completely. But that seems to have been the plan all along.

    SDN/SCN got gone together with lavish spending on TechEd. These days, if something/someone are not delivering on their KPIs then they get a boot. For example, I was told very clearly that SAP shouldn’t be expected to pay for me to have a platform to chat with others. This is a very valid point. But this goes both ways and means that I also have no obligation to contribute something I’m not paid for. SDN/SCN simply got rolled into sap.com, it went corporate and “corporate” is opposite of the “SDN spirit”.

    So, back to your question, if we assume that by some measure, something indeed is still wrong with SAP Community then the answer clearly is the first 3 letters of the said community name. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • “YouTube, GitHub, Stackoverflow, even Twitch”

      You make me smile.  I go to all of the above as well.  Also I do use google and get a lot of links that drive me to other platforms.  I’ll add Linkedin to the list.

      I think it’s AWESOME that SAP has moved from only living in SDN/SCN to having other platforms to get information from.   That’s a hug plus.  It means SAP is becoming a grown up.  There is no longer just one small community.  We are all over.  YES!

      BTW – are you watching ABAP-Freaks again?  It’s well worth looking at.  Youtube of course.

      And I’m slowly learning to twitter more.

      So is the community broke?  Does anyone care anymore?

      Well I did write a blog about it.  🙂  So yes, I think we need more.  More participation, more solid technical blog posts, just more of everything.

      Does SAP itself care? 

      • Yes, they are working on the platform all the time.  The started the new SAP Champion initiative.  I think that is a positive move.  One of the things we do, is get feedback from the community.  Then feed that up higher.
      • They’ve changed management.
      • They are getting some of the technical features fixed.
      • They support SAP Inside Track – I love those.
      • They support the coding retreats.
      • and more…

      Can we fix it ?

      Yes, I believe we can fix it.  We can try to convince people like you to add your contributions here.  Share a link back to where you original wrote the blog or solved the question.  In the case of a blog or post.  I’d just write a summary with a link to the other site.  That’s me speaking for me.

      Honestly, I’m just happy if someone is posting anywhere.  Sharing knowledge is huge for me.   But some people might miss it, if they are looking in the SAP Community.

      side note: I had a suggestion on this blog – write it on the community as well.  So I did.  I wanted to change some wording so I did not just put a link.

      Old Grumps

      I think those are need to in mind.  They are the ones that challenge me to do a better job.  I might even change my blog after some comments.  The big thing is that comments should not be harsh.  It can be something as easy as “This way of doing things works, but here’s a better way”.   Then the blogger has a chance to learn and “hopefully” change their blog.  If nothing else readers have that comment to look at.

      Is it broke?  

      As you pointed out numbers are not everything.  So it’s intrinsically valuable?  Does it help you solve issues?  Does reading something in coffee corner make you smile?  Are the tutorials valuable?   Is it nice to have one place that focuses on SAP?

      For me – the answer to all the questions is still yes.  With that said, I’m missing some things.  See the above blog post or read the comments.  The comments are helping me out.  I’m trying to think about ways – not technically fixing something – that I can do to help instead of hinder the process.

      Extras by the community

      • SOT – SAP Online track was amazing.  There was a log of good information.  Yes you can see it on Youtube.
      • A fun contest on a food video.
      • Book met ups.  Fiction and non-fiction.
      • There are more I’m just drawing a blank right now.

      No comment on Mentors.  I think they are an awesome group with a ton of deep knowledge that can be used.

      OK – I think I’ve written enough for yet another blog.  Actually I may write another blog.  I believe that might be read more….  I’ll think about it.  Because, no I don’t get paid for any of this.  And yes, I have other things to do.  I’m not paid to help out with data to outcome either.  But I am.  Why? Because it is worth doing.  And I’m not burned out – yet.  😉

      So nice of you to comment.  I’ve been missing those.  I love that you challenge me to be better.  Anyway thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.