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​Things I miss the most on SCN

1. @mention

Back in 2012 when someone excitedly shared this new SCN feature my first reaction was: “oh, grrreat, now every ‘dear guru’ is going to start [ab]using it by calling every possible top contributor to answer their dumb questions, that’s what we need”. But, surprisingly, it did not happen. Instead, it ended up being used in the most positive way. People were mentioning in the blogs other SCN members who helped them or inspired them. When posting about a cool TechEd session, we could “ping” the presenter to let them know. Now I doubt any of the blog authors I mentioned here even know I read their blogs (because, you know, we also no longer see who liked what).

2. Dynamic home page

Not always exactly a hub of activity on SCN even before but at least I could easily find there new top liked or Mentor blogs, SCN announcements or, heck, even the BT blogs to roll the eyes about.

3. Status updates

I know we found sort of a workaround by posting in CC but I feel that the fleeting nature of the status updates allowed us to have more open and deep conversations there.

4. Games

No, not the pinots. Remember Blog It Forward? The Goat Movement? It was something that we all could share, no matter what space we followed. Sure, it may not have helped SAP to sell more products but all work and no fun makes SCN a dull place.

5. Community

The combination of the missing features above, incontinent activity stream, chaotic UI and just plain bugs eating away at everyone’s SCN time quota killed what we had. The sense of belonging. Peer recognition. 10 page long blog comment discussions. The people might still be here but Community has left the building.

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46 Comments

  • Feb 01, 2017 at 09:27 PM

    # 1 for sure... I just wrote a blog, where I mentioned a couple of people as an inspiration for my post and later in the comments I wanted them to weigh in on a discussion - no way to do that.

    Just one thing - if it does get implemented, please don't bury it in that incontinent Activity Stream - it might just washed away in the flow.

  • Feb 01, 2017 at 09:32 PM

    6. Members activity - questions, answers, relevant documents (I guess it is actually an item 5 above)

    For me the old SCN was a knowledge source.

    Now I enjoy the only Coffee Anti-tag Corner :)

    • Feb 01, 2017 at 09:41 PM

      "Coffee Anti-tag Corner" LOL :) Yeah, it's pretty much our piece of resistance here.

  • Feb 01, 2017 at 10:33 PM

    /sign

    If I can't even see all of my own posts because of bugs, it's really sad to imagine, what else I'm missing. :/

  • Feb 01, 2017 at 10:54 PM

    1. The communication stream

    2. the other people who answered questions in the Logistics area

    3. progress and quality in bug fixes and developments

    4. Color and contrast

    5. thoughtful questions and answers

    • Feb 02, 2017 at 02:37 PM

      On #2, I guess I am a Johny-come-lately to this party and only spent a couple of active months on the old site. So, unlike the rest of you, I don't understand the "Old community" vs "New community". That said, there certainly was more activity in the Logistic Execution corner of the world in the old system, and I certainly have missed some of the other regulars who contributed answers there.

      • Feb 02, 2017 at 05:31 PM

        Nevertheless, you're quickly establishing yourself as a voice to be listened to here. I for one appreciate your thoughtful contributions.

  • Feb 02, 2017 at 06:36 AM

    My personal list:
    1. Communications stream.
    2. Meaningful navigation.
    3. Profile settings, including flat view for discussions by default and privacy.
    4. All these knowledgeable and smart people, who abandoned SD space/tag/topic page.
    5. Progress and quality in bug fixes and developments (I am shamelessly plagiarizing Jürgen).

    • Feb 02, 2017 at 05:08 PM

      4. I've been wondering the same about the SD space/tag/whatever (it'll always be 'forum" for me :) ). Where did everyone go? But I can imagine that if someone had only little time to devote to SCN and they opened new SCN to find useless home page with 0 navigation to the SD forum they most likely just thought "OK, f*k this, I'm not welcome here so I'll just spend my time elsewhere".

      I'm actually quite amazed anyone still answers questions on SCN. We have some majorly dedicated people!

  • Feb 02, 2017 at 07:39 AM

    It was the number 5 the strenght point of SAP in recent past years.

    And, as i stated a couple of months ago, they choose to kill it.

  • Feb 02, 2017 at 10:07 AM

    #2 definitely. A landing page giving you the information you wanted at a glance.

  • Feb 02, 2017 at 12:54 PM

    A long long time ago
    I can still remember how
    That community used to make me smile
    And I knew if I had my chance
    That I could make those TechED people dance
    And maybe they'd be happy for a while

    But February made me shiver
    With every blog I'd deliver
    Bad news on the doorstep
    I couldn't take one more step

    I can't remember if I cried
    When I read about his widowed bride
    Something touched me deep inside
    The day SCN died.....

  • Feb 02, 2017 at 01:58 PM

    6. All of the Above (I realize it was not exactly one of those challenging multiple choice questions with options like: A+B, but not C, but I couldn't resist my own #6 addition to this post.)

    I had an opportunity on the phone earlier this week (3 days 'ago') to have a friendly chat with an SAP colleague inside the IT team where she asked me for a top 3 list of most critical issues or concerns that I had. This of course was before Jelena's discussion thread above^^, but I will make sure she knows about the dialog going on here. As I pondered my answer to the question, I tried to reflect on the journey that started with 1DX internal discussions, the open beta period, TechEd Vegas (where I got to meet in person many respected colleagues and SCN members [community]), the October launch, and the time until now. I knew that the top 3 list question was not intended to get a short list to tackle a few key issues, but more to get a finger on the pulse or perspective on the current state of the new SAP Community. My long and rambling verbal answer was probably more like my #6 option (all of the above), and like the bolded letter in SCN, and Jelena's #5 Community really summarizes it brilliantly.

    • Feb 02, 2017 at 05:21 PM

      SAP people ask that "top 3" question all the time, must be some kind of "mind trick" SAP teaches at some bs team-building retreat.

      It's super annoying when it comes to serious and complex matters. How am I supposed to give an intelligent answer right there? I need to take a mental inventory first and put stuff in order. Something that is right from the top of one's head is not always what's more important. And then - why 3? If I really have 2 I feel a need to "pad" the list. If not then #4 may be just as important as #3, who decides? It's not checking the pulse, it's "I don't really care for a thoughtful answer, so I put you on the spot and gleefully watch how you scramble to come up with any response just to realize 5 minutes later you should've answered differently".

      • Feb 02, 2017 at 06:37 PM

        I understand your points Jelena, but actually this wasn't necessarily one of those situations, and in fact I initiated the call to echo the sentiment here in the community and offer additional perspective, with a vested interest in helping fix this. This was partially motivated by the following quote we received from CEO Bill: "Empathy is only as good as we are at turning it to action that our customers can feel." Of course there was more to the email than just this inspiring quote, but like many of us here in the CC and offering our feedback and frustrations that are being 'heard', I am doing whatever I can to drive 'action'.

        • Feb 02, 2017 at 08:24 PM

          "turning it to action" - Bill got this right. Well, he gots many things right. "Simple" was a good idea too. It's just "action" somehow always exactly the problem. :)

          • Feb 02, 2017 at 09:25 PM

            Somehow the quote from this movie came into my head. Until I Googled it did I realize the irony of US politics in the movie, especially with our present day drama, but that's not the point here...

            Michael Douglas delivers a powerful speech in the American President movie. Feel free to watch the full scene or to stream the entire movie so I don't spoil it (I personally recommend it), but the quote from 2:04 - 2:09 in the YouTube clip is very pertinent: "We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them!"

            BTW @Jelena - I think you'll find quite a contrast in my Gilligan's Island recommendations and some of my movie recommendations ;)

  • Feb 02, 2017 at 02:04 PM

    Listing all the features which are gone and may never go back will be pointless. All the things are known and communicated on different forums, including Idea's place. But, Number 5 is definitely something we all will miss :(

    Maybe, it would be possible to build a new community with time, but... (sigh)

  • Feb 02, 2017 at 03:21 PM

    What makes a true community is the connection to people, (#5). We lost that here. What community is left are those that knew each other and followed each other in SCN. This platform does not facilitate the introduction of new membes well. Getting to know people on a somewhat personal level leads to much more interest in providing support and knowledgable articles. Seeing peoples daily or weekly status updates. Seeing the odd ball personal (not technical) blogs. Seeing their humor, or lack of it, in their replies and comments.

    I don't write blogs just to provide SAP with content. (what few I have written). I write them for an audience. The stronger my connection to the audience the better the blog/article is going to be. It will be written for peers, not some faceless newbe that I don't even know yet. Writing for people that you know and respect is totally different then writing for a faceless audience that you have no connection to.

    Why would I have any interest in writing something here in this community? I have hardly seen the people I knew in the SCN QM area since this platform started. Whose seeing it?

    I had people I had met in SCN that I learned enough about that I wanted to meet them. Leverage that into a personal network. Some of them I have met in person. Some from the old SAP Fans forum also became good friends over the years. We were able to get to know each other enough in those communities to get an idea of the person. To the point that we kind of felt we knew that person. That capability seems lost here.

    There is no real sense of community here anymore. Just old freinds who all sense the end of their senior year.

    • Feb 02, 2017 at 04:09 PM

      Nice analogy. "End of their senior" year or perhaps it's already over and we're exchanging holiday cards. In time you won't exchange as many with as many of the friends until eventually one of the friends stops sending the cards for whatever reason and the cycle breaks.

    • Feb 02, 2017 at 04:35 PM

      Totally agree, Craig... disintegration of the community was the most dreadful effect of the new platform; and, in my opinion, 'tagging' system is accountable for 80% of this disintegration :(

      • Feb 02, 2017 at 08:38 PM

        I'd say it's not the tag principle itself, it's how it was applied. Many other forums use tags. Take a look how it's done on StackOverflow. You open the first page, immediately see tags and can understand how the site works. On SCN we could only see... huge pictures of smug people for like a month. And now we just see different pictures. If someone returned to SCN after a long break now I doubt they'd be able to find anything easily.

        When I look at StackOverflow home page I understand what this site does and what I can find here. Now look at the SCN home page. Would anyone even know tags are a major part of it?

        Forget all the missing features, it's not even good web design.

        • Feb 03, 2017 at 02:36 PM

          Yes, definitely. When I post 'tagging' I mean 'new SCN tagging' and not the general approach. Nevertheless, I do think that keeping the dedicated forums through spaces was, and still is, the best way to handle SAP professional forums. SAP domains are numerous and that's what got SCN steering committee confused... The domains are numerous, but the consultants (which constitute 95% of SCN users) are specialised in a specific field, at least most of them do. They don't need tags, they need spaces, or whatever name you chose to call it, which were relatively well represented on the old Jive platform. Maybe, there is a way to make a GUI which handle tags with the same efficiency, but I don't think there is; at least, not to my taste :)

        • Feb 03, 2017 at 02:46 PM

          Yes. I checked out StackOverflow. Without having ever been there before I can fairly quickly figure it out. But they have no spell check either in their editor! :-)

    • Feb 02, 2017 at 05:42 PM

      Craig, +1. Actually I have the whole separate post in mind specifically on why I don't feel like blogging on SCN anymore. You are exactly right, there is no connection. E.g. when I wrote the first digest blog I thought OK, this could be helpful, now it's an easy link for a home page, so that everyone could see and find these nice blogs I read. But it never happened, my blog just drowned together with those other blogs. I checked some of them few weeks later and didn't find much activity there either.

      Previously, some blogs sparked hot debates in the comments. Now this is simply not feasible because you are not notified of other comments on the same blog, unless it's your own blog or the person commented specifically on your post.

    • Feb 03, 2017 at 11:02 AM

      Wholeheartedly agree Craig.

      1. It takes too much time to participate with this community than I used to. A lot of my valuable time will be wasted scrolling and clicking in order to see all subjects/tags that I'm interested in for all of the time that I wasn't active. Now I stop after a couple of minutes. This means that roughly 80 percent of the content I don't see and can't participate.

      2. It's not fun anymore. Everything looks hideous, way too much white space. Some peabrain thought it'd be a good idea to focus on mobile when I have never ever met 1 consultant in 15 years in 5 different countries on 2 continents who consults SCN solely on mobile.

      This is not fixable, because the scope as it was and as it should be is vastly different (no focus on mobile for instance, return to spaces). The only solution would be to start again and come up with a new version that does meet the demands and needs of the community.

      So please SAP eat some humble pie, admit you effed up and as an interim solution return to SCN.

      Cheers, Rob Dielemans

      • Feb 03, 2017 at 04:55 PM

        The sad part I don't even know how much I might be missing. For example, I received a notification of Craig and Eli answering my comment above but no notification whatsoever about your reply. It was posted 5 hours ago, so shouldn't be a timing issue. I wouldn't know you posted something if I didn't come here to read other comments.

        • Feb 03, 2017 at 06:11 PM

          Apologies Jelena for the confusion. Rob must have commented on Craig S's comment above starting with "What makes a true community is the...", consequently notifying Craig. For the notification to be sent to you, he'd have to have commented on your main post or one of your comments.

          • Feb 03, 2017 at 08:06 PM

            And that is wrong - if this was an SCN discussion then everyone here would be notified about every response, no matter who commented on what. If someone didn't want to track the replies anymore they would just click Stop Tracking. It worked the same way on SDN before.

        • Feb 06, 2017 at 10:00 AM

          There is another problem of notifications: when a user comments on your answer, you get a notification. When the user answers on your answer, which most of them still do :(, you have no idea about this action unless you check the relevant threads obsessively :)

  • Feb 03, 2017 at 07:51 PM

    #5 For sure. In Product Development, the old SCN was the only tool for us to communicate deep technical information to our colleagues from Support, but also to partners, customers, consultants, etc. Now, it's all gone...

    With the new SCN we have no way to keep updating the same article, release after release, adding screenshots and attachments as needed, removing obsolete information and answering questions from the community of people who would follow a particular article as a kind of "bible" on a very specific technical topic...

    The worst in all that is that we have lost what took years to build! And as an SAP employee I just don't know what to answer to customers who deeply miss it... :-(

  • Feb 14, 2017 at 07:31 PM

    A lot of comments and no one mention the BOOKMARKS! I miss them so much!

    I agree with your things that you miss @Jelena.

    In the other SPACE's SCN, I took a lot of time to organize my bookmarks. I marked with tags, and manage a lot of discussions with that "personal's tags".

    Well, that's gone... and never will be back. No more "section" to manage them.

    Regards

  • Feb 21, 2017 at 10:40 PM

    Bump up since the SCN team seems to be unaware of this discussion.

    • Feb 23, 2017 at 08:53 PM

      We are aware. I've been tracking the conversation and keeping a list of the features/requests raised here.

      I was aware of it before I saw your comment at https://blogs.sap.com/2017/02/21/release-highlights-as-of-february-16-2017/. But maybe it was the closing paragraph of that post which made you think this conversation had slipped through the cracks. I assure you that's not the case. I included that closing paragraph for the benefit of readers who may not have been participating in this discussion. (Not everyone dares venture into Coffee Corner.)

      Although I haven't posted or responded here, that doesn't mean I haven't been reading regularly. Sometimes I find it's best if I just keep an eye on things -- while keeping my yap shut. I thought that the best course of action here.

      I suppose I could have (should have?) applauded Christopher's post -- because I appreciate a good song parody as much as the next guy (even if I am technically part of the butt of the joke). I could have (should have?) gone through each point and explained what is on the prioritization list and/or under discussion (e.g., @mentioning, better UX, bookmarking, RSS feeds, saving blogs as PDFs, improved navigation, better notifications/activity streams -- all also being tracked in Idea Place by yours truly and brought to the attention of the right people, many of whom, to be fair, are lurking and watching as well). In some cases, these features are prioritized. Some are under discussion. Some might take some time to deliver. Others may never come back at all (or are way down on the list).

      I'd like to think I am reporting about these items in all the appropriate places, but, to Veselina's point (or is it Jürgen's?), you want, "Progress and quality in bug fixes and developments." So I didn't think a whole bunch of "it's coming!" responses here would be helpful. I thought occasional updates/information would be more welcome in Idea Place and in the bug reports, and my colleagues and I have tried to provide new details in those places as we get 'em. (Admittedly, I should have done a better job of that, but with each set of release notes, I do try to connect the new features and fixes back to the relevant discussions.)

      That being said, I'm more than happy to have a more detailed conversation in this thread. I'm not ignoring or avoiding anything. I hope that's obvious -- or may be a bit more obvious now with this response.

      In fact, while we don't have @mentioning yet, if anyone writes, "Hey, Jerry what's up with this?" in Coffee Corner (because I didn't think I should join in, but you want answers), I'll likely see it and respond. Just don't say my name three times while looking in a mirror. You risk summoning Candyman, and I can't be held responsible for that.

      A final point: This thread very much reminds me of this discussion in Idea Place https://ideas.sap.com/D38602. Both this discussion and that one are full of frustration. As Rob mentioned here, there is a big demand to go back to SCN -- which is the gist of that post in Idea Place. Oliver Kohl recently added some comments there explaining why that's not going to happen. But, as also mentioned by Rob, I think a big slice of humble pie was served up and eaten.

      • Feb 23, 2017 at 10:52 PM

        I understand and it does make sense sometimes just to stay quiet instead of getting into a quarrel.

        Read the comments on the Idea place and several repeated the same statement: this was supposed to be better but it got worse. Oliver states rightly that the launch was screwed up, there is no dancing around that. And, of course, it's 10x as hard to fix bad design after the fact. (There is a major road construction project in our area because years ago a freeway was built using a wrong asphalt formula, so it has to be dug up and rebuilt. While the cars drive on it 24/7. Well, it's even worse than new SCN, imagine that!)

        Considering the glacial speed of changes, asking the community to stick around and wait for months to see any significant improvements (which would barely bring us closer to what we already had btw) is a rather big "ask". It is easy to destroy a community and not easy to build it. I'm just very much concerned that at some point, many, many months down the road, you'll be posting a blog "Look, guys, we finally fixed everything, it looks almost as good as before!" and there will be no one to respond.

        Maybe it's time to beg Marilyn Pratt to come back? Either that or some kind of miracle...

      • Feb 23, 2017 at 11:43 PM

        Hi Jerry,

        As frustrated as everyone is (and, me too -- I remember writing in a comment way back in the old days when Oliver first mentioned that spaces would be replaced by tags that I thought this was an unlikely concept), I do have to say I really appreciate the good humor you bring to this every time you post here. Plus, you get my science fiction references, which is always cool. I may have to dig into greater obscurity to test you on that....

        In fact, here's a good one, and oddly appropriate for all that we do here (perhaps it's the most common answer to a majority of questions?): To what does the phrase or title Just Read the Instructions refer? Note, there are now two correct but related answers, so bonus points if you get them both. And yes, I think it would probably be pretty easy to cheat with Google on this.

        ... "The Candy Man can, cause he mixes it with..."

        Cheers,
        Matt

        • Feb 24, 2017 at 02:30 PM

          Thanks, Matt.

          I assume that you're referring to this http://www.space.com/28445-spacex-elon-musk-drone-ships-names.html? Or do I have to spend my weekend researching some more? Because I will... :)

          When it comes to Iain Banks, I must confess that I tend to lean more toward The Wasp Factory...but that's because my tastes are more horror than scifi. (Hence the Candyman reference.)

          Blade Runner was an easy one for me...because it's one of my favorite films. :)

          --Jerry

          • Feb 24, 2017 at 03:34 PM

            Candyman traumatized me a little as a child. I was already on thin ice with bees lol.

          • Feb 24, 2017 at 03:49 PM

            Ah, you're good! Yes, Elon Musk and Iain M Banks were my references, and yes, I'm a fan of his Culture series. I admit I have not read The Wasp Factory.

            Ok, this one is still science fiction, but there's a hint of horror in it as well. What is the relationship between Leviathan, Caliban, Abaddon, and Cibola? Enjoy your weekend... ;)

        • Feb 27, 2017 at 04:40 PM

          I do appreciate the humor too (that's about the only coping mechanism we have left) but y'all's sci fi stuff makes me feel like I'm tripping acid...

  • Feb 21, 2017 at 11:06 PM

    1) The activity... some areas are now real ghost towns. No more blog in the Oracle area since November

    2) Spaces/areas => tags are really a VERY BAD idea !

    3) RSS feeds

    4) Ability to save blogs in PDF format without including the page header (with my login name in it)

    5) Pinots, it was an imperfect but useful way to guess the knowledge / commitment of SCN members

    6) Design (Jelena Perfiljeva I really like your comment : https://answers.sap.com/comments/133214/view.html)

    Kind regards

  • Sep 12, 2017 at 07:14 AM

    Jelena.... the goat movement has returned. Who knows what's next..

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