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author's profile photo Stephen Johannes

Should I stay or should I go now?

It's been a different year for me. Honestly I can say that SAP has not been relevant for me in the last six months in my life nor work. I understand how my situation was realized(it was my choice), but it feels much of what I did is slowly fading away, as I embarked on a different journey. At times my only connection back was wanting to see the words of familiar names talk about topics that provide almost no connection to what I do. I can admit that I finally really did leave the community and ecosystem that surrounded SAP.

As I look backward and forward, I realized that some of the connections that I had were gone either by my inaction or my failure to no longer be outspoken on "community issues". I instead did not do what perhaps I would have done many years ago and fundamentally challenged the approach that was being taken. Then again the battle between community and in your face marketing is not something to be ignored. Has marketing really won and the value of a community was an illusion? Did I really think a vendor would actually try to talk customers and no longer hard sell? Did we reach a point were everything has been asked and it's just a cycle of new people phasing in?

I honestly don't know, but I do know that in the present physical organization of what remains of a online community where I participated, there is no apparent way for me to reconnect. I just don't know how I would today replicate the connections that were built under two different platforms using a new platform whose goal only appears to appeal to the desires of marketing and not community. Don't get me wrong, I love modern tools, but the current form is one geared towards marketing and off-loading support instead of building relationships.

These are the type of issues that I know can't be addressed without fundamentally rethinking this "1-whatever" approach. Instead it's the result of empty personas that lack true empathy and the soul of real connections. It was the connection between people that made the other physical forms, everything else was benefit. Taxonomy is not how people connect, but is fine for organizing information. The problem is that community was not driven by information but rather by groups of people. Tags aren't for humans and as humans on a digital platform, we prefer to organize into our unique electronic tribes. That is the fundamental problem.

Although my tribe is not quite here anymore, the question remains for everyone whose tribe was scattered on where should they assemble? The real answer is that all along you assembled your tribe using a platform that supported the development of the tribe and not organizing information. You must ask can you lead your tribe to a new place where once again a group of people can share and help one another instead of classifying information. The answer is up to each one of us.

As for me as my new tribe is elsewhere so my answer is that I will go, but as you remember I had already left. For more information about building your tribe I suggest you read the book Tribes by Seth Godin.

Take care,


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  • Nov 23, 2016 at 06:27 AM

    whenever you feel like reconnecting jump into Coffee Corner. You'll find a few of us still here

    We're trying to take back Community from Marketing. It'll take time but I get impression the powers that be are accepting that 1dx does not mean one size fits all

  • Nov 23, 2016 at 07:16 AM

    Stephen.... :(

  • Nov 23, 2016 at 05:20 PM

    Me too.

    Everyday, I visit my "notification and activities" pages but nothing there, it's too boring.

    Well... I decided go away from this community. Noone here on SAP read the ideas, do not fix the bugs, ABAP section still disappear in headers links. I'm very disappointed. Gamification here is dead, well in conclusion all about "community" word here is DEAD!


    Ps, I'll be reading from the shadows.

  • Nov 23, 2016 at 07:56 PM

    Great piece of writing!!

    "Taxonomy is not how people connect, but is fine for organizing information. The problem is that community was not driven by information but rather by groups of people. Tags aren't for humans and as humans on a digital platform, we prefer to organize into our unique electronic tribes. That is the fundamental problem." - Stephen Johannes - SCN Community 22-NOV-2016

    The above quote is awesome and is sooo true. I plan on keeping this around and I hope you don't mind if I use it someday. It is the people that make a community, not the information. That does seem to have been flipped on its head here this time around.


    • Nov 24, 2016 at 03:42 AM


      Thank you! Yes feel free to quote me and use it. Honestly if you asked me about three years ago that I would write the above, I would have doubt it. For context I actually included a whole section on using SCN to help solve SAP CRM related problems in a book a I wrote about SAP CRM development. I fought my editor to include that section because it was just as important as the previous nine chapters of technical work. For those keeping score look at chapter 10, section 3.1 and also the acknowledgement section.

      As for me I might occasionally still hang out in the coffee corner on about the same frequency before the migration. However beyond that I really don't know.

      Take care,


  • Nov 24, 2016 at 08:37 AM

    It is sad to see people leaving the Community; though, their frustration is fully understandable. I'm feeling the same urge, but keep struggling :) There are ups and downs in every venture and currently there is a 'down' in SCN life. I just hope that this is seen and comprehended by decision makers. Without this acknowledgement and swift action for recovery, in my opinion, there will be no way out, and the current trend of losing high-quality members will continue :(

  • Nov 28, 2016 at 08:17 PM

    I really like your post.There are so many post about similar topic.

    Main question is SAP community team listing us ?My answer is No.I did not see if someone explained what went wrong or how quickly all these are going to be fixed.Email notification which is Basic functionality not enabled yet.

    My experience says if something went wrong then either accept that or quickly fix that before some one raise questions.but here nothing is happening :(

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