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So long and thanks for all the shrimps

Summary: This is in a way goodbye, as I believe this place once known as SCN but goes along with the name SAP Community does not deserve my contributions anymore. This may not mean much to you, but it does for me, that's why I feel a need to explain the reason behind this. Details to follow below (Why SHRIMPS instead of FISH? Well, I like them better)

I have been participating in SCN for many years for now. Started as a guest many years ago, learnt many valuable information, registered with an S-user, participated in questions/blogs, had to change accounts after switching companies, made the same mistake by registering with another s-user, bla bla. Since a few years I have been logging with a p-user, which has been a safer choice. And the final choice to contribute meaningful technical information to this site.

Let me first tell you how I had started to contribute. I just wanted to share, that's all. Back in the day, one also gained some points for correct and helpful answers, which I believe more or less had an effect on every active user. But the more you contribute, the less important the point total became. It was then, I suppose, when I understood that the main reason behind my contributions was to make SCN a better place: A place where there is quality content created by professionals. I have not only tried to give good tips, but also tried to write in a better way. I believe that if you do not pay attention on how you do something, it more or less affects the quality of your content. That is why I probably was one of the most active users who would like to use "Alert moderator" button instead of posting an easy answer when seeing something against RoE: A question which was repeated multiple times, a question who was not asked properly, a question whose answer could be found within minutes of search. Shortly, a question which reduces the quality of SCN.

Then SCN evolved into SAP Community. I'm sure the intent was to make this a better place, but it failed big time. Reader views decreased. Blog posts decreased. Content searchability decreased. Simply put, the quality decreased. And too many years passed but almost nothing has evolved into a better situation. But anyways, I tried to contribute in the only two ways I knew: Tried to answer questions which were asked goodly. You can understand a question like this right away: OP summarizes the situation, tells what he has tried so far, maybe adds the challenges also, and asks for second opinions. I also continued to contribute by clicking "Alert moderator" button for badly asked questions. You can understand a question like this right away too: It is usually urgent, and either a spec dump or written in just one sentence which asks for the needful to be done. Ay sir.

Last week I had noticed that "Failed to search" was not an option anymore when one clicked "Alert moderator" button. Of the options left, none of them pointed out to the scenario when one asks a question which had been discussed tens of times before. It is entirely possible now to ask a question like "Which transaction code do you use to create a sales order in SAP?" This pissed me off to be honest. In my opinion this is what would open the way for SAP Community to be worthless in the end: Too many posts with too less value added information.

So I asked a question, Why is "Failed to search" not an option anymore? A moderator informed me with a comment that this was hardly news at all; in the comment there was a link which explained bad behaviours from SAP Community users and this was simply not one of them - SAP Community users were free to post anything that pops in their mind. (By the way, I searched but I am unable to locate that link, sorry. Talk about usability of SAP community). I kindly asked the moderator; "May I ask how you feel about that as a SAP Community user?"

A few hours later, if I recall correct, the question was locked (I think I was accused by trying to be too subjective and argumentative). I did not like this at all, only because I was not able to reach the audience I wanted to. I had just wanted to inform people about this fundamental change, but most of my contacts / people I had hoped that would be alerted by this change and share their opinions could not be informed. Maybe they also wanted to add their comments regarding this change but, alas.

At the very same moment I came upon this thread https://answers.sap.com/articles/734041/scn-imporvement-ideas.html where improvement ideas were being talked about. Looked like something I would have done: Trying to improve this place. But i was pissed that instead of improvement, more and more decline was about to follow. So I've made a comment about instead of improving here, Failed to Search option has been gone - Have you folks been aware of that, bla bla. Here’s my link about this change – Do you think this is really an improvement? I might have even mentioned Jürgen Lins, and how I feel why he might have quit this place.

Then my comment got deleted.

I don't want to personalize any of this to be honest. I've discussed with moderation, they explained me why they felt it would be best if it got deleted, I disagreed and moved on.

As an active user who really cared about this place, I feel like I have nothing left to present to SAP Community from SAP point of view. I may of course participate in some coffee corner discussions every once in a while, so that’s why this is not a goodbye completely, but I don’t think I would give another effort to try to make this place better, for I have gotten the message that it would not be worthwhile.

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31 Comments

  • Jan 31 at 12:28 AM

    Hi Kivanc,

    glad you have decided to stick around for a few more sips of SAP coffee. i have never moderated anything other than deleting spam from my own website, having been blocked and having my posts deleted in the past, so i can relate to some of the frustration, but i still like to chat about anything related to SAP and enterprise computing and it still beats politics, at least for me.

    cheers, greg

    • Feb 14 at 12:23 PM

      Hi Gregory,

      Thank you, here's to hoping for future coffee collaborations :)

  • Jan 31 at 03:59 PM
    I totally understand your frustration.

    I agree 100%.

    I think Craig C. is trying to make things better again. But I'm not so sure it isn't a bit late for it. It's almost time to declare the subject deceased and look at birthing a new professional community somewhere.

    This feels like a recovery process of a patient with MERSA. A patient underwent plastic surgery to have a little face lift and in the process contracted a flesh-eating bacteria.

    We keep cutting off parts of the subject to hopefully save the patient but in the end it's futile. Have we lost so many of the key contributors that all that's left is poisoned flesh? I hope not.

    SAP removed my moderators access a while back, (probably by accident), and I could have gotten it back but I decided that it wasn't worth it. I use to enjoy it. Working to keep the forums professional. Blocking some poorly written posts, trying to call out posters that didn't search, etc...

    But now.. to what point? So I decided to not pursue getting my moderator status back.

    Now I just answer questions when I want to. No obligation to check in every day. No real desire to blog. (I wasn't a big blogger to start with, so little time). And I don't see any motivation to do so anymore. Whose reading them? Is it helping my status as a professional? As a consultant? As a respected member of the SAP world?

    I thought is used to be nice to be thought of as a key part of the community. Working to keep a small niche of it up. Keep it current and relevant.

    But now... not so much.

    So I'm here. Drifting in and out when I want to. Answering and commenting on occasion. But not really invested anymore.

    But what's sad is that I'm not here because I really want to be here. I'm here more because I just haven't found another place yet that gives me a better reason to be there. And I should place emphasis on yet.

    Craig

    • Feb 14 at 12:26 PM

      Hi Craig,

      Agree with everything you have put - Yes, I will be here because there is no other decent alternative for us SAP professionals. And I believe it would be very difficult to find one in the future either, but one could dream.

      I believe everybody gives information to this site for an exchange, and for me it is to be able find as quality content as possible. I have felt that this option has surely been taken away from me, and that is simply why I will not push myself for contributing to this site. As the great Mark Knopfler had wonderfully put, "WHY WORRY?"

  • Jan 31 at 06:32 PM

    It's sad to see yet another post like that. I've always noted your answers, Kivanc Bilgin , and in the last few years many times said to myself "good thing at least he's still here and answering questions".

    I understand completely how you feel and share the same experience. The only difference is that I was more in the loop on the moderation changes hence avoided some of the additional frustration you had to go through.

    Since September last year I've been on sort of an SCN hiatus, in part for unrelated work/life reasons, in part as an experiment to find whether this place would actually be better without me (been given enough hints on that :) ). The results might be too early to call but so far not uplifting. I haven't posted any official goodbyes on SCN but just like Craig S brilliantly noted, simply drifting along because I haven't found anything better. Yet.

    • Feb 01 at 11:46 AM

      > whether this place would actually be better without me

      Can't tell on ABAP and your other fields of experience (simply as mine are different, FWIW), but the Coffee Corner certainly would terribly miss your contributions!

    • Feb 04 at 11:22 AM

      Hey Jelena,

      > this place would actually be better without me (been given enough hints on that :) )

      I do notice the smiley, but I'm still a little shocked! People actually 'hint' that to you? As in actually saying "well, you know, there are other nice communities as well!"? I'd consider that quite mean!

      On 2nd thought, those hints also could be "ignoring suggestions/not valuing contribution etc.." - if that's the case, others see them, too, which brings us right back on topic.

      best
      Joachim

      • Feb 04 at 09:41 PM

        Thought I'd send you a direct message but it looks like someone is not following me, ahem. :)

        • Feb 05 at 10:58 AM

          ok, I got THAT hint! :-)

          Should be working now!

        • Feb 11 at 02:19 PM

          Crazy lady. Of course it's not a better place! I may disagree with you at times - but it was always fun. We could debate easily.

          You were/are mentioned all over the place. SO... even if you "aren't" on SAP. You still live on in the comments.

    • Feb 11 at 03:11 PM

      I think, what we all, SCN long-timers, didn't get in the beginning, that it was, from the very start, not about the simple change of platform or some other "little" things, like points, tags, etc. The goals of SCN and SAP Community are completely different. I cannot declare that I know the hush-hush goal of the new SAP Community platform, but it seems to me that I get the grasp of it. And, of course, the contributors we know from the old times of SCN, including after the renewal in 2010, where it was still about 'technical' change, feel frustrated, as the agenda of SAP Community doesn't correspond to their agenda to the same perfection as it was in the past. I've had these feelings myself, and still do; but, I'm staying nevertheless for the time being :)

      • Feb 12 at 04:22 PM

        As one of the "contributors we know from the old times of SCN" once told me, "all we want is to be helpful". I believe this has not changed for the contributors. And it was at least one of the goals of SDN/SCN. But I suspect the main goal of SAP Community is to stimulate product sales. Helpful or not - that just doesn't matter anymore.

        • Feb 12 at 05:01 PM

          > Helpful or not - that just doesn't matter anymore.

          Particularly for those (apparently quite irrelevant) products whose former spaces/topic pages have been dropped by last autumn and have not been re-added as "Community Topics".

          Rule of thumb: No more topic, (almost) no more questions. I'm alright with that.

        • Feb 13 at 08:30 AM

          Yes, the current goals seem to be purely commercial. I believe, it is a strategic misjudgement, since ERP product, as complex (not to confuse with complicated :)) as SAP, is not compliant, IMHO, with the new paradigm of the forums aka SAP Community.

        • Feb 14 at 02:47 PM

          If it is to stimulate product sales, I'd like to know how that's going for them?

          I can't imagine many people wanting to buy this product after stumbling on a post in the coffee corner like this one. (or the many similar ones out there).

          I'd like to see how they measure that. Survey? Clicks? I can increase clicks on a site simply by some simple design changes. It doesn't mean I provided anything of actual value to anyone. Like those scam internet "stories". "He shocked his neighbors by what he found in his back yard!!!". And then you get thrown into 40 pages of irrelevant, captioned pics to drive up ad clicks and in the end its some rehashed, 10 year old, story of a kid finding a lost watch in his back yard.

          Craig

    • Feb 14 at 12:28 PM

      Hi Jelena,

      I have been expecting you to make comments about this post, as I knew we shared similar expectations from SAP Community. Your detailed answers to good questions, or ironic/a little bit gibing responses to newbie type questions always caught one's eye. It should also be mentioned that your approach to SAP Community has been the ideal one from my point of view. A giver, a sharer, only to ones who show that they deserve it. It's only fitting that this does not seem to be encouraged anymore.

      • Feb 14 at 07:13 PM

        Thanks for the kind words! Just to be clear, it's not like one has to be deserving of my answer (this probably came out not the way intended), it's just I feel that (a) making simplest effort is a fair trade for my free expertise and good questions contribute as much to the Community as good answers; (b) it's a good idea to promote "teach a man to fish" instead of "give a man a fish" in general.

        Lately I kind of feel SCN is moving into "give a man a blog" direction instead, so yeah...

  • Feb 04 at 02:20 PM

    Hi Kivanc,

    You're not alone in thinking like you do. It takes a rather low level of intelligence to forecast the unavoidable consequences of unbridled inclusivity (which is loss of revenue*) and yet you see it happening even here.

    Glad to see you're at least sticking around the good ole coffee corner.

    Cheers, Rob.

    * when you do this it will (and has) lead to an estrangement of the people who are pillars of the already established community and who were responsible for maintaining a high level of quality. When this falls apart your product looses quality just by association alone and will result in a lower appreciation, a loss of willingness to pay for it, in other words your product will suffer depreciation. This is inevitable, you cannot have your cake and eat it.

    • Feb 14 at 12:29 PM

      Hi Rob,

      100% correct - When you open your arms to everyone, you lose your rather more valuable parts. i.e.: Fight for the world peace 24 hours a day and you may seem like a hero from the outside, but you have no family and no friends left. Needles to say that moderation of SCN is no world peace either, but I'm saying that you gotta have priorities, otherwise you lose more than you win. SCN has been on the losing side too many years for now.

      • Feb 14 at 02:35 PM

        I would add Rob, fight for world peace 24 hrs a day and you'll die alone, frustrated and with little to show for your efforts.

        Fight for peace in your immediate sphere of influence and you'll probably be much happier and might have some success.

        Craig

  • Feb 11 at 02:28 PM

    Well that's frustrating that your comment got deleted. I too am glad you'll still be here in coffee corner.

    I argue for the other side a bit. When SAP was shiny and new. In SDN there were very basic questions. You'll see me comment a lot that no question is a stupid question. Now with that said - I have seen some questions that would be better if they had at least searched something.

    I have a co-worker who gets very frustrated because her searches don't find anything. I just use different searches than her and find things.

    Asking about transactions? OK - maybe a little bit over the top. I too, might have shook my head and then typed the search answer.

    So.... What to do? Where is the balance? Do we teach how to? Lock questions? Or give a non-reply leaving the OP with no answer? I hate to hear you're leaving and even more I hate to hear why.

    I just don't know. I take myself back to SDN and think about some of the questions I asked and.. well.. they weren't very good.

    BTW - Just as a fun aside - I have a friend who tells me we are "Dumbing down America".

    Where can you go to get the information that you do here? I'm learning Fiori, UI5 - hopefully that will go away, CDS... And more. Here is were I get 90% of my answers.

    • Feb 14 at 12:32 PM

      Hi Michelle,

      This depends on how you position SAP Community from your stance. This should be a professionals' community, not yet another internet forum. A professional should already know, or at the very least learn, on how to behave. What's the name of the song: Everybody's gotta learn sometime, eh?

      About where can I get my answers: Of course I would go on using this site. After years of giving to the community, maybe it's a tide of turns again for me: I will receive whatever I could get to be honest.

      • Feb 14 at 12:54 PM

        Honest is great! The way you are honest may not be. Not talking about you personally here. I just want people to think about where they were at one time. Think about how others will try to search. Then try to coach someone. Personally, I've been away from the questions for awhile. I would have to look at them.

        And see - I like this answer. Difference of opinions always create a great discussion.

  • Feb 12 at 03:23 AM

    Hi Kivanc,

    I know your frustration. Honestly I think some features in SCN better than SAP community.

    But it's so much better if you stay in SAP community. Many amateur SAP people (include me) still need your help.

    Thanks and regards

    Anita A.

    • Feb 14 at 12:30 PM

      Hi Anita,

      Thank your for your kind words. Maybe there comes a reevaluation later down the road, who knows. I can't predict the future, but for now it looks like I will stick with the plan.

  • yesterday

    I just had a similar experience: reported a question with "failed to search" / "no own research provided", and the alert was just denied and closed.

    So I can confirm: this communities intent is not about quality content any longer, but about quantity. For me, usage has also shifted (about the same like Craig S) to "just screen on a weekly base to see if there is any good/relevant content" - there is very few of it.

    I for sure won't do any content alerts any more, as this is clearly not wanted.

    • yesterday

      Agree with you here Martin -> Quantity over quality is being encouraged here anymore, though management keeps saying the opposite.

      I still keep visiting the site a few times a week, and usually see one or two good question/ technical blog post at most (regarding my expertise SD, which used to be one of the most active communities within SCN). But even when the answer is quite there for me to give, I simply do not want to do it. I have been out, plain and simple.

      • 21 hours ago

        I just visited the idea place and checked my improvement request again...it is in status "under review" for almost three years now...

        So to finish my "usage shift" actions I asked to either finish that "review" until end of march, or to delete the whole request. Honestly, I am not really sure if one of both actions will happen - possibly it will just continued to be ignored.

        • 20 hours ago

          Do you mean "Idea place = Idea place" or "Idea place = customer thingy"?

          • 20 hours ago

            Ah, you are right, is has a new name...I was talking about the influence thing. This one here:

            SAP Influence Request

          • 17 hours ago

            > Do you mean "Idea place = Idea place" or "Idea place = customer thingy"?

            ...or could it be there's already another successor site we are not yet aware of? :)

            Sometimes it feels the sites change more often than the requested features.

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