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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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50 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

  • 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 27 at 01:23 PM

            I believe the idea was/is to 'popularise' the product via this platform. Again, I don't think the strategy adopted, if indeed that was the goal, fits the product.

          • Feb 27 at 10:29 PM

            Yes, this looks like a missing phase 2 between "collect underwear" and "profit". :) I'm guessing someone might be counting number of blogs and views as KPI for product marketing. (Hence SCN tags are driven by the "product hierarchy" as envisioned by the marketing department.)

            I also seriously doubt buyers even visit SCN but since SAP sales folks have been so successful in convincing the customers to buy their stuff I guess it's not hard for them to convince someone about the value of the SCN content. :)

    • 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 28 at 12:43 AM

      Hi Michelle, just throwing out there ... maybe you can help ... I am a long time SCN member who is trying oh so hard to like and use SAP Community. But I can't even seem to figure out where to go to find answers to questions about the community and how things are supposed to work (or maybe not work). Like why don't I see the missions I expect to see? Like why don't the developer tutorials even work for me? Are other people having these issues or is it just me? Why is it so hard for me to find anything I'm looking for? Of course when I come here I usually end up chasing meta questions (with frustrating lack of results) rather than pursuing technical questions.
      So re: the search issue, from another view. The developer tutorials don't work for me. So I come over here and search "developer tutorial" and get pages of results. Couldn't figure out how to sort in date order, or reduce results except by adding search terms. Which didn't help either.
      So I am on the side of whoever "failed to search". Fix search, then let's talk. Meanwhile, where do I go to find out how stuff is supposed to work or why it isn't working for me? /rant :)

      • Mar 04 at 01:45 PM

        Follow me - and you can message me. Of course I'll respond.

        It shouldn't be that hard. My advise - never search here. Search via google, or if you have an SAP support number, their search is amazing. Totally agree the search needs to be fixed.

        Rant away - maybe even make it into a blog. These things should all be "easy". I can and will help.

        1. I'll try to see what's going on with your badges.

        2. Find answers about the community.

        Community Support - https://www.sap.com/community/resources/support.html

        General Community page - https://www.sap.com/community/resources.html - this probably has what you want. Because the community is so large it is broken into areas.

        3. Tutorials - Strange, but it looks like you have to have an S* user ID to access these. I haven't tried that way. But that's my guess.

        4. Searching is an art form. The key words that you have to search on are important. Again don't use the SAP community search. If you don't find anything - then ask the question. At the end of the question, I would suggest adding what you've searched on. Getting too much information is almost worse than not enough.

        Aubrey Smith - badges, I can't see Margaret's badges either.

        • Mar 04 at 07:24 PM

          Another neat trick that will show you your badges from a different profile is to click reputation and then you'll see the old and new badges.

          I could do that by clicking on your name. A strange message came up, but if you wait long enough - it goes away.

        • Mar 04 at 10:35 PM

          Thanks Michelle! Actually I figured out the tutorial problem. Here's what I posted over on the other thread about it:

          Okay, I figured it out ... my system normally connects by VPN. Since it's automatic, I usually don't think about it until a website doesn't work at all. Everything else on sap.com seems to be working for me, so I didn't think to turn off VPN until just now. But when I did and reloaded the page, it does work.

          So it ends up being inconvenient (for me, and maybe only for me) but possible.

          Now the only question is why does it have a problem with VPN?

          • Mar 05 at 01:21 PM

            Interesting. Maybe your IP address? Or security? It works for me via VPN. But the more my company tightens down security, the less I'll get to use.

            For me - to print I can't use my wireless printer. If I connect it to my laptop. I can use it. Another strange thing.

            • Mar 05 at 07:10 PM

              The SAP VPN also severs me from my local network, so my NAS drive and wireless printer are not reachable. Assume this is quite common VPN behavior.

            • Mar 06 at 11:48 PM

              I dunno. I thought maybe it was because I was using "obfuscated servers". So tried it with regular VPN server. Still didn't like it. Ah well, if I want to do the tutorials I just have to temporarily switch off the VPN. (btw I am using a personal VPN service, not a corporate VPN.)

              I don't bother with wireless printing, it's easy enough for me to share something to the tower PC that has the printer connected with an old-fashioned cable. (I feel so old ...)

              Anyway all is well in tutorial land now, and I think I am starting to figure out some of the quirks here. :)

      • Mar 07 at 04:12 PM

        Hi Margaret,

        This is the direct link for the Q&A of the "SAP Community" tag: https://answers.sap.com/tags/486157991894093153608181816584982

        This tag is used for "general community questions" and if you click "Ask Question" while there it should automatically put the right tag in your question as well.

        I'd suggest to just bookmark it in your browser (as well as similar links to the tags you frequent).

  • 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.

  • Feb 20 at 09:51 AM

    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.

    • Feb 20 at 06:43 PM

      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.

      • Feb 21 at 08:04 AM

        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.

        • Feb 21 at 09:20 AM

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

          • Feb 21 at 09:24 AM

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

            SAP Influence Request

          • Feb 21 at 11:58 AM

            > 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.

            • Feb 25 at 05:00 PM

              It's like in that old joke - easier to make new kids than wash the existing ones. Every few years just change the site and ask everyone to resubmit their ideas again. Naturally, good percentage of people will never do that. And voila, pesky ideas gone AND delivery KPIs are improved at the same time.

              Nice trick, we used it once with our SAP ticket system. Moved only the tickets in progress, the rest we asked the users to re-enter themselves. Some were never re-entered. Worked perfectly for our team. :)

  • Mar 18 at 07:38 AM

    Just saw your post. As a moderator here for about ten years before quitting recently, I saw the site go anyone being able to post anything to strict moderation and then... the moderator council was abolished, seasoned moderators' views were sidelined and the common wisdom accrued over the years is now considered to be "non-inclusive".

    I hear the excuse "Well, you were new once" as justification for allowing newbies to post the most basic questions. Frankly, I find this attitude to be rather uncaring of newbies. (Fish analogy again), dismissive of the experienced, and overall harmful to the community.

    I enjoyed moderating blogs. I could guide people into producing ones that were useful, really mentor them. Now that isn't a moderating task, so anything goes. Consider this one... Back in the days when moderation including improving quality, I'd never have let it through. I'd have engaged (as I have done), and if sufficient improvements were made, I'd let it be published. If not, I'd regretfully ask the author to gain a bit more experience and try again.

    I think it is rather unkind to let people post stuff that isn't very high quality and, in my view, could harm them at a later date.

    I did hear a rumour that on a golf course somewhere, some executive of a SAP customer whined about some blog that was rejected for publication... and the rest is history. It seems to me that the only plausible explanation for the <censored> is orders from on high...

    • Mar 20 at 06:20 AM

      I can relate. I bowed out of participating in question forums last year, the final straw was this:

      https://answers.sap.com/questions/647972/bug-urgent-no-reply-button-on-comments-with-the-ne.html

      If the change itself was bad enough, but the "We are SAP, take it or leave it" attitude meant "leave it" for me.

      That thread reminded me of the classic "It's by design" response we sometimes get from OSS. I swear this was a true case:

      • Me: Hello SAP, there's a bug, the system should do X but the response is Y.
      • SAP: It's by design
      • Me: Well then design is faulty, because it should do X
      • SAP: It's only a fault if it doesn't work as documented
      • Me: Erm, the documentation says it should do X
      • SAP: No, it says it should do Y
      • Me: Huh? The dictionary definition of <documentation term> is X. It can't be interpreted any other way, and it's just logical to do X.
      • SAP: You are right, but too many customers have probably catered for Y by now and we're not going to change it. Case closed.
      • Mar 20 at 11:42 AM

        Hi Mike,

        i like your little role play. i know the 'by-design' reply from many other places but since it's also now a brand, it has taken a whole new meaning for me.

        thx for sharing, gm

        • Mar 20 at 01:37 PM

          Haha, I never thought of the "By Design" product in that way... a whole new meaning indeed! :-)

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