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Participate intensely...and then go in to oblivion

In SCN, I have seen many cases where members participate intensely for a (short) period of time and then sort of go in to oblivion (never participating anymore).

Request your views on the probable reason(s) for this happening.

Thank you!

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14 Answers

  • Best Answer
    Feb 18, 2013 at 02:15 PM

    Interesting discussion going on here.

    My activity in general on SCN went down due to multiple reasons. I started out being active a few years ago.

    Since then I've been amongst top contributors of SCN two years in a row but my blogging activity and commenting has slowed down because of a number of pointers:

    • I became a SAP Mentor
      • My involvement / thoughts have moved more to behind the scenes ~involvement in many different councils / calls / initiatives / connections to people makes me have less time to spend time on SCN / blogging
        • I hope I have still made a difference
      • I'm attending more events in perso
        • ~time that I used to spent on SCN is now spent elsewhere
    • I recently changed jobs / roles
      • I have quit my job and joined another compan
        • This put some stress on me to be honest getting everything arranged etc
          • Dealing with change
    • I was dedicated to SAP system administration (Netweaver Administration / Technology) before
      • I'm now also active in the area of SAP Solution Manager, not only as a technical consultant but also as a functional consultant, working on implementations of specific scenario's
        • Product diversity / complexity of SAP has been increasing since a number of years ago whic
      • I follow up on new technology of SAP and help out to give direction for the future for the company I work for
    • All the above shifted my work-life balance towards work too much
      • Shifting it back to life some more as it's too much otherwise ~I need to keep in touch with the real world as well ~spent time with family & friends, enjoy doing sports, ...
    • I became a father of two
      • My kids are 2,5 years old and 4 year old so I've become a father
        • It's important to pass along values to my kids and guide them in life which has to start early already 😊 I have to be there for them and give them all my love
        • My kids have been sick often enough. I've been in the hospital with my son multiple times already ~I have to be there for them and spent time with them 
    • Things I want to do before I die
      • Life can be short, I have a list of things I want to do before I die:
        • See more of the wonderful place we call Earth
        • Inspire others to step up and pay it forward
        • Help other people achieve their dreams
        • Invent something useful
        • Write a book
        • Create a game
        • Learn to play an instrument
          • I bought a Tin Whistle the other day... working on it
        • ...


    I guess it's life basically, things change, people change, things happen.

    I definitely still enjoy writing for and participating in this community.

    Regarding the points system, I hope the gamification brings the balance back to a larger extent, forum questions were underrated in old SCN, they are overrated now and blogs are the other way around. The balance shifted but it's still out of balance. This won't affect people who have around for a long time that much but it does affect newcomers. Blogging is just not that rewarding in terms of points vs being active on the forums.

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    • Hi Jelena

      I use RSS feeds to get relevant content in a newsletter style but dispite those technology tools there is nothing out there yet that is good enough to deliver that kind of experience 😊. I would like that as well 😉.

      I definitely do agree with you that SCN could benefit from having finer granular control over the content you would like to see. I've put in ideas on ideaplace for this in the past already, for example I would like to be able to follow community member X but only get a line in my activity channel when he/she puts a blog post on SCN. That way I could really follow people and specific content in a very granular way and get a lot of value out of the activity channel.

      The current capabilities provide a "hide" option which can help you reduce the noise in your channel but it takes time of course and it isn't as granular because you only have so many options to choose from.

      I agree that for some (maybe even a lot of) community members, getting an answer to a forum question outweighs reading a blog post on the strategy of SAP for the future.

      " After all - do you get any points for TechEd? Exactly." Actually that is possible 😊. Misc point assignment is possible on SCN.

      I actually know a lot of consulting companies that want to send some people to SAP TechED but most of their employees aren't interested / willing to go. A lot of people want to work 8 hours a day and then call it a day and not care about what SAP's plans for the future are. It's interesting to see your perspective is completely the opposite of what I've seen.

      Would you like to attend SAP TechED? Have you tried to convince your management it would be beneficial to let you attend SAP TechED?

      I don't do any of this for the points though (not anymore) ~I found the points system interesting in the beginning to motivate me.

      Best regards


  • Jan 28, 2013 at 07:07 AM

    Couple of reasons could be:-

    • When somebody is in bench without having any project and would like to gain some knowledge, they participate in the forum discussions and give suggestions.  Once they are tied up with their project issues, they dont give much priority to participate in forum discussions.


    • Patience !!!!!.    I heard from many people who gave quality suggestions for couple of months / years and after a while stopped contributing.   The reason is the first word I mentioned here


    • Once they gained knowledge through this forum, they dont want to share their knowledge but I would say this category would be at very minimal

    G. Lakshmipathi

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  • avatar image
    Former Member
    Jan 27, 2013 at 06:31 PM

    They come in peace, with good intentions and high hopes, but then the silly points system and all it's symptoms drive them away.

    Sometimes this takes only an hour or two to disappear. However I would estimate that on average it takes about a week to work out and conclude there is something wrong and there are better things to do.

    Is that what you are referring to?



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    • Mahesh,

      Are you saying that people would rather spend time at their SAP day jobs, where they earn money; rather than invest time in these kind of forums where participation is honorary (without payment)?

      Thanks, in advance for clarifying!

  • Jan 30, 2013 at 02:08 PM

    For me its a combination of things.  Mostly life getting in the way.

    An independent moves from project to project and client to client.  As the project moves through it's normal ups and downs the available time to participate changes.

    Travel, hotel and flight arrangements impact available time. 

    For me recently, it's been connectivity.  I'm sorry, but in almost all ways the new site is slower for me to work in and takes more time.  I thought after a year, and with me getting more familiar with it, it would be better.  It has improved but I still consider response to be slow.  Add in a marginal connection in an overbooked hotel, or a bad cell connection if using 3G/4G and it can be down right frustrating.  It can be very difficult to participate when on a client's dime using their networks where performance is usually better.

    I don't care about points all that much but it is some what disheartening to write a good response, but than have a second poster come in and basically repost what you said and the OP awards points to the johnny come lately.  Points are not accumulating like they use to in the previous forum.  I think I am steadily losing them despite what I think is reasonable participation.

    Many posters never award points.  I think there should be some checks put in place.  For instance, when a poster goes to post, the system should check their previous postings.  If they have more than three or four posts that have not been closed out, they should not be allowed to put up a new post for help.  That would certainly help I think.

    So, yes.. it's a number of things for me.


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  • Jan 28, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Then what makes members "persevere"? those who participate actively for years!

    For me it's the constant possibility for exchange of experience and thus, improvement of my own skills, which never ends, since IT never stops evolving. ( and to enjoy JB jumping in from time to time wiping the floor with the ponits-system and the RTFM-faction 😉 )

    Concerning the OP question methinks G. Lakshmipathi pretty much summed up all the main reasons there are. Another alleged reason could be the shifting of activity topic-wise. For example: I have been top contributor in the ESS/MSS subforums about two years ago, then I got occupied with Travel Management and the technology in ESS/MSS evolved, my company's, though, did not. So nowadays I don't (or rather can't) contribute in the ESS/MSS section at all and only lurk there. It probably looks to others who knew me around there that I just 'stopped' using SCN.

    Cheers, Lukas

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    Former Member
    Feb 21, 2013 at 08:05 PM

    i used to spend a great deal of time on SDN, but i have lately spent very little time on SCN. There can come a point where there is simply TOO much content about things that many people have no interest in (at least at the time). to wade through all of the fat to get to the heart of the information i like to read and respond to just takes too much time for me now, and i just can't justify it any more.

    Also, the reason i left so many other SAP sites has begun creeping into SCN. Responders who used to be respectful and helpful, even to newcomers, have basically become jerks.

    Talk about making SURE people will never come back to ask or answer questions again...

    My opinions. I still hang out when i have lots of time to wade through the new interface and past all of the HANA stuff (sorry, but it IS the predominant content), and respond when i can. TO be honest, i never understood about the whole points thing anyway. it seemed to be an ego-food thing for a select few people.

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    • Actually no. I didn't know that.  I might eventually fork over the money for something like that.  I'll just have to find a course I can use and time to take it. (Which can be hard since I've been an SAP instructor for all the courses in my space and I'm not really looking to branch out at this point in my career).

      But since I'd primarily use it to help with SCN postings, I kind of don't think I should pay for it.  When I really need to get into OSS for project issue, my clients usually get me access.  But as I go from project to project, that access is usually lost. 


  • Feb 22, 2013 at 07:58 PM

    T W,

    Have been watching this conversation evolve (and participating a bit) but more importantly, listening and learning.

    Thanks to the 60+ responses and engagements here you've provided the environment for an important and lively discussion.  There is debate, there is the opposite of whatever consensus thinking is (questioning? differing opinions?), there is humor, there is seriousness.  Most importantly there is thoughtful, thinking human engagement.

    If the community environment were just about asking and answering technical questions (and I believe SDN and SCN have an important mission to be a platform for those as well) we would not be spending Coffee Corner time and energy conversing here.

    We would be writing and searching OSS notes exclusively and would be more interested in machine language than in human interaction.

    As regards why people leave, if I were to take offense at @Graham Robinson 's chastising a member or if I was the member chastised, I might, as @Jelena Perfiljeva pointed out, press the abuse button.  Of course, I might also "walk away" as Former Member inferred he would..  Or I might debate about the efficacy of the search for finding my answer.  Or if I was a person open to learning something new and had hard, thick skin, I might also thank Graham for the time, effort, caring he took in attempting to use a non-conventional teaching style or even thank him for opening up important discourse (yet again) about searching before you post (yes, it's in the rules_of_engagement but how many times can you point to that as the definative way of communicating an anwser. )

    The point is: there are as many different teaching styles here as there are learning styles and within that many challenges: cultural, technical, preference based (text, audio, visual).

    Learning in this environment is a human trust activity.  It is about the combination of reputation, honesty, experitise.  It is about people dealing with processes using technology.  And it should be about the people first.
    Otherwise it is "just another technical forum".  Without the "social" element it would be that.

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  • Jan 28, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    Yeah I'm a good example of this, but I would say my case is the following:

    1) Take up new outside work activities (running, writing, etc)

    2) Job role changes and you may not be able to contribute the same fashion or what you focus on leads to more consumption than contribution

    3) Technical site model changes so your contribution goes down

    4) More people answering questions in your area, less need to be the "one" who can answer everything

    I have a lot less time to contribute, so I tend to focus reading content instead.  If I do contribute I'm either writing a few random thought blogs or answer a few questions that catch my eye.  I will occasionally if I have the time try to find a few "mission impossible" style questions that I could answer, but that's at most a weekly activity.

    The SCN login/performance problems from about March until it was fixed really prevented me from contributing.  I only had so much time from March to November and if basically anything beyond a quick login would block me out.  It's not that I'm lazy on contributions, but five minutes or remember me login not working and having to manually re-enter password and take three to five minutes to login was just at the point where I would just choose not to contribute.  That being said those issues are done, so most of my issues are time.

    That being said being active from 2005 to 2006 and then again from 2008 to 2011 is not so bad.  Perhaps I will go back to being more active in 2013 once everything I have been working gets finished.

    Take care,


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  • Jan 31, 2013 at 09:49 PM

    ... and I'm just here for the gold medal. But since I usually rat out the basic questions to moderators instead of answering them, I'll probably be here forever. 😊

    Time is also a factor for me. Sometimes we start a project at work and I get tied up for months. It comes and goes. But at least one good thing about the New SCN is that we can "summon" a member by mentioning him/her.

    Julius von dem Bussche wrote:

    I have often asked for the ability for moderators or the community members who are active to give a "thumbs down" at a user ID level.

    You and everybody else, Julius. We've been asking for the reputation system at least since 2008 (there should be an old thread somewhere). For some reason I feel SAP refrains from any remote possibilities of anything negative on SCN. I'm guessing the "touchy-feely" culture typical for US somehow taken over the German company. Perhaps we could have more Ordnung on SCN instead. 😊

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    • T W wrote:

      I would club disliking with something like "Report abusive". Why while reporting abusive, a reason is mandatory?

      "Report abuse" = SCN/forum rules have been violated. Like/dislike is subjective. One person might like, another dislike. But right now there is no balance to "liking" on SCN. Being indifferent (neither like or dislike) towards something is not the same as disliking.

      But hopefully with the new "gamification" project we'll see more of a reputation system that has been suggested for years already.

  • Feb 14, 2013 at 04:07 AM

    In my opinion, everyone has a reason of being active contributor on SCN and also for leaving it. Well in my case I joined SCN when it was SDN in 2009 but I started contributing actively just a couple of months ago. Why? Because I started my career in 2009 and my first 2/3 years were so much busy and I did't find time to post and honestly speaking I was not that much interested too at that time but Now I am feeling like I am being addicted of SCN 😊. Most of the people contribute on SCN to learn something new. If they are not contributing anymore then it doesn't mean they have learnt everything but apart from other reasons, there is mainly one reasons of this.......Time. If someone know something and have time to post here, I don't know why people are not contributing here.

    Like always, Nice post by you Mr. @TW Typewriter  Thanks for sharing.


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