Warning: in this blog I will absolutely, positively say something nice about the New SCN.
Folks, I should start with a disclaimer: I don’t like changes. I thought Windows 3.1 was a laughable concept. People who can’t learn to use DOS commands should clearly get a job in another industry. Begrudgingly I installed Windows 95 in 1998, Windows 98 in 2002 and then Windows XP sometime after Vista was already advertised. I’m going to hold on to my SAP GUI 7.1 until my laptop is taken away for an upgrade, which I await with trepidation.
Needless to say when this “New SCN” came out of nowhere, I was not too pleased. Whaaaat? Where did everything go? Where are my forums and blogs and eLearning? Coffee Corner is gone? Where are all the people, hello?!
In the first few weeks it felt like my beloved SDN (yes, the one with the “D”) was hit by an airstrike and “New SCN” was nothing but its ruins. Like in a scene from one of those Hollywood blockbusters – it goes “kaboom!” and suddenly everything turns into dust and shambles, the sound is muffled, someone is yelling in background “Black Hawk down! Black Hawk down!” and there are moans and groans everywhere. Yes, that’s exactly the picture.
But we picked up our wounded, we patched our equipment (Coffee Corner is back, y’all!) and we moved on. So that’s where we are in the present day – trying to navigate the post-apocalyptic world of “New SCN”.
If Old SCN was a vibrant and civilized society of all the SAP professionals then in New SCN society is reduced to quaint “spaces” that communicate to each other mostly by smoke signals. Gone are the roads, bridges and easy one-click navigation from the Home page. As far as navigation goes, it seems that in the New World the bookmark is king. So let’s see how we can use it to our advantage.
One of my favorite (or “favourite”, depending on which part of the world you are in) things on SDN was to read the daily “blog roll”. Can you find it quickly on the New SCN? Neither could I until some good soul suggested to use this direct link (why it’s not on the top of the SCN home page? – beats me). I was back in business! But there was “eine kleine problemo” – the blogs were sorted by “latest activity” and instead of the fresh material I was seeing blogs from 2009 where someone made a “gr8 thx” comment yesterday. Fortunately, we have an option to ‘Sort by date created (descending)’, which makes the list pretty close to what it was before. After changing the sort option, I’ve noticed that URL also changed. Could I just bookmark it in my browser and get my “new and improved” blog roll next time? Click-click-click – success! Here is the ready-to-use link that resembles the old SCN’s “blog roll”.
You can also create RSS feed for the same list using the tiny button cleverly hidden at the bottom of the screen. And in similar fashion we can also create bookmarks for the forums. For example, this link is for the open forum questions in ABAP Development space.
How do you find a “space”? Personally, I bookmarked the Forum Finder document on Day 1 of New SCN era (or rather Day 7 or so when I could finally login) and have been referring to it ever since. But if you’re not afraid of feeling a bit overwhelmed, then there is also a list of all “places” right here. No, it’s not a typo – apparently there are “places” and there are “spaces”. “Places” consist of “spaces” and “social groups”. If you click on “social groups” though you’ll find that there are... none found. Hm... Anyway, if you want to keep your own reference for “spaces” only, just save a bookmark (in your browser) the same way as for blogs and forums.
Today’s challenge: come up with a short poem using “places / spaces” rhyme and get a Like from me – easy 2 points (or even more if others like it too). Post your comments, folks!
While we are still on the space subject – I keep wondering why there are no humans on the ‘SAP ERP Human Capital Management’ picture and whether ‘SAP Crystal Reports’ is some kind of a parachute jumping enthusiast group. Don’t even get me started on other images (migrating birds for ABAP Development - an allegory for outsourcing?) – that’s just pure comedy gold.
Oh, by the way – images. If for some strange reason you land on the SCN home page, you’ll probably see the slideshow there (it takes like half of the page – hard to miss). The slides tend to move quite quickly, so if you end up in a “oh, this looks interesting – hey, where did it go?!” situation, there are 4 squares in the bottom right corner that are actually the buttons for the 4 rotating slides. So you can just click on them to see the slide instead of waiting for it to come up again in the rotation.
But back to spaces. Let’s say you’re kind of lost, but if you see the orange tab strip (Overview, Content, etc.) then you’re still in a space. If you click on the Overview tab, you’ll find the “old style” links right underneath the orange strip. Forum, eLearning – oh, nostalgia... On the same page if you click on the blue button next to the space name, you can see where this space is located in the SCN universe (this is really relevant to “subspaces” though) or in the worst case you can get to all places/spaces and check out the funny pictures there.
But what is the most important part of SCN? People, of course! I was really glad to find out that not only I can see my own posts, but I can also look up literally any SCN member and see what this person “authored” or where “participated”. This is like a stalker’s dream come true!
That’s all for today, folks. Hopefully some of these tips will be of use to you. But if not – please feel free to vote up my idea to add ‘dislike’ button on SCN.