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Note: Please understand that this blog series is not complaining about our beloved SDN! I blog about the topics I have discussed with other Community members and find useful.I think a place where people can discuss the often-appearing-ideas and suggestions one by one is needed and I hope my blogs about the common ideas and suggestions can create such places of discussion.

To integrate or not to integrate

In my Tiny details I would love to have on SDN, part 2 I have suggested to create a content linkage mechanism on SDN/ SAP pages. I received a comment by Mr. Jason Lax, SAP Israel, also exchanged an email with him, and that lead me to the idea I would like to present today. In this comment Mr. Lax pointed out that there is a potentially useful footer for "social bookmarking" on many SAP/ SDN pages. I didn´t know what is it for. In fact I didn´t know anything like "social bookmarking" exists. I have never tried to click there to check, how this can be useful.

After receiving the comment by Mr. Lax I clicked there to find out. A registration form appeared. I didn´t register. Why? Why would I register to another service if I like it here on SDN, I use SDN on daily basis. Maybe I am missing some "added value", but I can live with that. I understand these services can connect to the Facebook profile or maybe some other so-called social networks, but I am not a Facebook user so it has a zero value for me. Maybe it would have a value for the Facebook user but not for me. I would register, if the service would be connected with my SDN profile in any useful way. Maybe I have missed some blog describing such feature; in that case I am sorry.

Who read my Tiny details I would love to have on SDN, part 1 knows, I have asked for some shared bookmarking solution in the text. But a solution tightly connected to the SDN profile, an integrated solution. If I could share my bookmarks/ content from one of these services in my SDN Business card, it would be an integrated solution. I would like to mark/ tag the content I find useful and publish such list in my SDN Business card. I would try to help the beginners follow the most useful content I have ever found. I would like to reveal some "content pearls" for the people who are beginning with the topic or struggling with some problems.

Our favorite SDN integration

Well, there is the example of a very good integration between the SDN profile and some other service. You have probably read about SAP Community Bio: Your Connection Between SCN and LinkedIn, maybe you have noticed the field in your Business card, maybe you´re already a user of the feature. This is quite a good one. Any LinkedIn member who has a SDN profile can present his SDN achievements in his LI profile.

And here comes the message, or the question: Is SAP/ SDN team going to add some more "social features hyperlinks" or "integrate some social features" or "create our own SDN social features"? For me "the hyperlinks" have no real value. I can navigate from site to site myself.

The integration, a good one like the mentioned LinkedIn thing, can be quite useful, the SAP/ SDN team people would not have to:

  • Reinvent the wheel, the SDN members could quickly use the new features
  • The services which work independently on SDN and which people use can add some more value to the SDN content and of course for the SDN users

Well, we live in the age of SOA (service oriented architecture), this would be an example, wouldn´t it? I wonder, Facebook has some developer API, Google has few APIs for their services, are there any developer APIs on SDN? Maybe people would like to develop some tools based on SDN if there were any (not there are SDN widgets somewhere around). But again: In case there are any and I have missed some introductory blogs or articles, please point me to them, would be a pleasure for me to play with them and spread the word about their existence.

What about the new-our own-SDN-social features?

The third option - to create our own version of the social features, improved to work the best for the SDN members - is, in my opinion, the most promising option to discuss. There are SDN members who would like to use more "social features", they would like to have the SDN more like the Facebook. I don´t say that should be the course we should follow but it could be useful.

Let´s talk about some examples here: In a Business card there is a list of "My favorite members" (tab Community). How exactly I can use this list? I could use this to quickly navigate to my "friends", but that is not a real feature, is it? (Again: If I am missing something here, I am sorry, please tell me what I am missing or where to read about it).

What if I could use this list to:

  • Check how many of them are online (for example: Last login information without really opening the profile, or the link to the last post by that person)
  • Be able to discuss the topics of common interest in private
  • To form a group of friends to create a "group" content where some "moderator tools" would be available

Let´s talk about it

We have all these features on LinkedIn, Facebook and all the others. I don´t want to connect my Facebook profile with the SDN one (I don´t have a Facebook profile!!), I want to discuss how can this "new age of Facebook" (which I am not a fan of) can benefit us (SDN people). From my point of view the groups on LinkedIn are mostly useless (well, yes, there are some cool, but because the moderator of the groups is a nice guy, mostly a respected person in the Community). I stopped reading all the same stuff again and again - who cares about "the social marketing can help you with your job" version 23 567.

But on SDN the groups would have sense, I think. Well, I didn´t want to discuss the user groups in this blog, wanted to spare the topic for the near future, but you get the message right? What is the strategy about integrating the third party tools/ services into SDN or SAP is going to deliver an improved content which will be only based on the social networking trends and existing solutions, not a copy of one. Maybe I could publish a list of my "social" friends in my Business card based on the LinkedIn list (all LinkedIn contacts SQL_minus LinkedIn contacts without the SDN integration) for example. There are plenty of options but we must talk about it. Doing nothing is worse than a step aside instead of forward.

Or the so-called social bookmarking mentioned in the beginning. Please, SDN people, create a tab in the Business Card where people can easily publish their SAP relevant bookmarks. That is the only reason for the bookmarking footer to exist. Integrate it, don´t just redirect. About the social bookmarking footer.

I know I am Time to take SDN Collaboration to NEXT Level?. And maybe some people reading this blog will comment and share more about their thoughts and feelings regarding this topic.

Regards Otto

p.s.: Mr. Lax is a very nice guy and was a pleasure to meet him. Hope some more people from the Community will have the chance to talk with him. You can read the blogs by Mr. Lax.