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Former Member

This blog started as a directed email spawned by an individual blog post. I'm going to generalize it a bit to apply to a on overall trend I've been seeing across the internet, but it'll be geared toward interactions on SCN. Please remember that this post is meant to help people and the community they make up to be stronger.

Dear Blogging Marketer,

Hi. My name is Jamie Oswald. I'm an SAP BusinessObjects customer, an SAP Mentor, an ASUG Volunteer, and I'm also the guy who wants to give you some unsolicited advice on your recent foray into blogging. As always, the views expressed here are my own and don't really represent... well, anyone else. I'm really just a passionate internet community member with no agenda beyond making online communities into shiny, happy places for the free exchange of useful information for the betterment of all involved. These sorts of interventions aren't easy, however, so it may get a little harsh below. Please feel free to ignore me, but know that I do still want you to blog here, but I want to make sure you are doing it better. 

I'm mostly really writing to you today to let you know that your blog came off as a little, well, spammy. I saw it, and assumed it was from a partner or other third-party vendor who was trying to sell me some add on product or expertise. SCN is not really the place for that, at least not in my humble opinion. It appeared so spammy, in fact, that I immediately reported it as spam. After digging into it a little bit I realized that you actually do work for SAP, and so it wasn't spam -- since SAP can't really spam their own website -- it was just written exactly like spam is written. Which is maybe not all that much better than just being spam.

To me the biggest gap here is the disconnect between your forum (which is technically a blog, but you get my meaning) and your material. You seem to be trying to push impersonal (or at least thinly personal, classical-type) marketing content through a social media channel. Social media, like a blog, especially one on a community network, demands authenticity, and that hasn't really come through in your team's posts to date. Without that personal connection, it just isn't going to be very well received (and based on the lack of comments and page views, it doesn't look like you've got a lot of connection going). 

Not wanting to talk to you about a problem without offering to provide some sort of solution, here are some things I think could really help you connect.

  • Give up the group or other faceless/nameless account. When I open up a post I see a smiling face at the top. On SCN, I'd also like to see a little SAP flag next to your name. That matters. 
  • Insert a picture or two. Let's say your telling a story about how watching The Ref, my favorite holiday movie, made you suddenly realize that you just had to go buy some new enterprise software. Insert a clip or still from the movie (preferably one that is SFW). 
  • Don't insert a bunch of stock images of really attractive people standing around being attractive and doing other things I don't do every day. The entire internet isn't Abercrombie and Fitch.
  • Make sure I get something out of your blog post even if I never spend a dime with you. Teach me how to layer sweaters or why my glucose levels matter or how to uninstall the Import Wizard or whatever. But give me SOMETHING in exchange for my time besides the promise of being able to follow up and get more slick selling.

Look, I really WANT you to blog. I want to receive important information regarding new products and services, but in this arena I want them to be free of pushy sales tactics and I want them to feel bloggy. I know it is hard to find your voice, but it being your voice is the most important thing. 

Good luck, 

Jamie Oswald