And now for something completely different
Today I’ll leave my usual
battlefield playground and speak about something that I have been wondering about since I started blogging on SDN almost a year ago.
Stepping up to talk to such a professional and well-educated group of peers as found here @ SDN has been as exciting as taking a roller coaster ride… in numerous ways:
- the pleasant anticipation
- the initial lift off (first publication)
- the highest height (being spot-lighted at SDN Home Page)
- anticlimax (lack of public (!) feedback)
- the desire to take the next ride immediately @ the end ;)
The basics of blogging
For me, blogging without the interaction with the community is worthless despite of documenting one thoughts about a particular topic globally for anyone to read. The reasons to take the time to compile a well-written extract on a technical topic may vary from author to author (e.g. it may be part of the job as for a Product Manager to roll out info via SDN), but the bottom line is always the desire to communicate to/with the community. Especially with (relatively) new tools or products the majority needs to get familiar with new concepts via any available documentation – here SDN has been proven to be an accepted and well acknowledged resource.
Furthermore, I truly believe that to some degree the community has to actively participate in order to get answers to their burning questions. SDN is a platform that ensures that raised questions, concerns and discussions can directly be addressed to the experts. Still, the community sometimes need to push in order to pull said information :)
The lack of feedback to any blog post may be caused by a variety of mistakes done in the process of blogging: a misleading title, a weak blurb, badly written content, the lack of broader interest or simply not reaching the targeted audience…
… however it can also be caused by the behaviour (read: the lack of action) of the audience as well. :)
Blogging is a global phenomena and as such more and more accepted as a medium to expand the company’s network in order to benefit from early feedback and to listen to the people that know their business best. Only then the results will fit and will be accepted by most as best practice, best breed… you name it.
However, as the ones fortunate enough to ever get some training on cultural awareness know, it is very challenging to communicate globally with a great mix of experts coming from all over the world without agreeing on some basic guidelines, nomenclatures, communication rules and expectations first!
So, for example my respected colleagues from India sometimes shake their heads in meetings or discussions and I surely remember how puzzled I was when I first experienced it and didn’t know back then it’s meant to be just the opposite of denial ;)
One of the stereotypes about Germans I have heard is that they tend to be really precise and as the great engineers they are, are quick to point out concerns when attending a lecture or a work shop. Silence is usually understood as approval and understanding. Any questions or concerns are (silently) assumed to be raised and it’s the responsibility of the participants to raise their arms respectively…
So, by this rational one could come to the conclusion that no feedback equals absolute approval. If only things would be that simple… ;)
I also remember that, while working with some great guys from Israel, one of the first emails I got was a business code on how to work with Israeli… it was great help and I really appreciated that. (I lost that document unfortunately, so Amit if you still have it could you send it to me?)
At the end, it’s up us readers (I’d assume that almost every author is also a reader) to take action, hence I think it would make sense to discuss some conversation rules and (re-)consider how we should communicate with our peers on SDN.
Web 2.0 Netiquette
So in the best tradition of netiquette and in the best spirit of Web 2.0 I’d like to propose that – from now on – everyone that took the time to read an article (which took him some time) at least leaves a short (one word maybe) comment whether or not that reading was considered worthwhile or anything else that would at least show the appreciation of the author for taking the time to write something for us. Only by doing so, the author will know how to improve or what would be (more) interesting!
I’d like to lead by good example and – by chance – it looks like I’ll have the opportunity to build another composite for a (up-to-date anonymous) customer based on SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment 7.1 in Q3/Q4.
I plan to talk about that process and so if anybody would be interested in a particular topic or part of this project… let me know! ;-)