How I got involved in the SAP community
Here's a quick summary of how I got involved in the SAP community, from a discussion thread over there.
There's a great discussion going on right now over on the SAP Community in the following thread:
New or not to the SAP Community, share your story!
Craig kicks things off talking about the community and asks folks for their story - how they came to be involved. I replied to the thread sharing my story, and I've also reproduced it here.
My involvement with the SAP community goes way back to 1995 where I started a mailing list for SAP practitioners around the world. I ran that mailing list for a year or two, and it was hard work; performing administration and maintenance tasks each evening, from my laptop in hotel rooms while I travelled around to different SAP customers while working as a consultant.
Why a mailing list? Well, the Web was still very new and very few folks had access to it, and to be honest, mailing lists were the vehicle for communities back then. You can read more about that mailing, and how it subsequently transformed into SAP-R3-L, in these posts: The SAP developer community 10 years on (note that this post is under my previous ID 'dj.adams') and Monday morning thoughts: community engagement.
Fast forward from there to 2002 where, having just written a book for O'Reilly, I got directly involved in a project that was staffed by folks from SAP and O'Reilly. The project was to conceive and bring to life a public community website for SAP folks - customers, partners and individual consultants and contractors. Over the next few months we worked on design, content areas and so on, and went through a couple of platform iterations.
Finally, in early 2003 we were almost ready to launch. But we needed content, so I, along with some others, also got involved in writing content for the new site, to publish over the weeks and months after go-live.
The site was launched in May 2003 and I wrote the first external blog post. I also then started to seed the site areas with content on various subjects. As you may have guessed, this site was launched as the SAP Developer Network (SDN), later renamed SAP Community Network and now SAP Community.
So that's my story.