Posts Tagged ‘communities’

There are countless articles and blog posts comparing how social media is more akin to a marathon and not a sprint, but I only partially agree with this premise.

While, I believe these three key salient points are spot on…

  • Plan: Just like you would never run a marathon without proper planning (up to a year in advance), you should never kick-off any social media activity before you have identified your overall objectives and target audience.  You know when this not happening, when the first question is: ‘How do I set-up my Twitter handle?’ followed by the answer to your ‘why’ question by ‘because I need to get [pick your number] followers’.
  • Practice: Most experienced runners will tell you that they will start off by practicing brisk walks before they even start to run when preparing for a marathon.  I would argue that when it comes to social media, we are not even able to crawl yet.  Next time you get the question above, ask the person to engage in an existing external community first (whether it is a blog, LinkedIn group, etc.), or even better yet, an internal community if you happen to have those in your company.
  • Prepare for the long-haul: As any experienced runner will tell you, pacing yourself, especially during the first half of a marathon is key, both mentally and physically.  Similarly, when you are starting off with social media, you need to be mentally prepared and focused on a few activities and succeed with those before attempting to do more.  This will not only help you learn and showcase your accomplishments (which could be handy when you have to go to your manager asking for more budget), but will also teach you the discipline to be patient and consistent.

…I also believe there are at least two very fundamental differences, and hence the title of this post…

Continue reading here…


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by Tim Clark

Baylor MedicineDo I have an unhealthy obsession with Baylor College of Medicine? I’m starting to think so. I paid them a personal visit a few years ago and have been tracking their vital statistics ever since. I had a chance to run another check up recently (yes, I love puns) and I am happy to report that their current IT prognosis, which involves the installation of a materials management application, running on SAP NetWeaver Mobile 7.1, looks good. Baylor is also an active participant within the SAP Community Network (SCN).

Before we scrub up and dissect Baylor’s SCN activity, let’s first take a trip to their materials management project, shall we?

Similar to their asset tracking initiative, which is now running very smoothly thanks to SAP Netweaver Mobile 7.1, materials management for Baylor involves maintaining accurate records of sutures, bandages, over the counter meds and more. Materials have bar codes that are scanned out of store rooms and are issued electronically. At some point during the shift (determined by the user), data is synched from the mobile device that triggers the middleware into a transaction. This generates an actual material document and goods issue within Baylor’s SAP back end system. Under the prior process, users logged into their desk top computers to record issuance of goods from (gasp!) paper forms which is time-consuming and much more prone to errors.

Paul Sammons, Senior SAP Business Analyst and Wireless Goods Movements Project Lead for Baylor tells me this middleware application comes from Fringe Mobility and is a Microsoft .NET application running on SAP Netweaver Mobile 7.1. Which is a good thing. It proves that SAP doesn’t have severe allergic reactions when introduced to new solutions. So what happens when Paul hits a hiccup with his daily SAP dealings? He refers to the SCN before opening a support ticket with SAP.

“If you have a problem the SCN is a great place to visit to see what other people are doing about it,” said Paul.  “I have found a lot of great insight from some of the communities within the community that rally around a certain module or topic like mobile applications. It’s also great for day-to-day tips setting up configurations. If you take the time to explore the SCN you can generally find answers to your problems and it’s very easy to understand.”

Rick Pearson, Senior ABAP Developer and Wireless Goods Movements Project Programmer who works with Paul, sings similar praise for the SCN and is thankful he learned of the influential organization at a SAP TechEd event.

“The first I heard of SCN was when a group of folks approached me at a TechEd event and asked me if I wanted to sign up,” recalls Rick. “They said if I signed up I’d get a free tee shirt. Thankfully, they had my size so I signed up and I’ve been using it ever since.”

Rick relies on the SCN primarily for training purposes, gleaning details from the likes of Thomas Jung and Rich Heilman. “There’s a lot of great information made available on the SCN for folks to separate the wheat from the chaff in order to successfully navigate their SAP journey.”

Tim Clark joins us from SAP as the Executive Editor within the Global Communications organization.  Tim is a frequent blogger on Forbes and on the SAP Community Network (SCN). Besides writing, Tim is an amateur circus performer who can juggle not one, but two balls in the air at the same time.  He is hoping for three in 2011.  You can visit the original post on SCN.

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