SCN is a large community and if you want to engage with the right people - the experts - you need to know how to find them. This was the reason why, several years ago, we decided to keep track of how many points people are scoring in various categories on SCN. Points are a way to evaluate someone's expertise by looking at how much content the person has contributed on SCN. If you are active in spaces/communities on SCN you know how to find the experts: the Top Participants are listed on the overview page of each community. I encourage you to follow them and start connecting with them now!
The Context: Who are the Topic Leaders?
Each year we recognize the top 3 contributors in 43 selected areas of contribution (you can have a look at the winners in all categories for 2010-2011). It is a way for us to introduce the topic experts in the community and thank them for sharing their knowledge and helping their peers. We count how many points these people scored in the 43 categories over a 12-month period that runs from August 1 to July 31 the following year. All contributions (points) are taken into account: blogs, documents, wiki and discussion contributions (forums).
The winners are announced each year at the beginning of August; they benefit from enhanced exposure in the community and get a certificate per e-mail. I am working with SAP Education to see if we can offer certification vouchers to the Topic Leaders like in 2011. We do not give rewards such as a free TechEd pass, but for the Topic Leaders who are at the event there is the opportunity to be a star and jump on stage before the Demo Jam starts, and get some well deserved recognition from SCN executive Mark Yolton and SAP Mentors. Yes, pictures are taken ;-) This year at TechEd there will be many onsite networking opportunities at the event and I look forward to meeting the new Topic Leaders in Las Vegas - and Madrid, if I get to go.
What changes with the New SCN?
As a reminder: We launched the new SCN on March 11, 2012.
For now, nothing changes
Over the past couple of months I talked with some of the 2010-2011 Topic Leaders and we agreed that it would be unfair to change the rules of the contest in the middle of it. Thank you Michal Krawczyk for providing valuable feedback and offering your help ;-) Thank you Grzegorz Glowacki for pinging me regularly for an update ;-)
Here is what I need to do today to publish the list of the 2011-2012 Topic Leaders in early August:
In the new SCN we have over 400 spaces where people contribute and accrue points. These spaces are like categories, but obviously they need to be mapped to the old categories so that I can calculate the total number of points that people have in the 43 categories and recognize them as Topic Leaders.
|August 1, 2011 to March 10, 2012||March 11, 2012 to July 31, 2012||Early August announcement blog|
|43 categories||400+ spaces to be mapped with the old 43 categories|
|3 topic leaders per category (3x43=129)||3 topic leaders per category (3x43=129)||129 Topic Leaders in the 43 categories|
I know you are eager to track your progress and you miss the good old leaderboards we had in the old SCN. I am sorry that I cannot bring this transparency back at the moment, but I am working on it. You will have to do without the leaderboards for now and if you want to track your progress you can check how you are doing in the Top Participants widget.
The old point categories were not up-to-date when we launched the new SCN, and they were no longer representative of SAP expertise. I got a lot of feedback from you about this. It is obvious now that the Topic Leader recognition needs to be redesigned: with 400 spaces/communities on SCN I will introduce a better way to identify experts in broader categories. This effort will be part of a gamification project that I am leading this year: we are about to partner with one of the leading gamification platform vendors to introduce extensive game mechanics on SCN and track how our members are doing, encourage them to adopt the right behaviors and reward them along the way. Follow me to learn more about it as I will be sharing the progress via blog posts. As always, I welcome suggestions and feedback. Please feel free to comment in this blog or in my upcoming gamification blogs to suggest new ways to recognize experts in the community.