SDN, Blogging, and Planet SAP

In May I was approached by a chap at SAP in Walldorf who wanted to ask me some questions on blogging (I have a blog over on the SAP Developer Network) for an article he was writing for an SAP-internal magazine.

One of the questions was “Why do you write two blogs?“. I wrote a longish reply, and thought it was worth putting up here (mostly because he didn’t use any of it ;-)

My answer:

  • Well, there are many reasons. Here are the main ones: *

(a) History

I was writing on my blog before SDN came along. SDN came along, and I
was invited to write some posts there. I did. I continue to post on my
blog while contributing to the collective SDN one too.

(b) Freedom

The web is a great leveller. There’s no ‘us and them’ anymore. And
with weblogs crystallising the essence of publishing at the individual
level, everyone benefits. Get a weblog, express your voice. It’s
your individual press. I’m a member of SDN, but like everyone else,
still a guest there. SDN is run by, hosted by, and funded by SAP. So
naturally I feel restricted in what I can, or should, say. There have
been occasions when what people have written on SDN has ruffled a few
feathers. Sometimes because what they wrote is ridiculous and negative,
and others because what they wrote flies in the face of where SAP is
going, in a technology context (I experienced the latter first hand).

Writing in my own blog means that I know that I’m not going to be
censored, or have my posts pulled. This isn’t by any means a criticism
of SAP or SDN. It’s just the way it is.

(c) Technology

When SDN first came along, it wasn’t properly on the web. It was an
island, blocked off by the requirement to register and log on with a
userid and password. Many people (including me) hassled the SDN team
into removing the registration and authentication restriction (at least
for people who just wanted to read stuff). And they did. Kudos to
those who made the wheels turn (and they know who they are).

Now it’s time, in my opinion, for SDN to embrace community technologies
even more, and use the power of RSS (and / or Atom) to aggregate weblog
posts into one big ‘Planet SAP’. Syndicate blogs from around the
web-o-sphere into a single place. Many communities do this to great
effect. If SDN doesn’t do it, I’m sure someone else will come along
and do it eventually. Embrace, don’t resist :-)

So if there was a ‘Planet SAP’ weblog aggregation mechanism, I’d only
have to write on one blog, my own, and the SAP stuff would appear in SDN.

Actually, I write on three blogs. The third is a shared “Mr Angry” type
weblog where I rant. And rant. And rant.

As I was writing the bit about aggregation, I thought “Why don’t I do that?”. So I did. Using the excellent Planet Planet aggregation software, I put together Planet SAP.

It’s in the early stages, gathering posts from only a small number of feeds. If you have SAP related things to say, and a feed for it, give me a shout, and I can add it. It’s just an experiment right now … let’s see how it goes.