News from your SAS community managers

3 reasons why you should write an article for the SAS Communities Library

by Community Manager on ‎11-03-2016 10:14 AM (1,756 Views)

The phone rings. It’s a colleague with a question about SAS. Your community feed is peppered with very similar questions on a daily basis. Your email and IM light up with more SAS questions related to the same topic. You’ve answered them all, individually, time and time again. This cannot go on. Have you considered writing a SAS Communities Library article? If not, you should.

Though I could argue there are dozens of reasons to write an article, I’ve boiled it down to a good three:

  1. It’s a timesaver, a “one and done,” or however you’d like to think of it. An article allows you to address a certain topic in a clear, easy-to-follow format that you can send to your colleagues until your heart’s content.

  2. You get the glory. This may not be the chief reason you participate in the SAS Communities or became a SAS practitioner in the first place. But let’s face it, you know a lot of very detailed, specialized information. Why not be recognized for it as the author of an article? You’ll receive badges and increase in community rank. Moreover, you’ll have a tangible piece of published content with your name by it. How’s that for beefing up the ole’ portfolio?

  3. You’re giving back to the community. Think about how you came across the latest go-to tip or trick with SAS. The challenge you overcame is something that you no doubt would like to prevent others from having. Your fellow practitioners will thank you for the trail you blazed and for saving them this invaluable time, as they can pick up and use your tip right away. Doesn’t that feel good? 


How to write an article
Now that you’ve decided to write an article, what’s the first step? After a certain amount of community activity, you will earn the “Article Author” role. This means that when visiting the SAS Communities Library, you’ll see the “New Article” option:

 

New Article screenshot.png

 

Click on that blue button and off you go. Drop in text, insert images and video and provide attachments as needed. Be sure to assign a Label to your article as well:

 

Label image.png

 

This helps visitors to the SAS Communities Library landing page filter articles based on their interests. See the right sidebar of the landing page for labels:

 

Label list on Library.png

 

You’re published! Now what?
Once you’ve published your article, be prepared for questions. Community members have the ability to comment on articles with questions and observations.

Speaking of community discussion, know that posting a “New Message” on individual communities is still a great way to drum up conversation on a topic. New messages don’t have to be questions; they can serve as a starting point for you to voice your perspectives on a specific topic, and see what the community has to say on it. If a discussion leads to a ton of chatter, we, the SAS Communities Management team, will evaluate it to serve as a base on which to create an article.

Sound like something you’re interested in? Have questions? Ask away in the comments section.

Comments
by Occasional Contributor ChrisPillsbury
on ‎02-23-2017 11:47 AM

What are the activity requirements to achive that ability? Seems like the fantastic bit of code I developed could be of great use, but I cannot post it because i am not active enouogh on this community site. Seems like this requirment goes against reason three for writting such an article.

by Community Manager
on ‎02-23-2017 01:20 PM

BOOM @ChrisPillsbury, now you can post.  The requirements are not steep, but we do like for folks to engage on the community in other ways, learn the local customs, etc. before embarking on writing articles.  I look forward to seeing what you have to share!

by Occasional Contributor ChrisPillsbury
on ‎02-24-2017 08:25 AM

I thought that my phone vibrated just a bit more intensly when I got the alert. Thanks Chris. Years ago I had scoured the web trying to find code examples that processed microtiter plate arrays. I finally just had to kick start the brain and develop something from scratch. I have been encouraged to share it with all that might benifit from it. So I will begin to draft out the article and let you bask in the coolness of it.

by Community Manager
on ‎02-24-2017 09:09 AM

Bask we will ChrisPillsbury! Thanks for your interest in posting on SAS Communities! We can't wait to see your examples.

by Occasional Contributor ChrisPillsbury
on ‎03-06-2017 10:51 AM

 I submitted a draft for review. How does that process work?

by Community Manager
on ‎03-06-2017 11:10 AM

The article just posted, Chris: An Advanced SAS program designed by a scientist

 

Thanks so much for the awesome content.

 

Anna

by Regular Contributor
3 weeks ago

Hi @AnnaBrown and @ChrisHemedinger. I'm interested in contributing to the Communities Library, too. My idea for my first post would be about the paper I'm presenting at MWSUG. I'd do a high-level summary, but point to the full article and presentation for more information. Have I enough experience to be allowed to post?

by Community Manager
3 weeks ago

Thanks for your interest, @paulkaefer! Your approach sounds perfect, and you should see the option to post a "New Article" (blue button) now on the SAS Communities Library home page. Looking forward to it!

 

 

by Trusted Advisor
3 weeks ago

When someone writes an article for SAS Communities, how can other users find out about this?

 

And where would we go to see articles that have already been written?

by Regular Contributor
3 weeks ago

Hi @PaigeMiller, you can see other articles on the SAS Communities Library homepage. Users can select from the drop-down menu to subscribe to get emails about new articles in their inbox. You'll also get emails from any activity on posts you've commented on, or posts you individually subscribe to.

by Community Manager
3 weeks ago

Great questions, @PaigeMiller and the only thing I would add to @paulkaefer's note is that you can filter the articles by topic through the "Labels" listed out in the right sidebar box. You subscribe to specific labels by clicking "Subscribe" in the orange bar underneath the list of articles.

 

Subscribe to labels screenshot.jpg

 

 

 

by Trusted Advisor
3 weeks ago

So the upshot of all of this is that I have been a member of the SAS Communities for many years, and I did not know there was a "Library" of articles.

 

Now I know. Now the link has been provided, so I can save the link and return as needed, or subscribe if desired. That's good.

 

But when I go to the home page of SAS Communities, https://communities.sas.com/ , I don't see any indication that there is such a thing as a "Library" of articles. Why is that? Wouldn't you want to make this a prominent link on the home page?

 

I continue to be very frustrated with the apparent lack of usability of SAS Communities.

by Community Manager
3 weeks ago

Excellent point, @PaigeMiller, and we are aware that the Library should be called out more prominently on communities.sas.com. Users can navigate to the Library through the "Find a Community" dropdown but I agree, it's buried and not obvious. Thanks for your feedback; it's very helpful as we continue to work on the site.

by SAS Employee solarflare
2 weeks ago

Is there any documentation on formatting options when writing a post with the editor, such as colors and styles for tables? Also, the editor seems to work pretty poorly. I don't see any of the options mentioned in the tool tip like the "clip area" or multiple editors for article sections. There is no editor scroll bar so I have to scroll all the way up the webpage after highlighting text to change the style and then scroll all the way back down to get back to where I was editing (I'm using Chrome).

 

Is there a better way?

Thanks!

by Community Manager
2 weeks ago

Hi @solarflare, thanks for your feedback. I see you found a way to drop in a table, as shown in your article here: https://communities.sas.com/t5/SAS-Communities-Library/Hierarchical-Forecasting-with-SAS-Visual-Fore...

 

For everyone's reference: You can build a table in excel and add it in as a picture, or copy/paste a table built in something like Word. Just make sure the table isn't too wide - just a few columns - for it to show up well. 

I hear you on the lack of an editor scroll bar. This is great input for future iterations of the editor design.