Tracking the conversations in around the support and bug reporting spaces over the past couple of weeks, I've read lots of post by SCN users frustrated because they cannot find what they are looking for. While many users have now tracked down the spaces they want to follow and know where they'll find answer, they still don't have a way to search the content of just those individual spaces.  Well, I'd like to show you a few tricks on how to search individual spaces using Google.

 

Now you see me, now you don't.

When we launched the New SCN, there was a free text filter that allowed user to filter results by the word or words entered*.  You could go to the ABAP discussions and enter "deployment" to see only threads with the word "deployment" appearing in them.  This function has since been deactivated and we're hoping it's restored soon (no date yet).  A side effect to this is that when users can't find what they are looking for, they tend to post a new threads that have been asked and answered already: well, who can blame them when they can't find anything!

 

* There is a tag filter still in place but this relies on there being tags on every piece of content: unfortunately we're not there yet

 

Control Search Results with Constructed Queries 

I'd like to show you a few tricks on how to optimize your Google queries, specifically for narrowing search results to a single New SCN space.  My previous blog on optimizing queries with categories and search operators gets you started on this but we're now going to dive deeper into this to provide SCN users with practical solutions for right now.

 

Google provides users with a wealth of tools that allow you to filter search results.  In addition to some practical categories that appear on the left side of search results, there are also search operators.  Search operators are functions that are added to your queries so that you can filter the results.

 

Search OperatorFunction
site:

The site operator limits results to domain, sub-domain or section of a website.  To use it, just start your query with site: followed by the domain, sub-domain or path. For example, site:scn.sap.com for SCN only or search across the entire SAP domain with site:sap.com (www.sap.com, scn.sap.com, help.sap.com, ecohub.sap.com, experience.sap.com, etc.).  site:scn.sap.com/thread retrieves URLs beginning with that path, in this case SCN discussions (forum threads).

" " (Phrase)

Use the phrase operator to match a word or an exact string of text, such as "security" or "sap community network". Because all assets within a space contain the space name, this can be used to retrieve results from a single specified space, such as "abap development".

- (Minus)

To exclude terms from the results, just place a minus in front of them: -debugger. Multiples can be entered too: -debugger -begginer

inurl:Specifies keyword that must appear in URL of search results

 

Putting it All Together

It's as easy as ABC! Just assemble the pieces and drop them into the Google search box:

Google Sample Query with Search Operators.png

The above query tells Google to retrieve the following:

  1. Only results from the domain scn.sap.com (URL beginning with scn.sap.com...)
  2. Where the string "abap development" appears on the page (i.e. all content in the ABAP Development space)
    • To increase accuracy, use the full space name exactly as it appears
  3. Remove results where debugger appears

 

You can also narrow the results to discussions only by specifying site:scn.sap.com/thread.  Ditto for documents (site:scn.sap.com/docs) and blogs (site:scn.sap.com inurl:blog)

 

There are, however, some shortcoming: content from sub-spaces also appears since the name of the parent space also appears on the content. You can use the minus operator to help filter these out.

 

With Google Custom Search for New SCN

Search operators can also be used with my Google custom search where results are already narrowed down to SCN and related resources only: this eliminates the need to use the site operator.  Just enter your query and then refine the results by choosing a category from the top of the window to see only discussions, blogs, eLearning and so on, for the space you specified using the phrase operator:

Google Custom SCN Search Query with Search Operators.png

 

Give it a try and let me know how it works out.  Happy searching!

Hi SCN team,

Maybe I don't have enough things to worry about, but I've been fascinated by the new "likes" mechanism and the fact that ratings = reputation points. I like the idea that your reputation is enhanced by the reaction you cause as a result of your content contributions.  I think, in theory, its a better idea than just having some anonymous person inside SAP give out reputation points arbitrarily.

 

The reaction mechanisms and points don't make a lot of sense, however, when you think about them.

 

People understand a "like".  Where likes get confusing is when it's paired with the 5 star rating system.

 

For content rating on a social media site, 5 stars doesn't really make any sense anyways - especially when they are the larger potential source of reputation points.

 

Consider the following:

 

1.  Most people let content pass by them without any reaction, without even reading it (no reputation change)

2.  Some people find content interesting enough to click into and read it, at least for a little bit (no reputation change)

3. Some people find something interesting enough in a blog to react to it by posting a comment (no reputation change)

4. Some people "like" the blog, did they read it very far? (2 pts reputation increase)

5. Some people, likely the same people as #4 like the blog so much they give it 5 stars (5 pts reputation increase, often 7 pts if includes a like)

6. Is 4 pts any much different than 5 pts?  They're both really good reactions, but a comment is more meaningful but gets no points

7. Giving a 1 star rating means you think a blog sucks, but it gives more points than just ignoring

8. Is 2 pts any much different than 1 pt? Both are pretty bad reactions

9. What does 3 points mean? Is it the same as a non reaction?  I think what star ratings are is thumbs up and thumbs down.

 

Based on the above, I suggest the following types of scoring, and changes to the rating system:

1. Reward audience building, a little bit.  I'd give 0.1 pts per view. Or if you have to deal in integers, inflate the scoring x10, and give 1 pt per view. Platinum status wouldn't be recieved until you hit 25,000 pts (sounds more impressive, right?)

2. Give big rewards to blogs that receive comments (should be at least the same as a like/thumbs up, because someone cared to react to the blog, meaning they must have read it fairly closely).

3. Do away with the 5 star rating system, and replace with "thumbs up & thumbs down"  Give 5 - 10 pts for each thumbs up. For thumbs down, either consider a penalty, or just use this as a mechanism to find bad content.  Nobody will click on a blog that has 10 thumbs down ratings.

 

In the above system, if someone really loved a blog, they would view it (+.1 pts), give it a thumbs up (+10 pts), and comment on it (+10 pts) for a total contribution of 20.1 pts.

 

I think this will simplify the experience a bit, and reward reputation enticing others to react to your content in ways that really matter.

 

PS: You need to double or triple the reward for providing content. 10 pts for blog entry is too little.  20 is getting closer to right.

 

What does everyone else think?

 

-Greg

Released over the past 24hrs are several fixes for old SCN forums links that were not redirecting to their migrated selves in the New SCN. This was very frustrating for SCN users who most often got redirected to the New SCN welcome page and then had to search or manually configure the URLs to find the migrated threads and messages.

Here's are examples of the old SCN URLs that will now properly redirect to their targets on the New SCN:

 

With these fixes, any bookmarks you had pointing to the old domain will now work and bring you to the migrated content.  Of course, you should update your browser bookmarks or even consider using the bookmarks features on the New SCN that is accessible from any content object:

     Bookmark on New SCN.png

Bookmarks are easy to use, accessible from your profile, you can add a description and keywords to it and they can be shared so other users can see your bookmarks are vice versa (they can also be made private!).

If you still encounter any redirects that aren't performing, please report them in SCN Support or here below in the comments, as you have before.

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