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  • 75. Re: Suggestions for forum improvements
    Otto Gold
    Currently Being Moderated

    Maybe we could elaborate the topics and describe how it should work in detail. Maybe SDN team will not like that but will have an outline about what is needed, how long will it take to implement it and what are the reasons for the certain details to have. We could even estimate how much would it take to implement for us. We all are the programmers here so we could estimate the cost in some standard JSP, PHP, .NET. Would be better than nothing, wouldn´t it? Regards Otto

     

  • 76. Re: Suggestions for forum improvements
    Marilyn Pratt
    Currently Being Moderated

    Mylene your wishlist TOC is excellent compilation of many of the ideas raised here by other community members.  Thanks for doing that diligence and consolidating and linking.  We for our part are also evaluating how to make the process of idea exchange, evolution, implementation more structured and transparent.

    I'd have to do a bit of archeology and pinging of fellow colleagues and ex-colleagues to reconstruct the complete illustrated history of the forums on SDN/SCN and perhaps even with all our strategic ppts and strategy contents that still might be a somewhat less-than-satisfactory exercise.. Understand that the entire website is and was an evolution.  And, despite the fact that there were many stages of planning and execution (and learning from other communities and environments) a great deal of what happens here and in any healthy community is based on dynamism, diversity and density (to quote a heroine of mine Jane Jacobs) and the idea of spontaneous and sprawling growth is not necessarily a negative thing.  One can over-engineer and over-structure a community to death (Read about Jacobs community theories in Life and Death of Great American cities).  She is considered one of the grand architects of healthy, intelligent community growth and I think there are many important corollaries.

     

    To those that are concerned about the "listening" and the participation of SAP in these dialogues, trust me, best to know that we are hear listening, thinking fast and hard how to assimilate some of these ideas, raising others to offer and counter but perhaps it might not be in the community's best interest if we were constantly over-vocal or too vocally engaged in this conversation in that it seems to understand the needs we need first and foremost to tap into your community responses and opinions and yes, evolving wishlists and requests.

     

    Quiet doesn't mean uninterested and inattentive.   It may simply denote listening.

     

    There are new members of our SCN team who are in the process of learning as well.

     

    You might be interested to see that much of what you are thinking and feeling here is also reflected in the recent Survey results which will soon be posted publicly in the form of a blog by editor Keith Elliott.

  • 77. Re: Suggestions for forum improvements
    Otto Gold
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thank you, Marilyn, for the post. It is a nice feeling to be pleasantly surprised like this.

    I have one question: I understand the work is being done inhouse and the real-time involvement of the Community members is not probably possible. But, i hope, there is a way we can increase our changes - how can we spare your time, how can we formalize the suggestions to help the in-house-hard-workers deal with the output of the Community with less effort.

    There must be something we could do. If we would have to wait passively, stand in the corner, it would ...tear apart the spirit that has created these suggestions/ this value (for me that is a real value, even if that is not yet implemented).

    You can see and feel the potential, the energy, the time and the brains here, there must be a way you could use the energy. I am sorry for the word "must", but that is how we feel it (I do feel it this way and dare to speak in the name of the others as well). Regards Otto

  • 78. Re: Suggestions for forum improvements
    Otto Gold
    Currently Being Moderated

    For those who didn´t know this way of co-operation has a name, note this is called the crowdsourcing.

    If you would like to learn more about it, check the presentation here: http://www.icclab.com/content/what-we-do

    Regards Otto

    p.s.: SAP has a crowd of people here with a great energy, knowledge and enthusiasm here and needs to learn how to utilize it

    pp.ss.: also check this one: http://www.asset-sbit.nl/images/stories/ego/jaargang9_editie2/ego_jaargang%209_editie%202_artikel%20boons.pdf

    Edited by: Otto Gold on May 11, 2010 3:01 PM

     

    Edited by: Otto Gold on May 11, 2010 3:14 PM

     

  • 79. Re: Suggestions for forum improvements
    Marilyn Pratt
    Currently Being Moderated

    The must is an imperative for us as well. I'm fairly confident you will soon see a platform for ideas more publicly exposed but before that happens, we here on the SCN team also need to be confident that such a mechanism is properly resourced, engaged with and implemented in a way that will be satisfactory and productive to both sides (community and SCN team).  At the moment I am left saying thanks to all of you here for your drive and determination to push the must forward positively and assure that suggestions here are not only viewed but being incorporated into that strategy that Mylene asked about in a previous part of the thread.

  • 80. Re: Suggestions for forum improvements
    Andreas J.A. Schneider (Xeradox)
    Currently Being Moderated

    I noticed some possible inconsistencies regarding naming conventions, for example the term "BI" refers in SAP lingo as far as I am aware to the SAP BusinessObjects front-end tools such as Crystal Reports, Web Intelligence, Xcelsius.

    The term "BW" refers to the backend, therefore it is called "BW Accelerator" (BWA) (instead of BI Accelerator/BIA)

    Are there plans to update SDN according to the official naming strategy?

     

    Another question, sometimes I see Xcelsius referred to as "Crystal Xcelsius", I am not sure why is that, just seems inconsistent, as the downloads etc. all refer to "Xcelsius", and it never was a Crystal product.

  • 81. Re: Suggestions for forum improvements
    Kirby Leong
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Andreas,

     

    Over the past few months we've been aligning SCN with the technology map, to be more consistent with the way solutions are communicated. You may have noticed that the pages and navigation have been updated. The next step is to update the forums structure to address the inconsistenices, including the ones you have identified. BI refers to the SAP BusinessObjects BI portfolio of solutions, including Enterprise, Xcelsius, and BI OnDemand among others. As for Xcelsius, its former name was Crystal Xcelsius which is why you may see it referred to as such.

     

    Please stay tuned for more information about the forums restructuring. We hope to finalize the plans soon.

  • 82. Re: Suggestions for forum improvements
    Laure Cetin
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi everyone,

     

    I've been listening as well, as part of the SCN Collaboration Team. I am one of the new members that Marilyn mentions so yes, I am still learning! And I appreciate all your comments in this forum and the thread, it helps me understand the community needs better.

    A couple of comments from my side:

    - We listen to all the suggestions given by the Community and take the time to discuss them internally, evaluate their priority and then we make a formal request to IT for a new feature or an enhancement. This takes some time and sometimes, it's true, we have to prioritize. Sometimes as well, changes can be part of a bigger project and that leads us to rethinking the overall picture

    - An example of us listening and taking action: I recently found out about the limit of characters in the forums and want to see if it is possible to increase the number of characters allowed. I've taken this to the team and we will contact IT to find out if the circumstances have changed, if we can increase the limit without burdening our servers too much.

    - I would like to repeat here that we see the upcoming Idea Place as a good platform to collect ideas from the community, in a structured way, and to act on them and provide feedback back to the community.

    - Yes we have moderator guidelines and moderators have the possibility to interact with each other, on a private forum, to exchange tips, best practices, ask questions, etc. There are already doing a great job for content quality and abuse management, I think we can thank them for that.

    - About the ability to see how many people follow a thread, what would be the value for you? I mean, if you don't see if it's SAP people or other, what does it bring to you? Doesn't the number of views give you an indication of the attention given to the thread? I am trying to understand the request here.

    - I saw you comment on abuse categories, could you maybe specify here what additional categories you would like to see? And hopefully the words will not be filtered by the system...

     

    Thank you for engaging with us and for your help to improve the forums.

    Laure

     

    Edited by: Laure Cetin on May 13, 2010 9:38 PM

  • 83. Re: Suggestions for forum improvements
    Vikranth Reddy
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hello Laure,

     

    Great to see that members of the official SCN team are directly interacting with the forum members for suggestions and improvements and thank you for providing the examples of the steps being taken for the suggestions given.  I think you missed to give feedback on one of the other main suggestion which has been going rounds for quite sometime. The addition of the new option to close a thread as unanswered. Any decision or outcome on that yet?

     

    Vikranth

  • 85. Re: Suggestions for forum improvements
    Otto Gold
    Currently Being Moderated

    Because the purpose is to find an answer to your question, right? We don't want the question to be flagged "couldn't be answered" and fall in the "oubliette",

    This is not necessary. You play play around with such threads.

    Examples:

    1) a space (forum??) accessed from any forum, where all such questions will be moved. Answering question from this void would be challenging. People like us (the enthustics:)) could try to answer the questions without caring where did the question come from (what forum).

    2) could be challenging like you can get double points by answering the question or something. or any other mechanism that would... indicate one is active in this particular area (like a contrbutions tab for this purpose)

    3) or any other ways the people could come us. Well, guys (girls), what do you think?

    Regards Otto

  • 86. Re: Suggestions for forum improvements
    Harald Boeing
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Laure,

     

    We raised this point within the team a while ago, and we started discussing a way to have these questions answered. Because the purpose is to find an answer to your question, right? We don't want the question to be flagged "couldn't be answered" and fall in the "oubliette", which in French literally means "forgotten place".

     

    Excellent point, but to me the goal find an answer to my question is not only applicable to questions that I posted, but also to the ones that I didn't post yet. So let me hijack the thread once more...

     

    I'd prefer if we look beyond the needs of the original poster and also consider that the lifetime of a thread goes beyond the time where people actively post to it. What arguments speak against considering the forums as a <em>knowledge base</em>?

     

    For a knowledge base any feature that allows us to identify and retrieve valid information quicker (and mark wrong/outdated information) is useful. I know I'm belaboring old points, but I like to point again to the [stackoverflow site|http://stackoverflow.com/], which has many interesting features that support the knowledge base aspect:

    <ul style="list-style:circle!important;"><li>Possibility to vote on questions/answers and different sorting capabilities to make finding the proper information easier</li>

    <li>Tags instead of fixed structures to account for the fact that questions are often in more than one category (e.g. like it's done already for blogs)</li>

    <li>A more useful point system, yet full open access (e.g. I think it's great to keep the site open by allowing anybody to post, but having [some features only available to more seasoned users|http://stackoverflow.com/faq]; and of course much more like the [bounty|http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/01/reputation-bounty-for-unanswered-questions/] feature...). As a sidenote, if SAP would really want to make this more of an expert forum, why don't they limit posting questions to users with a certain minimum number of points? (I personally prefer "open" sites, but that's just me.)</li>

    <li>Consider editing of answers without any restrictions (i.e. now impossible if somebody replied) - this would require further adjustments to keep a consistent and reasonable structure, but would be a great benefit for later searches, because one would not need to wade through all postings in a thread</li>

    <li>...</li>

    </ul>

     

    Cheers, harald

  • 87. Re: Suggestions for forum improvements
    Rob Burbank
    Currently Being Moderated

    One more thought:

     

    One of the problems that I see is that some members treat the forum as a consulting service. They ask and ask and ask questions, but are not willing to give anything back to the forum by helping others out by answering there questions, blogging or adding to the WIKIs.

     

    We already have some controls in place to ensure that users cannot have more than ten open questions at a time, but I really don't think this helps much. But since some treat the forum as a consulting service, we could force them to actually pay for the service they receive. Monetary payments wouldn't work but we could do something like this:

     

    When a new user joins, he or she is given say 100 complimentary points (not the same as point system points). Every time a user asks a new question or responds to his or her post, a point is deducted. Every time someone else responds to his or her post a point is deducted from the OP's total.

     

    But every time a user responds to a post, the responder has a point added to his or her total.

     

    This would encourage (force) users to be more active in the forum by helping others out.

     

    It would also encourage people to think their questions through before posting and discourage FAQs, because their point totals would go down if they get too many answers (FAQ) or have to repeatedly explain their problem.

     

    Rob

  • 88. Re: Suggestions for forum improvements
    Otto Gold
    Currently Being Moderated

    One of the problems that I see is that some members treat the forum as a consulting service.

    My support! My opinion: For me anything would be better than nothing. At least I hate situations like: no point received, 100 posts/ questions asked. Even 1:1 would be better than nothing (of course for more than like 10 posts for example).

    Otto

  • 89. Re: Suggestions for forum improvements
    Harald Boeing
    Currently Being Moderated

     

    When a new user joins, he or she is given say 100 complimentary points (not the same as point system points). Every time a user asks a new question or responds to his or her post, a point is deducted. Every time someone else responds to his or her post a point is deducted from the OP's total.

     

    Such approach seems seems to be based on the underlying assumption that posted questions and comments to own questions are kind of parasitic. However, consider the nice posting from Hermann DELETE WHERE sample case that i would like to share with you, which is a good counter example.

     

    Also, I'd like to repeat that I don't see anything wrong with posting only questions without answering some as long as the posted questions are interesting. I do agree though that questions that haven been answered before (where the answer should be easy to find) and especially questions stating just requirements and asking for a solution are annoying.

     

    Possible approaches for this problem and forum rule violations in general:

    <ol>

    <li>Enforce compliance via point system, by requiring a minimum number of points for postings and deducting points for forum violations. This should at least slow down people with questionable intentions and be quite effective if one could also prevent point farm schemes (i.e. people creating multiple user ID's and using them to accumulate points).

     

    I would refrain though from introducing several point systems (what would be the goal of each and why do they have to be separate). I prefer one point system indicating (to some degree) proficiency, which can be increased or decreased based on some posting evaluation scheme (and obviously here's plenty of room for improvement on SDN).

     

    </li>

    <li>Have a powerful voting/filtering system in place that allows users to mark/suppress rubbish postings.</li>

    </ol>

     

    In the end I think it would make sense to have different user classes (not all are equal) and gradually increase capabilities within the forums to trusted/proficient users. Right now we only seem to distinguish between moderators and all others. One example might be that users with a given level of proficiency can vote on postings with forum violations and a certain number of votes would automatically move the posting to a hall of shame forum (kind of a spam folder, thus keeping references intact and serving as a reminder to think before posting)...

     

    Cheers, harald

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