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[Status Update] New idea about Navigation's links

Hello, please read: https://ideas.sap.com/D41754

And tell me what do you think :)

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Apr 04, 2017 at 03:04 PM
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I googled "SAP Cloud Platform" today and 5 minutes later felt like I was falling down the rabbit hole. Click here, click here, this is here, this is there, oops, dead end.

Unfortunately, this is not the only place in sap.com with the odd links but I just don't feel like spending my time on this anymore. If they care, SAP can hire a couple of interns to go through their websites and check if they make sense. Get some of those coveted future "non SAP developers" and let them say what they think about sap.com. That would be fun.

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"I just don't feel like spending my time on this anymore. If they care, SAP can hire a couple of interns  to go through their websites and check if they make sense. (...)"

Honestly, I do not think that they care at all.

Remember when they moved all SCN to this new "thing" ? We report a LOT of things... but A LOOOOT!

Which things are fixed? About navigations and UX for normal users, NOTHING!

You must be expert or an erudite person to follow and understand the SAP web-developers.Or maybe just need to be a wizard to find the right content here.

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Which things are fixed? About navigations and UX for normal users, NOTHING!

That's not quite true, Osvaldo. ;)

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Well, now you defend the indefensible "perfect team" of developers of this website.

You may criticize me, but if you need the list of bugs I have reported, it is in my profile (or should be). None of them (I think just ONE) have fixed. The others not... they are "working" or left them aside because according to them they have other priorities.

And that's true... (I mean, they have other priorities).

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No, I just wrote that it's not true, that NOTHING was fixed or changed.

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Your post made me realize, that the number of tags has increased since the site launch (I was using an old excel file version).

Now I am wondering - since we get no notifications on tag changes and, I suppose, most active members subscribe to specific tags or bookmark just a few of them, how would anybody know that someone starts using new tags, of which we are not aware?

From what I know, subscribing to file versions works only for wiki pages and maintaining huge tables there looks tedious - how could this be done?

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I see such new tags only by chance, when people post a new question and have added it as secondary tag, like this morning the new tag MM Inventory Management.

I very much doubt that there is any thought spend on usability or even listened to the community.

Since months it is addressed that there are much to much tags. And still we get every 2 weeks new tags instead of putting all effort in a meaningful reduction and harmonization of naming and better search options beside of an expected explanation for each tag so that the users can know for what they are.

All those new tags come without a moderator assigned.

They are nowhere introduced, not in the community, nor behind the scenes in the moderation jam group or in the advisory councils.

Only people who post questions can find them easily and will be frustrated and eventually leave the community since their questions do not get an answer in an appropriate time. Newbies may wait for weeks to get their questions approved from pre-moderation.

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Ouch, I was hoping that at least moderators were notified of such changes in the Jam group... To me, it does not make any sense to introduce any primary tags, unless there is some moderator assigned... or are such questions redirected to the global moderators?

And many people rely on Helmut's app to find links to questions, which does not have the new tags. I don't know whether it is technically possible for the app to retrieve the changed data automatically, but even if it could be done, this can't solve the problem with questions stuck in pre-moderation.

I saw a mention for additional tags for Spanish and Portuguese in the latest release notes, but to an outsider SOC-5055 is cryptic. I don't have a good solution for that, but maybe Jerry could provide more detailed information when new tags are introduced, their purpose and meaning in his Release Highlights blogs, or in a completely new blog series.

Over 200 tags in 7 months, now that's impressive.

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"redirection" is not the right word. Based on the authorization normal moderators see only the moderation items of tags they are assigned to and the global moderators see everything and we can sort these items ascending or descending.

Additional tags for Spanish and Portuguese is also questionable as these are just normal tags that now appear as well when someone selects this language to post a question.

The person who asks the question can select the language, but for all others who follow a tag it is higgledy-piggledy. Also here was no communication in advance. I was about to remove a Portuguese question from MM and only because of Jerry's blog I tested asking a question myself to see if MM was added to those languages.

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So do we have a denial of service atTag...?

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Hi, Veselina:

That's an interesting idea -- sharing information about the new tags. To be honest, I don't have visibility into those either. But it's certainly something I can look into.

This is a sort of a "darned if you do/darned if you don't" scenario. People approach us saying, "Hey, we need to provide information about xyz." If we don't give them a tag for xyz, they think we're uncooperative. If we do, the community groans at the inclusion of more tags.

The bigger issue is just fixing the tagging experience, period. That involves analyzing the tags available and reducing them, but also trying to present ways to select (and search for) tags more easily. That work is happening. I'll see if our tagging expert can add a bit more at this point.

One thing is certain, though: Jürgen is right that the moderators should have been notified about the addition of those tags in new languages. I did bring that up internally in the hopes it won't happen again.

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We already had a discussion about this (can't find it because discussions in CC are not included in the profile). It was a design-level mistake to use "tag = product" approach. Even "tag = former SCN space" might not be right (although is still better by a mile). Forums that use tags to organize the content use short tags and combinations of tags instead of static "So and so version for Java". But even after getting yourself shot in the foot by a wrong design, it's still not too late to fix this. Just remove the redundant tags and for anything new start using the multiple tag approach (could still have "primary" for moderation purposes and such).

It is totally possible to "provide information" without creating any new tags. Do these people seriously think SAP customers can't use Google? And what would adding a new tag solve, anyway? There is no navigation between the tags, no manageable tag repository, no overview pages, no curation.

Before rushing to dump information on SCN the authors should ask themselves who would consume this information and what would be the most convenient way for them. (Hint: not a new tag.) Just look at the global SCN blog roll - tons of cookie-cutter SAP blogs with barely any views and likes.

SAP has always been about standard "best practices" and clearly that worked out pretty well. And now, I believe, as organization, you should look at practices followed by other successful communities and learn from there instead of reinventing the [square] wheel. Stackoverflow and Chowhound are two forums I'm aware of that use tags. Just look at their websites and compare to the current state of SCN.

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Chiming in with some tag-related thoughts.

* Drill down tags - Imagine selecting a product line first, and then (and only then) being able to select individual product tags, or even product version tags, or even other children tags such as product functions. This requires associative and hierarchical relationships between tags, which is what we desire. Such an implementation of tag relationships would hide a lot of clutter at the top.

* Combinations of tags - I do believe that the combo of tags is where the real power of metadata is realized. But it does need to be reconciled with the primary tag concept, which is the primary mechanism by which moderation and reputation are handled.

Also, about Stack Overflow: I'm not all familiar with their model, but I'm impressed with what I've seen. Imagine if we could improve the user tag side of the universe to be more like theirs, where community members - for example those with more karma currency - could edit and prune user tags, we would develop a powerful folksonomy. That would really complement the managed tag world and improve the overall experience.

Gali's blog about the roadmap (published today) shares some of what's in store for "improving the tag experience," but obviously there isn't much detail about what to expect in H2 - but certainly not for lack of ideas and discussion.

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I don't use other tag-based forums, but to add to what Jelena pointed out in this and other discussions (or questions). Here are the guidelines for tag creation in another SAP forum:

How should I tag my new question?

You should try to add two or more tags when asking a new question.

Some suggestions for tags are:

  • Add a tag that specifies the version that you are using: e.g. sa-16, sa-12, ... asa-9
  • Add a tag that specifies the operation or component(s) that you are using: e.g. Mobilink, remote-data-access, data-recovery
  • If the question is about the behaviour seen on the client application then consider adding a tag that indicates the client API that is being used if you believe that the client API is significant. E.g. odbc, esql, jdbc.
  • If the question is about the forum itself then add the meta-sqla tag.

Do not add tags that are obvious. For example, adding tags such as 'SQLAnywhere', 'Sybase' or 'SAP' provide no additional content to the forum. However, if another vendor's product is relevant to the question or the problem that you are trying to resolved then adding that vendor as a tag could be useful. Note that you will not be able to create a new tag unless you have a reputation of at least 800.

Here are some suggestions if you are creating a new tag:

  • Before adding the new tag check that there is not already a tag with the same meaning, a synonym. If there is then just use the synonym.
  • Use singular words instead of the plural form.
  • Try to avoid tags with multiple words, but if you must create a tag with multiple words then use dashes (-) to separate the words.

If similar rules are adopted for SAP employees requesting managed tags here, it would make things a bit better, don't you agree?

I don't know how well this is working out for http://sqlanywhere-forum.sap.com. It is also possible that the target audience is very different (it appears so, I browsed a few questions at random) and because of this the same approach cannot be "copy/pasted" here, but the general idea for tag naming makes sense. Maybe other forum members, who participate in it, can share their experience...

***Edit: the automatic formatting here is worse than in MSWord.***

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I could...but I told you what I think over there. I'm trying to find the person responsible for that page and get it updated. The fact that it is using the old go.sap.com URL speaks volumes, I fear.

As for "not caring at all," I'd like to think I do. I can think of several other colleagues who do too. On the other hand, I can't think of anyone who would describe ourselves as the "perfect team." We're accutely aware of the issues, believe me.

One of which is the tagging mentioned here. On to that reply now...

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Two thoughts about this:

I'm trying to find the person responsible for that page and get it updated. The fact that it is using the  old go.sap.com URL speaks volumes, I fear.

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1) How is a site migration with SAP team? I can't figure out why you are "trying to find the person responsible for that page".

From what you say, I must assume that there are separate teams that do not know each other. OK, let's assume that SAP is very very huge, and the part of the SCN site is a team, and the part of *.SAP.com is another team, each composed of sub-teams, since browsing is apparently one thing, other team for notifications, other for site design, other for broken links, help.sap.com is another team, and so ...

It should be simpler. SAP runs simple, doesn't it?

Instead of looking for the responsible ... you should communicate with the LEADER of the project that is the person who "knows" the resources, and be the one who is responsible for solving the problems. Not you Jerry, or... are you the leader of this SAP web project?

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2) The "old go.sap.com" ? Excuse me, why "old" ? Where is the "new" site?

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