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Every so often I go back to my Activity stream, and regret it...


In the old (good old!) SCN, the activity stream was my primary entry point, and place to discover new content. I followed spaces and people, lots of them, and the first thing I did every morning when I got to the office was scroll through my activity stream to see what had turned up overnight. And it would be open in a browser page throughout the day and I'd regularly (whenever I stopped to make coffee) check it for new stuff.

Now I hardly ever go there, and every time I do, I instantly remember why I don't. This was in my activity stream just now:

That's one whole browser page about one person's interaction with one blog post. There are plenty more, albeit less extreme, examples as I scroll further down. Talk about bad signal-to-noise ratios...

The activity stream right now is just useless for me, and so keeping up with new content is too hard. I do use RSS for blogs, but I'm sure there are many questions that I could help with that I just don't see because they are too hard to find.


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Nov 07, 2017 at 10:17 AM

remember the good ol' times, when it used just 1/4 of the size without having less interesting information

got.png (67.9 kB)
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I do indeed. Thank you for posting that screenshot - it makes me happy... :-)

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It made me sad. Those were the times... ;(

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Yes, I should have said happy in a nostalgic sort of way. Those were the days indeed.

But sad for today :-(

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It is a slightly better if you follow no tags and if you are very selective who you choose to follow... unfortunately for moderation purposes you probably do not have that luxury.

If you use the filters on the right (blogs, Q&A) and avoid social activities like plague your stream might be more manageable.

But yes, I dislike the current activity stream solution as much as you do, especially if you consider that you need to hover over a title to see the full description.

Seriously, what is the point of showing people an excerpt of the content and some less important information like tags if you cannot be bothered to display the full title of the content?

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I agree. I can't see any advantage of following a tag. In my opinion, the Activity Stream is usefull only when you folow a particular question.

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I rarely follow questions, because one needs to keep the numbers low - otherwise it may be almost as bad as following tags.

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Seriously, what is the point of showing people [...]

According to Captain Obvious, it tells you that the designers of this system consider tags much more important than, er, those all too long titles:)

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Oh, yes, tags are very important... some tag descriptions are longer than many question titles that I encounter in lists...

I did not consider tags as that important and kept just the primary tag (removed secondary and user tags) in my activity stream... too bad that I could not figure out how to get the full title only via CSS.

Would be grateful for some hints on that (sadly, cannot offer pinots).

I manage to fit more items in a single screen (50% more), but it is still ugly and not useful, because I cannot reorder the content into master detail without scripting.

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This was brought up to the attention of some kind of Activity and Notifications improvement committee back in 2016. All we achieved so far is the removal of activities that shouldn't have been there in the first place (e.g. moderator comments) and a few minor tweaks. Several inquiries as to when this could be addressed (made in the respective Jam) were not replied to.

New SCN is supposed to be "world class" but Activity stream very much reminds me about the display of change documents in SAP R/3. No analysis whatsoever, just an unorganized stream of data dumped on the users. I've heard 1980s are back in style but didn't know that included website design.

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Wouldn't 80s webdesign have more color and blinky stuff or was that the 90s?

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I guess in the 80s this would be a "hero image" from TechEd. :)

image.jpg (26.6 kB)
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That would be awesome! So many Hair or Glam Metal possibilities!

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Now, which one is Jerry Janda ?

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Thought that was obvious...
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Isn't blinky stuff the world of Donna Summers, the Bee Jee's and John Travlto in the 70's?
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That, too! :D

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Similar conversation over at

So forgive me for pretty much just copying and pasting what I said there to here.

I see a reluctance here to follow tags, but I find it's the best way to get straight out of the chaos of the general activities stream and zero in on what I need to see.

A big part of my job is keeping track of what's going on with the "using" tag. If I just look at the activites stream itself, it does get a bit cumbersome, as it shows every little thing (so-and-so liked this, so-and-so followed that). It isn't very helpful when I'm trying to identify new posts and/or comments requiring a response.

That's when I find that the filters come in handy. I filter by "using," then filter by "blog." After I check to make sure there isn't any blog activity requiring my attention, I filter by "Q&A."

That all requires extra steps, but it allows me to filter out the noise and focus on the stuff that I should investigate.

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Moderating requires a particular focus, and I agree the Actvity Stream doesn't work for that. I have the "Using" tag page bookmarked so I can keep an eye on it.

But I'm not just here to moderate. The activity stream used to be great for content discovery. You followed spaces and saw the stuff in those. You followed people and saw the stuff they were posting and engaging with. All presented in a nice compact view as Jürgen posted above. And seeing what other people were doing, and joining in with it was, for me, as much about community building as content discovery.

The current activity stream does support all that, but the information density is so low that it is just too much work and takes too much time to scroll through it all. For me this is part of what has broken the community. I am no longer aware of what my "friends" are doing here, and so I'm unable to join in.

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Steve, I totally agree. It's my hope with some sort of future "Track in Communications" feature like we used to have we'll at least be able to more easily follow the updates to questions and blogs that are of interest to us in a more logical way, but that still won't help with new content discovery.

For moderation purposes, given that I (theoretically) moderate a bunch of tags, I pretend that I follow those tags and I try to go and look at them when I can, and do my best to figure out what I've seen before vs what's new. In reality, I'm almost completely dependent upon moderator alerts.

I do glance at the activity stream, but only briefly and only at the most recent stuff, which is quickly gone with any page refresh. I should start figuring out how to use filters better, as Jerry describes.

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Steve, you nailed it. Activity stream has always been part of "content discovery" and checking what the SCN friends are up to.

I already use RSS to check the blogs with specific tags, like Mentors or Support. Or even the site-wide "blog roll" - it's much easier to view in RSS feed instead of the bloated "scroll-more-scroll" SCN view.

And I already have bookmarks for Q&As I regularly visit. I've never used activity stream to find, say, new ABAP questions. It's much easier and efficient to just go to the respective page.

What I expect from the activity stream is stuff like:

- someone liked or commented on a blog (the subject could be way outside of my area of expertise but I'd open it out of curiosity);

- someone answered a question that is not in any of my regular tags (I might be able to offer some help too).

But right now because of "low density", as you correctly pointed out, it's extremely difficult to use. And this can't be addressed by the filters. Because filter or not, you still get 4 items per laptop screen. And you better be quick looking at them because "page will reset" is coming.

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And if you follow tags there is no way to display only likes by people that you follow, which means that content discovery beyond followed tags becomes mission impossible.

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And here the weird notifications structure comes into play. I only noticed Jelena's comment to Steve's comment because I happened to glance at Activity Stream at the right time (and missed this one, it was her next one, in the thread below). It wasn't in my Notifications, because Jelena commented at the same hierarchical level as my comment, rather than directly to my comment. That's just weird! If I make a comment on a thread, I think I'd be interested in knowing what others have to say at that same hierarchical level to that thread.

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Exactly. Not sure how many times we need to repeat this for someone to finally take an action. What is even weirder is that even as a blog author I'm notified only about the "top level" comments. If someone commented on another comment then notification goes only to that one person, not even to the blog's author.

Imagine saying something out loud in a room full of people and getting completely ignored by everyone. I think we need an "SCN in real life" video, like Tripp and Tyler.

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I imagined how such video could look. It is kind of gross ,actually, because you are supposed to get a special room for the lucky ones (maxed at 21) with whom you wish to interact.

After you rejoin the group, everybody else is rushing through the dedicated rooms looking for evidence.

And now I am trying to unsee this...

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Even the feasibility to like a comment (or even answer) from your activity stream without opening the discussion in SCN. Now I need to open the discussion to like a comment.

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Oh, I almost forgot about this one!

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Not sure if this is something new or just a result of my recent job laptop+OS+ browser change but now in the Activity stream I'm getting reminded of this:

Well, useless info in the activity stream, useless info in the tab, kind of fits together.

image3.jpg (18.0 kB)
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my recent job laptop+OS+ browser change

So no S-User ID change this time? Then you should be sooo glad that another "Run simple" reminder should not matter:)

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Well, old SID is gone, of course, together with Jelena The First. :) Fortunately, I was prepared already and switched to PID, so at least am able to come here to complain. No new SID yet, someone is taking their sweet time...

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I get that too. But usually I have enough tabs open that the text is truncated to hide that bit. It happens on all browsers and OSs that I've tried, and probably was happening before your recent change in circumstance. You just didn't notice before, perhaps?

Oh and congratulations. To IBM on a spectacular choice of new employee... :-)


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Thank you! :) Hm, maybe I also just had too many tabs and never noticed before... Rather a silly place for a mission statement. Especially since SAP Activities are so far from being "best run".

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The tool-tip of the tab?

It comes from the <title> in the html page. There is a minor difference in the representation of the tool-tip of the tab between IE and others (Chrome, Firefox), but in all I see the text from <title>.

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I knew the issue rang a bell - didn't take too much hunting to dig up this one from the archives:

"After the go-live" is still valid...
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“The Best Run Businesses Run SAP”

Hmmm, this platform doesn’t.

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Haha, my thoughts exactly! :)

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