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author's profile photo Brian Bernard

Vast Reduction of Selectable Tags in Tag Picker

On the heels of yesterday's announcement about the new tag picker, I'd like to share some other recent work that took place behind the scenes to improve the tagging experience.

In short, we've reduced the number of tags that are selectable when creating content. Over the course of the last few months, we've gone from a number in the thousands to a number in the hundreds. The sheer volume of tags before, along with the fact that many tag names were confusing or duplicitous sounding, contributed to a disconnected and unengaging experience.

Tags were not hidden willy-nilly; we made decisions based on engagement reports and also analyzed content blog by blog, question by question. Which tags did we hide?

  1. Tags with no associated content or with very low volume of associated content, as established from reports on tag engagement
  2. Tags in specific product lines based on stakeholder feedback (e.g. SAP Fiori, SAP Business One) Product lines for which there are vastly too many/too granular underlying products (e.g. SAP Knowledge Acceleration, SAP address directories)
  3. Product lines for which there are vastly too many/too granular underlying products (e.g. SAP Knowledge Acceleration, SAP address directories)
  4. Tags that sound too similar to other tags, or include a “trigger” word (SAP Forum, SAP Tutor, SAP Learning Assistant, etc.)
  5. Product function tags found to be too granular (HCM tags) or duplicate (e.g. CRM WebClient UI and UI WebClient Framework)

With the new tag picker, plus a "smarter" set of available tags, we hope to see improvements in engagement, moderation, and answered questions.

Happy tagging!

P.S. Thanks Michael Appleby for helping with the initial analysis.

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  • Dec 09, 2017 at 12:19 PM

    Back to SCN Spaces :)

    • Dec 09, 2017 at 01:13 PM

      Still have quite a way to go before we get there. But this step was a crucial one towards making the present site more successful. Brian and crew have done a great job with this effort.

      This is a private message to you Vadim, but visible to other Moderators as well.

      Cheers, Mike

      • Dec 12, 2017 at 01:26 PM

        I guess Karma points can now be reinstituted?!

        • Dec 12, 2017 at 04:01 PM

          We are still missing any reputation counter!

          To my mind on each Q&A tag page we need at least a list of top 10 user with the count of accepted questions for the particular tag.

          • Dec 12, 2017 at 05:24 PM

            Hi Vadim,

            The Gamification team has held off until the issues with excessive tags could be addressed. Since they have now been addressed, my hope is that they can again turn on the Karma points and start working on badges, leaderboards, and contributor levels again. Audrey Stevenson is the lead, I think, for this task. I will bring it up in the next SAC meeting. There is also a Reputation Advisory Group whose purpose is to address such things.

            Cheers, Mike

            • Dec 12, 2017 at 07:51 PM

              "leaderboards" for tags is the key thing! The rest can wait to my mind. To simplify things it can be based on accepted answers.

            • Dec 13, 2017 at 06:54 PM

              Just wanted to let you know I saw this. Thank you for raising it, and I will come to the SAC meeting tomorrow with the a status update on the planned gamification / reputation elements, and will be happy to discuss further.

              Here's a reminder of the planned elements, and some background on our move beyond points and leaderboards (they led to quite a bit of gaming). We hope the expertise score will provide similar motivation and recognition, with fewer negative side effects.

      • Dec 18, 2017 at 02:25 PM

        [Note on secret Mod-Comments]

        Apparently, and to my surprise, it is also visible to (self-chosen) ex-moderators like me! It doesn't bother me, but surely is a bug. (Probably the "remove Mod-powers"-workflow was missing one of our many platforms). I already wrote Moshe Naveh an e-mail, telling him about it.


  • Dec 11, 2017 at 03:08 PM

    IMHO the number could easily be in the tens but I'll take any improvement at this point.

    • Dec 12, 2017 at 01:38 PM

      Hi Jelena,

      Having reviewed the thousands of tags back in January, my best estimate at that time was between 600-800 tags would be granular enough without leaving topics/products/subjects uncovered. Consider that we had 500 spaces in the previous Jive based SCN. I think Brian and crew did a great job to get to this result. While I get your point, I think the reduced count is pretty much on target. Tags are dynamic and subject to change as new products/services/technologies come out. And of course, Marketing has to change the big names every 18 months or so! :-( There are likely some tags that got removed for which there is a need just as there are some tags which are duplicative. Tweaking will be an ongoing process for the near and intermediate future.

      Cheers, Mike

      • Dec 13, 2017 at 09:15 PM

        If there were indeed 500 spaces then perhaps they did not all show up in SCN Index? If memory serves, the whole Index was not that long, although I could be wrong, of course.

        And even the SCN index had some redundant items. E.g. in addition to SD space, there were separate Sales and Billing spaces that served no purpose. There was actually a suggestion made to combine them all in one space even prior to 2012 migration. In ABAP, also vast majority of questions went into "ABAP General" instead of the designated Performance, Enhancement, etc. spaces.

        I just did a quick test by using "Ask a question" and typed in ABAP as primary tag. There were very many items on the list:

        OK, I get "Web Dynpro", but why "ABAP Extensibility" or "ABAP Testing" (further down the list) is a separate topic from "ABAP Development"? And what does Data Archiving has to do with ABAP?

        Going forward, IMHO it needs to be carefully evaluated what really requires a designated primary tag and what the tags represent.

        image5.jpg (38.6 kB)
  • Dec 12, 2017 at 05:11 AM

    This is a step in the right direction, albeit more than a year after the launch. IMHO, tags have never been the root of the problem, especially since we had them before in Jive. The new tag picker should help alleviate new content authoring challenges for proper 'tagification' of a blog or question, but we still have the downstream problem of not being able to effectively use them. The Activity Feed defaults to all tags and all entries, but the moment you deviate from this you are relegated to a single tag and/or single source of activity. We have no in-between status where you can pick a few followed tags from your list and eliminate the noise of all the social activities, so we have an all or nothing approach to using the Tags (and by 'nothing' I mean one at a time).

  • Dec 12, 2017 at 01:28 PM

    The improvement in Tagging is a HUGE improvement for the community members and also for the Moderators. Great Job Brian (and team)!

    A Merry Christmas present indeed!

  • Dec 15, 2017 at 04:17 PM

    Hi Brian,

    "Duplicitous" or "duplicative"? Or maybe you really mean both? ;)


    p.s. "hidden" moderator comment

    • Dec 15, 2017 at 06:40 PM

      Anyone else with special x-ray vision moderator power find it ironic from a UI perspective that we need footnotes or text to mention that the little padlock icon make this comment 'hidden'? Wouldn't it also make sense that my Reply here would by default also be of the same classification without forcing me to choose option #2 in the dropdown menu below the Submit button?


      • Dec 15, 2017 at 08:01 PM

        One would indeed think so! But we've learned from past behavior that users tend to not notice the little lock icon, and it becomes second-nature now to include the footnote, eh? Even when commenting to someone who clearly does know the difference between a public and hidden comment (though anyone still might miss the lock icon if not looking for it).

  • Jan 12, 2018 at 10:43 AM

    Nice that we got the tags reduced, can we now start asking for missing/new tags?

    I'd still very much would like to have one on AdT (ABAP Development tools in Eclipse), as lined out on


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