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author's profile photo Susan Keohan

Don't Tag me

Why do people think it's helpful - or even OKAY - to tag a person in a question? I don't mean an @ mention, I mean (as you all know) putting your name in as an actual tag.

I don't get it! I'm sure that the thought is, well, this person will now get notified of my question.

But that doesn't happen (praise lack of notifications!!!)

And it also feels like an intrusion.


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  • Jan 30, 2018 at 01:57 PM

    They are called 'user tags' after all ;)

    I do agree with your feelings of intrusion.

    • Jan 30, 2018 at 02:52 PM

      then I fear the worst when they ever come to Germany and read a dinner menu with items like Farmer steak, Jägerschnitzel and Zigeunerschnitzel

    • Jan 30, 2018 at 09:53 PM

      Actually I think you may be on to something, I can see how this can easily be misinterpreted. “User-defined tags” would be much clearer.

  • Jan 30, 2018 at 02:27 PM

    Would you like to send me some examples privately? I could investigate a bit further. The only time I use a person's name as a tag is for Member of the Month. I can't think of any other reason to do so (although with user tags, you could be able to sort all of the content with a person's name as a tag...not that I see the benefit).


    • Jan 30, 2018 at 02:56 PM


      And thank you Jerry!

    • Jan 30, 2018 at 07:51 PM

      Here's a rather prominent example:

      a8wr3.png (20.3 kB)
      • Jan 30, 2018 at 07:56 PM

        I'll make sure to reprimand our CEO.

        I should also take this opportunity to say that I've enjoyed working with you all and maybe our paths will cross again after I find a new job... ;-)


        • Jan 30, 2018 at 09:28 PM

          I'm sure he will be understanding :)

        • Jan 31, 2018 at 01:05 AM

          on a positive, you can then create your own Jerry private account and use the account linking feature so we know you're still around.... as you're on Careers Tag asking us to pls hlp you find a new carrier

          • Jan 31, 2018 at 02:19 PM

            Well, I'm not a developer -- just a goofy writer -- so I dunno if I'll get many opportunities from this (vastly more intelligent) technical audience. Then again, if there are openings for communications specialists in Australia... ;-)

      • Jan 30, 2018 at 11:02 PM


      • Jan 31, 2018 at 04:59 PM

        LOL. Saw that too and thought WTF. Maybe one of those "SAP ABAP" accounts could make themselves useful and comment "yo, dude, use @-mention!"

      • Jan 31, 2018 at 08:42 PM

        Actually I think this is a correct use of tags. Bill is writing about them, not to them. Tags denote a topic, so I'd call this justified.

        • Jan 31, 2018 at 09:31 PM

          Like with Jerry's MOM tagging, I tend to agree with you Mike, but using the @mention in the body of the blog would be a bit more direct and they would at least receive notification for the name dropping (email would be up to their individual configuration). There were other key names Bill listed that weren't tagged. You can't 'follow' a user tag, even if it is your own, so there is nothing that would draw Bjoern or Nick into the blog other than separate emails or something external, and I won't go into the problem with the fact that the blog 'Follow' button is largely irrelevant, and only the original poster gets informed of our activities below.

          The other threaded debate over direct messages (DM) below tends to highlight that we have several elements of communications / tooling frustration for the current Community platform when it comes to staying in the loop, and our fear of missing out (FOMO). I came here from the CC list and had to search for your name to find your most recent comment.

    • Jan 30, 2018 at 09:53 PM

      Thank you Brother one and only user tag reference, and with it my incognito status vanishes Yust Like That!

    • Jan 30, 2018 at 11:45 PM

      This type of usage had been brought to the attention of the community team before. Not sure why it still generates surprise.

      My best guess is that people who do use user tags to address certain other users are trying to seek attention for the question just the same way as the @mention feature is supposed to work. I don't know what exciting changes are in the pipeline for tag management but pointing over to SO once again, I like to mention (pun intended) that over there new tags need community approval. /*-- side rant --- let that sink in a bit. "community approval" means, there exist both a concept and a working setup in which community members can propose new tags and in which also community members can vote on whether the tag gets approved or not. Remind me again, what the community can decide on SCP again... --- */

      Personally, I don't feel more or less affected by being 'tagged' ('nother pun) than being '@mentioned'.

  • Jan 30, 2018 at 02:38 PM

    Well at least people think you are great enough to warrant a tag of your own. Me... not so much, I don't have one. ;(

  • Jan 30, 2018 at 05:37 PM

    Most of Community users simply don't know about @mention feature. And they are using user tag thinking it's the only way to somehow attract attention of the mentioned person. I have already suggested the advertising of @mention in question form, but no reaction!

    • Jan 30, 2018 at 09:44 PM

      Reminds me of some of your previous on-point suggestions too:

      How many of these are being addressed by the upcoming UX redo?

    • Jan 31, 2018 at 01:08 AM

      pity the can't get a pop-up information to close next time they login to let them know they can enable notification emails and how an @ mention works. One of those show me or I got it things.... But then next time they login it doesn't appear (I'm thinking a bit like the People Profile message that I get all the time to remind me that I can link my profiles)

      • Jan 31, 2018 at 05:31 AM

        I don't think that login popup notification is a good idea. To my mind this feature has to be explained where it's used - in the input form.

      • Feb 01, 2018 at 03:44 PM

        Hi, Colleen:

        There have been discussions on making some changes to the process that will better guide both new registrants and existing members about setting up email notifications (especially after they post questions).

        Not quite the popup/@mentions guide you were describing, but it might at least educate people about the best way to track answers.

        I don't want to say more until I have firmer details.


    • Jan 31, 2018 at 09:48 AM

      Hi Vadim, I think in most cases when users ask a question in the community they want an answer and don't really mind who is answering. I agree that it would make sense in special cases like described here, if a user wants to address or notify one specific person. But that's the purpose of DM. Instead, it might be better to add a @mention suggestion in the answers or comment field, what do you think?

      • Jan 31, 2018 at 11:55 AM

        if we would use tools like professionals do then I have no concern about spreading the @mentions

        functions even more widely. Right now it works well between us "residents". But if all those people who don't know what tags are switch to @mentions then it would go into our notifications (maybe even emails) and would actually be much more intrusive.

      • Jan 31, 2018 at 01:43 PM

        Hi Mynyna Chau - if I'm not mistaken, the DM option only works if a user first goes to the targeted person's people profile and uses the 'Send a Message' button. Going directly to the 'Send a Message' interface from the intuitive '+ Actions' menu only works if you are being followed by the intended recipient (otherwise their name will never appear in search results to start a new chat). With moderator privileges it may also act differently for normal users, but I'm not sure. Overall, not very intuitive and a bit too inconsistent for users, so they tend to get creative and I think that's where tagging comes in :(

        • Jan 31, 2018 at 01:57 PM

          No Jeremy, you are right. And since I also agree with Jürgen, I would hold back with featuring @mention prominently in questions, too.

        • Jan 31, 2018 at 02:01 PM
          if a user first goes to the targeted person's people profile and uses the 'Send a Message' button

          So how do I do that? If I visite your (or other users's) profile page, I do not notice such a button...

          • Jan 31, 2018 at 02:11 PM

            Thank you for confirming my suspicion - apparently this is only for those of us blessed with Moderator super powers. The DM option really would not work, because unless the subject matter expert being tagged or targeted is somehow following the tagger, there is no way for them to DM. This is not exactly a bad thing, but in my testing the search results for adding a new chat session are very inconsistent (or just very slow).

          • Jan 31, 2018 at 02:15 PM

            you should see the button for Jelena and Robert as you are following each other

            • Jan 31, 2018 at 02:20 PM

              Yes, I do, thanks for the clarification!


              Although that is a questionable feature: So as a non-moderator, I am only able to DM those who already do follow me? Not necessarily helpful for unexperienced users... Then I think a helpful person would prefer to be "user-tagged" instead of getting invited to follow a new user:)

      • Jan 31, 2018 at 06:40 PM

        "it might be better to add a @mention suggestion in the answers or comment field" - agree 100%

  • Jan 30, 2018 at 07:06 PM

    This just means you're now officially a celebrity. :) Not a bad company to be in, if I may say:

    • Jan 30, 2018 at 11:04 PM

      I knew the issue had been raised before, but I did not recall it was my #mentorbuddy Steve Rumsby.

      Now if someone would please tag Mike Pokraka, my work here would be done ;-)

  • Jan 30, 2018 at 09:51 PM

    That’s been one of my arguments why this Q&A format is so awful.

    When I have a hard time choosing which of the three response formats I should choose, what hope is there for those who don’t even understand tags?

  • Jan 31, 2018 at 12:14 AM

    Well that escalated quickly...

    My intent (based on Sue's original post) was to talk to my SAP Community Experience colleagues. Using someone's name as a tag doesn't violate any rules (technically), but there might be opportunities to educate people about the best way to engage with members. As noted in a few comments, this practice of tagging people is not new, but since Sue described it as an "intrusion," I thought it was worth revisiting on our side.

    In the course of the conversation, several other topics came up -- the process for approving tags, the inclusion of @mention explanation in the questions form, and Vadim's overall list of Q&A issues (and how UX will address).

    Lars Breddemann Vadim Kalinin Jeremy Good I'm referring specifically to your comments. I've notified my teammates about your observations/concerns. I also suggested that they keep an eye on this thread in general, as other criticisms have come up. And I'm sure others may be coming. (Although, at some point, if we stray too far off-topic from Sue's post, it might be better to either start new threads or move them to existing related conversations.)

    For now, didn't want anyone thinking that anything here has gone ignored.


  • Feb 06, 2018 at 05:52 PM

    Well, about time Julie Plummer got her own tag too:

    "If you are reading this..." - kind of a cute message in a bottle. :)

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