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Why o why are questions never marked closed?

I've been trying to be a good "doobie" and answer some of the questions or comment or answer - still working on understanding that. (That's in a different discussion)

Anyway - why doesn't anyone close their question? I didn't until I was told to do so by a nice person and found the close. Why must it be so hard? People would do the right thing if only they knew they should be doing it.

My question of the day.

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Feb 15 at 02:13 PM
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1. Because this is a separate step that is not immediately obvious from the UI (you need to click on Actions and then select Close).

2. Because most people do not bother to come back to provide feedback or accept an answer, why would they close questions.

3. Because you cannot see from your profile if you closed a question or not, so it is easy to forget.

4. In many platforms only moderators can lock threads, so some members maybe do not realize that closing a question is expected from them.

5. Because closing only restricts the creation of answers, comments are still possible, so even if you were responsible and selected best answer and closed the question you may still get comments like "I am having the same issue. How did you solve?".

6. Because closed questions are treated differently depending on where you look - on the main answers page these are not shown when you filter by "unanswered", on "tagged" pages these are shown when you select "unanswered", so what's the point?

7. There are no consequences is you leave all your own questions open.

8. In general - most people will do the right thing only if it is the easiest path.

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Hi Veselina,

Thanks a lot for your input here. I believe Michelle was referring to marking an answer as correct. I agree that closed status behavior should be aligned across the board (including in search). I expect it to be aligned in the new experience.

And I fully agree with point #8 and I've raised this with our UX experts as well. We are also looking into limiting the amount of open questions but I believe it will only impact (optimally) 10% of all questions.

Regards,

Moshe

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I mind to differentiate between closing and accepting a right answer.

Someone who found the answer himself can add the answer and can also accept the own answer.

Closing is then an additional step where I personally see not much meaning in.

If there were no answers then it is better to delete instead of closing it without giving an answer, as this is just useless content for future readers.

If deletion is not possible because of existing answers and comments then closing adds also not much value to the community, except that the few who are here to answer question can bypass such questions. However, most such question and answers do then not add much value either (contrary they add stones into the path to the good content) for the people who are searching for an answer.

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Yes - but it is so easy to skip answered (closed) questions.

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depends on how you "work" in this platform.

Closing does not help at all if you only work from the activities, like I do, where I get the content of 30 tags and 250 followed users.

If you work from the topic pages like this https://www.sap.com/community/tag.html?id=477297786799213261950044802925335 then you don't see anything about accepted or closed.

If you work from answers.sap.com then it is a little different, with the restrictions explained by Veselina. But here we also have the "accepted answers" immediately visible to move on.

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MMMMmmm - It's sad I have no idea where I work from. answers.sap.com and use tags.

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I never close, as I thing *accepting* an answer is the right (and sufficient) thing to do for questions.

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Then do you get more answers after you have already accepted one? Just curious.

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Yes, even after "best answer" is selected, "your answer" is still available, I've just checked. But after "close" it's actually not possible to add more answers, only comments, see this question that I've just closed.

Edit: few times I've added an answer to an "answered" question because the available answers (even the best one) were incomplete or inaccurate. This is very rare though, especially considering that these days due to lack of pinots mostly people who know what they're doing are answering. :)

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Sometimes the OP does not understand what Accept answer means and just selects the first reply which may not even be an answer, but a question of the type "what have you tried so far?".

If the question is not a very basic or a lazy one I would still post an answer.

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I think I never did, and if I did, I would appreciate it (given it's valuable input).

Also, I don't like to be stopped from adding Value to something (e.g. a question), see https://blogs.sap.com/2018/02/15/did-you-get-an-answer-to-your-question/comment-page-1/#comment-411295

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LOL. This comes up at least annually and has been an issue for as long as I remember (this post is from 2006!). Since October 2016 we've been also wondering if New SCN is worse in that aspect than SCN. I don't have the stats for the good old SCN but currently ABAP tag shows total 6778 questions and 5123 "unanswered". The latter might be inaccurate though because the issue of closed questions counted as "unanswered" still has not been resolved. Either way the closure rate of even 30% is a bit low.

Since we've discussed this on New SCN before, I did some search and found this good blog by Robert Russell that also links to a lengthy discussion (under Accepting Answers). Some interesting reading there.

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Yes - I liked that blog.

Maybe it should keep coming up until there is something done? Maybe I'm in a dream world. But we are moving forward. Why not with this too?

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But it does keep coming up. :)

I was going to cite the numerous discussions about this topic, but Jelena beat me to it. In fact, if my ailing memory serves me, my very first Coffee Corner comment was in response to a conversation about this very topic. I was terrified, young(er), and idealistic then, but I survived and now you're all stuck with me.

Since you @mentioned me in your other post on this topic, Michelle, I'll provide some additional detail there. And to your point about moving forward, I can confirm that this issue is definitely something of concern to our team. But even if we address the questions/comments confusion and take a closer look at accepted vs. closing, human nature is human nature. People ask a quick question, get an answer, move on. So we're also discussing ways to nudge people to return and close out their questions.

--Jerry

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And back on my blog - I really have this a mess putting it in both places - I did comment that this isn't just a platform issue. This platform has made it harder because it's not intuitive. But in the old platform there were many times people didn't mark a question answered.

Perhaps it is both a technical and a "business process" issue. :)

Michelle

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It was the whole point of getting the new platform that we were supposed to have more functionality! Before that, it was always "oh, we can't do that because of Jive". OK, Jive is gone, what now?

We were supposed to have less repeated questions because this new awesome feature would automatically start searching for existing questions as you type. Ha! Not only it still does not work, but when it might start working no one will pay attention because for over a year already we've been conditioned to ignore it.

There should've been new features to guide the members on what to do with their open questions. Maybe a popup as a reminder or at least a simple message on screen. Where is that?

UI was supposed to be better and what do we get? 50 shades of grey and beige where the button you should be clicking is the least obvious one.

I totally blame this on platform as much as on anything else.

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I like the idea Jelana mentions about reminders (and thanks for the mention of my blog earlier ) reminds me of the nudge/behavioral science I read about that apparently got more people paying tax. So instead of "most people pay their taxes on time" :) it could be "most people have accepted answers/closed questions by now" at certain levels at logon. No idea if it will work or the exact message that could be displayed at logon (a constant message would probably get ignored) but some reminder to do something positive.

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What I find the most annoying though is when OP actually posts a comment or an answer saying this was resolved but DOES NOT CLOSE the question (in any way). Now everyone is looking at already answered question because it got bumped up on the list. :( We need some kind of ML / AI to detect such posts and just close them automatically.

Also I just remembered how our clever HR solved this issue. We have sort of an internal forum for the employees to post questions about the HR apps. And in that forum when HR people reply they immediately mark their answer as "best" (not sure if they do it manually or if it's just a system setting). If this did not help then you can open the question and un-mark it. But overall this is pure genius.

And on MSDN I've noticed other people questions can be closed by [some?] community members.

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And that is why I started this thread and wrote a very quick blog. I wonder if they know how to mark it answered. It seems to me it would take more time to type the comment then mark accepted or closed.

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I always get confused when I see a comment "I'm going to close this" posted long ago but the question is still open. Makes me wonder if something happened to OP that precluded them from clicking the button. It's not like the process is so long that it needs to be postponed.

It makes sense on the sites that have a different functionality. E.g. you could reply by email or in an app but then go to the full website to do something more. There is no app for SCN. If you are replying you're always one click away from "Accept answer" button.

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Apologies if the idea was suggested before, but can't we run some reports and take cross topic/tag samples of the most frequent question askers out there who never close or mark answers, and simply contact them and find out if we have a lack of awareness, a UI problem, lack of motivation, etc ?

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Great idea!

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bots, bots, how I hate them.

Perhaps this can be a nice thing for them to do - search for duplicates. And send a nice response and close a question. They wouldn't get all of them. But some of the questions would go away.

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As I am responding to an internal SAP IT ticket this morning in the 'solution proposed' state, I am presented with an obligatory survey when I attempt to Confirm the ticket. We have no automatic 'answered' mechanism or any form of forced behavior quite like this, but the old system used to prevent you from asking a new question when you had 'x' open/unanswered ones from past activities. I think it might have been 10.

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Actually the bots already do this, when you create a question then the system is already presenting older questions which match.

Meant to look into those questions instead of posting a new question.

And our most intelligent users follow the link and .... copy the full question to post it as new question. :(

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I want to put laughter instead of like here. But it isn't really funny.

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Actually the bots already do this,[...] And our most intelligent users follow the link and .... copy the full question to post it as new question. :(

So these are the mentioned bots? :)

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simply contact them and find out

Yep, also take them out to the back alley and make an offer they won't be able to refuse. :)

On a slightly more serious note, bots are actually used on Reddit. One bot, for example, adds a link to the regular website when someone posts a link leading to a mobile version (many people use mobile devices to post). So having the helpful bots close the question after finding the text "this is resolved" or similar (ML, anyone?) in OP's comment should be possible with modern technology.

Aaaaand this is the point of discussion when I usually point out that the promised "world class" platform seems anything but... [Sigh]

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Jelena Perfiljeva
Feb 22 at 08:14 AM

Jeremy Good You are suggesting a very important approach. We actually launched a project a month ago where we identify unanswered questions and then we work with moderators to get them answered and with the OPs to mark the answers as correct or provide more information. We will be sure to add this question when approaching users and hopefully get important insights.

But like Veselina said whatever won't be very intuitive, won't happen:

"8. In general - most people will do the right thing only if it is the easiest path."

Over the years I heard a lot of people talk about user training as a solution and we did create relevant training material and updated the notification. But the truth is most of our users are random and people usually don't bother to go outside of their comfort zone.

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Just make the button big again and yellow - like it was in Jive - eye catching. It's all about UI and UX.

Make the email notification automatically switched on by default as the email has a hint to accept the right answer - new users do not even get anything to know about the game rules or even how to best utilize their profile. No hint online, no email like it was in summer 2016. Why was this stopped?

I see the Newbies daily follow their own question, why are they doing that, it is not needed, but the button is big.

Why are the buttons in the question big and in the answers just small grey links?

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Hi Jurgen,

You're raising very valid UX/UI feedback. I will forward it to the UX team.

And allow me to loop-in Sajid Amir for the other questions you raised.

Thanks,

Moshe

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thanks for the ping Moshe.

Jürgen L can you kindly clarify this a little further?

Just make the button big again and yellow - like it was in Jive - eye catching. It's all about UI and UX.

Which UI are you suggesting that we change? Is it the Accept button (shown below)?

And maybe you remember Jurgen, I was working on the exact functionality of automatically switching on certain categories of email by default. Apologies that I have not shared any updates on that lately. But we have continued our efforts on that with data privacy and legal colleagues to ensure that we are complying with all the required laws and regulations around user consent for different countries and upcoming GDPR guidelines. I will make sure to update our special focus groups before it goes into production of course.

I am also working on a Welcome email for all SAP registered users and as you know I am sure, we currently do not have such an on-boarding/training email. This of course also has GDPR and user consent related implications so we have to collaborate with a couple of internal teams. Current plans include a welcome online notification in addition to this welcome email for newly registered users. This way users would know where to expect see the most important alerts and also receive a certain degree of training relevant to their SAP account (with certain categories of email notifications automatically enabled). Please feel free to raise this in any of our calls Jurgen, and I will be happy to follow up and share mockups and our current plans.

Thanks for the continued vigilance and support Jurgen!

Best,

Sajid

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200% agree with both points!

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I've been on the receiving end of your 'email the moderators' pilot, but that was a hand selected link to a question that had no comments or replies (basically untouched). We've had too many moderators leaving after the launch, so adding further burden may not achieve the desired results, and if we have to resort to training or documentation to get the message out there, then I'm a bit concerned that we are far too complex. Although the direct emails might get Moderator attention to targeted questions, and possibly lead to closed questions by OP's, the system needs to more effectively guide or suggest this. More obvious buttons as suggested by Jürgen L seems like low hanging fruit, but as I commented in another area of this thread - doesn't AnswerHub already have some of this user behavior and conditioning figured out already?

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The length of this discussion about closing vs answering just hilights the fact that there’s no hope for the poor souls who drop in occasionally and have no idea what the difference between an answer and a comment is. I think accepting an answer makes closing obsolete, especially if closing blocks further answers.

On another note, I really like the idea floated by Veselina Peykova to downvote with reasons. Just waiting for the right opportunity to throw in http://idownvotedbecau.se/beingunresponsive

I will be downvoting people who don’t accept answers and don’t respond to queries about their question, and I think if enough people do it it might just provide the nudge. And providing a reason for downvoting hopefully promotes the concept to others who are similarly frustrated.

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I did not mean that we perform down-voting with reasons, this is your own idea. :)

I guess something like that (down-vote+ add a comment) might make dealing with frustration a bit easier, but I doubt that it will improve significantly the situation with question quality.

I have the impression that drive-by members or the ones copy-pasting requirements here do not care much about respect and reputation (in the sense of being a professional, this has nothing to do with the gamification term).

That being said, I am willing to participate in such experiment (unless this is against the ROE). The question is how exactly we will do this - I tried to think of some approach, but gamification makes it difficult to come up with a solution that cannot be easily abused without making the whole idea pointless. Example:

If you see a question with down-vote+reason and if you agree with the down-vote reason, you can down-vote as well. If you think that the question deserves an additional reason - you can add it as a comment. If you disagree with the down-vote reason - add a comment.
I am not sure how to handle a situation when members do not agree on the question quality - down-voting does not decrease Karma credits, but up-voting increases them. This means that if you do not agree with some down-vote reason and up-vote a question you will reward the OP even if the question is not great, on the other hand, if you don't up-vote - the question will only sink down with no chance to get back to zero count.

What I can do on my side - no matter if we start using the down-vote a question feature more often or not, is to stop providing answers to poorly written questions by guessing what the OP meant (except when the most likely reason could be a lack of adequate English skills).

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Well you planted the seed for the idea :-)

Actually I was thinking less of a structured approach but more of a 'movement'. If I post a comment asking for info and see the same question the next day still with my name next to it as the last contributor, I will downvote it. The value-add comes from taking the small bit of extra effort to write a reason. My hope is that it will a) prompt the OP and b) might provide the impetus for others to follow suit.

Of course it means I should do the honorable thing and upvote & delete comment if the OP does respond.

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You could just like his/her reply then. showing that you acknowledge it. IMO there is no need to delete your comment asking for more details, because it's good for others to see that this was needed for the OP to get going. Maybe next time he will think of this himself. Maybe not, then another comment is needed. And after some time, when no learning effect is visible, you can just post a comment, that the OP is not making any progress question-wise and you will stop replying to his questions unless he starts to take your time serious and posts questions with sufficiant information.

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No, I meant:

OP: My car doesn't start

AP Comment: Please can you provide more detail

[time passes]

AP Comment: Downvoted for not responding to queries <link>

OP Comment: I turn key and ...

--> delete second comment. Maybe. Or maybe not...

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I do not know whether they fixed the problem where deleting your own comment resulted in an unrecoverable deletion of all subsequent comments (including the ones by other members)...

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More like:

OP: My requirement is X.
AP: Why is this a requirement?
OP: Thank you for a reply! My requirement is X.

"It's got the electrolytes!" #facepalmslap

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Some very deep and thoughtful conversation threads going on here - subject matter expertise is very evident!

I keep thinking about the root causes here and some of the complexities of our current situations with Q&A, but it makes me wonder if the much requested option for a return to the discussion forum concept would simplify this a bit. All the up/dn voting, threaded answers and nested comment chains. IMO, if resolution of an open question is the goal and we want the OP to mark it as such, we need to significantly streamline this...

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I keep bouncing between this thread and the one over at https://blogs.sap.com/2018/02/15/did-you-get-an-answer-to-your-question

Moshe Naveh gave a fairly length response over there, but I'm @mentioning him here so he's aware that we have similar conversations going on in two separate threads.

(BTW, when I read Robert's "taxes" comparison, and people pointed out that taxes and unanswered questions are apples and oranges, I thought, "Why not combine the two? We can always find a way to 'collect' from people who don't accept answers/close our questions." But Jelena beat me to it with the "offer they can't refuse" observation. I guess that makes her the Godmother. :) )

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My fault. I started here, and then thought a blog would be good. A lot of people don't come to coffee corner. :)

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We're going too deep into the comment hierarchy, so I'll just throw this in as a brand new comment.

Veselina Peykova is right on the money: "stop providing answers to poorly written questions by guessing what the OP meant (except when the most likely reason could be a lack of adequate English skills)." Almost every time I decide not to hit the moderator button and instead ask a question or suggest a search term, somehow OP gets offended. Simple "did you search on Google?" just ticks off some people big time. Even when their post shows no evidence whatsoever of them searching.

So we really need to just start referring such questions to the moderators to begin with.

In the cases when OP does not provide more details after being asked I do the same thing. Especially if there were multiple requests for more info or OP bumps up the question unreasonably and uses answers incorrectly. If it's clearly not going anywhere - report it to the moderator as well.

This is similar to weeding - if you see a weed, just pluck it out, otherwise more will grow.

Now this doesn't help when the question actually has legitimate answer and still OP doesn't come back. For those questions some kind of nagging mechanism would probably work well. Or we need to just allow others (or some bot) to close such questions.

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I read this and think - YES! But then I read it and think of the very first time I posted. I don't think I ever would have posted again if the question was just removed/closed. Now if you had a comment in there with search google and the search terms, that's different. That would help me find the answer.

Now - think for a second of all the questions out there with almost a complete specification. I wouldn't mind those being removed.

So how do you determine these things? Are there rules? My hope is that Moshe Naveh and his group will be able to analyze the data and come up with a beginning. I just don't think it is that simple. I know we had the issue on the old platform as well. Good vs. bad questions. At this point, I'd just be very happy with answer accepted and/or closed questions.

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"...to analyze the data..." => Science fiction. Of course do all the moderators see such posts in pre-moderation status, and many will already not find its way to the surface.

But after the people are out of the pre-moderation phase then there is no other control than through the users who read the posts.

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Have you ever received a poor grade when you were a kid? Did you quit school because of it?

This is basically the same as not posting any questions here if your first one was rejected.

What will be your alternatives if you decide never to post a question here?

StackOverflow is maybe OK for some SAP-related topics, for others - you won't find much help, and their rules seem more strict than what we have in SC(N).

SAPfans? Not a lot of activity and the board rules mention cases where topics are locked or deleted without notice.

Less-popular SAP sites? Rules like: search before you post, use the right section, ask meaningful questions, format the content to make it readable, use appropriate titles etc. can be found in almost any forum worth visiting. In some forums you are also expected to write grammatically correct sentences in a certain language and use a spell checker.

SC(N) is probably one of the most newcomer-friendly sites (if you don't take into account the design). If you cannot handle a rejection here - you won't fare much better elsewhere.

Every community needs "weeding", otherwise it dies. If you posted a really basic, frequently asked question the moderator has to remove it, because moderators need to think not just what benefits a single member, but what is best for the community. If you need to search for a solution to a problem and have to go through 30-40 threads from a Google search that contain the same response: "search Google with terms {the ones that you are using}", you will understand why deleting the question is necessary.

This leaves you with reading documentation, prototyping and asking for help colleagues that you know in real life. How is this a bad thing? This is what you should be doing anyway before asking a question in an internet forum. If you learn so much in the process that you never need to ask another question online - this is great. :)

As to the criteria that make a question "good" or "bad" - there is a lot of info already in this thread, blogs and linked sites. I am not sure if there is anything left to mention about question quality that has not been discussed multiple times without changing a thing.

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No, I didn't quit school. However, it was harder for me to ask questions in that class. If it happened to me the very first time I asked that question and the question wasn't taken seriously. Wow you must have had tough teachers. Even if the question was asked many times in our classes the teacher tried to explain it in a different way. Of course that depended on the teacher.

What would I do if I didn't post a question here? Well many people I have known and do know, never post a question here. So how do they find an answer? Co-workers post the question, they decide to do it in a different way, they... The point is it gives them a bad experience. That person may have a question, but still be an expert. Now they are afraid to answer questions as well.

Quality without changing a thing. Yes there are many blogs, many discussions. But how do you decide what is a bad question with rules. With a formula you can plug into the computer? Perhaps - if you are not new, and the key words are found then the question gets tossed out with a nice explanation? Now what if the key words are there, but the question is different? How does a computer know when the question isn't complete?

Just some thoughts.

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Well, the thing is - SCN is not a school.

I prefer the moderation route because the moderators can politely explain to OP that they need to search and then provide more information. (I believe there are response templates available to the moderators.) OP could change and re-post the question after that. If someone can't take the moderator's action as a learning opportunity then well, life is tough.

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Looks like I share yours and Veselina’s perspectives on this thread.

Where I disagree is to rely on Moderators to handle all unwanted behavior, especially when the behavior is common place. That’s always reaction - action after the fact.

One doesn’t want to have a team of volunteers caring for crash victims on a heavy traffic crossing - one wants to put traffic lights in place.

(Yeah, just noticed that this is yet another SAP car analogy, though by proxy. That’s what you get after years aboard the “mothership” ...)

Instead of trying to fix the problematic behavior the system should strongly encourage the wanted behavior as much as possible.

Folks got an answer to a question? Great! Put a big green ACCEPT button there and make the COMMENT/REPLY button one of the 50-shades of Lack in contrast.

Folks want to write a question? Fabulous! Show a little reminder text with example what a good question looks like.

Gee, I’m not a UX Designer by any stretch of imagination but the books I read all indicated that designed behavior is the way to create conformity to rules.

Not sure why these seemingly low-tech solutions present such a hurdle to our best of breed platform.

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Michelle Crapo The challenge you are raising is very challenging :) and is the root element for content quality in a Q&A platform. I personally believe that the more automated we get while using analytics would be the easiest way to identify high quality content. I also like the approach to answer only high quality questions as a way to incentive authors to be diligent about their questions.

While doing something research on Q&A platform best practices I saw two approaches to deal with untouched questions:

1. Remove them completely after a certain period

2. Have a button " I have the same question" which allows it to be surfaced again. Some say this is similar to up voting a question but I personally think people up vote when a question was answered to their satisfaction and want others to benefit from it as well rather then stressing that they also want the answer.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this approach Jelena Perfiljeva Jeremy Good Jürgen L Michelle Crapo Veselina Peykova and others following this thread.

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If you provide a second button to accept the best answer for those user who clicked the " I have the same question"-button then it could be an interesting approach. But usually such questions have not got an answer since the provided information was to small and the user never came back to his question after he was asked to provide more input.

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Isn't AnswerHub one of our best of breed choices for the new community? How can it possibly be that they didn't already figure out some of this user behavior and situational needs that we are debating?

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Excellent point, Jeremy! I believe they actually did. As a matter of fact, I met with Mark Hopkins from DZone who has a lot of community management experience. He definitely could provide some insights.

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Was that part of the "Random coffee" campaign? :)

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I like it. But more buttons? Perhaps we could remove the closed first. I think everyone here agreed that the question answered is the best way to go.

I think it is a very good first step. It's such a very hard thing to fix.

Jürgen L if they never come back to it, then it would be closed after a period of time.

Jeremy Good People don't read everything. Heck, I have enough trouble trying to get my internal users to read my documentation for programs/systems I wrote. They ask before looking. I've tried just about everything including simply sending an e-mail with the document and page.

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LOL - even emails require reading skills :)

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Regarding point 1: I shared some ideas on a similar topic here: https://answers.sap.com/comments/364272/view.html

The topic was about re-tagging old questions, but most of it is valid for all questions.

Regarding point 2:If you really wish t have this...

Someone could use the 'feature' to bump up his own urgent questions, I guess, but there are always workarounds for any restrictions that we can think of to prevent misuse, so it is just not worth the budget to add complex logic to stop that.

I hope that this bump up won't generate additional e-mails or at least we will have a setting in the profile to switch these off, otherwise spammers will surely love that.

I agree with Jürgen L - a common reason why a question has no replies is because it is poorly written. Simply bumping it up won't improve the content quality and attract contributors. If the member who found this question could describe his case in sufficient detail - he stands a much better chance to get responses by posting a separate question - especially if "the same question" is not exactly "the same". Another advantage of asking separately - if this is your own question you will receive notifications for all posted answers.

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"I have the same question" is actually rarely the case on SCN. It's more relevant to some kind of consumer product support forum where you could have literally dozens of people having the same issue. There is just no valid business case for this on SCN, at least at this point.

Automated closure/removal after certain time seems like a good idea and I think it's been suggested before. However, the "unanswered question" filter has to be fixed before that to exclude closed questions as well.

I'd also vote for restoring maximum number of open questions. Even though it's easy to work around by opening another account, I feel it sent the message to the community that we need to follow up on our questions, not just ask and forget.

And I would love to see an account summary from the question/answer. In Jam, I think we could hover over the profile picture and it would show some profile information. Seeing number of posted/answered/closed/open questions would be helpful. With the return of gamification, there could be some statuses attached to it as well, like "good SCNtizen" for closing more than X % questions. Stick and carrot works most of the time.

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Caroleigh Deneen

"With the return of gamification, there could be some statuses attached to it as well, like "good SCNtizen" for closing more than X % questions. Stick and carrot works most of the time."

For your list of ideas. ^^

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Do you mean for closing their own questions? Am I too I'm jaded from years of investigations? I imagine people asking and closing a bunch of their own questions just to earn that badge. If we reconsider the "Trusted Member" concept, we can consider granting non-moderators privileges, like the ability to close any question, based on their karma earned. Maybe that would be the behavior to recognize with a Good SCNtizen (SO CLEVER!) mission, closing X questions of others. But that's if we want to encourage closing.

Also, what about a hidden "needs intervention" mission that doesn't have a badge. Any member who has more than X questions older than X days/months that aren't closed or accepted earns it. We don't show it in the profile or include it in the activity stream, but can use it to trigger intervention (email with guidance, invite to an on-boarding / good practices webinar, karma deduction). Until such mission can be configured, we could pull the data manually on a monthly or quarterly basis to identify those members and try a pilot.

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I like the "I have this question too" approach. The Mac/Apple forums do this. A couple of other features I like on there:

At the top of old questions it says: Looks like no one's replied in a while. To start the conversation again, simply ask a <link>new question</link>

And no, a forum doesn't have to be complicated, two buttons are enough:

And in the ensuing conversation they provide a simple few choices:

Note there are no plethora of options for comment-on-question, comment-on-answer, comment-on-comment, answer-the-question, grey links, blue links, white buttons, blue buttons.

Just 2-3 buttons. Simple.

Edit: And once again this platform lost my images. And now they're oversized (sorry). And why can I paste three images but only upload two? I give up.

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I guess this could be helpful in the forums for the new product. In SD, for example, the situation is more like "9 people had the same question 10 years ago". :)

Not sure what does it solve though and what would anyone do with the result... Would SAP do anything when they see N people have the same question? This hasn't happened so far. SAP still expects someone to take it to them on a plate through some influence session...

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I see two benefits. Moshe already touched on one of them:

1. Instead of posting a new question on a topic, it would bring an older one back each time someone 're-asks' it. So it reduces duplicates and keeps information related to one issue in one post (yeah, I do live in a dreamworld :)

2. It can be used as a ranking metric in searches, so the most popular questions come up top in searches

The combination of 1. and 2. means common questions would keep bubbling up until they were answered and is would eventually build an kind of an automatic FAQ.

Yes, I did say I lived in a dreamworld, but I remain hopeful...

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"then I read it and think of the very first time I posted."

None of us here ever started with posting a question on SCN before doing due diligence and familiarizing ourselves with the community. Any sane person would do the same in real life, too. E.g. you would never just walk into a room full of strangers by opening the door with your foot and yelling "whassup, b*ches?!" (Well, not if you expect them to take you seriously.)

Professionalism is the only thing we're expecting on SCN. Asking "how do I add a custom field in this transaction?" and expecting everyone else to do your legwork is not professional. And it reeks of entitlement.

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It would really be an ice breaker to go into a meeting like that. And a quick trip to HR too!

I don't think I'd walk into a room full of people and ask "hey do you know how to do XYZ".

I don't know about that. I know people that do try to search for things. However they are searching on the wrong things. So they create a question. You don't know what you don't know. You know I started on the SDN a while ago. Everything was new. I don't know if I duplicated questions or not. Perhaps I did when I didn't know the key words to search.

Now, yes, it is easy for me to search for that answer. If you want me to do the entire thing for you. No, I wouldn't answer. But the people who answer are doing it for different reasons. Mine is simply to share knowledge and help out. It just makes me feel good. I also want to have fun, learn something, and... Well there are lots of reasons.

So - I sort of, kind of, agree with you,

Michelle

PS Junk out there in SAP Community. It would be interesting to see if we could automate deleting some of it. Also there have been REALLY old blogs about the quality of an answer. Yes, all the reasons listed are still valid. But now we have some added difficulties. Some people use the FM and some OOP. If you are on an old version of SAP that class may not be available. If you aren't and you use the FM because someone answered that way? It's just a more interesting time right now as people move to HANA.

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.

Does the OP get an info or a banner over the question, when his content is alerted (like the one I see after I saved an alert)? If there is a visible indication for the OP that his question (or content, when taking blogs and comments into account) got alerts, maybe that could help. Make it even a notification. Got 3 alerts? Let's send 3 notification "Hey, your content got an alert!". If those pile up, maybe something clicks. Show it on the content, too for the OP. "Your content was alerted X times and is waiting for a moderator action."

And I think it's not hidden after a certain amount of alerts like in old SCN, right?

When you only get the info if an alert is accepted/declined by a moderator and this via one single notification, that's not IMO enough. The hint should come earlier.

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I think someone answered just recently in another post that only blogs are hidden automatically after 2-3 alerts. I might have misunderstood though.

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Jelena Perfiljeva
Feb 22 at 04:41 PM

so it was 1.5 years ago.

and no, the user does not know anything about alerts until the moderator adds a comment. He will not even notice that there was one if the moderator decided to keep the content. Pretty similar if the moderator decided to delete the content. Without comment the user might just not find his question anymore.

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I'm starting to feel like in the South Park "The Human CentiPad" episode: "Why does it not read?!". :) Except in this case - "why does it not close?!" 5 month old question. OP comes back to post a comment. Does not close the question (in any way). Bonus: it's still not clear what the problem was and an odd title.

Did we help OP? Will this be helpful to anyone going forward?

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5 month old! Oh boy. That's not good.

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I think "the problem is resolved". At least the OP posted as much. ^^ Looks like moving call of the enhancement (or the enhancement, I have no clue whatsoever when it comes to this) to another place in the code solved the issue.

@Jelena: You could point the OP in the right direction (aka the "Accept" text).

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Done. More traffic for Juergen's blog, which just hit 1000 views:

Cue the balloon drop! :)

scn.jpg (27.1 kB)
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WOOP WOOP! 1000 views here is like 1.000.000 every else, right? :D

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Totally! SCN view is like 100 in LI views. :)

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I still feel all this discussion to help new and/or misunderstanding users to get their questions "closed" is error-prone if we mix the terms "closing" (in the desired meaning = "marking as answered") and "closing" as GUI action...

Even the hint to Juergen's (great) blog is not that helpful when the blog itself explains both how to accept vs. close a question...

So I guess unless the GUI is improved (*), it's important to name the actions according to the GUI elements.

----

(*) And nobody would be surprised if that would take more than 5 months, right?

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I suspect you're not talking about just this discussion but are questioning in general whether there are actually two separate processes needed on SCN. If so then I agree. We didn't have "close" on SCN or SDN before and it was fine. The moderators could "lock" the question if necessary. This is, essentially, what "close" does these days. There is no value added by it otherwise IMHO.

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Your suspicion is correct:)

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Jelena Perfiljeva
Feb 26 at 04:17 PM

It was so much easier to share a blog in SCN, you clicked share and entered the user ID.

And since the best of breed you can only share it externally via Facebook or LinkedIn

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I have it bookmarked and just add a link as needed. Never used that share feature before TBH but I'm not a moderator.

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Unless I'm missing your point here, Juergen, you can also share a blog via Twitter and G+. (Granted, I can't remember the last time I saw somebody used the latter, but the former still seems to be the preferred method for promoting community content.)

--Jerry

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It was a feature which was probably not used by the majority of users as it worked similar to direct messages. You could only share with your followers except you were a moderator

You just clicked the share-link below a blog and entered the user id, added a short text message and pressed send. And the document/blog was send as attachment to the person of your choice, it was even possible to enter an email address. So I shared many blogs directly with colleagues at work in a single step.

It was even a separate category in the communications filter, and if I am not mistaken part of the gamification mission "pay it forward"

Anyhow, I used it very much to share the old blog silently with users who had numerous questions open without disturbing the activities of anybody else.

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Out of curiosity checked my own answers (this is for Jelena 2nd only). In SD tag: 77 answers total and 12 of them accepted; in ABAP tag it's 161 and 24 respectively. Granted, not always my answer is the best one but I've manually checked the random 10 or so and only 1 of them had an accepted answer.

By the way, would be nice to see in the profile if the question I replied to was closed / "answer-accepted"ed. Would make it easier to find and nag the non-repliers. :)

Also today on a radio I've learned about Antanas Mockus who was a mayor of Bogota known for some controversial but apparently highly effective measures, such as hiring 400+ mimes to make fun of traffic violators. We should learn from that guy.

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You've learned something - you're done for the week. :) I"m laughing and my dogs are giving me the yes, she's crazy but we love her look.

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Where in the world could you find 400 mimes (and why would you!)?

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Mime school?

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In Bogota? :) I guess they were all laid off since that guy left office.

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Jelena Perfiljeva
Mar 01 at 02:24 PM

Perhaps the training budget could pay my way through mime school. I don't know if being a mime would help get questions closed, but I suppose I could work on an act for the 2018 TechEd events. If nothing else, miming might differentiate me from all those MBAs in the job market. I mean...imagine if I went in and mimed my way through a job interview. Who wouldn't want to hire me after that? Sure, I've tried interpretive dance and ventriloquism when meeting with potential employers in the past, and they were unimpressed, but who doesn't love a mime, right? And showing up as a mime can't be any worse than the time I did my "human statue" act for a recruiter, who lost patience with me after I refused to budge during 10 minutes of questioning. In the end, she had security remove me, and, to my credit, I never broke character. You'd think that type of dedication would have scored me some points for the second round of interviews, but nooooooo...

(BTW, this thread prompted me to look into whatever happened to Shields and Yarnell...and, yeah, I'm dating myself with that one.)

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This would be a total game ahcnger for the conference calls.

- Hey, Jerry, are you on mute?
- No, he's just miming.

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Jelena Perfiljeva
Mar 02 at 01:19 PM

I would just turn on my webcam. :)

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After unsuccessfully hunting through the beta archives for a discussion about beta/feedback tags, I stumbled upon this thread which stimulated two thoughts:

  • The fact that we are having similar debates here in this thread, making Niraj a bit of a clairvoyant
  • Where the feedback idea ultimately went
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Here we go again: "your answer accepted" but the question is still unanswered and there are no updates.

Question link

My best guess would be that either OPs just click on a wrong button or they realize that "Accept" marks the question as answered. Not sure though what's the point to keep dragging the question since December if you don't even add any new information.

scn.jpg (17.0 kB)
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I still don't have any suggestions as to why questions are never marked closed :) However, I noticed that there is now a "QUESTION_STATUS" flag on the search tools I couldn't help but run through some stats again. Out of 15000 or so questions from 1st Jan to 31st Mar 2018 only 1.98% questions closed. Although to me accepting the answer would be the key step. I am using a Pie Chart which I thought I would never do!! Anyway think I can get away with that in the coffee corner.

piechart.png (227.7 kB)
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Thanks for sharing, Robert! And I'd expect nothing less than a pie chart in Coffee Corner. Unless someone invents a cookie or a croissant chart. :)

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Well, if you squint your eyes and look at Robert's chart, the orange part could pass as a croissant IMO. An abstract one at least. :D

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