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[STATUS UPDATE] Maybe the Community isn't exactly a priority

Well, i received an email from Mommy SAP to join the wonderful program "Ask an Expert Peer" (ref. https://blogs.sap.com/2018/03/23/have-you-tried-ask-an-expert-peer-yet-your-feedback-matters/ ) which announcement i totally missed in past months.

Basically, it looks to me exactly what the community should be: a place for experts to share problems and solution.
And i repeat it a place for experts


So, my guess and very personal opinion, the SC will sink into questions like "How to call MIGO via BDC" or "I need to update a custom table: how can i do it" and the really interesting stuff will migrate to the new platform.

Really good.


Yeah.



Good...

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Sep 06 at 06:45 AM
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But it's a closed platform inside SAP Support portal. Not possible to compare it with open SAP Community...

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I know, but my thought is the SC is the place for professional peers

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For sure I can see a significant drop of professionalism in the questions with tags I am answering. With strict moderation number of questions will be reduced to 2-5 per week :)

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Come to ABAP and you'll see!

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The issue with unprofessional questions can be solved using moderation. The real issue is the absence of significant number of professionals asking/answering questions. And the reason is simple to my mind: professionals don't like current Community platform.

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Yes, and my thread here is exactly that: i feel SC is not a priority at all, quite the opposite in the past, if SAP sends to people invites to join the Ask an Expert Peer's program where experts are paid to do the same thing they already do in SC (or at least did in SCN).

From my POV, it's a clear signal SAP doesn't care about SC anymore, apart being a free-for-all place to attract people.

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Good question Simone !!!

I'm wondering if I ask a question to a Peer I will get the famous message ....

>>>>>>

This is more a consulting matter than a product function. If you require assistance with consulting please take a look at sapnote 5 for SAP Consulting Services

>>>>>>

or after asking the peer I will get a Sales Representative asking me more questions. :-P

It's been over a year since Michelle Crapo blog ( https://blogs.sap.com/2018/01/16/the-future-of-sap-community/ ) and 9 months since blog of the SCN/SDN/SAP Community role in SAP ecosystem ( https://blogs.sap.com/2018/01/16/the-future-of-sap-community/ ), but I've seen little to no change since then, maybe they are reserving a big surprise for us :). There are some actions but few visible on the platform.

Last month i read a blog about bicycles and thought ..... OK, SAP sponsorship byke riding, it's a good activity, it was on SAP Community tag, it's a blog (if you don't like it, don't read it) but .... what does it have to do with old SDN/SCN ????. I micht have lost my compass on EQ.

A few days ago Marssel Vilaça published in linkedin a blog I wrote 2 years ago and receive more comments and views than my whole activity in SAP Community in a year. The tide has changed :-( .

I will keep going on sap community as long as i have time and like doing it, but sometimes I just don't know where are we going with the "new" sap community.

Kind regards

PS: My coffee was burned this morning :-(

PS2: My EQ is very ... very low :-D



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i broke my moka this morning, so i can feel your pain!

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Dropped my french press carafe the other day. That didn't end well. The good news is I like the off brand replacement better than the original. Moka pot still holds strong. I've seen some in department stores around here now, they seem to be of inferior quality.

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Coffee? Not my drink of choice. I'm drinking tea myself. Many late nights and weekends worked for me. So it hasn't become one of the top priorities. I wonder if that is just the problem for some people.

HA! But you mention me so I have to reply.

Is it better or worse or holding it's own? I can't give a personal answer to that as I've been off of it for awhile.

Here's my not so "bad" response. I've been working on an "upgrade" - really re-install - of SAP at my company. We went live in August. There were some issues - fingers crossed here - but nothing "HUGE". So why on Earth did I comment this way? Well, I have been searching for answers when I run into an issue, of course.

Would you be surprised when I say about 75% of the time I find the answer here. Around 10 to 15% I find it someplace else. Have I asked questions? So far I haven't had to - YET. But I feel some coming.

Back to SDN days. When I went live in 1997 (different company), there was two places to get answers here and another site. I was on SDN almost daily. But I'm not anymore. Mmmmm... That would be one difference. Two, we didn't care about the platform at all. Just so long as we could get questions answered. Then it became fun because I got to know some members.

"SDN" now. I still have gotten to know some members well. I see a lot more answers that would make me feel bad if I was the first to ask them. I see myself using the site more. Why? Because I have more questions than answers. Less because I have less time to comment, read, and post.

So may challenge to anyone who has read this. Take a moment - or a day - to think about this. If you could change one thing - ONE - that is not related to the platform, what would you change? Don't debate this or any of the answers. They are personal opinions. Sometimes It's fun to debate but right now - just brain storming. Again NOTHING technical about the platform. Might want to see this blog too - https://blogs.sap.com/2018/05/22/hello-my-name-is-craig/


For me it would be the answers. I liked it when I was a repeat and someone would take the time to try to understand what I really meant and helped me. Even if it had been posted at other times.

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OK - adding this as another thread....

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Professional? Who decides who is professional? Who decides what are good questions and which are bad?

You are not professional because you ask basic questions. Wait. Who decides the basic questions? Ah... That's the moderators. They decide because they can answer them? No not really. I'm hoping they decide because it is answered many times.

So do I consider myself professional? Yes, yes, I do. Why am I not asking questions? Because they've all been asked? Nope. Because I want to appear professional. Catch 22. If I ask a "basic" question, and someone thinks it is basic. I think I am stupid.

So from my unprofessional opinion - ask the question. Even if you are a "professional". We all need help from now and then. The question not asked is the stupid question.

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To my mind, unprofessional question is the question containing no essential information to answer it! Like:

Q: "I have written a script, but it results in the error "xxxx" - can you help me?"

A: "But where is the script text???"

And each day I see a lot of questions like this.

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And so... They need to learn. If it is the same person then it would be bad. Very bad. But if it is a different person - the next question asked should be exactly your response.

Over and over again - yes. But how often do you do something mid-thought? I have been asked to clarify my e-mails before. Why? Because I'm thinking about XYZ. The person I write them to is thinking ABC. Also if it is a different person then that's the reason too. They haven't learned yet. I believe people want their questions answered. Therefor they need to put down more information.

So are they following our rules? No. Do they have a "real" question on a process they are working on? Yes.

Just a difference of opinion. :) Does the above stop me from asking a "professional" question. Meaning would the question above stop me? No, but the answer might. (To clarify, not your answer of where is the script text?)

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Sorry, but it's absolutely frustrating to start my answer to 90% of questions like:

"Sorry, please provide details x, y, z in order to answer your question"

And in 50% the next will be: "Sorry, you forget to provide z from my previous post"

...

For the questions in one specific area I have written the blog: https://blogs.sap.com/2014/01/31/how-to-ask-questions-about-script-logic-issues/

And I am providing the link to this blog in me first reply! But still have to ask detailed info again and again. I think that in the old SCN most of the questions without details were rejected by moderators.

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No Michelle, i do not agree on this: my 10 years daughter knows that if she wants a meaningful answer she has to provide as many details as possible.

Not being able to do it shows lack of professionality, in my opinion.

And i do not speak about all those persons opening questions as Vadim explained and then puffing out, in a cloud, when you ask more details.

But accepting your point of view, who decide the professional figure helping out?
This service for now is free (for what i understood) but it falls under the support page, the one i pay for every year with my yearly fees.

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In case of paid consultancy I am ready to ask questions again and again :) I have a rate per hour!

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It also befuddles me that people don't understand that random SCN visitors can't possibly know anything about their local SAP system or background of their problem. For example, in real life, a team mate might come to me and start with a generic question like "do you know about this transaction?" Of course, since I'm right there I'll just ask them back what is the problem and then they can give me more information and/or show their screen.

But in an online forum there is no reason for that first "are you the right person to ask / may I have your attention" intro. You need to get straight to the point, offer as much information as possible and ask a question. There are some questions here that don't even have a question mark.

I fail to comprehend why this seems to be such a difficult concept to grasp for so many SCN folks.

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We have already discussed many times on SCN all kinds of issues with basic/unprofessional questions.

Downvoting newbie questions

Where to ask basic questions

My rant about standard of questions and answers (dated 2007)

I don't like the term "basic" either (one person's basic is another person's complex) but so far we have not been able to come up with a better word for RTFM/LMGTFY/"do my job"/"I got an error, what to do" kind of questions. If someone could find a better word to define that - please don't hold back. (Maybe we should have a contest. Dibs on "Questie McQuestface" :) )

"Professional" is defined in dictionary, so "who decides" - Merriam Webster & Co. Of course, dictionary definition is rather short but, thanks to Google, we can easily find articles like this one. When someone is not competent enough to perform a simple Google search (using the exact keywords in the SCN question) or to do some troubleshooting in their own system before asking for help then they don't fit a definition of a professional. They teach basic analytical skills and problem solving in elementary school.

Personally, I try to follow a simple guideline: don't do on SCN what I wouldn't have done at work. The only difference is that apparently I work with professional people who search and try something first, then ask. Hence they never have to be given a link to LMGTFY. :) (But if they didn't I wouldn't hesitate to ask them to google something.) Is it too much to expect the same from others?

The "oh, they are just trying to learn" argument comes up in these conversations every time too. Based on my own observations - no, most of these folks are not trying to learn. They just want someone to answer their question with "step by step" instructions which they could pass to "the client" and get paid.

I dare anyone to find the questions who look like they are from the actual learners and didn't get the attention they deserve on SCN. For "basic" questions one just needs to open ABAP tag.

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I am quite happy to ask basic questions. But I try to do so in a professional manner and provide good detail. It's not hard.

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Good detail helps. Perhaps they would learn if we asked nicely to provide good detail. I'm not sure some of our OP know how to ask a question. I know we have documentation everywhere about it. Blogs, and blogs as well. Sigh... Sometimes that isn't enough. Now if it is a repeat offender - I would agree.

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 I'm not sure some of our OP know how to ask a question

Then they have a bigger problem than SAP

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The "Perhaps they would learn if we asked nicely to provide good detail. I'm not sure some of our OP know how to ask a question." bit is a valid point.

And so is the frustration of the volunteers that take time and reply to questions when they first have to "work the OP" so that the necessary information is available to get to an answer.
Of course, I'm frustrated, when I expect some level of pre-work on a question (as this is what is considered professional) but only see only shotgun questions that go everywhere and nowhere.

I've pointed to stackoverflow often in the discussions around our platform and around how the community could guide user behavior.

For both mentioned points stackoverflow has implemented relatively straight forward mechanisms to improve the situation.

When you ask a question, there's guidance:

"how to ask" ... "What is your question? Be specific."

Compare that to our platform:

Instead of assisting texts, the question only contains the verbal description of what the text box is for.

BTW: the ASK A QUESTION screen is basically 2/3 empty (thanks to 1DX design). There is plenty space to but links, question templates, lists of useful resources, etc. right next to where someone would write a question.

That's about the asking part. (only two attachments allowed here, so I'll include the answering part in my next comment.

so-ask.png (108.1 kB)
sc-ask.png (85.2 kB)
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now the answering part:

Oh, wow. The platform actually knows that a user is new in the community and shares this fact when it makes sense.

There's your community "P"-plate for you.

For many years now we've been debating how the friction between community pro's and the newbies can be resolved. Just recently the RoE had been adjusted for that purpose.

But had there been any move towards making it easier to be "professional" and "inclusive"? Nope. No guidance for you, dear first-time asker, and no heads up for you, dear disgruntled SAP super-guru.

It's of course nice and correct to explicitly state what the rules of the game are and how everyone should behave. But it would be so much easier for everyone if there was a little bit more help from this platform.

Since the techniques shown basically boil down to:

- show static text
and

- check if the user is relatively new and if so, display a static text

I'm sort of optimistic that this should be do-able with not too much effort/money.

But seeing that such improvements had been suggested before (like many others) and haven't been implemented I assume there must be other reasons not to have those.

so-ans.png (102.8 kB)
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I don't even dare to ask for such features here on SCN :)

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Does SO also inform about users with bad habits like not providing details to their questions? Such as

"Volker is a nasty user and does not seem to care about his questions. Think twice before you try to answer as he might not respond anyway..."

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THANK YOU! That was exactly one of the points of my recent blog. Instead of using technology to improve the situation, SAP just makes a political statement and expects every community member (unpaid volunteer) to do the work of customer service.

Talk is cheap. The actual inclusiveness makes effort, including platform changes.

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I agree, I remember too recommending this somewhere, I don't find it any more, only a mockup image I posted that time that looked like this. It was rather related to the topic of "Accepting Answers" but the idea is the same.

I also agree that the input fields could give a pre-filled guidance before entering text.

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I'm asking basic questions too. :)

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Again, it's not a matter of "basic" questions, more of "not professional" ones.

And, anyway....

N00b Jelena! ;)

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One can always tell what someone truly feels is important, not by what they say, but by what they do. So how has the SAP behavior here indicated their priorities?

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I've not been invited. And despite being put forward many times for the mentor program, I've never made it to that.

I suspect that's because I'm considered not professional enough.

I help out for nothing because I'm passionate about the community and its welfare. I'm not entirely convinced that SAP would be prepared to compensate me according to how much I normally receive for my services, so I'm kind of glad I've not had the offer yet.

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