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Former Member

Do we really need a t-shirt??

Hi Everyone,

I was reading all these threads about stuff like point hunters, people not allocating points and people not searching the forum before posting their questions. What i get from these is that people are doing this stuff only for a t-shirt and not for the love of participating in SDN. So moderators why dont you just change the way you give out t-shirts. I mean instead of having a mile-stone to judge people, judge them by the quality of answers they give. I am not an expert in SAP, so I try to read a lot in these forums in order to learn and answer some questions when i think i know of the answer. But people(whose names I don't want to divulge) are becoming the Top Contributors just by copying and pasting whats already there in the forum.

There will always be a junk of useless questions for which you can find answers just by searching in any forum. But I think people should not reply to these questions just because they can earn some easy points. Maybe not answering their questions can make people to search first before posting.

Any thoughts welcome.



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4 Answers

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    Former Member
    Posted on Jun 18, 2007 at 09:17 PM

    hi aneesh,

    I think you make some good points, some others I see different.

    I do share the observation, that questions cannot be trivial enough or having been answered too often, and you still find people answering them, almost always with copy & paste. Actually this must be attributed to the points system. To me there seems to be another influence, that is, some kind of "over-politeness"(very much promoted by the responsibles for this forum) in comparison to other sucessful forums. Elsewhere you might well get a sharp RTFM, a pointer to the FAQs or an explanation of netiquette in general. These kind of answers are educative to newbies and serve some important kind of self-regulatory function to any community. Here this is not happening and (seems not to be) welcome. Therefore newbies get the impression that no question is too trivial to ask and that it isn't a problem to ask a question again which could be found answered with great probability already.

    Another point is the t-shirt thingy. Is it really t-shirts? To some t-shirts seem to play an inexplicable important role. No question, it's nice to get a t-shirt with a cool slogan on it and some people seem to become really angry when they do not get their t-shirt the day after they reached milestone X.

    But to me there seems to be another point. I am not sure about it, but in some places (regions, companies) in this world simple numbers (parameters) in a CV seem to play a much more important role (or at least equally important role) then outcome of a professional interview or the assessment of personality (personal potential) . In other words, it seems to be more important to have 4387 points at a "recognized institution" than what you really have to say (had to say there).

    The question to me is, shall we as the community or the community managers be concerned or do something about it? Personally I do not care (although I obviously observe it) why people hunt for points or why recruiters maybe overestimate the value of those rankings, and in the areas I am interested in I very well know the people wo really have something to say (IMHO) regardless of what score they have. I just speak out occasionally, when I have an impression that the quality of one of my favourite communities is about to decrease. Currently I am in such a mood (therefore the lengthy comment) because I think the S/N ratio is slowly decreasing, not because the signal wasn't high but because the noise (duplicates, trivialities, references-to-references-to-references-to-...) is increasing faster.

    IMHO, the problems mentioned can only be changed by revolutionizing the reward system...or by strongly enhanced search algorithms better taking into account the relevance of a forum thread.

    kind regards,


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    Former Member
    Posted on Jun 19, 2007 at 05:05 AM

    what I've generally observed, ( at least in the XI & Java programming forums where I contribute) is the people who copy paste the answers & are very very eager to answer the simplest of questions,purely for the sake of points they definitely disappear after few days....and that is because to some extent their contribution quality is judged by the community itself and shown the proper way then ;)...such people collect very good number of points in the begining and then it gradually decreases...may be the sole motive was to get a 1/4K or 1/2K T....

    though the idea of giving away rewards for even 1/4K points would definitely encourage ppl to contribute...these are kinda side effects of it is what I feel.

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    Former Member
    Posted on Jun 25, 2007 at 08:52 AM


    I do agree. The signal to noise ratio in this 'Expert Forums' should be improved.

    But how? I have observed that about sixty percent of the question can be answered

    with RTFM or 'Use the search button'. But does not seem to be appropriate for

    our SAP forum. We are not dealing with geeks or developers, we are talking to

    our customers, I have a bad feeling to be too rude to them.

    In order to increase the quality of the contributions in the forum where I am active,

    we create some howtos and FAQs using Wiki articles. A lot of questions can be

    answered simply by posting a link to them. This helps, I feel that the noise does


    I reply to questions, like 'Where can I find the documentation?' with a detailed

    description of 'How to use the Search field'. You know, that one in the upper left


    One of my favourite reply is: 'I found really useful information in the thread

    >>Please read this before you start a topic<<'

    Most of the point hunter's answers are ****, I started to praise such answers

    in order to show the ridiculousness of those postings.

    I hope that talking to them like a parent to a child may post such stupid stuff

    painful to the authors. Will see whether it helps



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    • Maybe there was something fishy yesterday, Kjetil. As now you are second, But to a company with a lot of contributors. But you are still second so don't feel to sorry for yourself 😉 and I imagine the vacation is still valid....



      Message was edited by:

      Martin Nooteboom

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    Former Member
    Posted on Sep 26, 2007 at 11:49 AM

    Thanks Everyone. That was really a nice discussion..

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