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Why do people mis-use the tag "Using"?

Oct 19, 2017 at 10:01 AM


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I'm a moderator for the "Using" tag - the tag for comments and questions about using this site. I see a quite a lot of questions posted with that primary tag that are not about the site itself, but rather about some part of SAP's enormous product suite. (Thanks, by the way, to those who report such things to the moderators - I always look forward to processing my moderator alerts when I get to the office in the morning:-)

I have to ask, though, why do people choose this tag for a question about, say, FI-CO? There is no default primary tag, so it isn't laziness. You have to actually search for a tag and choose something from the search results. If you have an FI-CO question, what would you search for that would cause "Using" to turn up in the search results? I can only assume that it is the word "using". People then see "Using SAP" (at the top of the search results, as it happens) and think - yes, that's it, that's what I'm asking about!

Does it make sense to suggest changing "Using" to something that doesn't include "using SAP" in it? Or is there another explanation I'm missing? Thoughts?

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7 Answers

Veselina Peykova
Oct 19, 2017 at 10:44 AM

Answer option 1:

"I don't know for certain what this ticket is about, but I am almost sure that it has something to do with this SAP software that we got last year".

Answer option 2:

"I don't know what all these tags mean, but I am on and I am creating a question. This means I am using"

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Jürgen L
Oct 19, 2017 at 04:56 PM

I can just warn to rename this tag, especially when using the word community in the name, it may lead to enormous amount of even more wrong posts here.

Yes I can sing a song about wrong posts under the SAP Forum tag. There were days with more traffic than under MM (which was the tag with the 3rd most traffic). In the 10 months were it is was available was only a single question really related to this event.

Just take this as an example

The tag SAP Community does not even exist in the meta data and is only a user tag, still you find 220+ discussions with this tag.

And even more if you include the variations like "community" or include as well those with wrong spelling.

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Looking at actual data before making decisions? Don't be ridiculous...

But seriously, thanks Jürgen L , I liked Tammy Powlas, suggestion of changing it to "Using SAP Community" and it wouldn't have occurred to me to do that research! Shame though, because no other obvious names spring to mind.

Tammy Powlas
Oct 19, 2017 at 10:05 AM

I think it would be better to be renamed "Using SAP Community"

I think if I were new to the community, I would be overwhelmed with the number of tags - and it can be frustrating if you can't find the tag you are looking for - that said, I think a rename would help...

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Steve proposed to remove the word "using" and to my mind it make sense. May be simply "SAP Community"?


I'd love a tag for the community or "Community support" or something. But since the community moved to, "Using" does not just mean "Using the Community", but the whole page. That's why they choose this tag description.

If you type in "SAP" in the tag field, I think "Using" is one of the first results. It was the same, when the event tags where still there. Ask Jürgen about "SAP Forum". ;)


Typing SAP:

Not sure about the result if "Using" will be renamed to "SAP Community"

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Jürgen L
Oct 19, 2017 at 05:18 PM

I missed the why part in your question, which can obviously only correctly answered by the people who are using the wrong tag. I asked many times but never got a real answer, if there was a reply then it was rather "tell me the tag".

I am wondering too about all the posts that would belong into Finance, they are as well posted under the ERP and R/3 tag which I moderate.

We still have no synonyms for the tags in place, also long ago I saw a blog post about machine learning for better tagging. But I hope the tags are soon history anyway, which might be the reason that the synonyms are not yet here.

Let me just explain how to better find a tag.

Do not use colloquial names, FiCo is not an official tag name, so you wont get a hit

Do not use abbreviations. FI, MM or PP are too short to kick off the tag proposal. You need 3 characters to get a proposals. PP) would bring up the right tag for production planning, but who could imagine to add a bracket character, and on the other hand it would not work for MM, because here in Materials Management in brackets and MM without. But typing MM space would bring up the right MM tag.

In any case you would get the right tags by using the long description like Finance, however you need to stop typing with the e and not add a space character as this would again hide the right tag since it is in brackets: FIN (Finance)

And of course you have to know the difference between Inventory management and inventory manager to post your question under the right tag. And keep in mind that SAP Select is not the tag for the ABAP Select statement. Just imagine you would have a tag for any ABAP statement....

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Vadim Kalinin Oct 19, 2017 at 10:10 AM

May be it's a reason and can be solved by renaming the tag. But in general I see a lot of examples when users select the tag even without reading the name :) And don't look on the post after sending in the tag list.

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Yes, agreed - or how about "about SAP Community" - but yours is shorter, and likely better :)

Jelena Perfiljeva
Nov 03, 2017 at 06:17 PM

I'm guessing people just see "Using SAP" and disregard the ".com" part. So pretty much every single question could land here because it's all somehow related to SAP. By the same logic, some of our business users create tickets for IT when it's simply a matter of running a business transaction (=doing their job): well, it has something to do with SAP and you are "SAP team", so you figure it out!

This problem started, just like the rest of them, with 1DX. "We have one unified (sort of) now, yeah!!! Let's add a tag where people can ask questions on how to use it!" We had "About SCN" and "SCN Support" forums before. Even with those names, people somehow managed to post an occasional functional question there. File it under extreme confusion (or just "you can't fix stupid" but let's assume the best), that will never go away 100%. But as long as this tag has "SAP" in the name there will be more of those confused. "About SCN" was just as clear as it gets IMHO.

As a side note - MSDN has a neat feature where it does not only shows a forum name but also a short explanation of what questions belong there. E.g. their VB forum would have a clear note "not for VBA questions". That would be very helpful and I hope it's something that "topic pages" can do.

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Michelle Crapo Nov 14, 2017 at 01:17 PM

The tags are very complicated. I have written several blogs with no idea what to use. It could be that things like Rant are not an area anymore and should be directed to coffee corner? Where does a blog fit about remote work? I guessed business trends.

So guessing becomes - as said before - well, it's an SAP question. Why not add FICO, PP, SRM as valid tags and point them to whatever strange tag that has. By the way - if I type in finance - I don't get a possible tag.

I honestly think people just get tired of looking. I know I do. I write the blog and then spend another 1/2 hour trying to figure out where it should go. And using SAP sounds like it will cover everything.

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"By the way - if I type in finance - I don't get a possible tag."

I am not sure if you meant blogs or questions and what browser you used, but unless you selected some exotic language - a tag for finance shows up if you type this text.

If you have already set the tag as primary and try to add it again as secondary, it will not be shown as well in the list.

If you selected German or Japanese and you try looking for Finance as a primary tag, you will not find it - this is how the feature is designed to work.

There are some tricks that I use when I do not know the exact name of a tag - e.g. for SD I type "SD ", but for PP this won't work - I need to type "(PP". Sometimes I resort to an old xlsx file with tags although many of these are not valid anymore.

Yes, the tag naming is inconsistent and people who came up with it did not consider that customers/consultants/developers do not use the SAP product names that change too often, but they use short abbreviations similar to the incident component hierarchy. Still, I feel that you give up too easily - you have lots of experience with SAP software. Some of the techniques that you use in your daily work to troubleshoot or figure out things can be applied here as well.

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Sure my techniques could be used. "Ouch". :( Maybe I don't spend enough time looking, but I really don't want this to be "work". I want to be able to write a blog (and I take time doing the actual writing) then save/post it without having to really think about where it should go. The same thing with my questions. I would probably use more of an analysis based on the fact I'm asking something for work.

Since my only questions have all been marked bug, I'll assume you are talking about that. Now sadly, I will avoid doing that and just find a way around it like probably many of the silent majority do anyway. They find a different way to get there information.

My blogs do end up in the wrong primary tag. Again by the time I'm done writing them I don't want to hunt around for a tag. In this case I will look more into what is the right tag. I can't even save the darn things without a tag. I haven't tried saving them with the wrong time and then at a better time changing it. I can probably do that in the future. I wonder how many would bother? That's why when I suggest posting here, I'll also find the tag for them. Or as close as I can get.

Tagging is a part of a the larger issue. If the platform isn't easy to work with - people start to leave. And no that is not the only reason they leave. My goal - that I set for myself - is to "bring a friend". So when I see something I really like in linkedin, I've been asking them to re-post here - or at least share the link. I love the "happy" stories. But where do they fit? I'm actually going to start looking for the tags before I ask for them to re-post or give an intro and then a link. ASUG, Conference, SIT, general knowledge, Tips would all be great tags to have. Mmmmm... maybe only posts based on the SAP tags are welcome. That would be sad. There are so many more tags that are missing or buried. I feel the tags are too finite. They need to be broader so we can fit those things into a broader area. But yes, I'll dig at the tags more. (When I have the time) I guess otherwise I'll just save it without publishing. I'm sure there is something for SIT - Maybe type out the entire word. These last couple of weeks, I've had the time. However, I never know when a huge project is going to start. Then I don't have time. My go to tag is ABAP.

I'm sorry about the long reply. I promised not to take things personal - and I did. I also promised not to suggest yet more tags. I think there are too many.

By the way, copy and paste finance into the tag then press enter. If I type one letter at a time, I get the drop down. If I'm writing a blog or question I do a lot of copy/paste to make things quicker. From now on - one letter at a time for me.

Wow long reply, in my defense it was a long reply I was responding to.

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By give up too easy I only meant searching for tags :)

Come on, SAP is known for frequent product renaming and the new name is not necessarily an improvement.

Tag naming should have been given as a task to SMEs or at least to people with more experience in using and maintaining online forums, but no point in crying over spilled milk.

In your day job you don't give up at the first obstacle, this is not much different (of course whether the additional effort is worth it depends on what you expect to get in return from the SAP Community website).

Selecting primary tag no matter if you agree with the general concept or not is really important.

One of the reasons is that based on the primary tag a blog is rerouted to a moderator who checks if the blog follows the blogging guidelines and ROE (especially valid for members who have not reached author status). If you chose the wrong tag this will probably delay blog publishing, especially if the moderator who is responsible for the tag is not very active. It is also possible that your blog is reported at a later time (for example there are spam comments and the only way to report this at present is to create an alert for the whole blog). With the right tag and the right moderator it will be easier and faster to solve such problems.

The other, even more important reason is that your primary tag choice determines who will be your audience. Unless you plan to promote each blog on Twitter and LinkedIn, the other common way for people to discover it is via RSS. The chances that your followers will see that you posted a blog in Activity stream are very very low. The chances that someone will notice it on the home page are even lower. Posting in Coffee Corner helps, but it is mostly useful for blogs on general/global topics like SAP Community.

Allow me to use one of your blogs as an example - SAP Community – Empathy where has it gone?

Currently its primary tag is ABAP Development, but if you think about the content - did you really intend to reach only ABAP developers? I believe that the topic is valid no matter in which area you work and where you participate, it is about the community itself. In this case it makes a lot of sense to have Using as a primary tag or at least as one of the managed tags. User tags are not very useful unless you plan to write a blog series, you choose a unique name for that and you tell people to subscribe to it via RSS.

Anyway, I tested the problem with copy/pasting the word finance in the tag picker both in blogs and in Q&A and it worked just fine. My primary browser Pale Moon is not officially supported here (some features work better in it than in the supported ones), but I tried also in Firefox 59.0.a1, Firefox ESR 52.5.0 and Google Chrome portable 60.0.3112.90). Sometimes the type-ahead appears with a short delay, especially if your network connection is not very good or when the site experiences temporary issues, but I have not encountered such case recently.

Sadly, I cannot attach my old xlsx file with tags in its original form to help you with tag discovery, because the file type is not permitted and for some unclear reason I cannot attach it even as a txt tab delimited file... oh the pleasures of early alpha releases... :)


OK - I'll buy that - that I don't look at tags enough.

But to get to the most people. Do they follow using sap or abap development? I'd like to see the stats on that. I would guess not as many follow using sap - but I could be wrong, since people are dumping there stuff here. I guess I'd use using SAP as the primary tag and then ABAP development as a secondary tag. That might work.

I don't expect to get anything here except for having my questions answered, seeing some cool blogs, and learning more. I always learn something here.


I follow no tags, but I subscribed to multiple RSS feeds on SAP community. This is much better than hunting for content in Activity stream - you get decent formatting, you can have popups when new content is posted and you can set read/unread indicators for blogs unlike here. And there is no need to log in to be notified of new content, which is nice. I did not subscribe via RSS to Using, but I visit it from time to time (when I am bored or too tired to read technical content).

I suspect that other members also use RSS now for the lack of better alternatives.

Probably I did not choose very well the example and left you with a wrong impression - this is not about reaching the highest possible number of people, but about reaching the right audience.

Shortly after the October launch some blog authors decided that the best thing to do is to add as many tags to their blogs as possible no matter if the content had anything to do with the chosen tags. It was very annoying. If someone writes a blog targeting experienced ABAP developers and tag it as Sales and Distribution, SD functional consultants may read it, it is possible that they can understand most of it, but if it is actually about HR development most probably it will be irrelevant to them. If it happens that one frequently applies wrong tags after a while people may assume that the next blog is also mis-tagged and won't even open to read it.