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The subject line of this Weblog post clearly shows the Californian influence on me. Just follow me here a bit. We had a busy week in the SDN forums. There were over 1200 posts. Many new questions have been posted and answers have been written. You had time to come back and check the answers, but where are the points, the reward, the love, the thank you? Didn’t your mother tell you … ?
imageIt’ s real easy: All answers to your questions have the little yellow star to the left of all the other icons. You click on it and a window opens with radio buttons to choose from, as seen to the right. If the answer solved your question everything is set already. Hit “Reward Message” and you are done.

The magic happens in the background. Ten points are awarded to the person who helped you solve your question and the gray star Open Question changes to a blue star Solved Problem in front of the question. From now on everyone knows, that behind that question is a good solution with an approval stamp from the person who posted the question in the first place. For example search for “ABAP Java” in the forums and result number nine currently has a blue star Solved Problem versus number ten has only a gray one Open Question. Which one do you choose?

This reminds me of the tip jars in the coffee shops around San Francisco, some have interesting signs on them: Good Tips = Good Karma. You know what happens if you don’t reward points to good answers at SDN? Seven years of bad ***. You think I am joking, if I were you, I wouldn’t try my luck. Of course the opposite is true too. You give points, you are set. Just look at the smile on Thomas Madsen Nielsen’s face, he Preview installation with ABAP, JAVA and EP, he knows. Case closed 🙂

We do sincerely hope you’ll all enjoy the show, and please remember people, that no matter who you are, and what you do to live, thrive and survive, there are still some things that make us all the same. You, me them, everybody, everybody: Spread some love!

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  1. Anonymous
    Hi, Mark!
    First of all, I’d like to appologize once again to all good people (with some flowers in their hair) who helped me with my problems and to whom I didn’t grant “thank you – I love you” points. Now, you’ll see why. Ofcourse, all of you who provide helpful answers deserve points and I’ll be happy to grant them. For this purpose, I’ll review all my posts. I also think that pointing system is good and encouriging, although it may eventually result with inflation of anwers which may not all be that helpful.
    However, I must object lack of information on pointing system. I was looking for this, but there was nothing. Now that Mary Joan clarified it I’m even more convinced that the pointing system is not enough self-explaining and intuitive to justify lack of brief instructions at one-click distance. This might also answer Mark’s question “Where are the points, the reward, the love?”. I saw many far more intuitive things on net which still have instructions. OK, an SDN participant is expected to be more skilled than average net surfer, but let’s not get too arrogant.
    There are many questions that a novice may ask, such as: Who grants points to whom? How does one do that? Are there limits? Can reward be changed later? Should one (and if yes, how?) ask for points when one believes that he (she) deserves them, or does he (she) leave granter to decide freely? How does one preserve points when he(she) changes company (and S* user id)?
    Mary Joan answered to some of these questions as an answer to my post “HR: creating IT “0015 – Additional Payments” item” (shall I grant her points for this one too? – I ask this seriously, not cynically), saying also that there’s a weblog on pointing system.
    Although I like “Spread the Love” weblog because it’s cheerfull, positive and encouriging, I still believe that some instructions or set of rules on pointing system should be available as a direct link from forum pages. Not as weblog, or a FAQ or answer to a post. It should be short, clear, straight forward and most important, at hand.
    Kind regards,
    Igor Barbaric
  2. Swami Balasubramanian
    I just realized that I have to click on the yellow star to award points. All along I was of the opinion that selecting ‘Yes, my question has been answered’ was good enough to reward points.
    Thanks for saving me some embarasement. This forum was so helpful and I would not have learnt this far without it !.
    Also I have taken care of all previous non-rewarded questions 🙂

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