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From the Grumpier Old Man: Boiling point

A new feature has been available in the forums for approximately 1,5 months now. As mentioned in this Point for Points- Reward yourself, you get rewarded for assigning points for useful answers to your initial forum post.

As mentioned in an From the Grumpy Old Man: SDN Kindergarten Grumpy there has been some ambiguity about the point system or Recognition Program concerning forum posts. There have been a lot of forum posts where the original poster didn’t come back to reward points. It got off to a slow start, but it seems that the attitude is changing where one is ready to reciprocate and reward points.  With the risk of getting (again) into the discussion of point hunting and whether a pointing system is really needed in order to help others, it gives the poster of the answer a better feeling. One at least gets the impression that one isn’t just talking to the walls and that one is actually getting some reaction.
You might have noticed in my signature the new feature when I post an answer to forum threads: I’m a big fan of this new system. And no, I am NOT a point’s hunter.  I guess that after all these years I’ve already gathered some points. It is clear that this new feature has benefits and thus needs promotion. It would be nice if info about it was to be included in FAQs and notification mails. Update: Gali rightfully pointed out that the latter is already available.

On the other hand, I want to put in a caveat against certain practices. You know that only one point per thread is assigned for rewarding points. Even that single point can make people greedy and miserly. I’ve seen posts where someone has given a perfect answer – no, not by me – without any flaw in the argument. The question poster rewards with only the absolute minimum, and even gets a point for that. I don’t think this was the philosophy behind this mechanism.

There is an issue that isn’t solved by the new feature though. Sometimes people seem to forget to close the thread when their query has been answered. Therefore John suggested having an Re: Suggestion: Automatic Timer for closing threads after X time. This is a really nice idea. The negativist in me even suggested punishing the question poster by subtracting points when the timer needs to close it for them. The more positive approach is indeed to give an extra reward when a thread is closed before an automatic timer does it. It seems to work for rewarding answers, so it might help over here too. The goal is to decrease the amount of open threads.
“But what about questions that aren’t answered (properly)?” you’d say. It isn’t normal that you don’t get an answer after X time. If you don’t get an answer in e.g. the ABAP forum, your question is a rather difficult one. Maybe you could consider reformulating the question in order to make it more understandable.
It all depends as well of course on what you expect as an answer. It can never be the intention that other people make whole applications or analyses for you, so that all you need to do is to copy/paste them.

Having said this, please share your thoughts/feelings/experiences/… about the new rewarding feature in this forum Which type of SDN Ubergeek/BPX suit are you?.

P.S. Which type of SDN Ubergeek/BPX suit are Which type of SDN Ubergeek/BPX suit are you??

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  • Points or not I just hate it when the original poster doesn’t follow-up.. at the minimum, the person who responded needs to know if it helped resolve the issue or not..
    Automatic closure will probably force the original poster to follow-up..
  • Hi Eddy,

    for me the ‘reputation’ of a member isn’t his/her point account, it’s the quotient of posts to questions (with some newbie bonus…).

    If there’s a question from a member with 250 posts and 250 questions I know that there’s someone who wants to do me to do his/her work! If it’s 250 posts to 10 questions (or so) I’m willing to do some research if I think I have some clue…

    The reward system is a nice gimmick and yes I want a T-shirt before they run out 😉 and yes I somehow feel better being rewarded with 10 Points for hiting the spot, knowing I did help someone out there and no it’s not getting closer to the T-shirt 😉

    Anyway, it’s not a thing to get grumpy over it…


  • Hi Eddy,
    The one point given for points assigned appears in the watch notification mails as well as in the Contributor Recognition FAQs. Plus a version of limiting open questions (by number of questions allowed open and not timing) was added to our wish-list and will hopefully be incorporated sooner rather than later 🙂
    Best, Gali
  • If there is a question and there is no ‘full’ answer to it, it ought not to mean that the question should have never been asked, or should now be reformulated. I do not agree with the premise that a post is there to be closed. A nice little KPI graphics(of ‘all’ Vs ‘closed’ threads) on Mark Y’s officeboard is not what we are here for (This is said in jest lest anyone thing otherwise):)

    ps : Whether or not you are ‘er’ as in Grumpi’er’, you certainly are old’er’ – like the rest of us, and so I ponder whether you should have said ‘From Grumpier Older Man’ , or should it have been ‘From Grumpy Older Man’, or would a ‘More Grumpy and More Old…..’ – I am confused 🙂

  • I think there is a value in seeing whether a thread is closed or not. Someone took the time to mark what helped or shared how he or she found the solution. (Unfortunately you don’t see the closing star in the search results. Something we are working on.) You can filter to see only closed forums threads. If we select to automatically close threads after a time we are loosing that value. This is why I don’t think we should force a closer of a thread, just so it looks better. Just my 2c, Mark.
    • Hi Mark,

      Forcing a closed thread is not for the looks. It prevents people to search for another answer than the ones already available. Not closing a thread is a waste of time and effort towards the rest of the community.