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Point System and Quality Issues Part 1

Most of you are using the forums either by asking a question / searching for an advice or by answering question, and are more or less happy with it.


Some of you have addressed your disappointment with the quality of questions and answers, a few of you even have called it points misuse. We have been listening and been investigating possible options, changes and what measures we can take to address this.


At the very beginning we have been totally focused on reaching critical mass and promoting forums, blogs and wiki. It took us 3 years to reach 1M post, another 3 quarters to get to 2M post and now we are at 2.5M – and have to recognize a growing number of points misuse and/or senseless topics in the forums?


What has changed? Why did it happen so unexpected or have we simply been too busy watching the sole numbers and taken by surprise by the quality issues?


No is a too short answer and it deserves a few more arguments.


The points system has been invented to honor your contributions and to attract more contributors or top contributors ( >250 points).  As SDN became the well known brand over the time, our currency = points grew to a never expected value; being a SDN/BPX top contributor got so important that more and more members began to focus on achieving as many points as possible and as fast as possible. Unfortunately some of them simply took a shortcut and misused the system to get there.


We have recognized and been discussing this since early summer 2007, and decided to fight these issues immediately, but we first need to upgrade forums and wiki to the latest versions and to a more scalable landscape.


And then a bug gave us an option. Not all of you might have recognized the ‘downtime’ of the point system in the forums last week, but some of you have discussed this Points system finally removed? . Since Friday last week the point system is back; so you can provide & receive points, but you do not see the complete list of contributors in the forums, a small bug. Instead of coming up with a work around we decided to leave it in place as a potential step to overcome the points misuse.


We will closely watch the ramifications, maybe it will lead to less momentum but more importantly we hope that this along with other measures we are working on will lead to an increase in quality, we will also be paying close attention to your feedback.

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  • Hi Michael

    A small suggestion to overcome this misuse (could be in many cases misuse or lack of awareness about the options available)…
    Whenever a question needs to be posted on any forum ->
    First the person posting has to fill in “Search Terms” maybe around 4-5. This search term can also act as an effective index if we dont have one already.
    -> Automatically the forums are searched for finding the matching key terms. The list is displayed.
    -> If the user is not satisfied with the results he clicks on “Continue and post to forum” or else he clicks on “Answers found”.
    The advantage of this approach would be -> we will be able to get rid of all the “What is BAdi?” “Step by Step for LSMW” etc type of questions.


  • Hello,

    I’m happy to know that SDN management is well aware of the points system misuse and that it needs to be addressed.

    SDN forums are a very useful tool and it is sad to see it abused. I’m also very surprised to know that some employers seem to judge job applicants from SDN points number !

    Don’t you think that very strong moderation would be a very good medecine for all this forums spam ?
    What is needed is just to enforce stricly the already existing rules.



    • Hi Olivier,

      In my opinion, strong moderation is a two-sided sword.
      I also don’t like the fact that “no-brainer” questions/answers are worth just as much as really difficult ones. On the other hand, a too strong regulation probably results in a drain of helpful questions/answers/members as well. When e.g. threads in a forum get closed, there will be always the argle-bargle about the validity of the reasons. Hence, I would only use such a reaction in the most obvious cases (and point to a “read before post!” thread).

      In addition, the time used for moderation cannot be used to help users in another way…

      Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to the improvements that are on its way. 🙂

      Best regards,

  • Michael,

    Great to learn details of point system in SDN from you.

    You have rightly said moderation is a difficult task and need to be handled with care. At the same time we can open an idea collection forum to collect ideas to improve the community?

    After that compile bright ideas and can see possibility of implementing few of them for improving quality of forum posting. The same applies to Blog Posting also.

    I am sure SAP must be having well crafted plans for achieving these objective, and we as a member of this family will positively contribute for it’s growth.