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Next steps on improving quality

First of all let me say: Thank You for all your comments and feedback to my last Moving to Strict Rules to improve Quality and  Control. You encouraged us in our direction and we will rapidly exeute over the summer.

Parallel to my blog we have instructed and enabled our ~300 global moderators to execute more strictly.  It will take a time for them to get used to it and for you to recognize the benefit. Deleting posts or even users will happen behind the scenes, and we do not plan to communicate this.

An even more burning issue today is the quality in forums. In the beginning of SDN we have proudly presented our numbers, growth rates and … But more or less inwardly we moved into a quality issue – still celebrating our success.  ;-)) As of today we have about 900.000 threads with more than 620.000 unanswered questions. Out of these 620.000 about 100.000 do not have a single reply. This results in long search times, imperfect search results and low quality.

panelAs an immediate step we have limited the number of open = unanswered threads to 10 per member. Beyond that we plan to delete / archive all open questions older than 6 months up from late summer. So please go into your control panel in the forums and either 1) close your question(s) and provide the points (if it makes sense) or detail your question or simply do nothing and wait for us to delete all open question.

Apart from these more restrictive measures we will expand the number of points categories to better reflect and show your expertise in certain areas. We plan to add all SAP solutions and most industries, and merge some of the historic categories in the next weeks. You will recognize this in the blog editor, which prompts you to decide for ‘Points development area’ = points category.

 blog editor

All the forums will be mapped to a category and points will automatically be provided.

Secondly we started to discuss some enhancements to the forums and forum structures, as the current pattern has been expanded over the last years. This is somewhat confusing for new members and disaligned with the current products and deserves some revision. We will communicate this in advance early next week, to get your input and feedback on this.

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  • Hi Michael

    Good to see this happening! I didn’t realise there were so many unanswered/open questions. Maybe people who have their questions closed automagically should also have 1 or 2 points taken off per question. This provides even more of an incentive to review their old questions…


  • This is a most welcome change requested numerous times in the past, glad to head that SCN continues to listen to it’s community.
  • Fantastic!

    What a simple solution to a major problem (how to envolve forum members to the social aspect of it).

    I’d like to thank SAP (and ofcourse you Michael) for stepping in at the right time to prevent this forum form deteriorating.

  • Hi,

    Your appeal to close open questions is justified but not all people read blogs. Can the message be mailed to all SDN users, I think that will help.


  • “As an immediate step we have limited the number of open = unanswered threads to 10 per member.”

    Most welcomed change! 🙂

    Does it really work already? I’ve seen people with a number of open questions (40+) to open new ones today.

  • This will improve the quality, reduce the search time and will be able to see new questions…
    People are not using search option and posting simple questions which are already been answered in some other thread…
    Good Initiative….
  • I would like to Congratulate for the great step taken to improve the quality of the forum. This will definately bring Discipline in the members & have less number of open & irrelavant questions open. This will also bring seriousness of posting genuine questions.

    Rajesh Banka
    SAP Mentor

  • Is it possible to close the open Questions, Answered & Unanswered posted prior to 01.01.2008.

    This will assist in closing a major number of open questions.

    Rajesh Banka

  • I wanna ask about the usage of SAP software.
    Does SAP can accomodate the changes of depreciation methods? Can you explain how it works? Thanks a lot
  • Hi Michael,
               It is a great move!The stuff in forum was becoming so bulky and difficult to search.
    This will help in improving the quality.


  • Hi Michael,
            I see there are very valuable answers in many open questions where the members who have posted the questions has not cared to close the question.
    In this case valueable information will be lost.
    Is it possible to flash the message to the owners of the questions to make it close?
    I know it is very tedious and time consuming task and moreover it is also not a gaurantee that all will stand closed or forum may receive encouraging response.

    Thanks and regards
    Rajesh Mahajan

    • How do you close an open question that was never answered?  just mark it answered and put something in the text that says never resolved?

      I would love to see alot these post deleted on such generic questions where it is obvious that people have done no research.

      Too bad that users with more points can’t have more questions, because the ones that are contributing with points are more likely to be asking valid questions.


  • Hello Michael,

    Being a member of the SAP Business One Forum, I really appreciate this move.  I have noticed that some members take the Forums casually and do not take the time to re-visit their quesion to mark them answered when they find an answer on their own.  Due to this the moderators have to spend their time to push the question up to get attention. 

    I believe this could also help members to do some self learning before posting some really basic questions in the 100’s


    Once again a Welcome decision !!

    Best wishes


    The 10 open question limit not only helps members to be more serious with what they post and come back

  • Hi,

    It is welcome that some measures are being taken to cut down the number of open questions.

    However, a large number of open questions, need not reflect negatively only on the people asking them.  True, in many cases the questions may be inappropriate to the forum in one way or another.

    Now, look at a scenario in which nobody answers a genuine question, because it is not something that is generally asked, or because it would require some research, or any other reason.  Here, the person asking the question would need to simply close it at a later date, without it coming to the attention of the moderators.

    I would suggest while keeping a limit on the number of open questions, there should be provision for a user to close and bring an unanswered genuine question to the attention of the Moderators.

    At the least the Moderators could have useful statistics to plan ahead.


      • Hi, pls check your control panel in the forums and then go into the threads and close your question and provide points ( if you feel any value from the answer )

        Good luck, Michael

  • May I suggest to show number of replies to each thread when system generate the searched list, it is really frustrated to click in one by one but many of them not even has a single reply.


    • that’s a great question and would be almost a must have. We are working on it + plan to show the forum of each post / thread in the search result. This will help you to get used to the structure, and enable you to decide for the ideal forum for your question or statement.   THX, Michael
  • Your idea is good! I think it should help to find needed information more quickly.

    I have two suggestions.
    Firstly, allow users to delete their topics without replies on their own. I think it may reduce moderator work.
    Secondly, sometimes users found decision theirselves and wrote it to their topics. Reward points (fo example, 4 points) for writing decisions may stimulate users to do it.

    Regards, Lev
    P.S. Sorry for my English

    • Appreciate your suggestions.
      My Opinion is that, user have to put a ginuine Question, means a real time senario! Not the junk.
      No nead to give a defination of the text, Provide a solution with the realtime senario example.
  • My Suggestion is that please provide a search term as answered, it will show us all the relevant post which already answered, so that if somebody search topic in their forum, user should first check into answered section, before posting. it will be easy to anybody. While we are searching also.

  • Hi Michael,

    Great & welcome to the new initiative ‘to have limited the number of open = unanswered threads to 10 per member’.

    Along with this I would suggest the below:
    The current search has these properties “Posted on, by user & Relevance”,

    and we would love to see 2 more properties:
    1: Thread Answered: ‘YES/NO’  //results should first have answered threads and followed by unanswered
    2: Total Replies: ‘###’  //helps a lot before opening a message

    Having 10 as a limit is really very very good idea, but TIME FACTOR is missing (ofcourse not mandatory).
    Can we have the below ‘auto generated mails to message OWNERS’ in parallel:

    > messages without any reply for 30-45 (aprox) days
    > messages with reply may be 6 months (aprox)

    This will reduce the work of SDN moderators.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Munna SAP

  • Hi I’m just joined SDN. I posted 2 questions, but somehow when I click on ‘My questions’ I don’t see my questions listed there… I want to close 1 and reward points to the answerer, but don’t see the ‘Star’ icon too. Is this a bug due to this update?
  • From someone who constantly looks here for answers,  I like what you plan to do.  Limiting the number of open questions is an excellent idea.  It’s frustating going into a post, finding it answered, but not flagged.  Not awarding points doesn’t help the people who answered or the people looking for answers.  How do you know which post was correct or helpful?

    Placing an expiration date on a question is good too.  Before automatically closing a question, it would be nice to get a warning message.  The person might not be lazy, but moved onto more pressing issues and forgot about it.  Also, it would be nice to have a category for “closed and never answered.”  I have a couple like that I will be closing, but don’t think “answered” is appropriate.  I will close them with a post at the end.

    When the questions are archived, will there be a way for accessing them?  I have found answers to some of my questions from posts almost 2 years old.  The information might be old, but it still may contain value – especially for those of us who are new to SAP.  It may prevent multiple post for the same question.

    Another question along those same lines, is it possible to post to a question that has been answered?  I have found additional information for some answered posts that may be useful, but did not post because it was marked answered.

    Thanks for changes.  And thanks to all of the moderators.  All of you are doing a good job.



  • Hi,
    I have few questions which are old, that are not answered.
    I don’t want to mark them as answered (as they are not) !!
    Is there another way like close message or something.

    This would be more helpful, when we search later in the forum for all the answered questions.(not sure if this is possible as of now)


  • Hi,

    I feel its a great step to make the community more interesting.
    The only thing i will like to suggest is when the person whoever is closing a thread automatically of some other community people,he/she should also give the accurate solution/analysis over the thread and then close it.If this is possible then it willbe beneficial to everyone.



  • The community improves. We need more Torquemadas like Mike to get better results from the SAP herd. Work on  your skills, contribute here. Mike will reap soon!