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Update on Quality, Control and Usability

At TechEd Las Vegas we crossed 1 million threads in forums and a few weeks earlier 4 million messages. We did not celebrate these great numbers as the emphasis has shifted from from quantity to quality.

But different than going after quantity = critical mass = easy to measure – focusing on quality seems to be more of an ongoing & endless effort, with many small steps & improvements.  This requires your involvement & feedback and us, reaching out to you on a regular base.

I’ll kick this ‘scrum project’ off with this post and we will use all the SCN channels to keep you up2date and to get your input.

UI improvements


We have added the name of the forum as well as the number of messages in a thread to the searchresult. This will help make you more familiar with the mapping of products or even components with the forum’s structure and might give you a better sense of the quality of this thread ( more messages = higher quality ??)

imageAs a next step we will improve the UI of the forum’s homepage, as I described in my last blog post. Please participate in this poll, as we currently have a clear trend but only from 36 votes.

We do need your input as behaviour might differ from beginners to experts and is dependant on browser(settings). As we do not know & understand ‘how you navigate thru the forums’ in detail, we are asking you to vote your preference. 

Consolidate forums and Delete threads

During the summer we limited the number of ‘open’ threads to 10 and announced further steps to improve the quality in forums. We are now ready to talk about timelines and details.

We will run Community Projects to consolidate forum by forum plus enable you to delete those threads, you started and consider unvaluable. This will be started after TechEd Berlin in late October with the individual clean-up over all forums. Parallel we will run some pilots for the joint efforts. This all will be completed with joint Community Projects over all forums in November / December.

I’m personally dreaming of getting rid of 30% of the threads and in parallel doubling the quality and findability.

Let us know your input.

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  • Michael:

    >I’m personally dreaming of getting rid of 30% of >the threads

    I’m hoping the same -:) That would make Moderators job easier…Searches faster…And Community members happier -;)


  • Bringing noise levels down and quality up is what I am all about. I even enjoy it.

    Going back to retro-fix legacy systems is always a bit of a party-pooper though… currently I delete-on-sight if they popup again.

    Looking forward to discuss ideas around this in Berlin at the Community Day 🙂


  • I like the idea, however… the number of replies is not a good “KPI” for quality. A lot of times, you see the same answer repeated by another user a couple of hours (days) later. Why would they bother? I guess those people are just after the points.
    Also, at least in the BI forums, I see the same post reappearing the next day or two days later. It might be difficult to track, but then again… it might be worth trying to come up with such a tracking system.
    Maybe we need to focus on “forum etiquette”?
    For example: “If you do not get replies on the first day of your post, try to think whether you provided enough information in the first place. In stead of reposting the exact (or slightly changed) post the next day.”
    Anyway, that’s just my 5 cents…
      • Which might be a “newly” discovered bug or just a pretty complicated matter or… indeed a “bad” post. But then again, you have to start somewhere.
        I was trying to come up with a better indicator, but could not really find one. I mean, what defines whether a post is qualitative? Not an easy question to answer. I hope some others jump on this post and give their insights.
        • In can see where you are coming from. I moderate some relatively small forums and the topic of a “relatively” bad quality question can still become an interesting discussion. Sometimes the original poster is however left a bit lost and the thread remains unanswered, and at other times the folks who answer are not clairvoyant either because of the quality of the question so we need to guess and discuss the guessing.

          In the categories and forums with a heavier volume of threads and posts, this is not possible without actively reading and partipating in the forums.

          Being exposed to the internet, there is not much we can do about getting the noise down except improve the product reputation 🙂


  • I have a small idea. We can have a Remove button displayed in all forum threads. When user searches for some information in forum threads and finds the thread has no reply or doesn’t contain any useful reply, then he can click on Remove button which will trigger mail to forum moderator. If moderator is convinced, then he can remove that thread. That will improve quality as well.
    • As a moderator (which is a VOLUNTARY job), I would object to this proposal.  Getting even more emails to review and make decisions about the usefulness of threads is not a reasonable addition to our moderation workload.

      Best Regards,

  • Hi,

    More people will benefit if you add a Delete button which allows a user to delete his/her Thread/reply within a limited time after posting(say 15 minutes).

    This will be useful for those who unknowingly post cross forum/ duplicate posts/reply.

    At least this option  can be given to people who crossed more than 250/500 points.

    Hope you will consider this.

    Karthik D

  • Great effort!  As a newbie to SAP, I find the forums the best source of technical information.

    I find the searching a bit cumbersome.  About 90% of the time I end up doing 2 searches, one with the default settings, then when I get only a couple of hits, searching again with All or One Year.  Because I am looking for technical answers, 90 days is simply not sufficient.  In addition, sometimes I find stuff on the forums using Google, but did not find it using forum search!

    All in all a great resource, but searching could be improved.