There has been a lot of buzz amongst our moderators about a growing issue that is causing poor quality blogs and documents, unnecessary notifications through RSS feeds, and extra work for the moderators who have to clean up the mess.
The problem is that Community Members continue to post questions as blogs and documents. Questions need to be posted as discussions, and they need to be posted in the correct Space. Below are the steps for creating a quesTion as a discussion:
1. First search for the topic of your question. Never create a question if you haven’t searched for it first. You might end up creating a duplicate.
2. Once you’ve determined that your question is new, pull down from the “Create” button and select “Discussion”. Do not select any of the other options.
3. Search, select or browse for the appropriate space in which to place your question.
4. Create your question and publish it. Make sure that the “Mark this discussion as a question” box is checked.
5. Once you start receiving answers to your questions, be sure to mark the helpful ones and the correct one. That way others will be able to see that your question has an answer that could help them as well.
Pretty easy, huh?
Unfortunately our moderators are spending a lot of time cleaning up questions that have been posted as blogs are documents. The process they’ve been following has been to direct message the author with a copy of the text, asking them to post the question correctly. Then they delete the blog or document, because it is posted incorrectly.
This is a lose-lose situation for everyone involved:
- The moderators spends time cutting, pasting, composing a note, deleting, etc.
- The author loses any points that he/she gained when posting the blog or document, and he/she has to ask the question again.
- Sometimes there are comments in response to the questions that are unfortunately lost when the content is deleted.
- All members suffer when they look for blogs because they run into all of these questions that are mis-labeled.
- Those who follow new blogs in RSS feeds are getting a bunch of questions, which is not what they want.
So what can we do to remedy this situation? There are a number of suggestions.
- Educate the Community members. (That is the intent of this blog.)
- Have a pop up window that reminds a person when they select blog or document that these content types are not for questions.
- Limit blogs and documents to content that is over 350 words long. (Lots of people are against this one, and I tend to agree with them.)
- When a blog is less than 350 words, have a pop up warning that they can choose to ignore.
- To save time for the moderators and to further discourage posting questions as blogs or documents, moderators simply delete the content and let the author figure it out. (Not nice, but we are wasting a ton of moderator time with the more friendly process.)
We hope to have a new gamificatoin platform in place later this year that could help us block blogging until a member has proven that he/she can do it, but that is several months away at best.
I invite your comments to this blog to share ideas about why this is happening, and what we should do about it. I hope that some of you find it helpful to know about the different steps for blog, document and question. I also hope that this blog will help to cut down on the thousands of these that we are handling.