Posting just links in discussions..

Lately I have been hitting the abuse button hard on anything that looks like a “link only” post to either a document or another discussion.

Link farms get zapped without even reading them. Personally, I don’t care if it’s a points gaming thing or not for the person who did the search in behalf of the person who actually asked the question. It bugs me a lot more when I actually try to search and find an answer to an issue I’m currently facing myself.  It is frustrating that I end up in a jungle with 7 turns and circular loops and possibly with not a single useful hint.

 

There has been a discussion recently why certain abuse reports got rejected even though they clearly only contained a link.  I stopped using the abuse button in those spaces where I know the moderators don’t share the same mindset and reject those abuse reports.  It doesn’t improve the quality in those spaces, but in the spaces where I’m more active and the moderators are like-minded when it comes to link only posts, highlighting abuse did improve the answer quality.

A  trip through the discussion jungle

Here are two examples why, in my opinion, posting links without context or to other threads causes the quality in certain spaces to degrade.

Lets start here Short dump while creating Info Package πŸ˜• it brings me at some point to Short dump when trying to access Info Package 2LIS_03_BF 😐 where I go

to Short dump when trying to access Info Package 2LIS_03_BF which links me to those three: 😑

1) Error – RSM1_CHECK_FOR_DELTAUPD

2) Delete Initialization request

3) Short Dump when opening Info Package this brings me to Delete Initialization request (yay a loop to a thread I already looked at) πŸ˜₯ and to Error – RSM1_CHECK_FOR_DELTAUPD

Another roundtrip:

Take it from here Virtual Characteristics NOT working, BADI is not call πŸ˜• and being left with an awesome linkfarm to:

1) A document Step By Step Process for Virtual Key Figures and Characteristics through BAdi

2) another document http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/library/uuid/80318660-18a3-2e10-f298-b5afb3…

3) a help.sap SAP Library – Changing the SAP Standard (BC) 😐

4) ugh another document http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/library/uuid/90b2babc-15ad-2d10-c4b2-bd3af6…

5) aaand document http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/library/uuid/60e34f63-f44c-2c10-488e-c89b04…

6) and finally a discussion Virtual characteristic: BADI not executed? which leads me to: 😑

Virtual Key Figures Characteristics Makes Query More Dynamic and http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/library/uuid/60e34f63-f44c-2c10-488e-c89b04… (ahh seen already πŸ˜₯ )

You’ve got to be kidding me… where is my answer??


What could be done?

For those replying to questions: I know the easiest and fastest way is: “Here you go (post a link) and done”.

Yes, it might be that the previous post I couldn’t find contains the answer, but then please provide the answer (in your own words) rather than just link every discussion with a related discussion (btw.. copy/pasting is not an option, as it finds the abuse button too…). Most likely though if I did a search I came across that thread and it wasn’t helpful.

As to the moderators: I beg you please be all on the same page here and approve those abuse reports. I truly believe this is for the better of the SCN community and I bet I’m not alone. 


thanks

ps. I just picked two random examples and did not mean to offend anyone if I used your links as an example.

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17 Comments

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  1. JΓΌrgen L

    I am certainly with you, I see these examples too.

    For this mission the moderator needs perseverance.

    He has to treat all such replies equal, which requires reading all posts, being online 24/7,

    there must be no exception for top contributors.

    It takes months to get this link-posting out of a forum

    And everyday someone new shows up starting all over again.

    And the moderator need to comment the rejection, and often it has to be justified in SCN support forum and direct messages and in emails too.  Especially if you are late and even need to remove a correct answer.

    Not to forget that someone might find a link-answer from yourself and takes it back to you.

    Not all moderators can afford this effort, and I can understand this, we all have our normal job to do. Some days moderation is almost a full-time job.

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  2. Thomas Zloch

    Welcome to SCN πŸ˜€

    Good to see that somebody rather new (and impressively active) comes across the same issues that we older hats complain about since years.

    There was a discussion just very recently:

    Abuse Reports rejected without any reason

    In my post further down I had summarized a few points that you are also addressing here.

    I stopped using the abuse button in those spaces where I know the moderators don’t share the same mindset and reject those abuse reports

    Perfect observation (because it fits mine 100% πŸ˜‰ ), sad but true and I guess unavoidable, looking at hundreds of spaces for totally different products, topics and philosophies. The latest, purchased technology probably needs other sort of customer pampering (translates to slack moderation) than 20+ years old dinosaurs like ERP or ABAP, for example. I guess BW/BI is somewhere in the middle.

    Please drop by About SCN or Coffee Corner now and then for some inspiring rants.

    Thomas

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  3. Suhas Saha

    Almost all the moderators i know of share the same mindset. I’m not sure about others though πŸ™

    In the ABAP forums that i moderate i can say we have almost zero tolerance towards link farms, but sometimes a few of them sneak through. That’s why we need the SCNers to be our extended eyes & ears and notify us of these breaches.

    BR,

    Suhas

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  4. Martin Grob Post author

    I totally appreciate the fact that you guys are devoting your limited spare time to moderating scn and I can imagine its a tremendous amount of  work you do. There will always be new people that, best case, take a glimpse at the rules of engagement and require education on how to contribute. As with all things there is  room for improvement πŸ™‚ but it’s also clear to me that with a global community mindsets are always different.  I think most do an excellent job like Matthew Billingham which I see being one of the more active mods in business warehouse space.

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  5. Sven Ringling

    I agree as far as it’s link only, but if the full answer is rather long, why should we type the full text again, if another thread, SAP help document or other external link provides the answer?

    For a quick answer: yes, it should just be given. for long answers, the link with some context, including which part of the referred document is relevant and why, if not obvious and ideally with an “exec summary” of the answer should be good enough in my book.

    One rule must be observed in all circumstances it’s what you learned about quotations at school: always refer to the original source.If you always link to the actual answer rather than another comment linking to a comment containing a lonk to the answer, the answer is never more than 1 click away and the frustrating journeys Martin describes can’t happen.

    When I post a link as an answer to basic questions, it’s also often done for a second purpose: giving the answer to a question is just a small piece, more importantly it is helping them to learn how to help themselves next time.

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    1. Matthew Billingham

      This is what I’ve posted to these questions so many times.

      1. If an answer to an issue can be provided by a link that you’ve found by searching, the poster could just have easily found it by searching. By posting the link you are harming the forum as Martin described above, but you’re also harming the person asking the question, by encouraging them to seek spoonfeeding instead of learning to search for themselves. I entirely disagree that it helps them to help themselves next time -quite the opposite. Next time, they’ll expect others to search for them just like this time. Unfortunately a minority of posters have no desire (or perhaps ability) to work things out for themselves. I started in SAP in 1997 – we didn’t really have the internet as a resource then. Yet, somehow, by reading the help files or our course notes, by trying things out, and talking to experienced colleagues, we managed to work things out.

      2. Links often are provided that simply are the first hits the responder gets when he/she searches on the keywords in the original post. I’ve not got the time to follow every link to see if it is relevant; to check that it doesn’t link to further links. Sorry if that hits your truly helpful link… but see point 1.

      3. You can post links if they are in support of an answer – like further readings. If they are the whole answer, then don’t do it please. (Same with copy pasting with reference).

      In the old version of the forum, I’d worked out some “seek and destroy” search patterns for finding just link posts. I wonder if I should try that again…

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      1. Matthew Billingham

        Matthew Billingham wrote:

                               

        In the old version of the forum, I’d worked out some “seek and destroy” search patterns for finding just link posts. I wonder if I should try that again…

                           

        Wow – it’s even easier now.

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      2. Sven Ringling

        Hm. Not sure I shall agree. No 1 suggests rather not to answer at all, if we know a search could find them the answer (writing it down would still be spoonfeeding – just without even telling them where the food can be found).

        I know what you mean with figuring things out w/o scn or google. I started 1996. But requiring that sane tenacity before asking SCN questions would leave just about 5% of the questions, wouldn’t it?

        But then, that’s only my opinion as a newbie on SCN and I’ll accept the rules, assuming they’ve been made based on more experience with the complex socio-professional mechanics (for those, who know me: that’s not meant cynically for a change) of this portal.

        I’ll humbly comply – reserving the right for a little local revolution, when I really, really think an exception makes much more sense πŸ™‚

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        1. Matthew Billingham

          Hm. Not sure I shall agree. No 1 suggests rather not to answer at all, if we know a search could find them the answer (writing it down would still be spoonfeeding – just without even telling them where the food can be found).

          That’s the logical conclusion, yes – don’t answer at all. πŸ™‚

          Basic questions are commonly reported via the abuse reports and rejected. It’s in the Rule of Engagement – search before posting.

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      3. Sven Ringling

        Hm. Not sure I shall agree. No 1 suggests rather not to answer at all, if we know a search could find them the answer (writing it down would still be spoonfeeding – just without even telling them where the food can be found).

        I know what you mean with figuring things out w/o scn or google. I started 1996. But requiring that sane tenacity before asking SCN questions would leave just about 5% of the questions, wouldn’t it?

        But then, that’s only my opinion as a newbie on SCN and I’ll accept the rules, assuming they’ve been made based on more experience with the complex socio-professional mechanics (for those, who know me: that’s not meant cynically for a change) of this portal.

        I’ll humbly comply – reserving the right for a little local revolution, when I really, really think an exception makes much more sense πŸ™‚

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  6. Anshu Lilhori

    Lately I have been hitting the abuse button hard on anything that looks like a “link only” post to either a document or another discussion.

    And started posting chain of links in wiki..wow..

    Regards,

    AL

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        1. Martin Grob Post author

          Anshu those “wiki link farms” you talk about are actually pages which contain macros that  group pages with the same lable together for example all pages that have a lable BW-BEX-ET-BC-PREC are related content under the precaluclation server page. In my opinion that wiki finally has a structure and less chaos in place that allows one to find something..but thats a different story..

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          1. Anshu Lilhori

            Let Moderators take a call on it how useful those pages are:I have already raised my concern on the same in another thread.Most of them just contains help .sap links.If wiki is just about copy pasting links of others work and aligning them then i must say i missed the chance of  grabbing few 1000 points.Anyways i believe in fair play and don’t need those easy points to reach heights.. 😐

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  7. JΓΌrgen Noe

    Hi,

    I truely agree. link farms is not the answer I want to have. Links can be an useful addtion to the answer, no doubt about it. But I prefer answers with your own words, that’s more time saving than clicking through hundreds of links…..

    So as it seems, human ressources are the bottleneck. From my very simple point of view, there are three solutions:

    1.) Add more manpower – means more moderators for one space, maybe a 24h hour roundtrip for the three main time zones (US, EUR, ASIA) and ech time zone has it’s own moderator.

    2.) Try to automate it – find answers which contain links only (or more than x% of the answer) and reject them. I’m no great JAVA or HTTP guru, but should be technically possible.

    3.) Prevent users to create link farms – This could be combined with 2), if you’re able to check whether an answer contains links only, then it could be checked when submitted. If it’s a link farm then reject it with a nice error message.

    Just my thoughts.

    Regards,

    Jürgen

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