Skip to Content

The recognition as a Member of the Month took me by surprise, because it came at a time, when I almost stopped participating in the forum.


Now I feel that the right thing to do is to explain why and spoil the initial good impression.


The reason is simple – the decreasing quality of content in the forum space.


I will not discuss the topics about violating The Rules of Engagement – the moderators already do a really good job in keeping the forum clean.

This is about the things that will not result in thread rejection, but still make me close the tab without writing a response.

1. Title is important. Make it short and informative.

If you are new to SCN, it serves as your business card. Try to make a good first impression as a professional.

Don’t copy/paste the whole main content as a subject title

You know how funny and cute 5 year-olds are, when they rush at you and start telling you a story from the middle?

Except that you are not 5, it is creepy when a grown-up tries to trigger nurturing responses with infant-like behavior, and it is sad that you skipped classes at school.

Yes. It looks that bad.

Poor choice of title:

Credit issue


You are either too busy to put an effort and explain the problem or you have no knowledge on the topic.

If the first is true – I would prefer to spend my time helping people who value my time as much as theirs.

In the second case – you did not follow the advice in ‘The Rules of Engagement’ to search before posting. What are the chances that you will take any of my advices – like “read carefully note xxxxx before you make any changes“?

Better:

Account balance difference in RFCORR40 


This shows that the OP has identified the issue, but has a problem troubleshooting it.

I could be wrong, but if I have the time, I would read further.

Even better:

Account balance difference in RFCORR40 even after balance carry-forward


It appears that the OP has tried to do some troubleshooting and understands the idea behind the report.

I would definitely read the details.

I will not spoil you with an example how an excellent choice of title would look like.

2. Addressing the audience.

Dear Sirs/Dear Gurus

I am not in the target group (obviously), but you are either making fun of the people, from whom you seek help (not a wise choice), or you are grovelling (unnecessary).

The best consultants/developers I have met, are highly resistant to such form of flattery, anyway.

And this is not because they are extremely modest or have reached some spiritual level, they simply realize that there is a lot more to learn.

If you wish to be treated with respect among professionals, you need to behave as a professional.

And if you cannot think of a better way to address the fellow forum members, you can safely omit this part and get directly to the point.

3. Main content.

Present the problem in a well-structured manner, use paragraphs and additional formatting to make the content more readable.

If you wish to bounce ideas for a new business process, describe it as a sequence of business steps.

Avoid using company-specific terminology or at least explain briefly the meaning.

If you do that:

a) you will avoid potential misunderstanding and

b) more people will read your complete post.

If this does not happen, you will get either no responses or low-quality ones, and you want none of these.

Don’t just copy/paste your client requirements or urgent tickets and expect that people will do all the work for you (consultants).


If you don’t try by yourself, you will always depend on the mercy of others and this would not work as a strategy even in a forum full of tolerant and helpful people.

I am guilty of having very low tolerance on spec-dumping, so I would need a compelling reason to “help the needy”.

On the second thought – no, I won’t do that, sorry. I prefer not to assist you in committing a fraud.

Problem tickets posted by end users.

I am always glad when an end user wishes to learn more about how things work and will do my best to explain you that “technical stuff” in business terms – you wish to become a better professional and I admire that.

This does not mean that I am willing to act as a free-of-charge help desk. Please contact your support consultant to assist you with solving urgent issues.

You company does not wish to spend money on proper support


It is a bad idea to give you an advice based on incomplete information and you can’t give me all the details, because you have no authorization to view/change any settings.

Present a proper business case to your superiors, make them listen to your concerns!

When you spend your day on workarounds or manually fixing errors, they are losing money and market share.

You just don’t get on well with your support consultant


Both of you get paid to do your job. Find a way to work together.

Don’t ask for step-by-step guides with screenshots or demand to be spoon-fed.


I won’t do that to my end users (I ask the key users to prepare end-user manuals, which I have to approve before they are distributed), why would I treat you differently?

Picturing somebody clicking in SPRO/SNOTE with little or no understanding scares me. Please do not do that!

Search the web, read sap notes, use your sandbox.

You would be pleasantly surprised how many of your colleagues would be willing to lend you a book if you ask them nicely.

You need help creating a new z-report and post the question here, because the development is SD-related


There are more developers in the ABAP forums working on SD reports than techno-functionals visiting the SD space.

You will increase greatly the chances of receiving helpful replies if you add the proper tags – and it takes less than a minute to do that!

Provide the relevant screenshots from customizing and the results of troubleshooting you have performed so far.


Example:


You face an issue with incorrect values in S066/S067:

Share your OVA8 settings and the result of CHECK_CM for a problematic document.

If you use non-standard item categories or document types, people will ask you for VOV7, VOV8, copy control settings.


You wish to get the problem resolved as soon as possible, why would you wait for a forum member to ask you for additional information?

Describe what you have tried so far/which notes you have read.


It is pointless that both of us spend time doing the same thing – you have already eliminated several options and, if you share these details, it would definitely speed up the investigation.

If you are not a native English speaker and struggle to describe the problem or cannot fully understand the responses.


If you can’t get help from a friend/colleague/relative, list the languages, in which you can explain better.

If I happen to speak any of them, even if I am not an expert on the subject, I will do my best to help you as an interpreter via PM.

4. When you have not provided all the information I would need to investigate further.


You did your best, but still failed to see something obvious?

Don’t feel bad about that – if you already knew that you have to check and provide information also on zzzz setting, you might have already solved the issue without my help.

This is why you posted here – to get a different view on the subject, isn’t it?

Now here comes the really bad part.

Before I ask for additional clarification, I will have a look at your profile.

No, not the reputation tab – your points and badges are absolutely irrelevant in this case.

I will read your previous posts.


If it takes you a week or more to respond to requests for more information or provide feedback


I would have already forgotten what it was all about by the time you respond and will have to start all over.

If you feel comfortable with the idea to leave your customers waiting for resolution for weeks, then why would I push you?

If I see a long list of posts with multiple replies and some good suggestions, but none of them marked as helpful/correct


I would probably choose not to participate in your current discussion.

Don’t get me wrong – I am not obsessed with getting these 5 or 10 points or acquiring a shiny badge.


C in SCN stands for community. You can’t be a good member and just take without giving back.

If you don’t have the time or knowledge or are too shy to post content and participate in discussions – I respect your decision.

This does not change the fact that you can still help – all it takes is to mark the posts, which helped you resolve the issue.

The next person who searches the forum would find your thread and try first the option marked as ‘correct’ before re-posting.


A thank you to the people who tried to assist you, even if you have solved the problem by yourself, is a nice touch. I will remember you being polite and will be even more inclined to help you in the future.

What has my previous behavior got to do with my current discussion/This is not fair/This is against ROE


Not much really (unless you believe that everything you do has consequences).

I have never said that it is.

Please read the disclaimer.

Disclaimer:

The content represents my personal view on the subject and does not imply or suggest that any other forum member would feel or react in the same way.

The aim of this blog post is not to berate or insult any SCN member, but to share some ideas on how to improve the quality of content posted in the SD space.

Even if you follow 1.-4. there is no guarantee that you will get even a single response. It could be that your question is really difficult to answer. Probably there are very few people in the forum still using BGADDON on 4.6. I wish I could help you somehow, sorry.

If you do the exact opposite of 1-4. you could get replies. There are helpful and generous people who may still choose to help, there are also point-chasers always coming to rescue. I don’t belong to any of these groups and will ignore the thread.

To report this post you need to login first.

19 Comments

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.

  1. AMOL MARATHE

    Hello Veselina,

    Excellent blog, It shades light on very different perspective. I have never thought/understood that any one could go through many hassles to answer questions. And now i see pain behind replies such as “Search forum before posting”, “follow ROE”, “This question has been discussed many times” etc.

    This is a very helpful blog. Thank you.

    regards,

    Amol

    (0) 
  2. ' MoazzaM '

    Hi Veselina Peykova

    You have listed all the issues and suggestions in a very good and well arranged manner. I must say that I am impressed the way you wrote and arranged it.

    I strongly agree with your views, specially “search before posting” comment. I also have to reply to many PMs on different mediums i.e. Skype, Google or FB etc with the same response. People asks basic questions and sometimes I feel like they are testing my temperament. I feel bad and can’t ignore any email or message. I reply all of those sometimes with same text “search on SCN or Google”

    You need to be active on SD forums because it needs members like you who can reply with an average of 7/8 lines text response with very valuable and informative suggestions. 🙂

    Thank$

    (0) 
    1. Veselina Peykova Post author

      Hi ‘ MoazzaM ‘,

      thank you for the kind comment, sometimes I think that I am the only person who sees things in that way.

      Luckily, only people who know me very well in real life could find me on FB, Jitsi or Skype, so I don’t get basic SAP-related questions that often. 😏

      I also feel pretty bad ignoring requests for help or replying ‘please search the web’ or ‘read the FDD’ (I guess that people also feel bad when they receive such replies), but if I choose to do otherwise, I would do them a bad favor in the long term.

      Of course, if a ‘real life’ colleague has already done something extremely bad/stupid/dangerous in PRD, most likely, I would first try to minimize the damage and explain all the details later. ‘Keeping the lights on’ is  too important – so sometimes we don’t have the luxury to consider the plans for somebody else’s personal development.

      (0) 
      1. G Lakshmipathi

        Veselina Peykova

        Congratulations on getting a recognition from SCN within a short span of time.  Keep sharing regularly.  If everybody follows the points you have added here, then, most of our (Space Moderators) head ache would go.  Not sure, whether that will happen in the near future 😉

        G. Lakshmipathi

        (0) 
  3. Kamlesh Kumar Arya

    Hi Veselina Peykova,

    I must say that if, everyone follows these guidelines before posting their issues then probably, they might be able to resolve the issues before posting here in SCN. 🙂

    I am a SD Learner and this is my personal experience that whenever, I get any error in Test Server(Sandbox) I use to do a lot of “R&D” & Study and use to solve it myself. 🙂 and In return I learn a lot while doing R&D.

    Thanks for sharing……..Its must read before posting any question in scn.

    Kind regards

    Kamlesh

    (0) 
  4. Colleen Hebbert

    I am so glad your become the MoM and didn’t give up on SCN. We need more people like you who care

    in relation to title – completely agree. I try to liken it to an email. Title is the subject line whilst the body is the content. You wouldn’t email your boss with the entire content in the subject line 🙂

    (0) 
  5. Vincent CAO

    I could not agree more with you. And to be the MoM is must not a surprise,you are worthy of the honor the way you treated  questions and your attitudes to requests.

    Although there are still some unpleasant things as you said,I hope you would not give up the forum,we all need people like you.

    (0) 
  6. Jelena Perfiljeva

    Great blog, don’t know how I missed it back in February. To add to p.3 – get to the point fast and state the question clearly. It’s painful to read the posts that could’ve been summed up in one sentence but instead have a long story, sometimes even without any punctuation:

    hi gurus, I’m implementing this process here at the client people are nice but coffee not so good and I’m like getting this output here and yesterday it worked fine but today I made some changes and now it’s not coming I mean I can see the spool but nothing on the printer and we have a new printer too and I checked all configuration and how do I get my output please suggest urgently

    Well-written question is 80% of the answer. There is also a good old blog: Asking Good Questions in the SCN Discussion Spaces will help you get Good Answers

    (0) 
      1. Jelena Perfiljeva

        The text is fictional. But, unfortunately, it’s not unusual to see such posts on SCN when OP seem to just type in whatever thoughts are running through their mind instead of analyzing the problem and coming up with a specific question.

        (0) 
        1. Typewriter TW

          Jelena,

          For starters, if this is fictional I would not use the

          “Quote Previous Message” button

          it can mislead readers.

          I agree that there are people who do not (many can not) put forward their point at the beginning of their message. But this is something that happens everywhere. Expecting SCN to be different is an unrealistic expectation IMHO.

          In connection to this, I had started a discussion poorly written posts…is it a choice or lack of skill?

          If someone does not provide the necessary information, then s/he is at a loss…the most loss.

          The small talk or chit chat (coffee is not good, people are helpful etc.) could play a role, it depends upon the situation (breaking the ice) and the position (structuring of content) (put it after all the important technical message/ information, then it may help in creating a friendly atmosphere)

          Clarity is difficult and subjective. Experience, examples, screenshots, diagrams all help. To end, it is an on-going process (several emails, combinaton of calls and followup minutes) of getting and giving clarity.

          If, in this post, I have not been clear, then please inform. I will try (writing) in a different way. 🙂

          TW

          (0) 
          1. Jelena Perfiljeva

            SCN is different from other sites since it is a professional forum. Professionalism includes at least attempting to use the correct sentence structure and punctuation. These skills are taught in elementary school. No one expects perfection but at least try.

            (0) 

Leave a Reply