I never thought I’d have to explain to anyone what tags are and how to use tags nowadays.

Oh you hyped Millennials, you grow up with computers, you can’t put away your smartphone for 2 seconds, you tweet without end  and still it seems as if you have never heard about tags or seen how to make use of it to organize content.

Oh SAP, you probably thought that consultants, functional experts and developers who work all day with computer and Internet and your products  will know what tags are and you extra challenged them with tag names for which even Google does not find a single hit.

What I saw on chosen tags was incredibly creative… and totally off.

If those people had to tag the most famous German mouse then we would see such result:

Maus geht [7 KB]
Users: Elephant; Giraffe; Hippopotamus, Snake,  animal, Zoo, Uncle Ernie
SAP: 1DuckX; SAP Net Beaver Mobile: Rodent 3.0; SAP Replication Mammal; retagging required

Earlier we had spaces, now we have tags, we had a space Materials Management, now we have a tag MM Materials Management. I can see all content to this tag like I saw all content in a space.

Earlier I followed the space, now I follow the tag. Now and then I got this way the wanted content into my activity stream.

So basically there is till here not really a difference (apart from the fact that everything is too pale, to white, to empty, to buggy, to ……..(add your missing features here)

The difference is in the handling when you ask a question or when you write a blog.

Earlier, you had to decide first in which space you want to post. Now you write your question and at the end you have to decide under which tags you want your content be visible to the audience. Scroll and space lovers  can of course first scroll down and add the tags and then scroll up to phrase the content.

Tags have a big advantage, especially if your question is transboundary. You can add many tags  contrary to earlier where you had just a single space.
If you have a question about a user exit for a certain functionality then you can tag it with the functional area and with the technical area, for example MM Materials Management and ABAP Development. This way your question shows up in both tag places, is visible for the functional guys who follow MM Materials Management and also to the developers who follow ABAP Development.
Earlier this was called cross posting, now its legalized with the tag concept.
And if the Community developers in their galaxy far far away manage to let this appear only once in activity stream of those people who follow both tags then they make some people happier.

Now to the people.
Let me tag them “helpseekers” (helpless was dicarded as rude) and “experts”.
The helpseekers tag their question with an approriate tag to get help from those people who follow this tag for which they can offer help. This means a tag brings people together, similar to a space, but 2 tags can bring more people together than ever fitted into one space.

Of course has a tag to be meaningful to get people together, remember the mouse tags.

If you have a question about a purchase order then it is pretty nonsense to tag it SAP Forum, or do you really think that a person who follows the tag SAP Forum can answer this question.
Isn’t it logic that people may want to talk about SAP Forum if they follow this tag. And people who can answer a question about purchase orders follow probably the tag MM Materials Management because that is the workarea where we manage purchase orders.

Would you tag your video about a visit of the Singapore Night Zoo with “YouTube” when you upload it in YouTube?
Do you think people enter “YouTube” in the search field of YouTube to find information about the Singapore Zoo?
By the way SAP Forum is an event, like TechEd. If you want discuss about the problems that you have with the new Community then you have to use the tag, “Using SAP.com”, you see the logic?

That is the challenge which I already mentioned above. We Normalos we just say MM, SD, QM, and similar already for 20 years and more, now SAP wants educate us to use their official public unknown names, like MAN production planning  or PLM Quality Management.
MAN is for me a German truck manufacturer, they may run SAP, but here run the people away having to use such tags.
Google has today 3 results for a qualified query with “MAN Production Planning”. All 3 are content which was created since the new Community is live.
PLM Quality Management is even worse, the Google result has on the first page only results from competitor products.
Many names, uups sorry tags, were unknown and now we do not find the tag without looking into an Excel sheet.
MM Material Management as tag is easier to find, just enter MM and a blank and you get it already. However, I really wondered that I found countless MM questions under the tags  SAP Mentor, SAP Forum, TechEd, R/3, SAP Community, SAP Select …oh I could still continue a while.
No wonder that people who follow MM say it became calm with the transition.
And others who follow such tags complain about unrelated garbage posting.

Let us make an exercise to see if you understood the example from above with the user exit for the purchase order, which tags would you choose?:

Mad mad world, since we got GPS nobody remembers the way anymore. Tomorrow I will have lunch in the shoe shop and then I will watch a movie at the green grocer.  It’s late now, need to go to the bath for a nap and will dream about a major 3 letter company who gives all us disoriented people a searchable site index and alias tag names to run simple.

More about tags:

Wikipedia

Tags and hashtags: The ultimate guide to using them effectively

Using tags in the SAP Community

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12 Comments

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  1. Veselina Peykova

    It is funny that you mention MAN – I’ve been having the same problem with this one (my first two ‘real’ jobs had a lot to do with maintenance/spare parts production of heavy equipment and old habits don’t die easily). I find the old-fashioned module/functionality naming concept more intuitive for functional consultants, even though it is not perfect (IM us usually understood as Inventory Management, but it is also an abbreviation for Investment Management).

    My biggest problem with the tag concept here, is not with the naming, more with the design approach. Let’s face it – in most projects a SD consultant deals with both sales and billing and at least a little bit of MM, LE, QM and FI/CO, plus some localization topics. This means that the majority of questions, tagged with SD, are also tagged with at least one of SD Sales, SD billing and MM/FI. When your area of expertise spans across several topics and tags (SD/MM/LE is a common combination nowadays), you see the same questions listed multiple times in all tag pages and for each edit. I have found no easy way to get a combined AND+OR list of unanswered questions of all tags I am interested in, where a question appears only once and where you get a meaningful sort by created or updated time-stamp. The current tag implementation probably serves better the internal SAP analytics requirements compared to the old concept, but for the needs of their practical usage in an Internet forum, you need a lot more to get it working properly.
    What is more – if people stop using or misuse the tag concept in a way, which you failed to consider in your initial design – your internal analytics will also suffer.

    By the way, the second link in More about tags section does not point to the correct resource, I think it should be Tags and hashtags: The ultimate guide to using them effectively

    (7) 
  2. Jelena Perfiljeva

    Thanks, Juergen! Yes, it’s a problem that stubborn Normalos still use the terms like Basis and SD. 🙂

    I’m eagerly awaiting a sequel to the “How to close your discussion and why” blog. Since now the same already answered question appears not just in one space, err, tag but many.

    (1) 
    1. Jürgen L Post author

      Once answered questions are identifiable I will release the sequel, just don’t want to make the same error with an early launch

      (3) 
  3. Mark Pfister

    I think there is still a big misconception of the reality if I read this: 

    “”
    Earlier we had spaces, now we have tags, we had a space Materials Management, now we have a tag MM Materials Management. I can see all content to this tag like I saw all content in a space.

    Earlier I followed the space, now I follow the tag. Now and then I got this way the wanted content into my activity stream.””

    In theory this is true and would work like a charm.
    This might be true for some Tag’s but certainly it is not true for all. And this is really the super annoying thing in the new community:

    Before I had one Community for all Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) related questions. Everyone new that this is the place to ask question and it worked perfectly.

    Now there is a list of 37 (!!!) EHS Tags (where in realty one would need maybe 5-10). I sure can follow all of them (and I do) – but it doesn’t help a bit since all information gets drowned in the activity stream.

    Yes there is a SAP Environment, Health, and Safety Management Community but I displays only content from one of the 37 Tags. So it is of no use.

    On top of that, that forum has no moderator – so I do not even know whom to address the things to. I asked the old moderator (SAP Employee) – and she didn’t know what to do about it either.

    If I look at the list of tag’s I’m sure the folks are not the only one with these kind of issues!

     

     

     

     

    (2) 
    1. Jürgen L Post author

      There was to less traffic in the ILM space, its gone, questions about setup and general customizing of ILM shall be posted under the SAP NetWeaver tag.
      Application specific customizing and archiving questions should be posted in their specific tags, like question about MM_EKKO would go to MM Materials Management

      (0) 
  4. Lukas Weigelt

    Ach, Jürgen 😀 , this is just brilliant! Can you please make a series out of this? It could go like:

    “Hello my dear children! Today we have Sach- und Lachgeschichten for you with…

    … SAP, explaining why a proprietary excel sheet for a navigational overview is better than anything web-based…
    … Matt on “There’s a Special place in hell for People who use FOR ALL ENTRIES instead of INNER JOIN”..
    .. Julius with “Where have all the pinots gone?”..
    .. Uncle Jürgen explaining how to find your house without a GPS-Gadget..
    .. and of course with the Mouse and the Elephant”

    😉

    (5) 
  5. Craig S

    I missed this blog of your Jurgen.  My activity stream is just to many pages on any given day to really keep up with it.  🙁
    What I don’t understand is why, when you included QM as one of your examples in the blog, why you didn’t tag it with PLM Quality Management (QM)?  Or maybe it should be SAP Quality Issue Management?  Or SAP ERP Quality Issue?

    But I understand, the right one is the last one in the list for “Quality”. Who has the time to scroll down that far in the list?

    Thanks Jurgen!!!

    (0) 

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