Understanding the comment thread structure on SAP Community
Why am I not receiving timely responses? –
I am sure a lot of you have this very concern when posting on our new Community. I wanted to write this blog to clarify some of the confusion around this issue and help users understand exactly how using the “comment” feature appropriately can greatly help.
Being able to understand who is notified when posting a question, comment, or answer may help generate faster responses and avoid confusion. Users may already be aware that SAP Community has two essential types of responses. There are Answers and then there are Comments. While answers can only be published on questions, comments can be published on all types of posts.
Yes, that means users can “comment” on blogs, questions, answers or even other comments. And whenever users post a comment a notification is sent. If you are interested in reading more about Notifications, you can read my other blog, Use Notifications Like a Boss.
You may be wondering who this notification is sent to. And this is where understanding the thread structure on SAP Community can be helpful. I have noticed far too many discussions in the new community cut short due to the improper use of comments. For instance, following are two common use cases when I have noticed the death of a conversation:
User publishes an “Answer” hoping to get clarification on an existing Answer
Issue: Notifications for all “Answers” are sent to the author of the question. Therefore while this action will send a notification to the author of the question, it will NOT notify the other users who have published answers on the same question.
Solution: Use comments! If you come across any question or answer that you require further clarification on, or intend to engage with, use the comment feature located ON the question, answer, or comment:
Comments on questions, comments on blogs, and comments on other comments behave in the same way. To surmise, Answers are only meant to be used when it contains the solution to the problem posed, and is comprehensive and satisfactory. All other engagement and dialogue should be pursued via Comments so the intended users receive the respective notifications, prompting further engagement. If a satisfactory “Answer” does emerge from a “comment” thread, the author of the question and moderators will still have the ability to convert the comment to an answer if needed.
User publishes a “Comment” on the wrong “Comment”
Issue: Not commenting on the right comment may also cause similar confusion resulting in untimely deaths of conversations. As discussions and dialogue often tend to get long on SAP Community, it may be difficult to follow the sequence of comments, and comments on comments in threads. Commenting on the wrong comment may result in sending the notification to an unintended recipient, resulting in no further responses.
Solution: Keeping an eye on the “indentation” and “gap” between subsequent answers or subsequent comments can help keep tab of where to comment:
In the snapshot above, I have tried to indicate the different “levels” of conversations that can be seen in Questions and Answers and Coffee Corner discussions, with the yellow circles indicating comments and the arrow heads indicating the recipient of the subsequent notification due to that comment. For example, notifications for comments by Users 1 & 2 above will be sent to the original poster. Following the same logic, notifications for comments posted by users 3, 4, and 5 will be sent to User 2.
While most of the aforementioned things are pretty much self-explanatory, I realized that the lack of a clear description of these behaviors can make it difficult for some users to use our community efficiently. I hope many of you will find the information shared here useful and will be able to utilize this to engage effectively throughout SAP Community. Please feel free to post questions, comments, & feedback below.