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Problems moderating due to changes in the forum software RRS feed

  • Question

  • Apparently, we've again had some kind of upgrade in the forum software and it's making things difficult to moderate. Some of the changes have been touched on in other threads, but here's a list of what's giving me pains:

    1. Loss of all "controls" for moderating an "Answer" when that post was the only Reply to a question. Used to be, all posts had the control links available, whether they'd been marked as an answer or not. Now, the "Answer" that is displayed at the top of the thread hierarchy has no "controls". If this also happened to be the only other message in the thread, it does not show up a second time with the control inks. So, for example, there's no way to UNMARK the answer.

    1a) This loss of "controls" includes being able to mark an answer as "Helpful", as mentioned in this thread: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/reportabug/thread/32e6adb4-54b1-4811-8c68-1e842c9c8cf2

    2. All too often, the author identification is not appearing (avatar and name) next to the messages in a threads. Many users don't sign their threads. This makes it close to impossible to moderate a message thread.

    3. We're getting "Unexpected error" messages - again! I mostly see this when the message has been open in its own Window for a while, before I'm able to "Submit" a reply.

    4. "Pinned" messages at the top of the forum are now appearing on ALL forum pages. For forums with many pinned messages, this severely reduces usefulness. No one wants to always be scrolling down past these pinned messages. I especially noticed this in these Feedback forums, when checking whether these pain points are already under discussion.

    5. We no longer see where a post was moved from. This was helpful information for moderators and others assisting in the forums.

    6. I'm also getting a lot of alerts recently about the message type being changed when a message has been marked as an "Answer". These are coming in pairs (plus the alert that the message has been marked as an answer make three). It's almost as if the message type is being changed in order to mark an answer, then changed back to a question. For example:
     http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vsto/thread/cc8337f8-bab9-4272-8230-350d055326d0/
    I really don't want/need to see three alerts when a message has been marked as an Answer. Nor is it helpful for anyone to see that messages types have been changed twice within seconds. (Note: this may be a Contingent Staff moderator thing, not a sofware thing. But if it is I don't think it's a good idea.)


    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP, my blog

    Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:30 AM

Answers

All replies

  • If the only reply to a question has been marked as an answer, I cannot tell who marked it as "answer". If the op, that makes a big difference.


    Richard Mueller - MVP Directory Services

    Thursday, January 24, 2013 3:22 PM
    Moderator
  • That, too, yes! +1


    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP, my blog

    Thursday, January 24, 2013 3:44 PM
  • I was about to post a couple of screen captures how broke the forum is today.

    Today for me, it has gone beyond usable. I will have to scale back from forum support activity until things improve to something like the usability of the forums pre-December 2012.


    Dave Baker | Xpert360 blog | twitter : @xpert360 Opinions are my own. Please mark as answer if this helps solve your problem.


    • Edited by Xpert360 Thursday, January 24, 2013 7:52 PM
    Thursday, January 24, 2013 7:52 PM
  • These should be 6 threads. 6 issues.

    1-3 are known. So those are in progress. 

    I don't think I've seen a thread on #4 yet, but I've seen the issue myself as well. I thought it was a "feature". I just verified that it's still an issue. I'll submit it as a Bug Request and ask if they intended it as a "feature". 

    #5 is known and in progress. 

    #6 I hadn't heard of. Can someone repro this?

    I'm submitting #4 as a bug request now.

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Customer Program Manager (Blog, Small Basic, Wiki Ninjas, Wiki)

    Answer an interesting question? Create a wiki article about it!

    Monday, January 28, 2013 11:47 PM
    Owner
  • Hi Cindy,

    For the issue 4, would you please give some example?


    Yubo Zhang
    Application Support
    EPX Service Enginerring Tier1

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 2:59 AM
  • 4. I think this is how it has been before?

    Cindy is talking about sticky threads in each forum. They appear on every page when you nagivate in the forum.


    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law


    My blog

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 4:24 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Ed

    Sorry about dumping a load in my original message. Chalk it up to frustration, not having seen any MSFT participation (saying it's being looked into) on existing threads I could find, and lots of off-topic "static" on existing threads. I should know better :-)

    Example for #6: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/oxmlsdk/thread/3100d958-d79c-4e9e-866b-306fa8168b43

    A few days down the line, I think my suspicion that this is not the forum software, but a "Contingent Staff" issue is probably correct. The same team is working in all the forums I'm in on a regular basis. I get the feeling the "Change type" functionality is being "misused" to provide a "tagging" functionality for staff. Personally, I don't like it and feel that "Known issue" is misleading for other forum users (if they even read it). But I sure as the dickens don't like all these extra Alerts it's causing.


    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP, my blog

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 9:52 AM
  • Regarding #4... This is a new issue. It's now logged as Bug #1110791.

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Customer Program Manager (Blog, Small Basic, Wiki Ninjas, Wiki)

    Answer an interesting question? Create a wiki article about it!

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 10:27 PM
    Owner
  • Regarding #6... Did you get multiple emails because it was marked multiple times?

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Customer Program Manager (Blog, Small Basic, Wiki Ninjas, Wiki)

    Answer an interesting question? Create a wiki article about it!

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 10:29 PM
    Owner
  • Regarding #6... Did you get multiple emails because it was marked multiple times?

    Hi Ed

    This is what I think is going on:

    1. Contingent Staff ("MSCS") decides a discussion is finished and will mark it as an answer

    2. MSCS considers the discussion+answer something that could occur regularly and want to be able to recognize such. Internally, they've decided the term "Known issue" is appropriate for such threads.

    3. They change the type from "Question" to "Discussion" and in the "Reason" box type "Known issue"; click "Submit". They change the type from "Discussion" back to "Question" and again type "Known issue" in the "Reason" box.

    4. Then the Question is marked as "Answered"

    So I (and everyone else on the thread, plus "interested parties") get three alerts. Two of these are "superfluous" and, for a moderator, very distracting/annoying because I of course want to know what's caused the type change. I can understand MSCS wanting to have a "tagging" system for "useful, on-target" threads. But it should not involve mis-using functionality intended for another purpose - in my opinion.


    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP, my blog

    Thursday, January 31, 2013 8:00 AM
  • Hi Ed

    Thanks for getting it "in the queue" and for letting us know it's not a "feature" :-)

    As soon as we're "on the same wavelength" with #6 this is answered.


    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP, my blog

    Thursday, January 31, 2013 8:01 AM
  • Regarding #6, I think you're right. The feature is "by design". The problem is more around the process. So I need a very specific example. If this is the case... questions getting marked so many times... then I need to identify if this happens a few times or if a lot of people are spammed because of this scenario.

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Customer Program Manager (Blog, Small Basic, Wiki Ninjas, Wiki)

    Answer an interesting question? Create a wiki article about it!

    Friday, February 1, 2013 12:04 AM
    Owner
  • Hi Ed

    Regarding #6, I posted a link to an example in my reply of January 29...

    and here's another one, just this morning:
    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/worddev/thread/9e43a36c-00de-4edf-8022-e93dcaeca69b/


    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP, my blog


    Friday, February 1, 2013 8:20 AM