Tagging Posts RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I wish we could Tag posts. Or filter a forum.

    EG. The Help Technologies forum was shut down with no warning to moderators
    (was DevDocs http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/devdocs)

    This important area covered MS Help creation & VS Doc Integration
    And is now lost in a general area called VisualStudioGeneral -- http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/visualstudiogeneral

    One way to segregate Help Technology from all the other posts would be to 
    allow moderators to tag the posts

    Even better would be to introduce a new category dropdown so we can tag and filter when posting or later.
    Moderators could request new tags/categories. Otherwise you have to scan every post title to find help technology posts
    Help: HTML Help (.chm)
    Help: MS Help 2.x (.hxs -- vs 2002/2003/2005/2008 help)
    Help: Help Viewer 1.x (vs 2010 help)
    Help: Help Viewer 2.x (vs 2012 help)

    Filtering would help a lot.
    Killing off key forums helps MS but not sure it's helping our the help technology community.
    Most big organizations have people who specialize MS help technologies. I'm annoyed they/we have no where obvious to post now.

    == Ideally I'd like a separate "User Assistance" group that covered all MS Help Technologies
    == Please let me know if you agree or disagree.

    PS. After talking to a trusted friend inside MS: As MS continue to reduce the MS Help Team it's now even more important than ever to have a special area where we can focus our attentions on MS Help Technology issues. As a Help MVP I'm very grateful for the passionate people within MS who still care about MS help software tech and supporting the many users of the technology (even though they have now been moved to other departments).

    Rob Chandler Help MVP www.helpware.net | mshcmigrate.helpmvp.com | hv2.helpmvp.com

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 4:01 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    I was already writing a lot but then decided to delete and start all over. The technical point is interesting but we should still be aware what situation we are in:

    - The cleanup of the msdn forums was a great thing in my eyes.
    - The new General Questions forum is great. Exactly that was missing.
    - There IS an active community regarding Developer Documentation and MS Help System. (Inclunding "MVP Help" and such things.)

    The solution for the whole "problem" is quite simple and does not need much work:
    A simple reactivation of the devdoc forum. Including a clean ownership! (Either we could take ownership if that is allowed or maybe someone of the help team could do that?) This is almost no effort and after a few months or so they can check the situation again. They can always close the forum again if they want to.

    Changes on the forum software are nice ideas but are only workarounds. We could also decide to get a yahoo group or our own forum somewhere and use that - with a simple sticky on the forum which tells the people to look there. But all that are only workarounds and in my eyes they all bring additional problems.

    And regarding the emails that we wrote and received: As far as I understood the mails, there was no final decision or did I miss anything?

    With kind regards,


    Thursday, January 17, 2013 10:20 AM
  • I want to write some points about the tagging....

    How could it be done:

    Tags per Forum

    In this szenario, each Forum can have a number of Tags to choose from. The big advantage is, that the number of tags to choose from could be small. But I do not still see why this is really required. The core pattern with forums is, that you create subforums and such stuff to seperate content. You do not create Tags or so to divide the content. (And at least not because the help content is not seen between all the non help content. And such a tag will not help with posts inside wrong forums so there is a post inside the .Net base class library forum regarding the help viewer!)

    Global Tags

    Global Tags are quite nice. That way you can tag something anywhere. I like this idea but the number of possible tags is simply to high. But if you could choose what tags you are interested in, then it could help. So I could choose to see all Help Tags and when I come across any thread that has to do with the help system I could tag it quickly. That way others could find it and they must not care about the forum where it is in.

    That is an idea that I really like. That could give a real benefit for people like the help system team because they could subscribe to the tags in the hope that we tag posts for them.

    Individual Tags / Public Tags

    I got a complete seperate picture in my head. It could be compared to Facebook and google+ and such systems. We could create some kind of groups. We was talking about tagging to I simply called it Tags now.
    Public Tags - these can be viewed and joined by everyone. So there could be a Help System Tag / Group
    Individual Tags - these can be created by everyone and I could invite people.

    The core system is, that it can be used by a small community - either open or closed. So We could be inside a "Help System Group" that can tag any article. Members of the group can see which articles are tagged. But the big benefit is, that I can also create my own group either public or private. So I could create a Massive Multiplayer Online Games Group. Whenever I find an interesting thread on that topic, I tag it. Others interested in that could do the same and people can look for such groups / tags online so they could find me. But also a private group makes sense so the development team I am working in could create such a tag and then we can tag threads that I found usefull for our work and people can find it quickly.

    So at the end it is no longer a forums solution. It is a community solution. maybe Windows Live / Skype / Whatever from Microsoft could build something like that.

    So the core of my idea is a group of members and people can publish stuff in there like links to threads but maybe also to webpages / blogs / ....

    Which leads to another quite nice solution which is not simply dealing with filtering one forum.

    That was just my 2 cent regarding that idea.

    With kind regards,


    Thursday, January 17, 2013 12:34 PM
  • Yes I thought about an alternative forum. But then thought.. this is active MS technology and MS should be supporting it properly in their forums... somewhere.

    Rob Chandler Help MVP www.helpware.net | mshcmigrate.helpmvp.com | hv2.helpmvp.com

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 2:27 PM
  • My time is precious. I don't want to scan for Help related posts in a general bucket.
    Maybe one day there will be a cool tagging/filtering system to make sub groups.

    But for now... yes you are correct of course... Best solution is to reinstate "DevDocs".

    I'm the only Help MVP in the group so the only link with the help team (although if you know there public email address or Connect it is easy for anyone to contact them -- if you know the contact details). 

    Rob Chandler Help MVP www.helpware.net | mshcmigrate.helpmvp.com | hv2.helpmvp.com

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 2:40 PM
  • The history of Microsoft Help Technology has already a long way behind. And it was (and is) an up and down.

    1990 – WinHelp
    1996 – HTML Help
    2001 - MS Help 2 (dropped on 2001-12-28 as application help)
    2006 # Developer Documentation and Help System Forum
    2010 – Help Viewer 1
    2012 – Help Viewer 2 / Windows 8 help

    Rob Chandler mentioned the history some weeks ago and of course we put it on the MSHelpWiki site at:

    We've had newsgroups for help technology on a microsoft newsserver for years (now without traffic at Google Groups) at:
    (1) https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/microsoft.public.helpauthoring
    (2) https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/microsoft.public.vstudio.helpauthoring

    As of 2006, all questions for Visual Studio (2) were posted to Developer Documentation and Help System Forum. Help Authoring more and more goes down. OK - Help Authoring isn't Microsoft only and there is a "help industry".

    Like Rob posted, I'd like having a separate "MS Help Technologies Forum" that covered also old but running MS Help Technologies. We need a place for the users of active Microsoft Help Technology.

    My preference would be to reopen with a new name or a new forum "MS Help Technologies Forum".

    Just my 2 cent for Help ...

    Ulrich Kulle - Microsoft Help MVP - (2007-2009) - http://www.help-info.de

    Friday, January 18, 2013 6:02 PM