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Moderators should be able to change the type of post

    General discussion

  • Posts that contain questions should be of the type "Ask a question".

    Those threads then allow good answers to be Marked as Answer.

    But if a post containing a question has been created as a General Discussion" thread, any answer can not be marked as an Answer.

    Moderators should be able to amend the type of thread from General Discussion to Ask a Question so that they can then mark a good answer as an Answer !
     
    Friday, August 1, 2008 11:43 AM

All replies

  • Absolutely! Not being a moderator, I did not know this was not possible. It is possible to change from Ask a Question to General Discussion, isn't it?

    Actually, elsewhere, I have pointed out that posts marked as "General Discussion" almost always result from user error/confusion. It bothers me to see a feature that is almost always mis-used; it suggests to me that the feature should be removed (or at least available only to moderators).

    Maybe at least allow the OP (as well as moderators) to change the designation. Then potential responders could (politely) suggest to the OP to do so.

    Actually, IMHO, the whole focus on "question-answer pairs" is very detrimental to the forums. I would prefer if there were just posts and responses, and if a point system is desired then just use "Vote as helpful" (currently almost never used).



    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Friday, August 1, 2008 3:13 PM
  • Actually Moderators can change it how to do that is under options at the top of the forum with the thread open, however I have changed only one thread all others I just reply the user with relevant information.  Check the thread below I changed it yesterday and Microsoft closed it today.

    http://forums.msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/netfxsetup/thread/20145bb5-d996-4461-b72e-b236aca03377


    Asp.net MVP, MCPD Web C#, MCITP BI & MCTS SQL Server 2005
    Friday, August 1, 2008 4:15 PM
  • Caddre:

    OK, good, that makes sense.

    What do you think about allowing the OP to change the designation? Since he/she was allowed to select it (perhaps wrongly) initially, where would the harm be in that?


    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Friday, August 1, 2008 5:30 PM
  • Actually that is there also this is my thread at the bug forum where I am not a moderator and I have that option which is change type of post.

    http://forums.msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/reportabug/thread/c850e587-6f98-44b4-8b22-d5952f321769


    Asp.net MVP, MCPD Web C#, MCITP BI & MCTS SQL Server 2005
    Friday, August 1, 2008 5:46 PM
  • Caddre:

    So it is! I am not a moderator and rarely am the OP so I did not realize this. Also, I was looking in the wrong place (on the left).

    This is good, because that means it is possible to ask the OP to change the designation.

    Thanks!



    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Friday, August 1, 2008 6:23 PM
  • Be careful when changing the type of a question that has answers.  :)  I believe we clear the answer flag from any post in a thread if the thread type is changed to General Discussion.  If you need to change it back from General Discussion to Question, you'll need to re-mark the answers as well.

    -Jeremy
    Jeremy Kelley
    Friday, August 1, 2008 8:13 PM
    Moderator
  • That is correct
    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer
    Friday, August 1, 2008 8:19 PM
  • Jeremy:

    Well, if you think this is dangerous why is the OP allowed to do it?

    Actually, I only want to allow the OP to be able to change from General Discussion to Ask a Question, not the other way around. Maybe only moderators should be able to change to General Discussion. OK by me.

    I am still bothered by the fact that an OP that has chosen General Discussion has almost always done so in error. How about moving the option to select General Discussion over to the Post Options box to the right of the Reply window (i.e. get rid of the dropdown on the New button, and have Ask a Question be the default)? Then it would be much less likely to be selected by accident.

    If a feature is almost always misused, there must be something wrong with it, or the way it is implemented.


    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Saturday, August 2, 2008 9:53 AM
  • I'm with you on this one.

    I've not yet seen a General Discussion message that wasn't a question. The whole general discussion thing is a bit crazy in forums that are supposed to be for Q&A.

    (Thanks to the replier who said it was possible to change the designation. I did look quite hard before I posted and didn't find it but I suppose now I'll be able to find it by looking in the right place !).

    Another oddity is that you can't (again a moderator thing) post a non-discussion post [that you want to be on top of the forum (and sticky) because it contains key information (like a post I made saying not to use General Discussion if you have a question!)] as an Announcment (because then it gets far too much prominence!) but have to do it as a General Discussion post (that you don't want people to discuss just accept...)
    Saturday, August 2, 2008 6:51 PM
  • davewilk said:

    Well, if you think this is dangerous why is the OP allowed to do it?


    I didn't think OPs could... I could be wrong though.

    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer
    Monday, August 4, 2008 5:56 PM
  • If you're talking about an OP changing their own thread from General Discussion to Question, then yes, they can.

    Options > Change type.

    Actually, they can also do it when the thread has been answered, and that is definitely alarming.


    Take a chance. Prepare to be surprised.
    • Edited by Oliver Black Monday, August 4, 2008 8:57 PM Edit
    Monday, August 4, 2008 8:49 PM
  • Matt:
     
    Thanks for the reply. Just to clarify:

    1. Various people in this thread (including myself) seem to have verified that the OP can indeed change the designation.

    2. It is only desirable for the OP to change from General Discussion to Ask a Question (not the other way around), so the issue of wiping out answers need not arise.

    3. Even this would not be necessary if it was not so easy for an inexperienced OP to select General Discussion in error. If this option were removed from the New button, and  placed as an "advanced option" to the right of the reply window, then this mistake would not routinely be made.


    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Monday, August 4, 2008 10:11 PM
  • davewilk said:

    Matt:
     
    Thanks for the reply. Just to clarify:

    1. Various people in this thread (including myself) seem to have verified that the OP can indeed change the designation.


    Then I stand corrected...
     
    davewilk said:

    2. It is only desirable for the OP to change from General Discussion to Ask a Question (not the other way around), so the issue of wiping out answers need not arise.

    3. Even this would not be necessary if it was not so easy for an inexperienced OP to select General Discussion in error. If this option were removed from the New button, and  placed as an "advanced option" to the right of the reply window, then this mistake would not routinely be made.


    I assume, then, that you would want the default to be "Ask a Question". But you've also asked for it not to be possible to change a question to a discussion. So, then, no thread would ever be a discussion type (unless someone went into the advanced options upon posting, which doesn't at all seem likely). Is that what you meant?

    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer
    Monday, August 4, 2008 10:59 PM
  • Default being Ask a Question would be good.

    As for not wanting people to be able to change to a discussion, the entire conversation has been about not letting the Original Poster change the type.

    In other words Moderators still can, so if a question is posted as an "Ask the Question" then a Moderator - in the very rare cases where a Discussion type would be better - can change it.

    Mike Walsh

    As an aside, I've noticed that Microsoft people have occasionally posted Information posts in "my" forums. In these cases I have gone in and changed the subject to make it clear that this is a post which is not asking for assistance. (Typically by adding "Info Post from Microsoft: " before the previous subject)

    I've noticed in those cases that you hardly notice which icon (green/red) is there - it's the Subject which is all important and a subject that doesn't clearly state it's an info post gets read if you think you can answer the question ...  (which tends to mean that you don't need to read the info post!)


    Tuesday, August 5, 2008 4:28 AM
  • Matt:

    Just to clarify:

    1. If the New button works as it does now, I think it is essential to allow the OP to subsequently change from General Discussion to Ask a Question, because the original choice of General Discussion is almost always an error. However it is not necessary to allow the OP to change in the other direction.

    2. If the New button were changed to implement Ask a Question by default, and this designation could be changed at the time of original posting only by deliberately selecting General Discussion in some Advanced box on the right side of the Reply window, then I do not think it would be necessary to allow the OP to subsequently change the designation at all.


    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Tuesday, August 5, 2008 1:10 PM
  • Changing a question thread to comment is used very aggressively by Microsoft Support users in some cases to kill very complex relevant questions.  I think the current setup is ok but users who choose comment when questions are asked risk not being answered because I am not going to debug your none running smtp code when you think it should be a comment or like the thread I changed I am not going to talk about X86 32bits AnyCPU 32bits & 64bits and x64 64bits in comment I have been in mixed platform for years there is nothing simple.  

    I think users need to know problems posted as comment may not be answered.





     
    Asp.net MVP, MCPD Web C#, MCITP BI & MCTS SQL Server 2005
    Tuesday, August 5, 2008 3:27 PM