Status "Answered" and "Solved" in the forum RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Moderators:
    Please do not mark a question "Answered" if your answer does not solve the problem.

    There's a huge difference between having an answer and having a solution!

    The way the forum is used now, the users are given the impression that problems are solved when the "Answered" icon is on. This is by far not always the case.

    Please reserve "Answered" to mean "Solved" (since there is no such icon).

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 9:59 AM

All replies

  • Hi Akja,

    I think that the "Answered" label is currently used as a guide towards the solution - as often a question is asked, an answer is proposed but there is no follow up from the asker regarding success / failure. It is also usually a good indicator that the answerer has received the seal of approval from the moderators who are usually either from the team at Microsoft or very close to them, otherwise some people would be inclined to always wait for "official word".

    As the actual poster of the question you have the option / right to remove the "answer" status from the post you deem to not be an answer - and I'm sure the moderators would indeed encourage you to do so, since it brings the problem back into the limelight.

    I wouldn't look at this as an effort to give the impression that everything is solved and that the team are hiding things under a rug of green tick marks, rather as a way to show that nearly every question posed on this forum has received attention from a moderator from the team who has deemed an answer satisfactory to the question posed.


    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 12:52 PM
  • I understand your points, akja.

    In the case of a peer to peer support forum, particularly the MSDN and Technet forums, this is *exactly* how it works. Moderators typically do not mark threads as answered until they are confirmed as answered.

    This forum is a bit different, as is the OneCare forum that I assist in moderating. This forum is a feedback mechansim for a beta product/service in which the *answer* can be - "please submit a bug report." There may not be a fix until a future build. If the thread is a question about functionality of Live Mesh and a definitive answer is provided, I give it some time for the person asking the question (starting the thread) to come back to reply and mark the thread as answered. The reality is that most people do not do this.
    In the OneCare forum, that answer may be "contact support." It is a valid answer and, in my experience, the majority of people coming to the OneCare forum do not return to provide an update to the problem after that, though some do.

    I am always willing to change the state of a thread to reflect the updated answer when provided. If the asnwer was "file a bug" and the bug is open on Connect, you can add comments on the bug, which alerts the Live Mesh team members responsible for tracking bug reports, or you can add a post to the original thread with the bug report ID and ask for an update, if available. Adding to a thread causes it to float to the front or top of the sort order. The answered attribute will not change the importance of a thread - inactivity on a thread will cause it to drop lower in the list for attention.

    Although I do understand your desire to have a thread reflect a 'solved' vs. 'unsolved' state, for a beta product there can't always be a solved state for a thread, at least in a reasonable amount of time. In an effort to make moderating the forum easier and to allow open issues to make the way to the Live Mesh team for attention, using the "answer" state to reflect that a thread has been attended to is the best solution for moderation.

    So, in summary, for a beta product like Live Mesh - if the "answer" is that you have been asked to submit a bug report with logs, that will be marked as the answer until such time that the thread is udpated with more information that reflects a *solution* and not just an answer.


    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare & Live Mesh Forum Moderator
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 4:38 PM