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"Related Topics" is a waste of space RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • "Relate Topics" which appear when you start a new thread, or view an existing thread, are a complete waste of time and space.  They never ever are "related" in any but the most superficial way:  They may have a common word in the title, but does anyone ever acutally find this feature useful?

    I have replied to over 4000 posts, and I have never found anything "related" to what I was replying to.


    Grant Ward, a.k.a. Bigteddy

    What's new in Powershell 3.0 (Technet Wiki)


    • Changed type Bigteddy Monday, February 20, 2012 7:37 PM
    • Edited by Bigteddy Monday, February 20, 2012 7:39 PM
    Monday, February 20, 2012 7:37 PM

All replies

  • Do you want it fixed or replaced with some other functional piece of data/content?

    Community Forums Program Manager

    Monday, February 20, 2012 7:41 PM
    Answerer
  • Brent, realistically, I think it's a bit much to expect a computer program to work out what topics are really related.  I think it's a valiant attempt, but it really doesn't work.

    I just put this out there (in a rather provocative way, admittedly), just to see if others had the same feeling about "Related Topics".  They're always there, but I'm in the habit of ignoring them.  Am I the only one?


    Grant Ward, a.k.a. Bigteddy

    What's new in Powershell 3.0 (Technet Wiki)

    Monday, February 20, 2012 7:52 PM
  • If we just look right to the related topics of this thread, i totally agree.


    Hannes

    If you have got questions about this, just ask.

    In a perfect world,
    users would never enter data in the wrong form,
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    C# to VB.NET: http://www.developerfusion.com/tools/convert/csharp-to-vb/

    Monday, February 20, 2012 8:07 PM
  • Hello,

    i fully agree with the previous posters here. i often tried to follow the "Related topics" but i couldn't as they don't fit. So removing them complete seems to me the better option and prevents from reading threads that are still NOT related.


    Best regards

    Meinolf Weber
    MVP, MCP, MCTS
    Microsoft MVP - Directory Services
    My Blog: http://msmvps.com/blogs/mweber/

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees , and confers no rights.

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 6:42 AM
  • I have never found "related topics" of use. When I ask a question and enter a title, the screen repaint when the related topics is displayed is actually annoying. I've looked at the list a few times, but have never seen anything of interest.


    Richard Mueller - MVP Directory Services

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 3:02 PM
    Moderator
  • In some cases it works (see http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/Profile/thread/dc40ce21-7e1d-4650-a07b-716ff9655e06/#c7b96903-41a5-476d-84e5-b2ea1a1acb76 ), but I usually don't pay attention.

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


    My blog

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 3:04 PM
    Moderator
  • I think the problem is not with the concept.  It is with the nature of the questions we get on these forums:  Usually, if it is a common/generic problem, the user would have found a solution on the web.

    By the time the question gets to these forums, they are usually very specific to that user's circumstances and requirements.  The very notion of "Related Topics" becomes meaningless.

    I mean, they may be "related" in some way, but not in a way that is helpful for solving the current problem.  For example, the question may be about ADO.  Then a whole bunch of ADO-related topics appear, but they are hardly likely to be helpful for this particular question.

    That's my experience, anyway.


    Grant Ward, a.k.a. Bigteddy

    What's new in Powershell 3.0 (Technet Wiki)

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 3:15 PM
  • Brent, I don't know if this is useful information or not, but if you take "technet" out of the url, you get onto old interface, and then the code that is all covered up by a horizontal scroll bar is readable.  The old front-end also seems a lot snappier, although the editor is as bad.

    Grant Ward, a.k.a. Bigteddy

    What's new in Powershell 3.0 (Technet Wiki)

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 4:08 PM
  • Do you want it fixed or replaced with some other functional piece of data/content?


    FWIW I find Related Topics is sometimes helpful and interesting.  E.g. I use it to decide whether I am going to answer a question which is already answered completely elsewhere.  I also use it when I am researching something about which I am completely unfamiliar.  

    I think a downside of the feature which has affected me numerous times, is that because it is very variable it evidently pollutes the search space--e.g. pages are obviously being given as results to search queries not because of the content they contain but because of what happened to be in the Related Topics section at the time the search engine indexed them.   So if you are fixing it please at least eliminate that possibility.  It is really annoying to do a search, open a top-ranked page, do a find and not find what the search engine supposedly saw to index.


    Robert
    ---

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 7:25 PM
  • I think the problem is not with the concept.  It is with the nature of the questions we get on these forums:  Usually, if it is a common/generic problem, the user would have found a solution on the web.

    By the time the question gets to these forums, they are usually very specific to that user's circumstances and requirements.  The very notion of "Related Topics" becomes meaningless.

    I mean, they may be "related" in some way, but not in a way that is helpful for solving the current problem.  For example, the question may be about ADO.  Then a whole bunch of ADO-related topics appear, but they are hardly likely to be helpful for this particular question.

    That's my experience, anyway.


    Grant Ward, a.k.a. Bigteddy

    What's new in Powershell 3.0 (Technet Wiki)

    Hmmm, maybe replace "related topics" with "random topics"? ;-)

    But seriously, I have yet to see a topic there that seemed related enough to bother looking. And I think your explanation is right on the mark.


    Al Dunbar

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012 4:00 AM