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What are people's thoughts about asking for reward points?

Former Member
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Hi,

I see many people asking for reward points when they post an answer or reminding people to award points.

Surely this is not really encouraged.

Points are nice and if we have spent a lot of time on a question then I guess that it is some kind of a reward, but should we be asking for them whenever we post an answer?

I agree that it can be disappointing if you have provided a very thorough answer and spent a lot of time on a problem and then get no points awarded but surely that is life? However disappointing that is. (especially when the questioner replies with "thanks for the excellent detailed answer" and does not reward ANY points at all.

But wouldn't it be better to leave it up to people to do it unprompted.

This is just my view and I don't really mind either way but some people do seem to be more concerned about the points than providing the answer?

I am ready for some strong replies to this (disagreeing with me), but it is relevant to this particular forum to at least discuss this topic?

Points will be awarded for genuinely helpful answers so there is no need to remind me

Steve B

Accepted Solutions (0)

Answers (6)

Answers (6)

Former Member
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Actually the current process has cause this degradation to happen. What is the objective? A person has a problem. People solve it.

I propose the following.

A member posts a query. Many people respond. But only one person gets the "best solution points". Nobody else gets any points. What have we achieved? Either people try to make their answer the best or stay away. Don't try 2 pick up 2 points with any, generic, sometimes unrelated, filthy trash.

And the points awarded should not be for each post but for just once for one member for a particular query.

This way we don't let this place become a flea market. And people try to take the person towards solving the problem. The query poster cannot close the thread till he has awarded the points. Another thing, a flat 5 points. Not less, not more.

There will be people wondering why points are important to me. I think it is an endorsement of my industry and SAP knowledge. And I would like to flaunt it. But among such dubious point holders it becomes much less credible. And what caused this? Holes in the points process.

B A

Former Member
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Why not just remove the points system altogether? Then we can just help or not help as the case may be depending on the question's merits.

Regards

Gareth

Former Member
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Would it be possible to have a parallel forum which did not have any points.

You could then choose which forum to post your questions or answers in.

It would be interesting to see which of the two produced the better quality

threads.

suresh_datti
Active Contributor
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Don't we already have that option? ie sapfans.com (forums without points)

That aside, I don't think additional fourms would do any good as long as people do not follow the rules of engagement.. for ex: the ABAP forum was divided into different categories & yet all you see is the heavily loaded ABAP General and a host of cross-posts & irrelevant stuff across the other categories..

~Suresh

Former Member
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Hi Suresh,

So you are suggesting, if you are unhappy with how the points systems is destroying SDN, you should join SAPFANS?

Regards,

Chester

Former Member
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Hi,

I used to post to SAPfans regularly but I was constantly annoyed by the many postings by people who obviously didn't know what they were talking about. OK we all start somewhere but when I first started I knew that I didn't know much and so kept quiet until I had "served my time". The quality of SAPfans is so variable, there are some great people answering questions but there are too many "others" (for want of a better word.

So I would still suggest that people can try SAPfans if they are looking for help, but I would rather use a forum where the quality of answers is very high.

SDN has the POTENTIAL to be such a high quality site, but while you have the "bounty hunters" and "chancers" trying to get points at all costs, it will not quite make that standard.

I can understand that the poinmts system TRIES to award better answers but it also encourages point hunters.

I would rather have full time forum managers (experts?) who not only monitor the quality of answers (and BAN the chancers and idiots) but also have the ability to award bonus points instead of (or perhaps as well as) the questioner and they would have the ability to remove points where they have been awarded incorrectly.. That way the point hunters would not get their "easy pickings" and the people who invest a lot of time and effort would get their points.

But all in all, it is VERY easy to criticise a process and in reality it is very difficult to provide a better option.

Steve B

Former Member
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Stephen,

I agree with you : The problem is moderation.

The state of the forums show every day that using volonteers as moderators is NOT up to the task.

And I respect fully all their efforts.

But these guys have a real job and cannot spend too much time for moderation.

I think that, if SAP as a company, think SDN is important, thay have to dedicate professionnal paid moderators to enforce strictly the forums rules.

SAP is the second most large software vendor is the world. They make billions selling their products. Thay can afford a few professional moderators.

These are not hobby forums....

Olivier

former_member583013
Active Contributor
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> I think that, if SAP as a company, think SDN is

> important, thay have to dedicate professionnal paid

> moderators to enforce strictly the forums rules.

That would make up one of my wildest dreams -;) But I don't think that's going to happend...Maybe SAP is a company...But SDN is a Community...And being a Community, people is expected to collaborate and share...Moderators (Including myself) might have real life jobs but still...We are kind of fully dedicated to SDN, because we got a really high Community Spirit...Maybe that's what we need...That people understand that this is our Community and we all need to put our grain of sand -:)

Greetings,

Blag.

Former Member
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Hi Alvaro,

Of course this is a community, but a <b>professional</b> one.

SAP administration is not a hobby for me, this is my pay check job.

This is a (very) interesting job but still a job.

If SAP created these forums this is not for the spirit of it, this is to expose more the common knowledge and to fight the common opinion of lack of good documentation on SAP products.

They get a ROI on it or would not support the cost. It is obviously a well financially managed company !

Volunteers are good for non profit organizations not for Fortune 500 companies.

I've learned that it's a good thing to have feelings for people but never for a company whatever it could be.

When questions in the forums are worth it (well defined and interesting for me) and when I know something about the subject, I am happy to help by answering and I do it NOT for points for which I could not care less !

If SDN forums die in the future, submerged by spam, it will be a loss not only for the community but, first, for the SAP company.

So, I hope they will understand that and react accordingly...

We'll see !

Best Regards,

Olivier

Former Member
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Hai..

Y not remove Points and award Feedback or Comments based on the type of solution provided by the Contributor..

Y not try this way... Moving out from Quality to Quantity Scales

Former Member
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Hi,

If you have to have points (and I can understand why they are important to some people) then why not have the points allocated by the moderators instead of by the questioners?

It would be easy to tell how good the help was and who posted the most helpful entries just by reading the responses that have been posted (the moderator would not have to be the total expert on the subject being discussed).

The only problem with this is that it involves a lot more work for the moderators, but then I always maintained that they should be paid anyway.

This would stop the timewasters and bounty hunters because the moderators would be better placed to see where the real help was coming from.

The person who placed the question could still request that points be awarded to specific answers, but the moderator would have the final say.

This would also solve the problem of how do you award points if there are several really good replies from different people, the moderators would not be tied down to the basic formula of only one "10 points" per question, only two "6 points" per question and so on.

Apart from the workload I really believe that this would be the best possible solution where everybody "wins" except the bounty hunters.

Steve B

Former Member
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I particularly like the second response...

Gareth.

ChrisSolomon
Active Contributor
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I have said it before on here and I will say it again....I HATE (yes, hate) the whole point system. I think it is fairly worthless. Rather than regarding the "high points" leaders as experts, I tend to think of them as "suspect" in most cases (either they are "gaming" the system, have far too much free time at work, or should be spending their free time away from work breathing fresh air away from a computer screen and keyboard just to name a few thoughts that come to mind)....and I don't think that is the original intent. 😃

To me, awarding points is like giving gifts to your friends for visiting your house....you have to question....are they coming over to spend time with you or are they just there for the gifts? 😃

Former Member
0 Kudos

A little harsh, Christopher...

If some people like to answer questions and there are other people who need help, then let's encourage them to work together. Even if there wasn't the concept of points, unless everyone contributed anonymously, you would still work out who's responses are more worthwhile than others.

I regard the occasional t-shirt as a bit of a thankyou for helping the community...

Cheers

(ps I find people who play the bagpipes a bit suspect, but that's probably another forum topic!)

Former Member
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Personally, I consider this "reward points for my really great answer" childish and impolite.

Apart from that, it pollutes the information content of the forums.

Armin

Former Member
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I agree in that points are nice but the real reward is sharing knowledge in the true expectation that sooner or later you will also gain knowledge from the process. Although perhaps I should add

"I look great in fluro orange - please give me points so my mum will have more shirt options when she dresses me".

As a great man once said - "if you're not good enough without one, you certainly aren't good enough with one" (John Candy - Cool Runnings)

He was talking about a gold medal but the theory holds for reward points.

Regards

Gareth

Former Member
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<i>Apart from that, it pollutes the information content of the forums.</i>

Very true.

Search SDN for keyword <b>points</b> -- ~250026 results

Searching SDN fro keyword <b>SAP</b> yields ~267261 results. Almost the same. Even <b>ABAP</b> is only 99050

VS

Former Member
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Hi,

If we were to compare this to sites such as sapfans who don't award points, you will see that their site is also very busy with LOTS of people posting answers for no apparent reward.

BUT (and it is a BIG but) the quality of the answers there are much lower (IMHO) than these forums.

We still get some answers that seem to have no connection to the question whatsoever, or answers that only prove that the person posting the answer does NOT know what they are talking about. But in general there are far more reral experts posting to this site than any other I have used and the overall quality of the help here is the highest I have seen.

I doubt if this is due to the points system entirely, but I can't help wondering if it does encourage people to give more complete answers (in the hope of getting points) rather than "Press F1" or read the helpdocument ...." etc. etc

So I am not against points as such, but I HATE seeing people almost begging for them when they post answers. I wish the moderators would stamp down on this and remove any requests for points. To counteract this an occasional post from the moderators to remind people that this is a points system if they wish to award them would be more than sufficient.

I guess the response to this may be "that is not what the moderators are there for" but I would argue that the current begging reduces the overall quality of the forums and so someone should try to stop it.

Steve B

eddy_declercq
Active Contributor
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Hi,

To be honest I don't understand this discussion. There are some rules explained in

https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/crphelp

A lot of people 'wish' not to follow these rules and get apparently the blessings from people in this discussion. In the contrary, people who remind others to these rules are suddenly the ogre. This is to my feeling a sad evolution.

And yes, there are profiteers misusing things as well (point hunters). This happens both sides of the forum world. At the other hand, there are lots of forum thread posted with good intention and answered with good intentions. So don't judge on things too fast.

If there are abuses, there is only one solution: report these to the well known e-mail address.

Eddy

Former Member
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Hi Eddy,

you (and Grumpy) have my highest respect for your thoughts and your contributions. They are almost always highlights in this blogosphere.

But, there's one thing I don't understand and that is, why points seem so important to you. Probably that's just an unjust gut feeling of mine but I am very bored by your standard forum post footers 'begging' for reward.

Interestingly it's missing here in this thread. So I'll add it at the bottom.

Anyway, keep up your great work and don't get annoyed by my annoyance.

kind regards,

anton

-


PS. Reward the useful answers and you will get one point yourself!

Former Member
0 Kudos

HI,

While we are on this subject I also get really "miffed" by people posting an answer that simply repeats (albeit badly in many cases) the answers already given, in the hope of getting the points.

I could put up with this if it was adding even the smallest bit of extra help or confirming the answer already given, but in many cases it is a poor copy of the solution and often wrong and at best, misleading.

These forums could be seen as the ONLY real source of SAP help, if we police the bounty hunters better.

It would be fantastic if users and consultants etc. could have a site where the quality of the answers was so high that they get great answers very quickly to their problems.

They get this now but there is so much "smoke and mirrors" from the pointless point-hunters that it really does reduce the quality when seen by people with genuine questions.

Steve B

eddy_declercq
Active Contributor
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Anton,

If one posts a question and other people take the time to answer - and let's assume that everybody does it honestly and truly with a helpful answer - then it's more than normal that the original poster rewards that effort. And since people tend to forget the latter I remind people of it. I'm not begging. I'm trying to "point" out that people need to play the game fair, meaning as it should according to the above mentioned rules.

Nothing more and certainly not less.

Eddy

pokrakam
Active Contributor
0 Kudos

Hi Stephen,

I beg to differ with you on the quality of non-points forums. My experience with the long-running SAP-WUG mailing list (Workflow User Group - descendant of SAP-R3-L) has been the exact opposite. Where there are no points, people only answer when they have something useful to contribute. It comes down to quantity vs quality. Here on the SDN Workflow forums I've seen a lot more responses but also a lot more dodgy advice dished out than on SAP-WUG.

Just my 2p...

Cheers,

Mike

Former Member
0 Kudos

Hi Mike,

I haven't visited that forum so I respect your experience.

I would guess that the overall quality of answers depens a lot on the type of people posting them.

This may sound obvious but to explain what I mean;-

If you go to a site where there are lots of poor quality answers, people with only a small ammount of knowledge may therefore think that they are experts (because they can see that many others know less than them). This therefore starts to build up and the more "uninformed" (I can't say stupid) answers that are posted the more it encourages inexperienced "consultants" to post their well-intentioned but poor quality answers.

There is a very definite need for sites like this to help support users and consultants alike. After all the SAP software is absolutely amazingly good, if it is implemented correctly and so the easier we make it by helping like this, the more people will get out of an SAP implementation and so the whole thing will continue to grow.

If there was a way of vetting answers then this would help, but that is not feasible. Not only does it delay the answer but if someone knew enough to vet the answer then they could probably have answered the question themselves.

There is one way to make this THE place for SAP help and that is to employ excpert moderators to sift out the poor quality answers and the "begging" and duplicated answers etc.. This would increase the quality to the maximum and encourage real experts to post more answers. It can be very frustrating when you have been helping someone for a while with a tricky question and then someone comes along and posts an answer that clearly indicates that they have not even read the question and only confuses the issue, or says exactly what has already been posted followed by "Please remember to award points...".

I am just a bit worried that the quality may drop off considerably and very quickly if it is left as it is.

I also realise that there are moderators on this site and they do a great job but are they paid for what they do, if not then they should be paid and they should be allowed more time to police the questions and therefor protect the obvious quality that is here but sometimes hidden by the bounty hunters.

Rant over

Steve B

former_member184494
Active Contributor
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Stephen,

honestly speaking....

There are people who game the system for points

however considering the SDN ecosystem you will also find :

1. People who are new to the software and are trying to find their way around

2. Some urgent issue that they are stuck on and have no clue as to how to proceed

3. Have general questions on functionality so that they may be fully aware of the same

The true feeling of goodness comes from helping people out in such cases since it can be given that not all people know everything and either by sheer chance / unfortunately putting in experience that is not valid / due to the lack of a better person/ such situations arise and it kind of feels good helping out wherever possible....

Also usually on a busy day at work ... posting some replies makes people ( like me ) feel good that we have helped out and that feeling keeps me (atleast) going... and one of the ways of knowing that you are being appreciated is points , otherwise I would never be able to know if the answer was helpful or just a rant that did not work...

IMHO SDN has helped me a lot by providing the excellent content that has made me do so much in my line of work as an architect in SAP BI and in the case of other forums... people do reply .. I am a part of other forums like the IT Toolbox forums also .. but then either the questions are mirrors of the SDN questions or something trivial... and I have no way of tracking my replies since it goes into an e-mail thread and having someplace to get to the same by way of a forum is great. Also the activity on these forums is also quit e heavy in terms of posts...

Sometimes some really dud questions to pop up but when you actually start looking for challenging posts in terms of design / workarounds ... it is indeed very challenging to reply to the same and you go home feeling good..

As for the points aspect of it ... my 2 cents on it would be that to be recognized as a valuable source of information and knowledge .. you need the points but then after the initial rush of seeing your points .... it starts wearing off ... and slowly becomes... points be damned.

But then playing the devils advocate... I do reply to a lot of posts every day and then I do not want my mailbox to be flooded by having watches on each ... instead I look at my points list and assume that people visit the thread I replied to and award points if they are useful and look out for the 2 pointers and 6 pointers and then go back to that post and see if I can give a more helpful answer and close out the same...

my 0.02

Arun

Message was edited by:

Arun Varadarajan

Former Member
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Hi Arun,

Yoiu said

<b>I look at my points list and assume that people visit the thread I replied to and award points if they are useful and look out for the 2 pointers and 6 pointers and then go back to that post and see if I can give a more helpful answer and close out the same...</b>

But surely that means that if your answer did not help, or the person posting it did not understand your comments and has asked for more help, you will effectively be ignoring that persons cry for help, simply because they did not award points !!!!

So, I am not sure that I can agree that points are an other option instead of using the "watches" option?

I (when I used to post a lot) used the watches to see if anyone had posted a reply, then I would check to see what they had said. If I had relied on the points being awarded to trigger this, there would have been a LOT of unanswered queries.

Steve B

Former Member
0 Kudos

Different strokes for different folks..

It is amusing (that is what I convince myself) when I see this pattern. The one such signature line which I think still carries the dignity was/is used by Ron Silberstein (BI forums) where he says 'Thanks for any points you choose to assign' - or something to that effect.

Posters now take it to another level assuming they will get answers only if they explicitly promise that points would be given. I try to think of this as equally amusing

I am sometimes forced to say something when it gets beyond amusing, like .

suresh_datti
Active Contributor
0 Kudos

'Points not needed' !

I like that.. Ajay, you really have taken it to a different level.

~Suresh

Former Member
0 Kudos

Ajay,

the thread you point at hurts sooo much. Such people seem to have no idea what they're actually doing in their professional life - e.g. working in an enterprise environment and not knowing what an app server is and where to find it. But they're doing great in SDN points business.

Isn't that really sad?

anton

abesh
Contributor
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I dunno why, but i've seen people with an aversion towards awarding points even for a correct answer !!!

Check this thread for e.g. :

The guy has given a "Very Helpful Answer(6)" to the response that has solved the problem and has marked the thread as answered ! Does the person who has answered the question and has spent some time and effort in deducing what the problem was and guided him through the solution deserve a little more ?

Former Member
0 Kudos

your story makes me cry to tears. what an unfair world. in comparison to this case starvation, global warming and the like become really negligible problems.

anton

Former Member
0 Kudos

Hi Anton,

While I wouldn't exactly put it the same way you did (it did make me smile though), this is precisely my point.

Not only do some people seem to think it is ok to add "please remember to award points" but they also appear to get upset if you don't award the ENOUGH points.

<b>Quote</b>

The guy has given a "Very Helpful Answer(6)" to the response that has solved the problem and has marked the thread as answered !

<b>Well perhaps it didn't FULLY answer their question !!!!!</b>

Whereas the points are a nice way of saying "thank you", they are not THAT important. People should not be posting answers ONLY for the points that they will get.

Having points is OK, it does add an extra dimension to the forums, but it does also seem to bring out the full-on competitive nature in some people, more than others and it is not the nicest human trait.

To sum up, Competition is fun - asking for rewards is NOT.

Steve B

suresh_datti
Active Contributor
0 Kudos

Stephen,

I too get sort of annoyed.. especially when I notice it in <b>BOLD</b> ! it almost looks like one is 'begging' for points.. I am of the opinion that awarding points should be left to the discretion of the person who posted a question.. Now that one can even earn points by awarding points, there is absolutely no need for these reminders ( or should I say 'remainders' as some ironically mis'spell' it )..

~Suresh

former_member184494
Active Contributor
0 Kudos

Stephen,

You are not the first one raising such an issue.

Also check out the SDN comments and suggestions forums where this is hotly debated and a lot of insights into why and why not this is good.

You can especially follow SDNers like

Alvaro ( Could not get the full name at short notice ) , Rich Heilman etc on this at the SDN comments and suggestions forum.

Also since this is not related to the BPX area in general , moving it to the suggestions forum so that the discussion can become more 'active'

Warm Regards,

Arun

eddy_declercq
Active Contributor
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Hi,

The points discussion has been there for a long time now so I would like to refer to my grumpies concerning my thoughts:

/people/eddy.declercq/blog/2006/05/19/from-the-grumpy-old-man-the-points-of-no-return

/people/eddy.declercq/blog/2006/03/24/from-the-grumpy-old-man-ignorance-killed-the-cat

/people/eddy.declercq/blog/2006/07/21/from-the-grumpy-old-man-sdn-kindergarten

Btw There is a new mechanism available now. Check /people/baris.buyuktanir2/blog/2007/04/04/point-for-points-reward-yourself for details.

Eddy