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Side note: The goal of these blogs is not to criticize anybody/ anything. I only want to tell the whole story about the things I think about and thing we could improve on Idea Place. These blogs should be more descriptive than the Ideas descriptions on IP and should help you understand why I suggest things and if it makes sense to implement them or not.

Second part of the blog series (What we could use on Idea Place, part 1) about my suggestions for Idea Place. Also read about the background of Idea Place and my motivation in the blog called Idea Place before, during and after Teched Berlin 2010. I welcome any feedback I can get. Please add your comments here, vote and/or comment on Idea Place. Drop me a mail. Use any way you prefer to talk about things.

The second topic/ category of Idea Place suggestions follows:

Moderation + official feedback

Let´s say my suggestion from What we could use on Idea Place, part 1 would be listened and more "names transparency" would be achieved. How could this work like? I would like to see:

Roles definition: at the moment I guess the Idea Place "roles" work like this: there is some kind of binary logic like "privileged" user/ not (yet?) "privileged" user. Or admin/ ordinary user. This is ok, Idea Place is still a BETA and it was not enough time (and money) to have everything implemented. But before the IP could serve as a transparent channel for Ideas we will need something more. At least:

  • Admin: can do everything he/she wants (maybe something like SCN admins who can use the mighty Guestificator). This type of user could also change anything on the site (ban users, change the structure, whatever). This user would typically be a SAP employee.
  • SAP "topic leader" (or maybe a product manager?): a user which has some kind of badge (ok, we have so many badges on SCN already, but this would be pretty useful). This type of user would be able to manage the structure of his "area" (for example: create new topics under his category/ area). This user would typically be a SAP employee. (this type of user would be able to change the idea status, comment on the outcome of the phase, this user would be allowed to decide if the Idea is reasonable/useful and whether somebody will work on it or not etc.). The comments by these users would be highlighted, since the posses to power to decide or change "things" and their comments are more valuable than the "ordinary". This is already suggested on Idea Place as Tag comments coming from product managers
  • SAP official: a user with a flag (not like in the forums!), where the flag would mean that this user can say something relevant to the topic and has "some" power to work on it, deliver something etc.
  • Moderator: a user with M (like in the forums) who will watch over the traffic on IP. By the way this introducing this role would help the Idea Place to have a look and feel more like forums and all the users know how forum works. This would help the adoption a lot. Example: There is a FAQ question: Can I report a problematic post?, but this is not exactly the way how we do it in forums, right? I am sure we can expect something like "Abuse button" for Idea Place. And not only for Ideas, but also for the comments (by the way: there is a menu on the right for every Idea where you can edit idea, move idea, receive notifications etc. and hope we will get "Report the idea" button here as well).
  • Ordinary user. A user like me.

Side note: I already posted this "idea" on Idea Place here: Roles and Moderation. If you like the Idea, support it with your vote and/or comment.

Messages with icons and/or different colored backgrounds for special "messages". I assume a message from an ordinary user would remain with white background, but for example a message telling the interested people that the status of the Ideas has been changed would have a yellow background or something like that.

The naïve example of this "visualization" follows:

Profile integration (B. card)

I am sure SCN/ IP team plan to deliver integration between existing SCN accounts/ profiles and the ones one can see on Idea Place. This is very natural and SCN people will not make us to maintain another profile. Hope we will not have to wait for this integration for too long and use very RAW IP profiles like mine.

On the other hand it is understandable why we have these extra profiles now: if you open for example my profile, you can see my recent activity, what is very useful (by the way: we could use a filter on the type of Idea Place activity, right? At least I value the ideas submitted by a man more than information what he/she had rated); you can also follow my activity on IP. To integrate these features with current SCN profile would cost too much, so let´s wait a little longer.

The same arguments apply on the points received for IP activity. You can see the "points" received on IP in the IP profile, but cannot see it in the SCN profile (Ideas about the topic: Provide SCN Points for Voting at idea place and Grant SCN Points for released/realized ideas). But we don´t do this for points right? We can wait to have this implemented. I only mention this because I have heard this several times from different people and think there are people who put higher priority on this feature than me.

Conclusion: Since this is about people (who create, vote or "build"/ implement Ideas), I think the mentioned features could help here. Please provide feedback if you thing these things make sense, either here or on Idea Place. Best Regards, Otto