concern about quality of responses in discussions

Occasional Contributor

There is also another concern about quality of responses in Q&A. I feel somehow the MVP program is also responsible for this. Responders just respond to posts without even reading the questions because they want to have more "Mark as answers" which I see less valuable most of the time. 

 

But back to the discussion, our critisim should be taken positively and invest on the commmunity programs (not MVP but also forums) with a robust, efficient and modern UI. As Michael Porter, the master of strategy says "There is no best in any industry". The moment you felt you are too good, you will be replaced by others. This is the case happening here. Apologies if the last two paragraphs are not related to the thread)

11 Replies

@Jandost_Khoso 

Totally agree about MVPs.

Maybe not all, but most of them are after getting "best responses", they want to accumulate as many of them as they can, and the worst thing? they can mark their own answer as "Best response", while other users like me and you can't. (so, don't trust the number of best responses you see on MVPs' profiles)

in Microsoft Tech Community, the OP, Microsoft Employees and MVPs can mark any comment as "best response". MVPs should be removed from that list.

 

also being an MVP doesn't mean, in any shape or form, that you are more knowledgeable or valuable than the others. just because you don't personally know the right Microsoft Employee to nominate you, or don't care about it, doesn't mean you are less valuable and knowledgeable.

 

in MTC website, they have to use Ajax more often and eliminate the need for full page refreshes and redirects substantially.

 

 

@HotCakeX 

MVP:s, as all of us, are different. If some ask for "best response" that doesn't mean that is since "best response" helps them to support MVP status. Not at all. Being mostly on Excel community I don't see that MVP:s on it ask for "best response", that's mostly people without that status. I don't like such additions to every post, that's kind of spam, but my point here that doesn't depend on you are MVP or not, that's personality. MVP status doesn't motivate for such behavior.

 

MVP:s are not more knowledgeable than other Pro:s - yes, of course. Even Microsoft employees are not more knowledgeable than other Pro:s if the question is outside of their direct responsibilities. The only difference is that Microsoft employees and MVP:s are usually more informed, more exactly they have more sources of information than other Pro:s.

 

Back to "best response". Technically I don't see any value in them. But we are here on Microsoft territory, if having them is important from SEO and other points of view, let they be. If Microsoft defines the rules who may manually correct such responses, why shall we care? Except employees on other forums these are moderators (who are not necessary an employees), here are MVP:s, I see no difference. Doesn't matter which rules are defined, that always be the mistakes and unpropped use of the rules by some individuals. If something is wrong I'd start to communicate concrete cases rather than entire system. Will we exclude MVP:s or Microsoft employees from these and these departments nothing changes, just administration of MTC becomes more complex.

@Sergei Baklan 

I didn't say MVPs ask for best response, I'm saying that they don't need to. they have the ability to set their own answer as best response, that's the main problem.

even on StackExchange websites where things are more technical, it's still up to the user to decide which answer he/she/they receive is best. no one in there, comes and marks a post as answer for you.

and when I say "they" and "StackExchange", I'm not talking about a regular website, it's almost a hundred Q&A websites with Millions of users and posts.

 

they clearly have no problem with SEO, they appear in search results a lot more than Tech community, that's for sure. so it has nothing to do with SEO.

Even if SEO had a small impact, it would be a mistake in MTC's design and software that relies on such behavior, in which case, they should allow everyone to mark a post as best response (preferably by peer reviewing and voting). if it's good, let everyone do it.

 

Nope, I've never seen any regular member keep asking for people to mark his/her/their comment as best response, and most people in MTC that have the most "Best responses", are MVPs, just because they can mark their own comment as best response, nothing else.

 

and don't tell me that it's Microsoft's website and we should stay silent and don't say anything. you might not want to say anything because it's working in your favor.

and if you believe Microsoft works that way then you're wrong, because they take user feedback seriously.

 

"Best responses" have values for MVPs and help them, when Microsoft asks you to offer proof of work, your contributions on forums etc, if you show the fake "best responses", it has benefits in their decision to elect/re-elect you for MVP.

 

*these are official from Microsoft's website.

 

 

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@HotCakeX 

It looks like we have different experience. I could only share my one:

- being MVP I never marked my own response as "best" one and never seen on Excel community here any other MVP:s did that;

- being MVP I report my activities to Microsoft, but never mentioned how many best responses and / or likes I had, that's not required and that affects nothing

 

However, I suspect Microsoft keeps it's own stats which they take into account and which is behind the scene, but I know nothing about that and actually don't care.

 

Who has rights to mark best answers - again, I see no difference if it'll be Microsoft employee, MVP or whoever else. Best answer technically means nothing. If we need to have them, more the better, what's the difference who will do that? If any random answer will be marked as "best" I don't care.

 

Honestly, I'm not sure what is the root of this discussion, is that against MVP institute as it is, or against concrete MVP:s behavior, or against Microsoft employees / MVP:s intervention into discussion on this resource. If the latest actually I don't see the difference between Microsoft  employees and MVP:s if except the team which runs this resource.

@Sergei Baklan 

Best responses can affect judgement on Microsoft side, like you said there could be behind the scene stats, so best responses could be included, that alone motivates people who have the right, MVPs, to mark their posts as best response.

 

And I'm seen MVPs do that, it's even happened to me personally, where I posted a topic and some MVP came and posted a nonsensical post and then marked his own post as best response!

 

why it matters who marks a post as best response?

Wow I'm surprised this is even a question, the answer is quite obvious.

because it's disrespectful and unconstructive, let me explain. when I make a post or ask a question, anywhere, MTC or StackExchange, I have certain goals for asking that question, I should be the one evaluating the answers I receive and choose which one is the best for my question and serves my needs and solves my problem. this is in fact letting someone else make a decision for you, as if you are unable to make that decision for yourself.

 

the reason you think, how many best responses someone has means nothing, is the fundamental problem. the number of best responses shouldn't be worthless like that.

in communities such as Spiceworks or mega communities such as StackExchange, others don't have the right to choose best response for the OP (original poster).

And in those communities, higher number of "best responses" yields a better chance for even finding a job. that's how valuable it is.

those are successful examples that MTC should follow.

 

 

@HotCakeX 

Look, that is about concrete situation - some MVP removed best answer from your response and marked it's own as such. Not good, I agree. But if we exclude MVP:s in general nothing changes. Real situations:

- OP gives best response right after the answer. After working a bit on real data he sees solution works wrongly, with farther discussion this or another person gives more correct response. However, first one will be kept as "best"

- OP replied as "Thank you guys, it works" and mark this very its own response as best. Not clear what exactly he means, perhaps every suggestion works, perhaps the latest one.

 

Support team has rights and could move best response from one answer to another (sorry, nothing personal, just theoretical case). Doesn't matter what was the reason, shall we exclude them from the list as well?

 

I believe all such concrete issues could be resolved in discussion with support team. My point is will we exclude MVP:s or not that in general changes nothing. Best responses in any case will appear from time time in a wrong place.

 

Please understand me correctly, I don't care at all if such extra rights will be removed from MVP:s, I just see no difference between MVP or any other person who has such rights.

@HotCakeX @Jandost_Khoso 

 

Always happy to take feedback on the different mechanisms we use to help identify best responses, metrics or any other aspect of the community. I however want to start by stating that the vast majority of our MVPs use the 'accept as best response' button with due care. Where this is not the case and you feel that a post as been marked incorrectly, you can always highlight it to our team via a PM, emails us or you can report the post.

 

Posts marked as best response or verified answer by Microsoft (separate thing) are not primarily used to support the MVP Program and so collecting as many as you can is not likely to impact if you get to remain an MVP per say. We recommend that the original poster be given time to mark the post as a best response before an MVP, Employee or Admin comes in behind them and cleans it up by choosing which one they think is the best response. 

 

The purpose of best responses is to help SEO so that search engines that build a Q&A library can effectively show relevant answers to questions. This is why when you enter a question in Google, for example, you will see the 'people ask widget' and it rarely has anything from stack overflow in it.  

 

As many of you will know the Microsoft Tech Community has a rank structure to help show users who have become trusted by their peers, these ranks are attained for a mix of activities in the Microsoft Tech Community including Best Responses. The problem we often have is that users do not come back and mark any replies as best response, even where the person posting has asked them to in their post (i.e. If my post was helpful then please mark it as best response).  This why moderators (employees and MVPs) have the ability to mark posts as best response.


@HotCakeX as it stands today you are the ONLY non MVP of the community have reached our highest rank currently, this tells me you spend allot of time here, we appreciate it. Hopefully your interactions with our team have shown that we do listen to what you have to say and we will correct behaviors, comments or other things that are inappropriate or detracting from the community all up or otherwise in breach of our Code of Conduct or Terms of Use.

 

Finally @Sergei Baklan is a great guy, and I am sure he engaged with this discussion to try to correct things he felt were wrong in the thread. Our MVPs, including @Sergei Baklan have a special place in our community and the wider Microsoft eco-system. They give up their own time and effort to help support Microsoft Customers and Microsoft wider objectives,

 

if anyone in the community has a problem with an MVP or employee, their conduct or behavior then please reach out to our team and we will work to resolve any conflicts.

 

@Sergei Baklan 

Spoiler

@Sergei Baklan wrote:

@HotCakeX 

Look, that is about concrete situation - some MVP removed best answer from your response and marked it's own as such. Not good, I agree. But if we exclude MVP:s in general nothing changes. Real situations:

- OP gives best response right after the answer. After working a bit on real data he sees solution works wrongly, with farther discussion this or another person gives more correct response. However, first one will be kept as "best"

- OP replied as "Thank you guys, it works" and mark this very its own response as best. Not clear what exactly he means, perhaps every suggestion works, perhaps the latest one.

 

Support team has rights and could move best response from one answer to another (sorry, nothing personal, just theoretical case). Doesn't matter what was the reason, shall we exclude them from the list as well?

 

I believe all such concrete issues could be resolved in discussion with support team. My point is will we exclude MVP:s or not that in general changes nothing. Best responses in any case will appear from time time in a wrong place.

 

Please understand me correctly, I don't care at all if such extra rights will be removed from MVP:s, I just see no difference between MVP or any other person who has such rights.


You keep trying to make the matter personal while I first began to talk about it in general.

I'm not talking about you when I talk about MVPs, you're not the only MVP.

the experience I described is also an example.

so try to remember these 2 things.

 

Again,

when I make a post or ask a question, anywhere, MTC or StackExchange, I have certain goals for asking that question, I should be the one evaluating the answers I receive and choose which one is the best for my question and serves my needs and solves my problem. this is in fact letting someone else make a decision for you, as if you are unable to make that decision for yourself.

 

this is a general rule and fact, it's not pointing fingers to anyone. it's an accepted convention.

you don't want someone else to make decisions for you in your life.

@Allen 

Spoiler

@Allen wrote:

@HotCakeX @Jandost_Khoso 

 

Always happy to take feedback on the different mechanisms we use to help identify best responses, metrics or any other aspect of the community. I however want to start by stating that the vast majority of our MVPs use the 'accept as best response' button with due care. Where this is not the case and you feel that a post as been marked incorrectly, you can always highlight it to our team via a PM, emails us or you can report the post.

 

Posts marked as best response or verified answer by Microsoft (separate thing) are not primarily used to support the MVP Program and so collecting as many as you can is not likely to impact if you get to remain an MVP per say. We recommend that the original poster be given time to mark the post as a best response before an MVP, Employee or Admin comes in behind them and cleans it up by choosing which one they think is the best response. 

 

The purpose of best responses is to help SEO so that search engines that build a Q&A library can effectively show relevant answers to questions. This is why when you enter a question in Google, for example, you will see the 'people ask widget' and it rarely has anything from stack overflow in it.  

 

As many of you will know the Microsoft Tech Community has a rank structure to help show users who have become trusted by their peers, these ranks are attained for a mix of activities in the Microsoft Tech Community including Best Responses. The problem we often have is that users do not come back and mark any replies as best response, even where the person posting has asked them to in their post (i.e. If my post was helpful then please mark it as best response).  This why moderators (employees and MVPs) have the ability to mark posts as best response.


@HotCakeX as it stands today you are the ONLY non MVP of the community have reached our highest rank currently, this tells me you spend allot of time here, we appreciate it. Hopefully your interactions with our team have shown that we do listen to what you have to say and we will correct behaviors, comments or other things that are inappropriate or detracting from the community all up or otherwise in breach of our Code of Conduct or Terms of Use.

 

Finally @Sergei Baklan is a great guy, and I am sure he engaged with this discussion to try to correct things he felt were wrong in the thread. Our MVPs, including @Sergei Baklan have a special place in our community and the wider Microsoft eco-system. They give up their own time and effort to help support Microsoft Customers and Microsoft wider objectives,

 

if anyone in the community has a problem with an MVP or employee, their conduct or behavior then please reach out to our team and we will work to resolve any conflicts.

 


Thanks for the explanation,

I understand that by using a framework like Khoros, you have to adhere to certain features, i believe you can't make fundamental changes into how this website works, or there might not be enough resources available to you to make these changes, or lots of other reasons.

and I don't want to be someone who doesn't care about them and just complains.

 

my feedback below is only for when it's possible to make these changes, if it's not possible then of course you can ignore it and i'll understand.

 

Spoiler

so why MTC is the only community that needs to do this on behalf of other users?

and also if it helps SEO, then why not make it subject to peer review so people can vote on it, then it won't be only up to 1 person.

 

StackExchange, Spiceworks, SteamCommunity, they all are very popular and big and appear in search results quite often, none of them allow anyone, other than the OP, to choose a best response.

 

why MTC needs to be fundamentally different from them? 

 

when I search in Google or Bing, I get those kinds of results that you are talking about, but they barely refer to the best response or something marked as answer, in those websites.

most of the time, those results point to a part of the text in those web pages, might be a post that has got many likes, or maybe a topic that has many views, or just the keywords you enter into the search engine matches the words used in that post.



for when a user forgets to mark a post as best response, you can let people (above certain rank) to review and vote on posts, and if a post has got enough votes, it will be marked as best response, and this way it will be done by the communities, not a single person.


Thanks and I'm glad to have the rank, although it's mostly based on post count :))


I don't have problem with anyone personally, everyone is respectful in my opinion. I'm just talking about the general workflow of MTC, and how it could benefit by trying to be like other successful communities. I apologize if at any point my comments seemed personal or bad.

 

 

 

 

Understood and likewise I make this commitment to every member of the Microsoft Tech Community.

I will always listen to anyone’s feedback, I will record it and I will tell you if I can’t do it and often why. Even where I can’t do it I will store it and keep it in mind for later on when we can do it.

No one will be intentionally ignored here, ever.

Anyways I am going to Koby for a walk and I would like to wish everyone else a great weekend.

No one will be ignored

@Allen 

Thanks, you as well, and @Sergei Baklan , and everyone!