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Alex Koxaras Community Leader Aug 08, 2021

Hi all!

Although I'm relative new to this community, I've found some common things which do exists among the vast majority of similar communities/forums etc. From my end, I am trying to be everyday present in this community and to gain knowledge by answering as many questions as possible, and to read articles and participate to discussions.

However, I've come across certain posts (questions) from people:

  • Who are rather rude
  • Who are posting incomplete questions, or insufficient information for us to solve the question
  • Who doesn't accept an answer leaving their question marked as unanswered
  • etc (I think you get the point)

I would suggest certain proposals that could possibly make this community better:

  • Users should have a "reputation", which may be based by how the speak, how they behave, how helpful they are towards us, how fast/slow they reply etc
  • Questions should have a "thumbs down", as well, judging by how complete or incomplete this question is

Your thought about this? Anyone else finds rather irritating the above mentioned things, or is it just me and my OCD?

2 comments

Hi @Alex Koxaras!

This is a great post, and this is the perfect spot to provide things like this.  I know these are the types of things that the Community team reviews on a semi-regular basis so feedback is always welcome.

Just to give my own thoughts and opinions on what you have posted here.

1. You are correct, there are those who can be rude when making a post or responding to others.  The Community team does there best to try and spot these but there are thousands of posts each day.  Reporting any instance you see to moderators really helps to highlight instances the Community team should take action one.

2. I have been right there seeing incomplete questions asked.  However, with the number of brand new people who show up to ask questions I try to remember that they may not know what they need to ask to get help.  I know many of the end users I support at my company are that way too.  There is nothing wrong in asking for more information before being able to provide an answer.

3. I agree with you on this one as well, and I know there the original poster gets emails asking them if an answer solved their question, but that doesn't make them necessarily go and accept it.  @Monique vdB I'll put in a card, this one mine be a good candidate for the CAB to explore.

4. I "think" the kudos system that is in beta might be similar to what you are meaning in a reputation system.  I can't remember if the group is private or not, but you might be able to find out more about it here: https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Community-Kudos-Feedback/gh-p/kudos

5. This one I'm going to have to disagree with you on (again my personal opinion, I don't speak for anyone else).  I feel that adding a "thumbs down" is asking to breed a culture of negativity.  Which goes against the spirit of what the Community is supposed to be about.  As much as you mentioned people being rude, adding a thumbs down button allows them an easier way to be rude without having to spend much time doing it.

As this is a Community of humans interacting with each other, I think there is always time to reflect on where things and and how they currently operate and to look for improvements.

Thank you for starting this conversation.  I will do my best to get some of this in front of the Community Managers so they can add some of these topics to the ongoing improvement discussions.

-Jimmy

Like # people like this

Hi @Jimmy Seddon and thank you for the time you spent to think and write down your thoughts on this matter! I'll start a bit backwards, just because I feel the need to :)

5. I was skeptical to share this thumbs down with you all. I do agree with you that this kind of action leans towards promoting a negative environment, rather than a positive one. For that matter I'll withdraw my suggestion and just try to prevent my OCD from kicking in, when I'll encounter such question :)

4. The kudos system, to which I participate, isn't exactly what I had in mind. Again, in conjunction with the (5), kudos has a positive effect only, while reputation could possibly decrease. I'm not that much into gamification, and to be honest I don't know if a decrease in your "reputation" is something that this community wants. This can be achieve without the user to feel that she/he is punished for something.

3. Nothing to add.

2. I didn't think of this one to be honest, and I'll agree with you on that.

1. Nothing to add.

Alex 

Like Jimmy Seddon likes this

@Alex Koxaras, it's great that you bring up your concerns. It shows that you actually care about this community.

I just wanted to add for #3 that also community leaders can accept answers on behalf of other users, so if leaders stumble across a post which has an answer which should be accepted, they could simply accept it. I'm not sure how much this is really being used, but that's maybe something we can talk about in the CAB as @Jimmy Seddon suggested.

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Alex Koxaras Community Leader Aug 09, 2021

Thank you for your answer @Matthias Gaiser _K15t_ 

Quick question, just because you and Jimmy mentioned it. What CAB stands for? Change Advisory Board?

You're welcome.

Jimmy and I were talking about the Community Advisory Board. This is a board which is made up of six Community Leaders, representing different community cohorts. You can read more about the background e.g. on this article .

This is one way how Atlassian wants to ensure to get different views of people in the community to discuss topics like the ones you've raised here.

Like # people like this

For what it's worth, when the CAB first got together, we did discuss down-votes, and decided against them.

In the previous Community systems, they were simply abused - people downvoted correct answers because they didn't like them or they disagreed, which we obviously didn't want, but some people weaponised them - the worst case I saw was a plugin vendor who repeatedly necroposted, advertised, slated his competition and downvoted all the unrelated moderators posts whenever they killed off or even just downvoted their necroposts, adverts, or his slating of other users.  

You could rephrase this another way - we could not see any benefits to them.  And in fact, I think we've seen some good come of not having them - because people can't downvote, they actually engage, trying to correct or explore the post they didn't like.

Like # people like this

Hi @Alex Koxaras and thanks for your thoughts on this.

I have been thinking about these same issues lately when noticing some questions.  After seeing some excellent posts on "how to answer a question", I wondered about creating one on "how to ask a question", such as:

  • explain it to someone else first, out loud, and you may answer it yourself
  • where/how to search for answers (self-service)
  • suggestions to improve your question, increasing the chances of getting an answer that helps you
    • what is the problem you are solving
    • what have you tried thus far (steps, screen shots, your Jira/tool version, addons, etc.)
    • what do you observe happening
    • what do you believe should be happening
    • what help are you asking for
  • pause, and re-read your question to check for bias, tone, etc.  Perhaps edit a bit before posting.
  • share your learnings
    • once resolved, ensure that solution is clearly in the post
    • accept answers which helped you with the solution

Best regards,
Bill

Like # people like this
Alex Koxaras Community Leader Aug 12, 2021

You are right @Bill Sheboy. However I think that when someone writes a question, he/she wants answer fast. If that is the case, then I believe that this community should drive (via creation screen) the user to write good questions. E.g. If you encounter a problem on Jira, the user should be obliged to write the step to reproduce this problem. Or he/she must attach a screenshot of the error/problem etc.

Like Matthias Gaiser _K15t_ likes this

@Bill Sheboy - a great idea to come up with such an article. Would you care to write one?

However, an article is only good if people actually read/use it. That's how I understood @Alex Koxaras comment. People should be guided (by the community platform) to write better questions.

There's some guidance in place like selecting the product you want to get an answer for, but there's room for more improvement which is along the items you both mentioned. I think, that's a nice topic for the CAB to see how the question asking experience can get improved - to also improve the answering experience at the same time.

Like Alex Koxaras likes this

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