Last post Jul 03, 2007 05:08 AM by e_screw
Jul 02, 2007 04:50 PM|simonmu|LINK
There have been a few questions recently about the Microsoft folks that are participating in the forums and so I wanted to provide some more context with this post.
First a little history - Almost a year ago we ran a pilot with seven interns in the ASP.NET forums, where the interns answered questions that the community was not answering. Specifically they were instructed to only look at questions older than 48 hours,
as the first two days is the time frame during which community members typically answer new questions. Our goal was to provide more answers back to the community while not impacting community members who were already answering questions, and we found this
approach to be very successful in driving up overall answer rates in the forums.
In general a thread that has been marked "Answered" (rather than "Not Answered") has 220% more views over the course of a year and therefore has more value to the community as a whole (assuming the content is good and the threads are marked correctly). So
the two explicit goals the team has are:
Given the success of the pilot project, at the start of this year we expanded the effort to include the MSDN developer forums and substantially grew the total number of people working on this program. The team is run by a Team Manager and there are Tech
Leads who are responsible for the technical accuracy of the posts.
The majority of posts and feedback has been very positive around this program, but as will occur there are cases when the responses could be better, and in those cases the Tech Leads review the threads and take appropriate action to help fix the issues moving
forward – whether that be mentoring, reviewing posts, or any other approach that will improve the program.
In addition to this team, many members of the product team directly participate in the forums answering questions. Feel free to email me directly and/or respond to this thread if you have additional questions. I’ve put answers to some of the frequent questions
Q. I see “MSFT” in some people’s usernames. What does that mean?
A. MSFT stands for Microsoft, and we ask Microsoft people to add that to the end of their userid’s, though not everyone (like myself
) does that.
Q. If I am not satisfied with an answer, can I mark my thread as not answered?
A. Yes absolutely you should.
Q. How have answer rates changed with this program?
A. In July last year, the 7-day answer rate (number of threads answered within 7-days of 1st post) was just under 30%. The latest number from this morning is 69.58%.
Q. How are the MSFT engineers evaluated?
A. At the highest level the goal is to drive answer rates to 80%. Individual engineers are reviewed for their technical accuracy and the number of answers they help create (either by marking a post as the answer and by generating answer posts). There is no
fixed number goal, as we are still learning about the type and difficulty of questions in different forums.
Jul 02, 2007 05:13 PM|Mikesdotnetting|LINK
If a community member sees an MSFT supplied answer that has been marked as answer, but falls below what one would normally expect from a technical point of view (or is just plain irrelevant or wrong), the only recourse at the moment is to use the Report
Abuse link. This means that the moderators, who are largely unpaid volunteers, have to get involved to make some kind of judgement call. And that, of course, detracts from the amount of time they can spend moderating and approving posts, and providing members
with the benefit of their knowledge and experience directly.
Are there any plans to provide an alternative feedback mechanism for this kind of case?
Jul 02, 2007 06:50 PM|naturehermit|LINK
Simon, some MSFT guys misguide gullbile users and post irrelevalnt information and even when I first joined this forum I was surprised that some information was marked as answer which didnt made sense, so two-three times I really thought may be I dont know
enough because how can MSFT guys be wrong but later I discovered to my chagrin that they are really royally messing with the stats.
Then came the moment of truth where in one MSFT told me that their managers purposely ask them to mark things as answer to drive target up, now this defies the point of a forum based system and especially an incompetent MSFT marking things as answer just
to increase viewing is even more ridiculous.
MSFT as a name bears responsibility and no matter what unless its been clearly established that answer is the case, it should never be done so. I have already provided numerous example but this one I find quite funny when somebody was discussing viewstate,
the MSFT mentioned stringbuilder class or when somebody was discussing virtual path providers the MSFT mentioned a code in VBscript that sets directory.
Google is best in search engine ranking not because it messes with the ranking or pops up rank ot people who pay more..but because it has clearly established parameters of what is best and what is not and no wonder that it fits in the open model of things
and people find whatever they are searching for in few clicks 98% of time.
Jul 03, 2007 05:08 AM|e_screw|LINK
how can MSFT guys be wrong but later I discovered to my chagrin that they are really royally messing with the stats.
Right on naturehermit! There are a few times I have seen vague/irrelevant answers by the MSFT members (not all, but most) and I started to ignore their replies as they are just fooling around for the numbers. Also, I have seen most of the MSFT members marking
their replies as answers without waiting for the OP's response, no matter if they had really helped with the answer.
I am not sure of what criteria's were set to mark a thread as answered, sometimes I see irrelevant post's being marked as answers. And also in most cases, if you are the only responder to the thread or if you are the last responder to the thread then you
are lucky. Few days back, to my surprise I found one of my reply marked as answer in which my reply was just a ["What" question] (later I used the Report Abuse link and it was unmarked as Answer by a moderator) (http://forums.asp.net/p/1125587/1769624.aspx#1769624).
So if simon says ~70% hike, is he talking about the potential answers or the threads marked by MSFT guys as answers?