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Community Help messages

Jul 2, 2012 3:22 PM

I was disconcerted by the following message from Community Help:

 

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1031662?tstart=0

 

First, there is for me a lack of logic in the message itself. Thinking that this could be due to a faulty translation, I looked for a recent similar message in English, and the fault is also there:

 

Answer.JPG

 

You see, there is no question in the message, but is says "this question was posted in response to the following article" (my emphasis), then it gives a link to an article, period. No response to anything.

 

The situation is even more disconcerting in the forum in Spanish (one single forum for all Adobe products), as there is no indication whatsoever to the product the message refers to. True, in the case of the forum in Spanish, the message from Community Help is followed by a question from a participant which may or may not be related with the article in the link (which is fairly long so I didn't feel like checking if it did). In the case of the message in the screenshot above there is no second message, so it's difficult for me to imagine in answer to what was the message posted.

 

Am I being much more dumb than usual, or there is some lack of logic in this?

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2012 6:14 PM   in reply to Claudio González

    A possibility: someone posted spam or other moronic content, and a moderator deleted the message, but left the stem standing.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2012 2:33 AM   in reply to Claudio González

    What should have happened is the user's actual question (as they entered into the CH application) is appended as reply one to that thread - it's a bit of a fiddle but the only way to get the CH system to post into the forums. Unfortunately there are some edge case scenarios where the question doesn't make it through - the engineers are aware of this and working on it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2012 11:39 AM   in reply to Claudio González

    You are quite right, Claudio.

     

    The rather strange thing to express is that someone read an article and posted a question about it in (some other place called) Community Help, and now the article and question form the beginning of the current thread here (in the hopefully relevant forum).

     

    I would suggest something like this:

     

    This article gave rise to the question below, originally posted in Community help:

     

    [Article link]

     

     

     

    I believe there is no reason to muddle things even more by stating the fact that the contents of the forum thread is mirrored in Community Help (and also the other way round).

     

     

     

     

    As far as I remember, other threads about the matter seem to imply that there is no (easy) way to create an OP with both the article and the question, which would be (more) self explanatory.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 7, 2012 11:00 AM   in reply to Claudio González

    The grammar of the title "This question was posted in response to the following article" is correct.

     

    An expansion would be "The question you see below was posted after someone had been reading article XXX on Community Help".

     

    The article is not the answer, but it left the reader still wondering something. The CH bot includes a link to the article from which the reader posted their message, so we can see what they were reading at the time. Over on the CH server the 'question' appears as a comment on the article, and any forum replies are also shown there as responses to the comment. The initial post by the CH bot is just a way to ensure a new thread is created in the right place, but the 'real' conversation happens in the replies.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 7, 2012 1:08 PM   in reply to Dave Merchant

    The grammar of the title "This question was posted in response to the following article" is correct.

     

    Quite true, Dave, it just makes no (good) sense as Claudio has pointed out.

     

    The grammar of the sentence "The three of us agree  on this" is also correct, but the sentence would be quite misleading.

     

    The first words of your expansion,

     

    The question you see below ...

     

    would make things clearer, and seems to be in line with my OP suggestion:

     

    This article gave rise to the question below, originally posted in Community help:

     

    [Article link]

     

    Evidently, I am still with Claudio here.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
    23,478 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
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    Jul 7, 2012 6:21 PM   in reply to Claudio González

    I have seen two such threads now, with no actual question following. 

     

    We can probably just assume it was business as usual, with the typical level of Adobe quality that permeates throughout.

     

    I hate to think of what the person who was interested enough to try to take time to leave a message at the bottom of a help page thought of Adobe when this transpired.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 7, 2012 8:00 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Noel & Claudio,

     

    When the Community Help "system" was first implemented, there were NO questions, only the slightly oddly worded Community Help post, that was generated here. Most could not see the question, unless they backtracked to the Help File for that product, or family.

     

    Then, the actual questions, that generated the Community Help posts DID show, but like Noel, I have recently seen several, where the question was no longer displayed.

     

    Not sure what "fixed" things for a bit, or what "broke them," or whether there are paths, that can still lead to no question being displayed?

     

    For a bit, I did see those questions displayed below the Community Help initial posts.

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 8, 2012 3:44 AM   in reply to Claudio González

    why can't the message from CH be worded in such a way that people can understand what is happening?

     

    Exactly.

     

    With regard to the understandability to native/non native English speakers, this thread,

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/message/4219547#4219547

     

    was based upon, and linked to, this thread,

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/message/4205555#4205555?tstart=0#4205555

     

    where the first real poster (of the second post) gave an excellent interpretation of the (lack of) meaning of the OP from a British English perspective.

     

    In the first link you will also see the question from Pierre,

     

    Would a different wording on the original thread help in some way?

     

    which further proves that there has been an awareness about the issue for a while, so it makes sense to change the wording so it makes sense.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 8, 2012 8:23 AM   in reply to Claudio González

    Well, for a period of time, there were NO questions listed in Community Help, in any language.

     

    Then, they DID begin to appear, though as I only monitor English forums, I have to take your example as gospel, that though the question was written in Spanish, they ONLy appeared in English. Not the correct way to do it, as far as I am concerned.

     

    Now, it appears that many are again lacking ANY question showing, in ANY language.

     

    I am commenting on what I see as a broader problem, a global problem, with the Community Help posts, and not just one of languages. While I completely agree with you, concerning the language of the question, if there are NO questions being posted along with the Community Help post, I see a bigger issue.

     

    Good luck,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Pierre Courtejoie
    7,038 posts
    Jan 11, 2006
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    Jul 8, 2012 8:51 AM   in reply to Claudio González

    Claudio, the community help had a functionnality in which users could bring additional comments, corrections or links relevant to the topic at hand. It allowed many changes, and enhancements in the help files. (hence the "community" in its name) It especially welcomed linking to third-party content, and allowed "rightful" advertizing to one's site.

     

    To foster comments, Adobe gave a points system, and appointed moderators, to help curate the comments.

     

    But, over time, many users of the help files began to ask questions when a topic was not clear, or use the feedback mechanism to ask questions, sometimes remotely related with the article they were commenting on.

     

    Adobe recognized this, and saw that most of the moderators spent a lot of time answering questions, while there are also forums dedicated to this very function, and where hundreds of other posters could help. I guess that it what prompted them to link Community help with the forums.

     

    That said, I do agree that the phrase used to introduce the question could be re-worded, like it was skillfully done in this very thread.

     

    Add to the confusion the fact that sometimes, some users do not finish asking the question, or delete it somehow, creating "empty threads" with the confusing sentence outlined earlier.

     

    Rest assure that this discussion, like many others will be brought to the ears of the powers that be, but I can't promise an immediate change, even if it would be very welcome, and would help reduce confusion.

     

    Ideally, there should be a way to limit posts to ACH, like comments or additions (even if they would be useful in there), and redirect only the questions to the forums.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 8, 2012 2:19 PM   in reply to Claudio González

    Claudio,

     

    I believe the How do I earn points section in this document has something to do with it:

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/docs/DOC-2327

     

    As far as I know, for a while moderators have been able to tick answers as Correct/Helpful instead/on behalf of, and even overruling, the OP, thus also distributing points.

     

    Edit: And what I am going to say a few minutes ago.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 8, 2012 2:17 PM   in reply to Pierre Courtejoie

    Pierre,

     

    I also wish to thank you for taking care of the issue.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
    23,478 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
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    Jul 8, 2012 3:20 PM   in reply to Jacob Bugge

    Jacob Bugge wrote:

     

     

    Edit: And what I am going to say a few minutes ago.

     

     

    Now, how many edits did it take to get that just right?

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 9, 2012 1:44 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Claudio,

     

    I agree completely.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 9, 2012 1:51 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Noel,

     

    Just one. I edited, realized the opportunity, added the edit, took a deep breath, and pressed the button, hoping to be in time before a reply but not in time to be too early.

     
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  • Pierre Courtejoie
    7,038 posts
    Jan 11, 2006
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    Jul 9, 2012 3:59 AM   in reply to Claudio González

    Claudio, as Jacob pointed it out, moderators and selected Adobe staff can mark a post as Correct or Helpful. I did not do it with mine.

     

    It's been that way in community help for years, and here as well.

    It is useful when there are posters using email, or to still point out helpful/correct posts in discussions with "hit and runners".

    Especially the "correct" tag that marks the thread as such.

     

    As shown on your screenshot, you can still "untag" helpful or corrects post if you feel so.

    Maybe another mod/Adobe Employee wanted to give a nod to my explanation...

     

    I don't get what you mean with the barrier between Adobe and its customers, this very forum, and the Adobe participation therein are the proofs that they care, and more than before!

     
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  • Pierre Courtejoie
    7,038 posts
    Jan 11, 2006
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    Jul 9, 2012 11:00 AM   in reply to Claudio González

    I think that there is no way, if you did not reply for the other person to know if you had visited the thread. If he/she sees this discussion, maybe will they post a word rather than tag it with helpful (it might be a facebook/twitter habit) But I can understand your frustration, it might feel like someone opened a letter adressed to you (with the difference that a forum is public)

     

    As for the suggestions to the current forum, we had several iterations, and several items have been implemented.

    Also, the "changes" are mostly skinning or interface ones, I don't think that there is a way to implement new functionality. (And I'd also like new features, such as I'd like to have a checkmark for threads I posted in, or a full history of what I did)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 10, 2012 8:49 AM   in reply to Claudio González

    From behind the scenes we can't tell who sets the post status on a message, nor who's read which reply. Unless the host comes back and admits to it, who tagged the helpful post will remain a mystery - sorry.

     

    Generally we'll force marks on threads for two reasons - to allocate points to those who deserve the credit, and to clear the open question status so other users know it's been answered. Either way, we (are supposed to) wait until the OP has or hasn't taken action; though with some of the CH questions it's important to confirm the right answer quickly, so those reading via the application help system understand what's going on.

     

    Back to the general point of the thread - all posts by CH are supposed to have a question as their first reply, it's clear that a small number are going wrong at the moment, but it's not obvious why.

     

    If anyone sees a CH post without a question please click the Report button, file it as 'general abuse', and we can then pass it to the engineers as quickly as possible.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
    23,478 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
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    Jul 10, 2012 8:18 PM   in reply to Claudio González

    Well, to be fair you kind of took it off topic with your discussion about others marking posts as helpful.

     

    By the way, that sentence sums it up nicely - I finally got it.  However, I think you wish for too much that it should all work right AND make sense at the same time.  This is Adobe we're talking about, remember?

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Pierre Courtejoie
    7,038 posts
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    Jul 11, 2012 8:10 AM   in reply to Claudio González

    And that's the part (rewording the CH threads) that has been forwarded to the relevant persons, don't worry!

     
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