11 Replies Latest reply on Feb 26, 2016 1:32 AM by mrwatson-gbs Branched to a new discussion.

    Quality and moderation of FM-Community posts/ideas


      Hello Mark Baum and Mark Grantham et al (can’t get the @mark_baum to work ),


      I have had a request to the community for a while regarding ways to improve the quality of posts - particularly in the product ideas area.


      Seeing that beverly Voth has just brought this exact topic up in a very detailed post over in the Product Ideas area AND that there is a session in Paris tomorrow on the topic of (the future of) the community, I thought it best to shift the dialogue here to the correct place for it.


      In the Product Ideas area I note the following points


      • There are in the meantime 600+ ideas
        • It is increasingly difficult however to navigate + discover new ideas
        • Could we do with new discovery channels, like a regular “FMI’s pick of the best product ideas” E-Mail to help highlight trending content?
        • Is it possible to have a filter to show ideas with no comments or no votes?
        • Or a filter to show posts I have not voted on.
      • Quality of entries is very mixed
        • See beverly's post
        • Many entries have very unclear titles (“Script workspace Improvements”, etc. )
        • Is more guidance needed?
          • Apart from the suggested headings, there is little guidance from FMI to users on how to best communicate ideas
          • I guess we are all still learning what is possible + best.
        • There seems to me to be a need for different kinds of entries in the Product Ideas area:
          1. Very generic posts, where ideas and possibilities can be diversely and wildly discussed, and aim to stimulate openness and creativity - an example here is maybe the

          2. Very specific entries which identify a need or a specific idea
          3. Summary entries that help organise lots of related ideas (For development areas that interest myself I have created “summary” umbrella posts, to help to reduce the chaos caused by the quantity)
        • What can be done to improve quality?
      • There seems to be (virtually) no moderation of the Product Ideas area.
        • Duplicated ideas seem to get marked by participants as duplicated … but officially remain “active"
        • DO FMI plan to moderate entries?
      • It is currently not possible for the community to moderate itself
        • Is any kind of self-moderation planned? (I guess similar to the prior activities of philmodjunk
        • User X cannot edit User Ys post.
        • I consider the stack exchange offerings to be a fantastic example of how a ‘forum’ can be organised in a way which creates valuable resources. There power-users who have earned enough status are able to edit, correct and clarify poorly phrased/incorrect questions. (For example: On the topic of XSLT on the StackOverflow site user Dimitre Novatchev is such an amazing guru-user)
        • Is this kind of interaction possible/desirable on the FM-Community?
      • I also have the feeling that the engagement from the community has dropped somewhat...
        • Are there any explanations for that?
        • Could this be increased with greater input from FMI?


      These are just some observations thrown together, … and I am sadly not present in Paris tomorrow, … but I would be keen to discuss these ideas, and discover good ways forward.


      Regards from Germany



      Günther Business Solutions GmbH


      P.S. How is the search for a community manager going?

        • 1. Re: Quality and moderation of FM-Community posts/ideas

          Hi Mr W -- I can't respond to this directly because I don't have a direct role in the Product Ideas area. I am pursuing a response internally, will let know you what I hear back. Cheers -- Mark

          • 2. Re: Quality and moderation of FM-Community posts/ideas

            Thanks for the info mark ....


            Note there is a duplicate copy of this page which was created during the attempt to make a dual-author document (from myself and beverly)Quality and moderation of FM-Community posts/ideas

            • 3. Re: Quality and moderation of FM-Community posts/ideas

              Hear Hear !


              I've just come into this space after being in the Product Ideas area. I want to be able to see at a glance which ideas I have voted on at the list / dashboard level. I don't want to enter each idea to search for a tiny text line.  A simple icon or color swatch would be enough to signal ideas that I have already voted for or against.

              • 4. Re: Quality and moderation of FM-Community posts/ideas

                Hi Mr W,


                I appreciated your effort to summarize a group of ideas and also agreed with the comments that it wasn't an idea itself -- hence could use another document type (and possibly location as well). But I'm not sure how to accommodate that without adding to the labyrinthine hierarchy of space we already have (and which I hope to simplify at some point this year).


                The "Product Ideas" area in the community is unique in that it is moderated by project managers at FMI, with the goal to keep their finger on the pulse of what people are looking for. They are busy folks and have to keep their moderation duties very contained. They also are constrained in what they can say about the product roadmap -- so they don't say much.


                Here's some of what I heard from them when I shared your post:


                While it's not possible to filter by score, you can sort by score to see which ones don't have votes and which have the most.

                Due to the roadmap constraint, the moderators can't indicate which ideas they think are best. They can only note which ideas the community thinks are best.

                Most of the other things you're asking for here are Jive feature requests. As such, we can't take immediate action on them, though it's helpful to know what you want. It is possible to submit ideas directly to Jive, should you be so inclined. Here's the URL:  

                Space: Ideas for Jive | Jive Community


                Regarding dupes, the moderators do their best to keep up on top of them, but clearly they don't get them all. They also watch out for offensive posts etc. However, they rarely ping back on the quality of posts. Usually the poorer quality posts get filtered down because they don't get upvoted.


                Sometimes the moderators do come in and ask for clarification. But this is the extent they are able participate for now. Basically they expect a lot of things to bubble up or down via voting.


                What sort of additional moderation from within the community are you proposing? If any of the community leaders have an interest in engaging here, we could be open to it, but that's up to them -- for my part, I believe that the majority of their attention should continue to go to the Discussions area.


                Regarding engagement, it makes sense to me that after people's initial excitement over submitting ideas, the flow might slow down a bit. Engagement in this area requires some advanced knowledge of FM and constant flow of ideas. As a result traffic is expected to decrease over time as people submit all their ideas. 600 ideas in itself is years and years worth of work for FMI if we tackled them all. The moderators decided before starting this area that it would be for discussion purposes only.


                I hope this helps, and that it's not too discouraging. Our product managers are listening -- they're just not in a position to provide too much feedback.


                Cheers --



                • 5. Re: Quality and moderation of FM-Community posts/ideas

                  Hi mark,


                  thank you very much for your detailed reply -that is very valuable information to have about how the Product Ideas processes work.


                  What sort of additional moderation from within the community are you proposing?

                  I was mainly thinking of the stack exchange, where users with enough status are allowed to 'correct' other users entries in order to make them more understandable, or where the original has a typo or misused word.

                  Given that the area is not much more than a simple list of ideas, I find idea titles which only specify very vaguely the AREA of concern but do not highlight the proposed idea make it extremely difficult to navigate and filter the list: you really have to look at the details page to know what its direction on the topic is.

                  Maybe that is just an education thing, and the users need more guidance.

                  Of course it is a question of what is DESIRABLE in the Product Ideas area - discussion threads or concrete ideas you can really vote on.

                  I personally prefer concrete ideas, that are clear from the title, with well defined bounds, and that are of a smaller scale.

                  The current top-idea about deployment above all shows how important this area is to the developer community, but to my mind needs much more CONCRETE thoughts about what functional components could possibly BUILD UP to such a final functionality.

                  Thanks again



                  • 6. Re: Quality and moderation of FM-Community posts/ideas

                    Got it -- what you're saying makes sense to me. How to achieve it is a separate question, but it's great to have the problem clearly described.  Thanks!

                    • 7. Re: Quality and moderation of FM-Community posts/ideas

                      Hello Mark,


                      I’ve just added a comment on a post, which has made me realise one very specific way FMI can make the product ideas area + discussion here of a higher quality.


                      FileMaker developers, I believe, do not sufficiently understand or appreciate the importance of retaining backwards compatibility when proposing new ideas. Thus in the idea of extending variables with a new object data type (support for associative arrays) there are suggestions to use the simple variable name $MyObject as a reference to the ENTIRE object instead of the first ‘repetition’ of the variable. This clearly would break backwards compatibility.


                      Would it make sense for FMI to provide community members using the product ideas area a clear explanation of the rules that ideas need to follow, if they are to be considered within the realms of ‘normal’ FM-updates?


                      Thanks for the great interaction!



                      • 8. Re: Quality and moderation of FM-Community posts/ideas

                        Thanks, Mr. W -- I'll pass this on to the PMs.

                        • 9. Re: Quality and moderation of FM-Community posts/ideas

                          Thank you - that's great.


                          Yet another point has occurred to me .... I keep stating that my ideas have the benefit of making FileMaker more FileMakery (a question that I posed a while back in the forum)... you know, easier, obvious, quick to learn, complication free, based on simple reusable constructs (like 1 layout * 4 modes) ....


                          Understanding what it is that makes FileMaker FileMaker would maybe help developers to better align their ideas along the lines of HOW FileMaker is. I once heard a list of some of the FMI aims in a presentation which really inspired me... but I did not have time to write them down .... maybe it would be good for FMI to reiterate what those aims are?

                          • 10. Re: Quality and moderation of FM-Community posts/ideas

                            Hi Mr W,


                            I didn't want you to feel like you were being left hanging with this question. We had some internal discussions regarding this suggestion and due to some limitations we won’t be able to change the model. I appreciate the feedback and thank you for making the effort.



                            • 11. Re: Quality and moderation of FM-Community posts/ideas

                              Thank you for the feedback