FAQs for Enhancements Forum Moderators

Q: I just agreed to be a forum moderator. What do I do now?

Q: How often should I check the forums?

Q: What is the difference between a thread, a poll, a proposed enhancement, and a submitted enhancement?

Q: Who do I contact at SirsiDynix if I have a question or need information verified?

Q: What do I do if a person posts information that I know to be patently wrong? Am I responsible for correcting the error?

Q: Does SirsiDynix monitor the forums on a regular basis? If so, who?

Q: What would I do if a person submitted something that is inappropriate in terms of subject matter or content?

Q: What if the discussion on a topic generates a new idea worthy of its own thread?

Q: What if something is posted to the wrong forum or the wrong thread?

Q: When should I focus on turning threads into polls?

Q: How do I know when to turn a thread into a poll?

Q: How, from a purely technical perspective, do I turn a thread into a poll?

Q: What is an “Enhancement Forum Review"?

Q: How should I prepare for my forum’s Enhancement Forum Review?

Q: How do I decide which enhancements to submit to SirsiDynix?

Q: How many proposed enhancements can I submit to SirsiDynix?

Q: I noticed that some moderators announce their proposed enhancements on the forum or the mailing lists as they are submitted to SirsiDynix. Is this required?

Q: Who attends the Enhancement Forum Review?

Q: Is the Enhancement Forum Review a strict deadline after which all threads are removed?

Q: What do I need to do after the Enhancement Forum Review is complete?

Q: In case I’m asked, how will we know whether or when a submitted enhancement will become reality?

 


Q: I just agreed to be a forum moderator. What do I do now?

A: You’ve taking the proper first step by reading these questions and answers. You should also browse through the threads on your forum, paying particular attention to any current and past polls.


Q: How often should I check the forums?

A: As moderator, you should probably set aside a little time each day to check your forum. The longer you wait to check, the more postings you’ll have to read, to the point where it can become unmanageable. Obviously, a forum that is not all that busy may not need checking as often.


Q: What is the difference between a thread, a poll, a proposed enhancement, and a submitted enhancement?

A: A thread is the made up of an original post and everything posted in reply to it. (The bulletin board software also refers to this as a "topic".) A poll is a feature of the forum software that allows participants to vote. Only a moderator can create a poll. Once a thread is turned into a poll, it becomes a proposed enhancement. Once a proposed enhancement is submitted to SirsiDynix, it becomes a submitted enhancement.


Q: Who do I contact at SirsiDynix if I have a question or need information verified?

A: Moderators should not contact SirsiDynix directly. Please contact the COSUGI Enhancements Coordinator.


Q: What do I do if a person posts information that I know to be patently wrong? Am I responsible for correcting the error?

A: Sometimes a user may post incorrect information either as an original post or as a response to someone else’s post. If this happens and you know the information is incorrect, you may, but do not have to, post a polite correction. (However, someone should post a correction, so that the misinformation is not left out there to fester.) In some cases, you may feel the need to verify your assumptions with SirsiDynix. If this is the case, contact your Technical Product Manager.


Q: Does SirsiDynix monitor the forums on a regular basis? If so, who?

A: Yes, the Technical Product Managers review the postings on a regular basis, but mostly as passive participants.


Q: What would I do if a person submitted something that is inappropriate in terms of subject matter or content?

A: [Under construction] As moderator, you have the ability to delete any post on your forum. Please use this power sparingly, and only as a last resort. Also, it is a good idea to contact the poster privately and explain why the posting was deleted.


Q: What if the discussion on a topic generates a new idea worthy of its own thread?

A: [Under construction] If the discussion on one topic spawns a new idea worthy of its own thread, or involves discussion of two requests that need to be considered separately, it may be time to split the thread. Go to the bottom of the page and find the "Quick-mod tools" drop-down box. Select "Split topic", click the Go button, and follow the on-screen instructions.


Q: What if something is posted to the wrong forum or the wrong thread?

A: [Under construction] If a post is entered into the wrong forum, go to the bottom of the page and find the "Quick-mod tools" drop-down box. Select "Move Topic", click the Go button, and follow the on-screen instructions.

If a reply is added to the wrong thread and there is already a thread for that topic, find the thread to which you want the post(s) to be moved and note down its thread ID (the number after "t=" in the URL for the thread), then go back to bottom of the page with the wrongly posted replies and find the "Quick-mod tools" drop-down box. Select "Merge posts", click the Go button, and follow the on-screen instructions, including entering the thread ID in the relevant box.

If a reply is added to the wrong thread and there is not already a thread for that topic, follow the instructions for splitting a thread.


Q: When should I focus on turning threads into polls?

A: This should be ongoing throughout the year, so that the polls have plenty of time to gather votes before the voting deadline. We do not recommend making a habit of waiting until just before the voting deadline to turn a thread into a poll. See below for more specific information on deadlines.


Q: How do I know when to turn a thread into a poll?

A: If a thread suggests a change that is logical within the context of the software as you understand it, has been around for at least a week, and has enough "me too's" to indicate that it will get some "yes" votes and no "no" votes, it is probably time to turn it into a poll.


Q: How, from a purely technical perspective, do I turn a thread into a poll?

A: [Under construction] First, post a reply that describes the proposed enhancement in the following format:
Description
Goals / Benefits
Example Look & Feel

When posting this reply, add the word "SUGGESTION: " to the start of the thread subject.

Here is an example:

Description: This proposed enhancement pertains to the Display History and Modify History wizards. The configurable Behavior properties of the wizard should allow customization of which fields can be included in and excluded from the List of History Records. The fields to choose from should be: Title, Author, Library, Call #, Interest, Item ID, and Status

Goals / Benefits: Libraries require varying fields to display depending upon internal workflow.

Example Look and Feel: Under Properties for both wizards, Behavior tab, a List of History Records Display button will appear. Clicking on this button will bring up a Set Properties window for List of History Records. Clicking on the gadget will bring up a "List to Choose From" and "List Selected" selector like in Print Date Due slips under the Checkout wizard.

 

Then, go to the first posting in the thread and click on Edit as shown in graphic below.
[image]
- Scroll down. 
- Under Post Topic As, select Sticky. 
- In the Poll Question field, enter one sentence that describes the enhancement; e.g. “Ability to select fields that appear in List of History Records.” 
- Add Poll Options as follows:

 

YES-5 (Highest Priority)
YES-4
YES-3
YES-2
YES-1 (Lowest Priority)
NO (Please post why)

- Leave the Run Poll For field as 0.


Q: What is an “Enhancement Forum Review"?

A: An Enhancement Forum Review is a meeting held at SirsiDynix during which submitted enhancements from the forums are discussed, assessed, and, if appropriate, scheduled for development.


Q: How should I prepare for my forum’s Enhancement Forum Review?

A: [Under construction] Prior to the deadline for voting (which is usually communicated to you well in advance by the Enhancements Coordinator), all eligible threads should be turned into polls. When the deadline is announced, you will receive instructions on how and when to submit the proposed enhancements.

When you have compiled your list of top enhancements to submit, go into the thread for each enhancement you will submit, go to the first post, and click the Edit button. Change the Run Poll For field from 0 to 1, then click the Submit button. This will close those polls, as there is no longer any need to vote on them. Leave the thread set to "Sticky" until after the official reply from SirsiDynix has been announced.

You will also need to create one or more new threads and open a poll on each to determine which of the enhancements that had been scheduled but did not make the latest release should be reconsidered for the next release. Details on this process are still being worked out, but it may involve creating a poll with a poll option for each enhancement, then setting the Options Per User number to be equal to the number of poll options, so that users can select one, some, or all such "bumped" enhancements.


Q: How do I decide which enhancements to submit to SirsiDynix?

A: [Under construction] In general, you want to select the polls with the highest enthusiasm and the highest number of votes. There is no set formula or algorithm for determining that, in part because any criteria may vary wildly between a high-traffic forum and a low-traffic forum. Therefore, each moderator uses a slightly different process.

One possible process is to pick a reasonable threshold vote total that a poll must reach before it can be considered (as you want to make sure that enough customers are interested) and then sort the rest by average enthusiasm and pick however many of the top requests SirsiDynix will allow you to submit. What constitutes a "reasonable" threshold may vary from forum to forum, but even on low-traffic forums generally should not be lower than 10 or 20 total votes.


Q: How many proposed enhancements can I submit to SirsiDynix?

A: This differs each year. This information will be released prior to the voting deadline.


Q: I noticed that some moderators announce their proposed enhancements on the forum or the mailing lists as they are submitted to SirsiDynix. Is this required?

A: No, but participants in your forum or on the relevant mailing list might be interested in seeing which proposed enhancements will be moving on to the next phase.


Q: Who attends the Enhancement Forum Review?

A: Representatives from various departments at SirsiDynix including Software Development, Technical Product Managers, and the Vice President for Product Development.


Q: Is the Enhancement Forum Review a strict deadline after which all threads are removed?

A: [Under construction] No. In fact, after an Enhancement Forum Review, you may see postings from SirsiDynix asking for further clarification on a proposed enhancement. Threads that were not turned into polls will be removed at least 60 months after the date of the original posting. Submitted enhancements will be kept for at least 24 months after being marked "COMPLETED" by SirsiDynix, or, if the SirsiDynix reply to the submitted enhancement is that it cannot be implemented, at least 24 months from posting of the SirsiDynix reply.


Q: What do I need to do after the Enhancement Forum Review is complete?

A: [Under construction] The first thing you need to do is change the status of any now-scheduled threads from "Sticky" to "Normal."

For any suggested enhancements that SirsiDynix declined to implement for which you believe there will be continued interest from the customer base, you may want to either re-open the existing poll (if the request does not need to be reworded) by changing the Run Poll For field back to 0, or create a new thread that contains the text of the enhancement as submitted to SirsiDynix, the text of their response, and a question or two to direct discussion towards re-working the enhancement wording so that it will be more likely to be accepted by SirsiDynix the next time it makes it into the forum's top enhancements list.

Also, you will be asked to present the current status of your forum's enhancement suggestions, if there are any, at a "sharing session" for your forum at the annual conference. If your forum has active enhancement suggestions but you are unable to attend the conference, please designate a proxy to present this information for you. (The presentation does not need to be any more complex than listing what the top enhancements for the last enhancement cycle were and what their current status is, if known.)


Q: In case I’m asked, how will we know whether or when a submitted enhancement will become reality?

A: [Under construction] The Technical Product Manager will post official responses to the submitted enhancements discussed at the review meeting. The postings will appear on the forums as part of the original thread and will indicate if SirsiDynix is willing and able to include the submitted enhancement in a future release. If it is something they cannot do or if it is something they believe will adversely affect some customers, they will explain their position. Sometimes they will ask for clarification or suggest alternatives. If the enhancement is scheduled for a future release, they will post, whenever possible, the projected version number or timeframe. When an enhancement is included in a release that has gone into production, the submitted enhancement will be marked COMPLETED and the version number will be indicated.