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Competitiveness in Community

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14 - Magnetar
14 - Magnetar

Thanks @WillM and @jamielaird for bringing this forward. My TL/DR.

I do think that a certain level of competition is always healthy, and perhaps gets the problems solved faster. And if people want to run for solutions or likes, and that's what motivates them to be engaged on Community, then they should go for it. Respond as much as you can. Be as helpful as you can. That's positive

 

What I find isn't helpful though are:

  • Sloppy or incomplete solutions: Just getting a workflow thrown up as fast as you can doesn't mean you've solved the problem. Read carefully, solve thoughtfully.
  • Solutions that are effectively "download my workflow" with no explanations. I recommend Community all of the time as an enablement resource. Giving someone a process without explaining how you came about to it, or what the tools do, doesn't effectively enable them.
    • If I'm giving someone a fish, isn't it also better to explain my method of fishing, so that the user can catch their own in the future?
    • If someone is looking for answers to their questions and happens upon a solution I've provided, I want them to read the post to understand
  • Recreating solutions that others have already created. I can't say how many times I've seen this - people who download solutions / workflows, and repost as their own. Link to the solution that's already there. Someone can still mark it as solved, even when you point to another person's solution. Let's try to keep clutter out of Community
  • Asking people to mark your post as solved and/or give likes if you've helped them. That's up to the user. You don't need to go begging for solves/likes to get the new badges. It doesn't look good, and our goal is "together we solve", not "I promote myself and want more badges". To me, at least, a closing line like that makes me think you're not there to help me but to promote yourself.

 

My best and most rewarding solves are often not marked as solutions, and that's OK. What makes those the best is collaborating with others (looking at you, @MarqueeCrew , @JosephSerpis 
@carlosteixeira2005 , among many others) to best answer the question, together. Together we solve. That's the magic in the discussions. Incidentally, I started combing through the discussions once I had exhausted all of the Weekly Challenges, and was craving more practice and problem solving in Alteryx that my 9-5 wasn't providing. The bait was there and I took it, and I just loved being able to come up with answers. I still do. And it's nice to get the new badges, but I'm not gunning for them. And yes, I'm a HIGHLY competitive person. Perhaps it's because my day to day is in enablement, so this is another avenue for me to extend my reach.

Cheers!

Esther

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Alteryx Certified Partner
Alteryx Certified Partner

@EstherB47 ,

 

I thought that I'd be able to not respond directly into these current thread topics though I've already spoken directly to @WillM and others on the community team.  Yesterday when I saw the tweet from @jamielaird I not only commented, but brought it to the attention of the ACEs and the Community.  Now that you've @mentioned me here I feel compelled to respond.  The community has trained me that when tagged, I must reply.

 

In Internet culture, the 1% rule is a rule of thumb pertaining to participation in an internet community, stating that only 1% of the users of a website add content, while the other 99% of the participants only lurk.

 

I'm part of that 1%.  My focus is on the 99%.  When folks read (lurk) my content, they are benefiting from the members before them who have asked for help.  The vast majority of my posts in the community are in either direct or indirect response to the challenges faced by Alteryx users.  Without those questions and readers, I have no content value.

 

Like you, I began responding to posts for my own benefit.  There wasn't a weekly challenge or Alteryx Academy for me to sharpen my skills with and community posts gave me an opportunity to explore a much wider use of Alteryx in solving challenges than I was previously exposed to.  I continue to learn from the community posts (e.g. yesterday I learned that a macro can't use a workflow constant) and more importantly I enjoy reading and responding.  It's part of my daily routine and brings me some measure of joy and happiness (not nearly as much as puppy-kisses).

 

What's to solve?  Getting 1% to 2%.  What would get more folks active in Community?  To me, that's the on-going challenge.  I like it to feel appreciated.  With or without the likes and solves, I know that I'm helping and that my time and effort are appreciated.  I also know that my clients, bosses and peers view my involvement in community as proof that I can solve their challenges quickly and efficiently.  If only 1% (new) of the community saw things this way, we'd move from being the "envy" of communities to being the "utopia" of communities.

 

Signature lines asking for solves and likes don't work towards this goal.  I'd like to ask everyone to subscribe to my youtube channel (Please Subscribe!!!! ).  I don't use the word "problem" and instead use "challenge" in posts.  I "hope" to solve your challenge, and often give "hints" rather than workflows.  I probably have posted more workflows (because of my volume) than hints, but think that the learning opportunity for those not opening the workflows still exists.  So if you're part of the 1% and solving for the purpose of becoming an ACE, if you're helping folks please keep it (helping) up.

 

I encourage the discussion, so I'm lenient on sloppy and incomplete solutions.  As all problems aren't clearly written, so solutions are the same.  If fish are being offered, I'd like sashimi please.  I get a kick from trying alternative solution paths and seeing or testing them.  I often give my clients solutions that make the workflows easier for them to maintain rather than indulging my creativity and performance kicks.

 

IMO, my community prizes (thank you I've received many) are for the effort rather than for the quantity or quality.  My poor little Coco has been jumping on the back of my legs relentlessly while I've been standing here typing.  It is time to focus on things that really matter.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

Alteryx ACE & Top Community Contributor

Chaos reigns within. Repent, reflect and reboot. Order shall return.
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17 - Castor

Hi All,

 

This was a great discussion.

 

Just a thought on how we can solve the problem of making Best solutions surface. A design which can be added to the current system

 

Whats if the reply post have an additional option like this 

atcodedog05_1-1605952365408.png

The pro users online who are generally surfing can take a look at the post and if they feel the question is a good question and one of the answer is great answer with detailed explanation. Then the pro users can mark it as "Recommended Solution" 

 

And if a post gets 10+(some limit) Recommended Solution votes. The the reply gets highlighted like below.

So that people will get to know this is the recommended solution where they have clearly explained and helped out.

atcodedog05_2-1605952763719.png

And post in discussion board green tick can change to orange.

atcodedog05_3-1605952899900.png

And google will show Recommended instead of Solved

atcodedog05_4-1605953096095.png

 

This way we can make the Best solutions surface.

 

I dont know, its just a thought😅 

 

I do want to make best solutions surface. That would be a great learning opportunity 🙂 

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Alteryx Certified Partner

Thank you @WillM for bringing this up, there are some great answers and opinions already in this thread.

 

Since I'm a relatively new user in the community (and even newer in the discussion pages), I'm unaware of what the community or the provided solutions looked like in the past when things were less competitive. Personally, I don't consider that the quality of provided solutions necessarily degrades as competitiveness increases. 

 

As mentioned by others, a solution can never be bad and to make use of the same Fish metaphor that @atcodedog05 used, if someone's hungry (or needs a solution urgently) he/she may not be interested to learn how to fish. Also, not all users necessarily want to learn how to fish and thus, a "here's a workflow" solution may be good enough for them as additional details may seem overwhelming. Users however that wan to learn how to fish (or those that want to learn more about a solution) can and should always be encouraged to ask more questions if something was unclear in the provided solution.

 

Similarly, in my eyes the person providing the solution has the "obligation" to demystify an answer, even is he/she has already received the solve/like. After all, I'm sure that many people in this thread learned what they know today, not by receiving perfectly documented solutions but by asking and researching about things that were unclear to them in the first place. What is of most concern to me is not the quality of responses in the community but where that competitiveness may lead the community into. And I will try to explain my thinking process in as few words as possible.

 

I consider (and correct me if I am wrong) that the number of active users answering questions in the community has increased compared to the past. Not sure if the competitiveness was always the same as it is today, but nowadays all solution providers (some more than others) are in a rush to provide the correct solution first. In my opinion, that rush predominantly discourages new people from starting providing solutions to the community, since there always going to be someone faster than them, so why should they bother posting the solution in the first place as they probably won't make it on time and their solution might seem a bit redundant. So, what is left for them to do? Well, they can either give up and never contribute to the community again because it's full of people better/faster than them, or they can learn how to swim and adopt the same competitive practices as others.

 

Whatever path they decide to follow, we will probably end up with a community which is :

 

a) Really quiet with many unanswered questions, because chances are that solution providers of today contributing many many answers daily will sooner or later stop answering with the same frequency, as they will eventually reach their personal goals, set other goals which conflict with providing solution or just get saturated from providing numerous solutions per day. These extra unanswered questions will eventually be answered by some existing members of the community, or probably a couple of new faces that saw the opportunity and will then go one to dominate the leaderboards until the time of saturation comes again and the process will go on in a vicious circle;


b) you might get a community that's extremely competitive to get the solve/like, even more competitive that it is today. But if that happens, what's that going to look like to the outside world?

 

The discussions page is a space where things get solved and most of Alteryx's best users (ACEs and non-ACEs) operate there. On the other hand, the people asking the questions have different Alteryx skill levels but as Alteryx grows, more entry-level people will post questions. So to them (an outside-unbiased observer), watching Alteryx's highly skilled users competing for an accepted solution, pleading for a like or openly criticising other people solutions as incorrect so they can get the "solve" instead may give a poor impression. I personally consider that this community is (and must remain) Alteryx's window to the world and everyone operating within it should contribute to its wellbeing. Unfortunately, trying to do everything as fast as possible (and we can use the Alteryx Weekly Challenges as an example too) can set the wrong standards and may create fake expectations for people. Dominating a community space is not necessarily a bad thing, but that automatically undermines the meaning of a community so it's always good to maintain a balance to whatever we are up to.

 

I don't believe that a "Best/Optimised" solution system will reduce the competitiveness in the community rather than increase it. I believe however that the sense of competitiveness in the community can be reduced by trying to avoid behaviors mentioned in previous posts by @T_Willins , @JosephSerpis   and @EstherB47 (such as avoiding to post a similar solution after a valid response has already been posted, competing with other solution providers for the like/solve, questioning the decision of the person making the post to accept/not accept a solution and posting sloppy/incomplete solutions or pleading for a like because it just does not look good for us all). We must try to create the community we want to be a part  and leading by example is probably a more effective way than any system to disincentivize quantity of solutions.

 

PS

On second thoughts, apologies for massively failing to keep this short.

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17 - Castor

@AngelosPachis has beautifully summarized it

 

I totally agree sloppy solutions and exactly duplicate solutions should be no-excuse.

 

2 things i would like to say

 

1. Fastest solution necessarily isnt always the best solution.

2. Feel free to give feedback because it a great way to learn i have personally received alot of feedback which has helped me alot. But please provide feedback through private messages and try to avoid openly criticizing on the question post.

 

And I would still love to have a way to make "Best/Optimized" solution surface it would be a great resource for learning and improving ourselves. Looking forward to it.

 

Cheers and Happy Analyzing 😀