This page is part of the Moderating Microsoft Forums series.

The Microsoft forums platform allows for two types of threads:

·        Discussion Threads – Threads that contain a conversation, but does not require a specific answer to a question. Discussion threads cannot be answered and therefore do not contribute to the answer rate.

·        Question Threads – Threads that require an answer from the community or Microsoft.

To promote forum health, it is important for moderators to properly manage thread types. This entails changing discussion threads to question threads when the thread actually contains a question. A discussion thread that contains a question, but is not changed to a question type, may never receive an answer. This can create dissatisfaction in the forums.
Managing thread types also requires changing question threads that don’t actually ask a question to a discussion thread. If this is not done, these situations will exist:

1.      The opportunity to find a solution may be negatively impacted because the question thread may not receive an answer.

2.      Original poster may feel dissatisfied.

3.      Answers will be hard to find.

Similarly, a question thread that does not actually contain a question, such as the case where a poster wants to express an opinion, will never be answered so it should be changed to a discussion thread.

Guidance

The thread type cannot be determined solely by the title. Moderators must read the original post to determine if the original poster is actually asking a question that needs to be answered and make a judgment accordingly. Clues as to whether a poster is might be asking a question include statements like:

·        “Any help would be appreciated”

·        “Thanks in advance for your help”

·        “Can someone explain?”

·        “Suggestions?”

Note: Just because the thread title or original post contains a question mark (“?”) does not mean the thread type should be a question (see examples below).

 

Examples

Current Thread
Type
Thread Data
Guidance
Discussion Thread
Title
802.11n not working on new netbook
 
Thread Text
I just bought a new Gateway LT2104U netbook running Windows 7 Starter. It has an Atheros AR5B95 wireless card in it, which is supposed to be b/g/n, but I can only connect to my "G" network. Can't even see my "N" network. I have updated the driver with no help.
 
I have a simultaneous dual band Linksys router WRT400N. Can connect to it ok on XP laptop on either G ssid or N ssid....
Neither the title nor the thread text contains an actual question, but the user clearly has a problem that he/she is trying to solve.
 
This thread should be changed from a discussion thread to a question thread so it informs the community that an answer is needed.
Question
Thread
Title
Low Disk Space Warning Issue
 
Thread Text
This feature is useless since windows XP. Guys you should make a poll if there is anybody who ever used this disk clean up thing. The poll would show you how much user have lost their datas using this service. And its annoying. Unable to turn off, only via editing registry.  Just think about it! thanks. :)
Neither the title nor the thread text contains an actual question. The poster is just expressing an opinion.
 
This thread should be changed from a question thread to a discussion thread so it informs the community that no answer is needed.
 
Another situation that may call for changing a thread from a question to a discussion is when the user asks a question that is appropriate for a forum on a different platform, in other words, a question that cannot simply be moved. This case is covered in the guidance on Moving Threads

 
Back to Moderating Microsoft Forums.


Other Languages