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Back to Moderating Microsoft Forums.

To maintain proper forum health, a thread should only reside within a forum that is the focus of a given issue, topic, or audience. For example, a Visual Basic developer question should not exist within a Microsoft Answers Windows Vista forum. Sometimes people don’t know which forum to use to ask their question, so moderators are responsible for moving threads accordingly.
This guide does not cover all possible scenarios for moving threads because determining when to move threads is very much product or technology-specific. However, here are some guidelines to help you understand the audiences for each Microsoft forum property:

·        Microsoft Answers

o   Consumer – End users who use computers at home. These are generally novice users with limited to moderate experience.

o   Prosumer/Technical Enthusiast –These users are more advanced than a general consumer. These users typically have high-end computers, are very familiar with the latest consumer electronics (Zune, iPod, Digital Cameras, etc.). However, this group is specifically not an IT Professional. In other words, this group does not perform any IT function in a professional capacity.

o   IT Pro at home – This is an IT Professional who has a professional “day job” in the IT field, but has the typical needs of a home user. Topics that are discussed by an IT Pro at home include discussions of audio/video and Media Center.

·        TechNet – IT Professional (IT Pro) that is responsible for some facet of computers in a professional capacity in a work environment. IT Pros generally manage and perform large scale deployments of software to multiple desktops. IT Pro topics include those discussions that would take place at work. Typical tasks that consumers perform are generally not performed by IT Pros in the workplace. Such tasks include sharing photos and using Media Center.

·        MSDN – Software Developer that is concerned with developing applications and hardware or software drivers for the target platform.


Any thread that does not conform to the correct audience for a forum property should be moved. However, the Microsoft Answers forums are on a different platform (known as the PQO platform) from MSDN and TechNet (known as the STO platform). Therefore, if the guidance above indicates that you need to move threads between (Microsoft Answers and TechNet) or (Microsoft Answers and MSDN), follow this procedure:

1.      Reply to the user with the following example text template, but should be customized according to your specific situation or scenario:

<Forum user>

Your Windows 7 question is more complex than what is typically answered in the Microsoft Answers forums. It is better suited for the IT Pro audience on TechNet. Please post your question in the TechNet Windows 7 Networking forum.


<Moderator signature>

2.      Have another moderator mark this post as the answer and close/lock the thread.

Except for inappropriate audiences, deciding when to move threads is specific to a technology, so many of the specifics about moving threads cannot be discussed in this document. If you have a question about whether a thread should be moved, escalate the issue.

When you move a thread, when prompted for a reason, it is best to give enough detail to help moderators in the new forum and to minimize efforts. For example, if you move a Windows 7 thread to the Windows Update forum, it is helpful to indicate the thread came from the Windows 7 forum so the target moderators won't have to ask for the Windows client version.

3.      When you are the moderator who moves a thread, update the metadata information.

When a thread is moved between Microsoft Answers, the metadata (Product and OS versions) information is lost. This may cause difficulties to community user's who answer the thread. So it is the responsibilty of the moderator, who moves the thread, to update the metadata information after the movement

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