According to SEDE, we have 104 unique tags for our 244 questions. Almost one out of five of the questions is tagged with and almost one out of seven is tagged with . Only one of those two has a wiki entry.

This is the same statistic for the first page of tags (sorted by popularity): over half of the tags don't have wiki entries. It gets worse on the subsequent pages of tags.

Let's improve the tag guidance for at least our top tags. The tags listed below are from our most popular tags and don't contain any guidance.

  • - This is our most popular tag, with 46 questions. Many of the questions with this tag boil down to "How do I handle a user that does X?" Is this the correct tag for this type of question, or should these questions have more specific tags?

  • - This tag has 18 existing questions. It was created out of a merge between and . The type of questions in this tag seem varied from how to handle individual user issues to how to improve user engagement to general policy guidance.

  • - This tag has 14 existing questions. The questions in this tag seem to mostly reflect a "How do I grow my user base". I think this tag just needs a little wiki love, most of the questions appear to fit. There are a couple of questions that may not fit with this tag though.

  • - This tag has 13 questions. It's closely related has an additional 4. I'm not sure how to handle these. seems to have more technical questions. 3 out of the 4 are also tagged with . The has a variety of questions, many tangentially touching on forum utilization, but often trying to solve a general community problem. I think these two tags need some clarification and once that's done, some of the questions with these tags may lose one or both of them.

  • - This tag has 12 questions. It seems pretty well defined in terms of the questions associated with the tag. I think we just need some wiki love here too.

  • - This tag has 11 questions. The questions in this tag seem to be a variation of "How do I increase user participation". I think we need some wiki love here too. This question may not belong in the tag though. I don't think it's a "participation" question.

  • - This tag has 7 questions. The questions in this tag do not seem to revolve around a consistent theme. Some of the questions are about finding moderators. Some are about how a moderator should interact with users. Others are about how moderators should deal with inaccuracies within the community. This tag needs clarification and some of the questions need to be categorized. There is also a suggestion to kill the tag completely. I am not opposed to this action.

  • - This tag also has 7 questions. A majority of the questions deal with how to interact with the highest power in a community. However, some of the questions do not fall into this general categorization.

I've listed our 8 most popular tags without wiki guidance on how to utilize them. What are your opinions on how they are utilized? For the ones that don't appear to be utilized consistently, how can we categorize those questions to fit better?

I'd also be interested in hearing what tags you think should exist but don't. Perhaps those non-existent tags could help categorize our questions more effectively.


4 Answers 4


Duplicate Tags: (, except vs. )

There are a lot of tags that should be combined.

Proposal (to vote on):

In addition, there are a lot of tags about moderator methodologies. These all cover one basic topic: how to moderate your moderators. Suggestion: merge all of these into :

  • Merging these, in combination with Monica's answer may take care of some of the "bad users" tags
    – Andy Mod
    Feb 7, 2015 at 13:23
  • 1
    I'm not sure on start-up vs small communities. There is a difference between a currently small group that is designed to be larger and high growth vs a small community that is designed to start and stay small.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    Feb 7, 2015 at 15:06
  • 2
    I'm not sure about real-life vs physical-communities. There is a difference between issues that occur as a result of real life issues or conflicts vs necessarily being a physical community.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    Feb 7, 2015 at 15:07
  • 1
    @AJHenderson RE: start-up vs. small communities: I mostly agree, although I feel like start-up should be something more like new-communities. Feb 7, 2015 at 16:29
  • @AJHenderson RE: real-life vs. physical-communities: they seem like they would be used interchangeably, and we can't rely on tag wikis for people to always know the difference. Plus, what is the advantage of that one tag? I can only see a handful of events that would need that tag. Feb 7, 2015 at 16:30
  • 3
    I agree with some of these but not others, making voting hard. What's the best way to provide that kind of feedback? Feb 8, 2015 at 0:00
  • 1
    I agree with merging reputation and karma into gamification, but I'm not sure about voting. Voting is gamification but it's also public ratings -- that is, votes (more than any other game elements) help the readers more than the posters. So we might want to keep that separate, at least for now. Feb 8, 2015 at 2:38
  • On the user-behavior cluster, I think conflict-resolution is a separate thing. Note that bullying can be done by users and mods, and I'm pretty sure we've got a couple of questions about the latter, though perhaps a moderator-behavior tag (parallel with user-behavior) would be better. On the other hand, vague. Hmm. Feb 8, 2015 at 2:40
  • 1
    If you're proposing merging bans and hellbans into disciplinary-actions, I agree. Feb 8, 2015 at 2:41
  • 1
    The last cluster could all be collapsed into a single "moderators" tag, now that that's not the name of our site. Choosing them, training them, handling issues with them, how they work together... all one bucket with our current site scope. Feb 8, 2015 at 2:42
  • @Monica I thought of splitting them up into a ton of answers to vote on, but that probably would have cluttered the page too much. I can still do that, though. (also: Please note it is a community wiki for a reason) Feb 8, 2015 at 5:49

Most of our tags date from the time we were Moderators, not Community Building, and I often feel like I can't quite find the right tags for a question -- but if I knew what tags we needed I'd just make them. We should create (or improve) wikis for the tags we use, but I wonder if we should look at our tag ontology from a higher level first. For example, moderators refer to "users" but I'm not sure plain old community members do; maybe we should be thinking about "members", "participants", "curators", "moderators"...? And maybe instead of "rules-and-policies" (merger acknowledged there) and "problem-users" we should be thinking about specific areas, like "intellectual-property" (plagiarism, copyright) and "bullying" (we have that) and other things that communities make rules/policies about.

I don't have specific proposals and I'm not sure how we should discuss this, but it feels like we should, somehow.

  • I think you are right. Most, if not all, of our tags reflect the moderators viewpoint and were created before the change. I really like the idea of more common "community building" tags. The idea of more specific tags related to policies is a good one too. I think it is much more likely that someone is going to Google "how to deal with plagiarism in a community" than "community rules and policies". It is a much more specific and concrete problem they want ideas on.
    – Andy Mod
    Feb 7, 2015 at 4:00
  • For your last sentence: I don't think that we can simply clean up the tags in one round. I'm hoping (with my answers I posted) that we can start weeding out some of the obvious duplicates and meta-tags so we have a smaller list of tags to refine. Feb 7, 2015 at 6:08
  • @AnnonomusPenguin right, tag-cleanup is an iterative process. We won't do it all at once. Feb 8, 2015 at 2:35

"Hopeless Tags:" ()

Some tags that I think are highly localized:

  • - The only question tagged with this has no other tags. What is an appropriate replacement? DONE
  • DONE
  • : not quite sure about this one but it's kinda vague and it could be replaced with something a lot more specific DONE
  • : I don't see any purpose of this tag that would make it easier to find a question... DONE
  • The one question that is currently tagged "abuse" could be instead tagged "conflict-resolution". Feb 8, 2015 at 23:20
  • 3
    Each of these tags currently has one question, so retagging won't have widespread impact. Let's do it. Feb 8, 2015 at 23:21
  • It looks like ignore-list is the only one remaining. Suggestions on an alternative? The question it's associated with only has the one tag.
    – Andy Mod
    Feb 9, 2015 at 4:28
  • @Andy per-user-customizations? Site-design (it's a UX question, in a way)? Feb 9, 2015 at 4:42
  • @Andy perhaps we need a UX tag? It seems like grouping those into one tag wouldn't be that evil... Feb 10, 2015 at 23:03

Platform Specific Tags: ()

Idea: nuke all the platform-specific tags. We don't allow technology questions, so I don't see why we need tags like or . Instead, we should have questions on the context (i.e. or ).

They aren't useful, since the actual software shouldn't matter unless dealing with how to use a piece of software. In that case, it's off topic anyway, so it should be closed.

So, proposal (to vote on):

I'm pretty sure I can set up the mod tools so, whenever someone tries to tag it with , it will automatically replace it with the tag.

  • 2
    The only bullet I'm not entirely sure I agree with is the renaming everything to forums. Are we sure that platform isn't important? Alternatively, do we have some questions tagged reddit that are off topic?
    – Andy Mod
    Feb 7, 2015 at 13:14
  • Example One - The comments acknowledge both dual narrow/broad scope of this question. It is how limitations of migrating from a forum to reddit
    – Andy Mod
    Feb 7, 2015 at 13:15
  • Example Two - This one is about encouraging users to report properly, in the context, of reddit. The answer provided is fairly generic, but does offer a couple reddit specific guidelines.
    – Andy Mod
    Feb 7, 2015 at 13:16
  • Example Three - This one asks how to protect against blog spam on reddit. The answer provided (full disclosure: It's mine) provides a technical option. There is probably a more generic answer available, but since the question was asked in the context of reddit, that is what I provided.
    – Andy Mod
    Feb 7, 2015 at 13:20
  • @Andy I'm not entirely sure what I do think of making these tags more broad (I added this question to prompt discussion). I feel like we're putting too much emphasis on the platform, not the site. A solution that would work Wikipedia should work on a Github wiki with the same exact problem, so why choose to single out single platforms and create unnecessary emphasis on the platform? At the same time, we do need to work within the confines of the tools of a platform, so that could be helpful to include the tag... Feb 7, 2015 at 16:36
  • 2
    "They aren't useful, since the actual software shouldn't matter unless dealing with how to use a piece of software." I disagree with this assertion. It would be reasonable if all communities shared the same culture, and had a universal set of standards. As it is, this is not the case, and I wouldn't be able to continue asking questions here because platform-agnostic answers aren't of much value to me. Maybe that is the direction that you guys want to take the site, but I think starting from a place where all questions/answers should be platform-agnostic is a flawed premise. Feb 7, 2015 at 22:48
  • 2
    Even using the example of the Wikipedia and GitHub wiki, is it really correct that problems should be solved the same in both communities? Does the userbase of these communities share standards for conflict resolution, wiki management, etc.? Certainly the tools and infrastructure could be similar, but the communities that exist on these sites could contextually be very different. An action on the GitHub wiki may not also be appropriate on Wikipedia, and vise-versa. Feb 7, 2015 at 22:52
  • @HyperAnthony no, that is not what I meant. Tags are to make questions easy to find and, by creating a tag for each platform, we require people to look through handfuls of tags instead of one. You can say people can add both the broad and the specific tag, but in practice, that never works. Platform is important, but I don't think it is in the context of tags, personally. Feb 8, 2015 at 5:13
  • 2
    @AnnonomusPenguin I agree with Hyper Anthony. The differences among Stack Exchange, Reddit, and game servers are not just technical matters of platform; they involve different cultural norms and an answer that's appropriate for SE might be exactly wrong for a game server or a Facebook group. If the question is actually general then it should also get a general tag like web-forum or voting or trolls or whatever the question is about, but there's no reason to omit the platform in cases where it's actually relevant. Feb 8, 2015 at 5:37
  • @MonicaCellio OK, but there is only a correlation between platform/community when the site uses in-house software. Having a PHPBB tag lets me know nothing about the community, and I don't see it worthwhile to grant "my-awesome-forum" tags. I'm not opposed to having specific tags, but I don't see how to regulate it. I must be missing something here :) Feb 8, 2015 at 6:11
  • And clarification: I'm saying platform isn't important... in the tags only. Yes, the wiki was a bad example (my apologies for the confusion). Feb 8, 2015 at 6:23
  • @AnnonomusPenguin I that only certain platforms rate tags. If PHPBB is an implementation only (I don't know it so can't say), then that'd be like having a tag for some specific web server or something -- I agree that's not helpful. But communities on Stack Exchange, Reddit, and Facebook (as examples) all have to fit into a given framework and tend to have certain cultural expectations in common, so tags for those make sense to me. We'll also have generic ones like "discussion-forum" and "email" ("email-list"?) and "game-server" (that might not be the right name). Does that make sense? Feb 8, 2015 at 17:27
  • @MonicaCellio but what makes Stack Exchange so special that it gets its own tag? That's what I'm trying to address... there isn't a "firefox-development" tag on Stack Overflow, nor is there a "google" tag on The Workplace. That's what I'm trying to figure out. Feb 8, 2015 at 18:33
  • 3
    @AnnonomusPenguin Stack Exchange has 135 communities that all operate on a common platform, with common actions available to users, and with common expectations of users. A question about gamification on your own site, where you can change the badges, milestones, etc, will be different from one about gamification on an SE site, so that's an important piece of information. Maybe it only belongs in the question body and not the tags, but my gut feeling is that SE, Reddit, and Facebook are all big enough, and different enough from "average", to rate tags. Feb 8, 2015 at 18:38

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