I'm surprised to read what a co-founder of Stack Exchange thinks about the tagging system. From meta.discourse.org :
we saw on Stack Exchange that
- Users don't understand how to navigate via tags
- Average users tend to tag incorrectly, when they do tag
- Even advanced users have strong disagreements about tagging
- Get enough tags and you start needing a tag "hierarchy" and it's hellishly complicated to understand
- Tag synonyms must exist, or things get ugly fast
- The more tags you allow per (item) the worse all the above problems get
Tagging is not a system I am particularly fond of, based on four years eating, sleeping, living, and breathing a tagging system in Stack Exchange as the co-founder. YMMV.
My main observation is that if I were to do Stack Exchange over again, I would allow a maximum of three tags, not five. Because most people can agree:
- This thing is definitely CATEGORY1.
And there is general consensus around
- This thing is also very likely CATEGORY2
But once you get to that third thing..
- This thing is maybe perhaps also CATEGORY3???
.. It's really sketchy.
Well, I just wanted to react on this, that I almost never see any problem with the tagging system at MSE. But I'm not sure if this is true. At least when I browse the meta here, I don't see much people complaining. I'm interested about what the "community" at MSE thinks about the tag system. The 2 main reasons tags are useful is I think:
- People that find a tag interesting, can easily search for question with that tag.
- It gives a short description of what the question is about, if you are browsing questions.
Out of that I can't conclude that it would be better to have maximum 3 tags, instead of 5 tags. The only problems I have with the tag system is that is not intuitive how to hide specific tags, and that the search box doesn't autocomplete if you search for tags. But that is a different topic.
I'm interested if users here also disagree, or agree with with what Jeff Atwood thinks about the tagging system at Stack Exchange.