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In several discussions here on meta, one user expressed the opinion, that every new tag (or at least most of them) should be discussed on meta before creating.

For example here

There is a saying that it's easier to apologize later than get permission first. I disagree with that when it comes to new tags. When I see a new tag which wasn't discussed on meta first, I will almost always delete it. Especially if I wouldn't be 168% sure that I'd agree with having that tag on the site.

Let me say a few comments on this:

  • I do not think this is really necessary if the tag-creator is confident that the tag is useful. (They might be wrong, but probably someone will ping them or make a post on meta, if they disagree.)
  • I do not know whether it is advisable to increase the number of posts about here on meta. Already at this moment the posts about such topics do not get too much attention. Making a post about each newly creation tag would make the situation a little worse. So in my opinion we should use meta posts only for problematic ones: If a user wants to create tag, but they are not completely sure. If a user wants to remove a tag created by someone else, but they are not completely sure. (This agrees with Willie Wong's answer here. Admittedly, the site has grown since then, so new tags might be a bigger problem now, since there are more users to create them.)
  • Perhaps some discussions could be made in tagging chatroom instead of meta?
  • I think that even if the community consensus is that every new tag should be discussed first, maybe we can make an exception for tags on meta. (Quite often they are copies of tag-names from meta.SE, where these tags have already been established.)
  • If the community consensus is that every new tag should be discussed here on meta, the users who do not read meta will not follow this guideline. But we can still point them to this thread. (Or perhaps create a or post on creation new tags. Maybe such post already exists?)

To summarize:

Should every newly created tag be discussed on meta? Or is it sufficient to make posts on meta only when there are some doubts whether a tag is going to be really useful?

When discussing creation of tags, it is natural to ask also the dual question:

Should removal of a newly created tag (with the exception of obvious typos) be always discussed on meta?

(I think that there is no doubt that a tag which already contains many questions should be discussed on meta before removing it; so I restricted this only to relatively recent tags.)


Related older posts:

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    $\begingroup$ Just my two cents: I think every new tag should be discussed on meta, and every removal of a tag should also be discussed. That way no one can say you're being capricious. (Or maybe they can, they just wouldn't be justified in doing so). For example, what happened to the sudoku tag? $\endgroup$ – Robert Soupe Oct 22 '14 at 1:15
  • $\begingroup$ @RobertSoupe Why not posting your comment as an answer? Then other users can upvote/downvote the answer and we would see what the community consensus is. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Oct 22 '14 at 6:42
  • $\begingroup$ Alright, since you put it that way. $\endgroup$ – Robert Soupe Oct 23 '14 at 0:39
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I don't think it is reasonable to discuss every new tag on meta. Good-faith efforts to create meaningful, though local, tags should not have to go through a committee.

There are certain circumstances when a meta-discussion would be more mandatory. For instance, if a new tag is proposed that might warrant a large re-tagging effort, or may directly impact some neighbouring tags. (I actually have a couple of nascent ideas for tags along these lines that I don't have the time to further study at the moment.) I believe the situation fit these criteria, and although a discussion was started, it wasn't very active. If this is the community reaction to the possible creation of a larger tag (I imagine that there are hundreds of existing questions which could be so tagged, although only 11 are at this moment), the discussion surrounding the creation of local tags is sure to be even more subdued, and is unlikely to result in anything resembling a consensus.

That said, it should be incumbent on the tag-creator to fill in a tag-excerpt and at least a stub of a tag-wiki mentioning the scope of the tag shortly after its creation. New tags lacking either of these are probably fair game for quick removal (although many of our largest tags don't have a tag-wiki to speak of). The tag-creator should probably also make an effort to demonstrate the value of the tag by adding it to some reasonable number of existing questions. (A well-reasoned meta-argument about the value of a tag doesn't mean much if it's not put into practice.)

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  • $\begingroup$ You wrote: That said, it should be incumbent on the tag-creator to fill in a tag-excerpt and at least a stub of a tag-wiki mentioning the scope of the tag shortly after its creation. This is exactly I would like to see in help/faq on tag creation. (If we want to create such thing or already have one.) For this particular point it should also be explained there that users should not be afraid to create tag-wiki even if they are below 20k; the tag-wiki will have to go through review, but that should not stop them. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Oct 9 '14 at 7:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin: Yes, a "when to create a tag" faq may be very useful. Before embarking on this we may have to examine what sorts of tags are actually useful here. I'm not of the opinion that a tag must have hundreds of questions to be useful. Rather, its applicability (or not) to a given question should be more-or-less obvious. Between the large area-tags and the very specific tags I feel there is a mushy middle which often fails this criterion. $\endgroup$ – user642796 Oct 9 '14 at 9:07
  • $\begingroup$ Arthur, every new tag essentially warrants large retagging efforts. I do agree with your last paragraph, though. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Oct 9 '14 at 10:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Asaf: I can think of at least a few (IMHO) useful tags that wouldn't require a large retagging effort (though I don't think that 100 questions is a large retagging effort, which may be a point of difference). $\endgroup$ – user642796 Oct 10 '14 at 8:20
  • $\begingroup$ I find 50 questions to be a large retagging effort. I do agree that some tags are reasonable without having 50 questions; but some are justified only when a certain amount of questions exists to begin with. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Oct 10 '14 at 10:01
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I think every new tag should be discussed on meta, and every removal of a tag should also be discussed. That way no one can say you're being capricious. (Or maybe they can, they just wouldn't be justified in doing so). For example, what happened to the sudoku tag?

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for posting the answer. I see that you chose (sudoku) tag as an example. If needed, we can continue the discussion about this tag in chat or you can post a separate meta question. (What happened to it? Did it really exist? Do we want to introduce such tag?) But it is a good example of what you are concerned about, so it was useful to mention in. (Probably there can be found several other examples of tags that have been removed without any discussion on meta/in chat.) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Oct 23 '14 at 5:18

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