I just retagged a very simple question about how to calculate a percentage that was tagged as calculus, logic and "number".

The user only registered today.

Is there a way to add a feature that when a user with low reputation, or new, or first time posting to some tag (or some nice combination of these) that before you can actually post you are presented with the wiki excerpt of the tags you use.

This, combined with maybe having a "weekend of tags" in which the community will uphold a project to write tag wikis - at least for the front page tags, we can help better categorization from the users without high rep/mods running after users and cleaning up the mess.

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    $\begingroup$ We can't control such features. Questions like this are for meta.SO. $\endgroup$ – Qiaochu Yuan Apr 17 '11 at 18:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Qiaochu: I am aware of that, this thread also brings up the idea of the "weekend of tags" which I do believe has something to do with this portion of the SE network. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Apr 17 '11 at 18:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf: I felt screamed at when I read the title. $\endgroup$ – Rasmus Apr 17 '11 at 18:18
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    $\begingroup$ @Rasmus: You don't have much experience talking to Israeli folks do you? ;-) And on a slightly more serious note, I felt like screaming every time I encountered questions that were tagged by three to five tags neither of which had anything to do with the contents of the question. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Apr 17 '11 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Rasmus: No, my first name is Asaf. I meant that Israeli people are notorious being very loud and rowdy at times. :-) $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Apr 17 '11 at 18:37
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, I see. Good to know that. ;) $\endgroup$ – Rasmus Apr 17 '11 at 18:46

The best thing you can do here is make sure the tag wiki excerpts are populated and explain what each tag is for -- that is, which questions should have specific tags.

As you specify tags, they appear below the tag entry area; mousing over them, as on any page with any tag, will display the tag wiki excerpt.

tag wiki excerpt on mouseover

Take a look at https://math.stackexchange.com/tags and see if any of your favorite tags could use some improvement. At a minimum I recommend that all the page 1 tags have decent tag wiki excerpts.


There is some detailed guidance on writing tag wiki excerpts there.

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    $\begingroup$ That is why I brought the idea here, obviously the tag wiki excerpts are under the responsibility of the community, however a nice feature would be that if a user with rep <500 or <250 or whatever posts first time into some tag (for example, the first time a users posts under (logic) - a common mistag by newcomers) a transitional screen with the excerpts (including possible links to the tag page or so, maybe) of those tags being used for the first time will appear, urging the user to read them and think whether or not they fit his question. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Apr 18 '11 at 18:39
  • $\begingroup$ @asaf it's tricky; I don't disagree, but there is the sunk cost fallacy to deal with. That is, by the time you tell them it might be "too late" and they will plow forward regardless. $\endgroup$ – Jeff Atwood Apr 19 '11 at 16:55
  • $\begingroup$ I see your point, in many cases a user might be in state of despair not knowing which tags to use. An alternative (which is much harder to implement, though) is to analyze the question and based on the text show some alternative. E.g. if there question has the words 'percents' or 'change' suggest probability or such, if TeX tags involving summations or integrals suggest something else. Or just create a dynamic database of "first time mislabels" (which the community can help create initially) and offer alternatives from that based on the tags used by the OP. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Apr 20 '11 at 11:08

After you accrue 10k+ reputation, you get access to the tools menu, which has, among other things, a list of the most recently created tags. Users with 10k+ reputation can use this list to help police new tags.

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    $\begingroup$ This is not what I am talking about. Neither of the tags originally used on the question I mentioned are new in any way. I am talking about new users rather than new tags. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Apr 17 '11 at 18:18
  • $\begingroup$ New users sometimes introduce new tags. This is at least a partial solution to those new tags being bad. $\endgroup$ – Qiaochu Yuan Apr 17 '11 at 20:13
  • $\begingroup$ The issue is more users abusing existing tags. @Asaf: my answer here to another question can equally well apply: this really is something that the community as a whole need to be more vigilant about. If everybody who reads/comments/answers a question will pause and ask himself whether the tags applied are really appropriate, I think this problem will just go away automatically. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 17 '11 at 20:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Willie: I have to say that sometimes these things are not enough. Furthermore, teaching newcomers that they can mistag and someone will clean up is not a good idea. Instead writing comprehensive tag wikis (as I suggested make it into a community project over a weekend, or so) and with some help from the SE overlords to add a code feature which shouldn't be very hard to implement (in all likelihood, anyway) - we as a community can help ourselves as well as the newcomers. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Apr 17 '11 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Asaf: good point. I hadn't thought in that direction. Though I am certainly pessimistic about expecting new users to actually read the tag wikis. One problem, I think, on this site is that there are too many tags. Every now and then I do a spur of clean up, but it is rather mindless and tiring. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Apr 17 '11 at 21:54
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    $\begingroup$ @Willie: Which is why I say we as a community have to make sure there are tag wikis. Jeff and the rest of the SE crew need to enforce displaying them when needed. (for example, a user - say with rep. <500 - posting a first question in some tag will first be displayed the wiki excerpt of that tag) I do believe that this sort of feature will be useful in other communities as well push the use of tag wikis further. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Apr 17 '11 at 22:19

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