Since we only have 23 tags that have over 200 questions (but 4 that are close to that) and about 3 close to bronze-tag-possible status (100 questions), perhaps we have a "Theme" of the week, to push questions?

No prizes, but perhaps a little community encouragement?

I'd propose we alternate between a week of a nearly-200Q tag, a week of a 50-80Qs tag, a week of a near-100Qs, and then another week of 50-80s? When there are more mid-100s, they can get a week in there too. Get a few across the finish line, and slowly work on "bulking up" some of the other categories?

This may also help us not have a precipitous DROP from the question drive contest, and demonstrate a sustainable level?

I just checked Area 51, and at 10:55AM(EDST), our Q average has dropped to 9.7

  • 2
    While I have no objections and will likely participate, I can say I'm exhausted after this contest and am finding it hard to just go through all the Writing.SE questions. It's a great idea, I just need a break. Am I the only one?
    – Cyn
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 14:42
  • 5
    @Cyn I do second that (I'm not giving even my own questions the attention they'd deserve). Yet on some level we should try to keep momentum for the next month. The tag of the week could be a relatively low effort thing to do.
    – Liquid
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 15:07

8 Answers 8


I strongly agree. I'll add my two cents to what Galastel already said.

The contest made us write more question than usual on less-hot tags, and we do have a lot of those. Promoting tag diversity will, in the end, contribute to have a better site alltogether (having generic, widely used tags like , and so on is well and good, but they end up being less informative).

There are good questions to be made on those tags. Having a "tag-of-the-week" could be usefull as inspiration and as a reminder to us.

Before the contest, I only asked questions more or less related to what I was writing about, simply because I found myself in the common loop:

-> write something -> a doubt comes up -> ask Writers SE.

I suspect that this might be the question-creating process for many of us. While it's not bad and there's nothing wrong with it, it can get to the same tags being used over and over.

The tag of the week could remind us that there are other subjects worth discussing. I mean, I've been writing a novel in the last year - it's unlikely that you will see me asking about , , . Yet just because I don't need a question right now, it doesn't mean it could not be useful in the future.

There are good minds in this SE, it's about time we start putting them to work on a wider range of topics.


A "weekly tag challenge" would help us build up the diversity of our site along with keeping the good content going. Sounds like a great idea!

We should be mindful of "contest fatigue". I think after the push of the last month we might need some time for "unstructured play", so to speak -- do keep asking and answering questions (of course!), but maybe we shouldn't jump right back into tracking and tallying and worrying about which tags we're using and stuff. On the other hand, we have some momentum now, so maybe jumping right in with something lightweight makes sense? Pick a tag, put up a meta post, invite people to link to questions they ask, see what happens?

Mi Yodeya used to have a weekly topic challenge (it was tag-based), and other sites have done so as well. We eventually found that weekly was too much; it looks like biweekly challenges are more common (among sites that do challenges). Even those die out after a while; I don't know whether it's better to do a biweekly challenge for as long as it lasts or to have shorter bursts (like the contest we just had) -- maybe we do weekly tag challenges for a few weeks and then take a few weeks off, and then do it again?

I'm not sure what the best way to structure something like this is. I like the idea of doing some sort of focused challenges around tags, and I want us to allow for the "white space" along with the words -- along with challenges we need times when we're not running challenges, I think, for long-term growth.

(We also used to have weekly writing challenges, first in chat and then here on meta. Maybe we want to bring those back into some sort of rotation of community events?)

  • 3
    Maybe we should first let it cool down a bit so that we can go to the MSE discussions about graduation and say "Here, the contest was a month ago and our stats are still going strong." So maybe a monthly challenge running for a week or two? Or switching between asking and general writing challenges to allow for more diversity in the challenges and prevent contest fatigue while still giving visitors some interesting things to look at when they come across the site and regulars different types of challenges to keep everyone entertained. Variety is good for keeping people engaged.
    – Secespitus
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 15:48

It's a good idea. I have joined a community as a beginner in writing, and surely have less experience. But I really want to increase my participation by even answering some of the questions of the topic I know about.

Drives like these are necessary because I as a user am finding no unanswered questions at all! All (any new question that is asked) gets answered beautifully almost instantly. The more question (hopefully) means the more chance to answer. (And so more rep hunting, badges, privileges etc :p)

I know I can self publish my Q&A - answering the same question I posted...But well I don't like to do this.


My suggestion for how it would work -- keeping it low key, more of an "inspiration" than a "contest" - a single Featured Meta Post.

Title: Tag of the Week - "name of tag"


Keep asking the questions that occur to you and tag them appropriately! We love that!


If you'd like to help Writing.SE grow, we could use your help coming up with strong questions for some of our less-used tags. If nothing occurs to you, that's fine. If you come up with a question weeks later, that's still fine! We'd just like you to take a minute and see if you have any questions (even self-answer ones!) about this week's tag.

April 3 - April 9: [Tag from that week]
April 10 - April 16: [that second tag]

Just adding lines at the bottom, changing the title. I chose mid-week, but whatever is easiest for a moderator or whomever to update consistently.

If someone WANTS to get all number crunchy, they could indicate how much it grew and if it hit milestones,

April 10 - April 16: Screenwriting (went from 191 to 205 -- helps W.SE get generalist!
April 17 - April 23: MLA (from 80 to 83)
August 7 - August 13: MLA (from 97 to 102 -- it can now earn badges!)

but that's not at all necessary.

  • 4
    Sounds good! Small suggestion: in the first paragraph, instead of "BUT...", consider "And, in addition..." or similar. This is a "yes, and" situation, not a "yes, but" one, if you see what I mean. Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 14:44
  • 2
    Perhaps it would be better to include a group of unrelated tags each week? That way people who don't know anything about the tag of the week can participate on a different tag. It should also get us to the generalist more quickly.
    – linksassin Mod
    Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 23:24
  • 4
    If we alternate between writing and asking challenges, as someone else suggested Then we can do tag related writing challenges as well. Getting people to write in a tag will lead to them asking questions they suddenly find they need the answer to.
    – Summer
    Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 2:11

Physical prizes are not necessary, but bragging rights for "winning" are strong encouragement.

Liquid mentions here the sense of community that the competition helped foster, and I very much agree with him.

I don't see a reason why not to have a tag-of-the-week thing.
In fact, I believe Mi Yodya have something very similar with Parashat ha-Shavua (weekly Torah portion), with the relevant tags always listed in "upcoming events".


Using this answer to keep track of the tags we are promoting each week. April's idea has been very successful so far. We've:

  • Increased total questions
  • Added new questions to the targeted tags
  • Increased engagement with the site
  • Added questions to the tags via retagging efforts

As of the beginning of April, these are the tags that were in the top 40 tags but did not yet have 200 questions. The count as of April 2nd is listed, followed by the count on May 19th (with new updates less likely now that this tag push is over). Along with notes.

  • × 197 — now 211, OVER 200!
  • × 194 — now 205, OVER 200!
  • × 178 — now 194, tag of the week April 1-7
  • × 182 — now 207, tag of the week May 13-19, OVER 200!
  • × 165 — now 185, tag of the week April 15-21
  • × 160 — now 176, tag of the week May 6-12
  • × 156 — now 192, tag of the week May 6-12
  • × 149 — now 162, tag of the week April 29-May 5
  • × 138 — now 148, tag of the week April 1-7
  • × 138 — now 157, tag of the week April 22-28
  • × 138 — now 151, tag of the week April 22-28
  • × 134 — now 148 tag of the week April 15-21
  • × 133 — now 155, tag of the week April 8-14
  • × 121 — now 181, tag of the week May 13-19
  • × 119 — turned into a synonym of
  • × 118 — now 140, tag of the week April 29-May 5
  • × 117 — now 186, tag of the week April 8-14

  • So we have no... 26(?) over 200? What is the goal to make the graduation gods happier? 40? Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 14:00
  • 5
    @April The goal is 40 over 200 so we'll be eligible for the Generalist badge (I'm one who will get it immediately once it's on offer...you need a score of 15+ in any 20 of the top 40 tags). It's a milestone for a stack. The graduation gods are indifferent. No amount of worship or sacrifice moves them. They bestow their favors almost randomly. I fear I am a Stack Exchange agnostic.
    – Cyn
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 14:08

We are now (close to) done with our Tags of the Week promo, for focusing on the top 40 tags that do not yet have 200 questions.

We started with 17 such tags.

  • 2 graduated before they became tags of the week.
  • 1 was made a synonym of a tag that already had > 200 questions.
  • For the remaining 14, they were tags of the week in pairs, on 7 consecutive weeks. The last pair started today and will end midnight (SE time) on Sunday, May 19th.

I will be taking a break from running promos after compiling the results at the end of this week. I did 6 weeks of the 7 and linksassin did 1.

If someone wishes to continue with tags in other categories (as April suggested), you have my support. Feel free to borrow from the promo text I created, or not.

If you'd like a suggestion of a tag to focus on, try . Since became a synonym of , it's taking up a space in the tags list but won't actually count as one of the top 40. is currently listed as #41.

  • I think we should keep it going, and broaden our tag options. Particularly those just shy of 100 for tag badges. Perhaps we should start having 1 high usage and one low each week, or no guidance and just see what happens. After a while we could even redo the same tags that haven't quite got over the line to 200.
    – linksassin Mod
    Commented May 14, 2019 at 1:04

Shall we move forward?

I recommend we focus on those tags that are in the top 40 tags but do not yet have 200 questions. These are:

Perhaps we can focus on two related tags at a time. Maybe:

A one-week contest run as a separate question here in Meta, with bragging rights.

Special bonus bragging rights for the asker of a question that pushes the tag to 200.

  • 3
    Maybe pick tags that aren't closely related, with bonus special bonus bragging points to someone who uses both. :-) Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 18:13
  • Also getting them to 100 is also useful! Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 18:38
  • 1
    @April It is. But I'd like to see a more narrow focus than we had with the contest and getting tags to 200 is the priority I'd like to set. Boosting all tags has a purpose and getting tags to 100 would be my second priority.
    – Cyn
    Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 18:54
  • @MonicaCellio I'm open. Or just choosing one tag at a time if people prefer. I thought 2 would be easier while still focused. Whatever we pick, let's pick it. :-)
    – Cyn
    Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 18:55
  • 2
    As an aside, I double checked and I already have at least 15 points in over 20 tags that are currently at 200+ questions. I'm sure I'm not the only one who would have a Generalist badge if only there were 40 tags on the site with 200+ questions. I had no one to brag to, but I was really proud of myself when I earned it on Worldbuilding recently.
    – Cyn
    Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 18:59
  • 2
    I like 2 at a time, as different as possible in topic. Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 19:03
  • nonfiction and poetry?
    – Cyn
    Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 19:05
  • 2
    I say be bold -- pick something, create a meta question for it (with a community-wiki answer for people to update), and see how it goes. We can tweak how we do them as we go. The broad consensus seems to be to do something, and what you propose is pretty lightweight. Go for it! Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 19:41
  • 2
    @MonicaCellio and others. Okay okay!!! writing.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1956/…
    – Cyn
    Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 20:43

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