I saw and removed a tips tag, and I believe it should be removed as it is a meta tag. Meta tags are officially discouraged on SE sites.

Is this a meta tag? Do we have other meta tags in the wild? Can we start removing them if so?

  • What are ‘neta tags’? ;) – Marcel Korpel Nov 18 '10 at 21:18
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    @Marcel - Each SO site has a neta site, where nenbers who want to ask about the nany sites can ask questions. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Nov 18 '10 at 21:31
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    @Marcel, @neilfein - got me. – justkt Nov 18 '10 at 21:46
  • @Justkt Just so you know, only the first (correctly formatted) @notification works; this is to prevent spam. – Mark C Nov 18 '10 at 23:39
  • @Mark: Ah, is that the reason? I always wondered why this notification thing worked the way it worked. – Marcel Korpel Nov 19 '10 at 0:07
  • @Marcel: That's "meta", which is used roughly as "about". The meta site here is about the site, a meta tag is at tag that doesn't actually describe the question but describes something about it. – David Thornley Nov 19 '10 at 0:11
  • @Marcel: My apologies. – David Thornley Nov 19 '10 at 4:09
  • @David: No need to be sorry; these things can be confusing when you only see the corrected post and never saw the mistake. – Marcel Korpel Nov 19 '10 at 9:52

I also see 'Beginner'. And yes, I think we should remove (and ban) those. It doesn't matter whether someone is a beginner or not, it's about the contents of the question. And we're all looking for tips…

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    I agree. "Tips" are something you see on a discussion forum, not here. And if someone posts asking for "Tips and tricks to do [foo]", that question should be closed or rewritten. (Sometimes when people ask for tips, you'll find a good question buried in there.) – Goodbye Stack Exchange Nov 18 '10 at 21:27
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    +1 Agreed. Per SE "policy", and it makes a lot of sense. Specificity in tags reduces the noise. – Zayne S Halsall Nov 18 '10 at 21:28
  • I agree about tips but beginner is useful IMO, so I re-added it -- it's useful to find and possibly filter out or add as interesting questions for beginners – juan Nov 19 '10 at 14:38

I think "tips" is an unnecessary and even useless tag (here).


I agree about tips but I re-added beginner -- it's even used in a few more questions.

IMHO, it'd be useful to add as interesting questions for beginners, as starting writers have very different needs than professional ones, and thus, it's a good tag to group those questions together.

Of course, it's only my opinion and I'd like feedback (that's what the private beta is for anyway)

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    As far as I understand, the criteria for a worthwhile tag is "if you see it alone, does it tell you what the question is?" At least, that's what the post seemed to say. – justkt Nov 19 '10 at 14:58
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    Also, there are plenty of cases where the usage of "beginner" is not as a meta-tag, for example to describe "Are there any writing exercises particularly valuable to beginning authors?" or "What publishers are more friendly to first-time novelists than others?" – HedgeMage Nov 19 '10 at 22:38
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    Juan, this site seems nearly entirely devoted to "beginner" writers. Please see the question list. @HedgeMage, it is still functioning as a meta tag because of the nature of those questions. If you want to avoid the "meta" nature of the tag, choose more useful and specific tags, such as "writing-exercises" and "publishing-for-newbies", respectively. – Mark C Nov 21 '10 at 5:04
  • @Mark C: How is "publishing-for-newbies" better than "publishing" and "beginner" or "newbie"? I'd argue that the latter formation is better because "publishing" and "publishing-for-newbies" seems redundant, but we still want all publishing Q's tagged "publishing". – HedgeMage Nov 21 '10 at 18:45
  • @HedgeMage The second tag was a hasty compromise; I would take away "for-newbies" and do away with anything like it. – Mark C Nov 22 '10 at 18:04
  • @Mark C: Are you suggesting that there is no possible question that is primarily relevant to new authors, with little or any relevance for experienced authors? – HedgeMage Nov 22 '10 at 18:10
  • @Hedge Please see my first comment up there. – Mark C Nov 22 '10 at 18:14
  • @Mark C: This site is brand new, so of course it will primarily attract new writers. We have no idea what our demographics will look like in the future; against all the possibilities out there we must be as verbose, consistent, and specific in tagging things as humanly possible. This is a basic tenet of good webdev, and good data management in general. DO NOT base the organization of the data you have now on the data you think you will have later: build instead for scalability and adaptability. – HedgeMage Nov 22 '10 at 18:19
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    @Hedge As for the demographic, I am sorry, but that is not a good argument; it is contrary to the basic principle of StackExchange. (Click in the "This site is for" text box to see the pop-up that explains the principle). See StackOverflow, ServerFault, WebApps, Statistics, HEP, and GIS for good examples. See Physics for an example of SE that missed the mark (but can still be useful, like Mathematics vs. MathOverflow). We do not make to make our tags verbose because it would create noise. – Mark C Nov 23 '10 at 0:31

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