At the time of this posting there are 1,406 posts (374 questions) about "spellbook" on RPG.SE. This is an area, along with copying of spells, that is a common source of questions at least for D&D 5e, where it might make sense to have a flag to attract expertise, and it also is a general concept that could be useful across many different RPGs.
Is there a strong reason to not add a spellbook tag?
(Also, since I made that mistake before, I would not go and add this in large swathes, only when I come across spellbook questions.)
I asked a question for when tags would be harmful, and so far got:
- not useful (instead use a more general term like equipment) – could apply here
- misleading (e.g. wall being added to non-wall spells) – very unlikely here
- misinterpretable – very unlikely here
- duplication, nearly fully intersecting an existing tag - this could apply with the current spellbooks synonym pointing to the equipment tag. Maybe it should be a synonym? Synonyms do show up the general term when typed into the search box.
- can't be expert in - does not seem to apply here
- displaces better tags, as there are only 5 slots
The last point seems to address my underlying question about long tail and real estate. For tagging a given post about spellbooks, both to attract expertise and to help with search, it would seem better to have more specific tags like spellbook than generic tags like equipment. It is not possible to be an expert for "equipment" in the same way it is possible to be an expert for "spellbooks".
In the linked question, the argument is that tags that get used a lot get listed first, and then get used even more, and tend to displace other tags such as system identifiers for less common systems. If this is the case, then generic tags like equipment are more harmful, as they generically apply to many more posts than more narrowly focused, specialized tags.
(For example, even if we tagged each of the 374 posts, this would put a spellbook tag at rank 61, while equipment is at rank 31).
The only issue is if people add tags on all levels of abstraction, i.e. both equipment and spellbook. Would this then be an indication that apart from a few high-level concept tags, we should not have any more specific tags at all?
After all, if I search for gamma-world-1e-2e, which has only two uses, I still would find posts with the tag, even if they are listed dead last.