Apparently there is a dev(?)-accessible switch on a per-site basis that disables the script that cleans out tags that have only been used once in 6 months. Arqade recently turned this off because they had a problem with questions losing game-name tags. We have a smaller problem with this, in losing system tags.

The disadvantage of turning this off is having to manually prune the tags list of underused tags. Arqade has accepted this tradeoff, given they've got many eyes on the problem. I think we should accept this tradeoff, given that we don't get new tags added that often and losing system tags causes more work and consternation (especially when a tag wiki is lost) than would the infrequent tags that needs pruning.


Yes, we want to do this. We the modcliqueâ„¢ have no idea how and hope someone of substance will chip in.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Cool. I'm guessing that eventually a dev will see this in their [feature-request] queue, or however it works, and drop by. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Dec 19 '12 at 1:35

Shortly before you asked this, we decided to do a quick scan of other sites and see if we felt that other sites should get this treatment as Ask Patents and Arqade did.

RPG was one such site that we reviewed, but we ultimately decided that we wouldn't turn off the script here. In our own analysis, the frequency of damage from the script was low and the amount of questions left completely context-less was likewise low. Since our judgment was based on the severity of the problem, RPG didn't seem like a place where it was strongly necessary.

As such, for now I will have to mark this status-declined. If you think it will become a strong problem, though, don't hesitate to start tracking the damage caused by the script over the next few months. The more solid info to work from, the better!

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    \$\begingroup\$ What's a good way to track the damage? Since we're looking for tags disappearing, it may be tricky, since it's hard to notice the sudden absence of something, or find out what the absent thing was. Is there something better than tracking all questions and tags to see which tags disappear and which questions were affected? \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Feb 10 '13 at 18:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jonathan Keep an eye on untagged - see how often it pops up and more importantly, when it would be referring to a rare system tag that doesn't get more than one question. \$\endgroup\$ – Grace Note Feb 11 '13 at 12:14

Creating a tag-wiki also protects against this. Every tag should have a tag-wiki anyways, so this is not really a problem.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related, the Save our system tags! meta question / community maintenance activity thingy is all about doing this: gathering the tags that need action and putting them where someone might take notice and create those wikis. We've made a lot of progress since the beginning, too. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Dec 9 '14 at 0:15

An alternative to turning off pruning is to create a list of questions that are good to ask of any system.

Some examples:

  • What are the design goals of this system?
  • What do I need to find or buy to get started?
  • What are the key features of the setting?
  • What inspired this game?

Asking enough of these will keep the game-system tag alive and provide knowledge about that game as well as bring in people looking for these obscure systems.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's true, but we can do that anyway. Having a robot lurking around under our site silently gobbling useful tags is something we would still benefit turning off. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Dec 13 '12 at 19:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Question seeding is never appropriate. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Dec 14 '12 at 13:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ mxyzplk: citation/refernce for question seeding not being ood? I wuld think that any addition of information to the site would be good. especially if people ask and then answer there own question. (using the speciial option that allows them to do so). It is part of the wiki-like nature of the site, to become a comprehensive sort of answers to all questions. Im sure there are some blog posts about whether or not question seeding is bad, can you link some? \$\endgroup\$ – Lyndon White Dec 16 '13 at 13:26

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