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We have two tags for and , whose primary purpose seems to be to denote a type of thing. I'm not really sure what the intended use of these is, but what they are being used for is all over the map.

Online-resources had been used for all of the following (I've cleaned most of it up):

  1. As a synonym of . This was easy to fix.
  2. Along with a system tag, because someone was looking for some reference that they thought was online instead of in a book. This has been very inconsistently applied, and doesn't really add anything even when it is applied (almost never is the person trying to say "I won't accept the answer if it comes from a book).
  3. Someone is looking for something online. Sometimes something has its own tag, like . Sometimes it doesn't. The tag for something seems to be the only useful one here, unless online-resources is meant to mean "collection of unrelated stuff that happens to be online". Far as I can tell, that doesn't actually happen.
  4. As a catch-all for otherwise unrelated things that happen online, but may or may not belong in or .

Similarly, books has been used:

  1. Where can I find old books? (These have been closed when they pop up.)
  2. Along with a system tag, because someone was looking for some reference that they thought was in a book and can't remember which one it is. Once again very inconsistently applied, and once again I've never seen any case where a person would reject an answer if it came from an online source instead.
  3. Comparing specific versions of a book for changes.
  4. Questions like "What benefit does owning physical books have?".

You'll note that #2 on both lists are basically the same thing, the only difference is where the person asking the question thinks the thing they're looking for is. Given that the person in pretty much every case is just looking for the answer and doesn't actually care if its in a book or online, that's largely pointless. It's also very inconsistently applied, making the tag not reliable for that purpose.

In general, I don't think either of these tags is doing a whole lot that's useful. They're overly broad, generally inconsistently used, and don't really add any kind of useful organization. There's a couple of cases where we have nothing better, but that should be a matter of creating tags to more accurately reflect what's being asked, rather than saying "this thing is about something that happens to be online, so it gets an online tag."

Kind of a huge amount of the answers on the site rely on things that are either online or in a book, and most of them are not tagged with either of those things. in particular is a really useless distinction, as it's a collection that has nothing in common except the Internet is involved somehow.

Thoughts?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This would have been good to ask before removing the tags from a few dozen questions. Should the consensus turn out to be that removal is not warranted, that's a lot of work to undo. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 16 '14 at 19:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Yeah, I realize that. Will be something I'll have to fix if that's the case. \$\endgroup\$ – Tridus Apr 16 '14 at 19:11
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I think they are useful enough that people are using them... If something's a pure synonym that's fine, or a pure meta tag then spending effort to wipe it out is merited. But beyond that, the tagging system is emergent for a reason - unless there is a very, very clear case against a tag then we shouldn't expend effort on it. I would think personally that people looking for a bunch of online D&D resources might well use the tag. That is a "thing," beyond just being art or random generators, as proven by blogrolls everywhere.

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No, but...

If we remove it because Tools is already covering this area then we need to expand and improve wiki entry and description blurb.

The only immediate rebuttal that came to mind was D&D Insider and Tools related questions but we already have a specific tag for that which has effectively stolen the fire/thunder from the online-resources tag (all 7 questions).

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