I think we've been kind of dancing around this question a lot, lately, and I'm not seeing a definitive answer in the FAQ. If I click on Tags at the top, I get "A tag is a keyword or label that categorizes your question with other, similar questions. Using the right tags makes it easier for others to find and answer your question." However, in response to Is the “system-agnostic” tag really necessary?, digitaljoel was accused of "essentially (re)defining the entire purpose of tags." Clearly, someone knows what the right and wrong way to use tags is well enough to say that digitaljoel wasn't using them right, even though he was definitely using them to "find...question[s]."
I see them being used for five purposes:
- Limit the scope of answers - this can be handled explicitly in the text of the question.
- Search for questions which already answer a particular question.
- Search for interesting questions about a topic.
- Avoid questions which are not interesting because they pertain to a particular topic.
- Try to attract attention to a question (presupposes that people are already doing #3).
Am I missing something? Is use #1 illegitimate? If I want to know about designing scenarios with orcs, but I'm only interested in answers appropriate for MERP, is tagging the post [merp] enough, or do I need to put MERP in the Title or the Question? Is it even appropriate to tag it [merp], since it's not really about MERP, it's just that I happen to be playing MERP, so I need to let people know that if they're thinking Shadowrun, they're not going to be much use to me.