Okay, the title is a lie, I'm not actually convinced (yet) that we need a tag for questions about looking for groups and players.

But we do have a problem with these questions, which is that their tags are not very good and are all over the map. Not only are they not getting grouped together in any useful way, but the randomness of their tags implies to me that people are flailing when trying to categorise them, and our experienced users are for whatever reason not stepping in to fill the void of tag chaos with tidy order.

Just look at these questions' tags:

And the one that prompted my tagging conundrum:

(I list the duplicates because the tags are important there for searchability, so that people find them and find the open frequently-asked questions they're duplicates of.)

As you can see, the tags are all over the place, and often they're not properly describing the actual problem to be solved. Are any of these really about new players, as we normally use the tag? Are any fundamentally about D&D 4e, AD&D 2e, or any other system? Are they really about group dynamics, as we use that tag?

It seem to me that these are about how to find groups, form groups, advertise for players, advertise campaigns… whatever we want to call the sum of those activities. Yet, there is no tag that describes that core problem around which all these questions fundamentally revolve and which they all have in common.

From the perspective of grouping them, there's another thing to consider: look at all of them! There are probably more—I just stopped after a pageful.

So do we need a tag? I normally wouldn't even ask, I'd just tag 'em and move on, but I'm frankly stumped on what I would call it. This isn't the usual request to pre-create a tag either—the need can be in theory demonstrated to already exist, but I suspect that the lack of a good name for such a tag is more the reason why one has never been created spontaneously.

So, do we need a tag, or do these questions just need to be cleaned up and future ones better sorted? If we need a tag, what should it be?


I agree we don't particularly need a tag, but even if half of these are duplicates as mxyzplk points out, it'll at least help when we get another one of these if there's a tag I can visit that I know will contain the extant canon questions and duplicates of this category.

I think we should go for something like . "Finding" is the operative verb almost all of these questions use, so that's at least the first word probably being sound. Whether it's or might be going too fine: at the end of the day, it's about people.

I don't think is good for us. It's a really good term for this kind of thing! But it's used when people post advertisements or requests for players or groups, which we don't handle. [LFG] threads are about being given fish. And that's fine, that's exactly what they should be. We're about teaching people to go fishing, though, and I don't want people to think we really handle LFG requests.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I like the idea of finding-people with looking-for-group and LFG as synonyms. \$\endgroup\$ – GMNoob Jul 23 '14 at 12:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd rather steer clear of the latter two entirely. [finding-people] is expressly not the same as [lfg]. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jul 23 '14 at 13:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think your legitimate concerns of the wrong sort of LFG will be fixed by having finding-people show up as prominent. But lfg will be the more searched for /inputed term I think. \$\endgroup\$ – GMNoob Jul 23 '14 at 13:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Having a tag at all means we want more of these questions, whereas I contend we don't really. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - Justice for Monica Jul 23 '14 at 19:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk Tags are post-facto descriptions of what we already have on the site. Having a tag at all doesn't mean anything except that we have questions about that subject. These questions are borderline and there could be an argument for not having them at all, but right now we do have them. A tag isn't going to open any kind of floodgate. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 23 '14 at 19:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I disagree with that, tags are not just "to describe things" with no goal. They are 1. to search/discover (which if we have a couple canonical and a bunch of dupes isn't useful) and 2. to guide when tagging new Q's (which we don't want more of these). Kinda what I say in my answer. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - Justice for Monica Jul 23 '14 at 22:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk Even with only the four non-dupes we have above, a tag becomes useful for searching. Someone stumbling onto one of them, but not the right one for their needs, via Google or whatever could follow the tag to find the right one, just like how other tags for other subjects help. And four non-dupes suggests there may be a fifth non-dupe in the future, which could use the tagging guidance of an existing tag. If we only had one canonical question I'd otherwise agree. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 30 '14 at 7:34

Looking at these questions from the perspective of trying to edit them, for the majority I would end up removing all the existing tags as being peripheral, tangential, or merely background information. That would leave me with no tag to represent the actual problem to be solved though.

That suggests to me that we do need a tag of some kind. We can't really clean up the dog's breakfast of tags on these questions without one. Maybe that doesn't seem like a good reason to create a tag—but messy tags are broken windows and we're not doing proper caretaker work on these.

Further supporting evidence for needing a tag is that we have at lease four questions in this category that aren't duplicates. Even if forming a natural category isn't enough justification, this many of them makes a common tag useful for searching on to find the right question, and enhances the Ask UI's ability to pre-emptively find these when someone starts composing a duplicate. Having a tag would be useful if a future fifth non-duplicate gets asked, so that it is easy to tag well and gets naturally grouped with these related questions. A common tag would also make it easier to find the canonical questions when looking for one to use in a close-vote on a new duplicate.

I'm partial to , (GMs are players too!), or , with synonyms to catch guesses & enhance discoverability of the tag.


We don't need a tag, because the batch of questions is mostly duplicates. Tags help with finding a large body of related info, not finding the 1-3 canonical questions out there. We'd be better served by making the canonical question or two more findable in a search.

Having a tag for it also encourages people to ask more questions about it - and I'd say that this topic, much like "How do I get started with gaming?" is best served by a couple canonical Q&As and not a wide variety. The variants start to get very questionable in terms of being personal LFGs (or for getting started, personal tutorials). I can't think of more than another 1 or 2 questions along these lines that would not get closed.

If for some reason you really want to anyway, I'd suggest [looking-for-group] and [lfg] as common terms found out there in RPG Internet land.


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