Content-ID is just a duplicate of Product-ID with a excerpt that is presumably objecting to the implicit classification of certain kinds of material as 'product'. Since Product-ID is widely used for everything content-ID covers, and since the wiki has just been updated to make clear its broad applicability, content-ID should be made a synonym.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Might want to wait a bit to accept any answers. Three votes isn't much for the mods to start taking action on, and the checkmark may discourage further answers / engagement. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 7 '17 at 22:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie well, ok, but I like that answer, so... Besides, do you guys need to take action? I thought anybody with 20K rep could synonymize stuff. I only posted the meta cause I don't have 20 K rep and it seems like posting metas on tags are a thing we do. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Jun 7 '17 at 23:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Synonyms can be proposed and confirmed via the vote of members with a high score in the tags, but that's a slow process that often never gets the necessary votes. (It's a system designed for much higher-traffic SEs.) A confirmed synonym won't merge in the existing tags anyway either, just cause automatic retagging on future posts, so a mod merge is still useful to avoid manually retagging the ~150 questions. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 8 '17 at 0:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Alrighty, then, answer unaccepted :P I'll re-accept it once we get a couple more upvotes. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Jun 8 '17 at 0:10

Although they are not currently the same, they could be made so

I think it would be useful to merge them, but not into either current tag's name.

I think a merge would be useful because it's splitting hairs to have a tag for identifying stuff in books and another for identifying stuff that is books (to somewhat oversimplify the current split). We get plenty of identification requests, so having a tag for that kind of thing makes sense, but there's no utility I see in saying there are two different areas of expertise involved.

I think this is a case of the folksonomy coming up with a distinction that, in the fullness of time, isn't useful — even if the overall idea of tagging ID questions was a useful folksonomic realisation.

Tag them as “materials identification”

“Product” identification used for the contents of products (and content that wasn't even part of any product) is a bit artificial, so I don't think that's a clean solution. “Content” identification used to e.g., help identify a remembered book is similarly stretching it. I don't think the current names overlap enough to be merged as-is. A merged tag would therefore need a different name.

“Identification” is what these questions are about… but I don't think we want a general tag. Without stopping to really brainstorm many, I get the feeling that that would cover way more types of questions that what it would be replacing, and being so general it wouldn't directly teach a reader what it should be used for. (I could see someone putting [identification] on “My player is doing X, are they a powergamer?”, and that's a kind of recurrent retagging headache I think we would be wise to avoid pre-emptively!) So there needs to be something qualifying “identification” in the tag's name.

I think what covers both content and products is the phrase “gaming materials” that's relatively common in RPG communities, so how about “materials identification”?

Though “materials” is kinda dry and stuffy on its own, I think it works. As the only “identification” tag I think it would naturally catch the right questions when people start typing stuff in the tag field, and I think it clearly restricts the scope of the tag. We won't get questions about identifying player types, tactical plans, the inventor of metacurrency, and other such things being tagged with it (or if we do, it will be an obvious mistag to the regulars who have retagging privileges).

I think making and synonyms would be beneficial, as I could see someone typing product or content into the tag bar of the right kinds of questions, choosing one of those old tags, and then the question would be automatically retagged with .

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't really agree with having the canonical tag something no one will ever guess... I agree they can be merged but not to a new term no one has ever used. In late breaking news, that tag got added and has garnered 4 uses in a year and is just making the situation worse (see newer meta rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8111/…) \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - Justice for Monica Jun 30 '18 at 19:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk Yeah, I’ve cooled on this tag name. I still don’t know what they could be merged to though. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 30 '18 at 21:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I'm still in favor of synonymizing the two. There doesn't seem to be a wide enough gap between the two types of posts (and sometimes the distinction barely exists) to really need two different tags. [content-identification] would be the more logical target to merge to in my mind, though, since products are content but content isn't necessarily always a product. (And [materials-identification] is similarly too-specific.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 1 '18 at 6:40

I think we should synonymise them. They're a bit different in usage but I think it's splitting hairs and that it's a little confusing.

For example:

I can't keep that straight in my head. They're both [thing-identification] and that's all I need to know really.

In my head, the content inside our books is a product. In D&D a feat is a commercial product, a class is a commercial product, races are commercial products, and because they're useless distributed one-by-one publishers compiled them together into books which are also, themselves, products. I can also access those products other ways, like through D&D's subscription databases and character builders.

I'd rather just call 'em both and accept the terminology might not be strictly accurate in some corner cases.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I concur, the hair-split adds no real value except for the sheer joy of taxonomy. In the end, the vast majority of people start typing "identif..." into the tag field just like on SF&F and M&TV and so on, and just pick the one that says "tell me what this thing is I barely remember." \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - Justice for Monica Jun 30 '18 at 19:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm still in favor of synonymizing the two. There doesn't seem to be a wide enough gap between the two types of posts (and sometimes the distinction barely exists) to really need two different tags. [content-identification] would be the more logical target to merge to in my mind, though, since products are content but content isn't necessarily always a product. (And [materials-identification] is similarly too-specific.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 1 '18 at 6:38

The tags and can easily be mistaken for being about the same thing, but they are used for distinctly different questions:

  • is for identifying forgotten or unfamiliar content based on given details.

    e.g., “I forget what it's called, but I remember a feat/class/spell/etc. that does XYZ. What is it?” or “What's this thing in this piece of official art?” or “This character sheet has ability TUV on it I've never heard of, what is it?”

  • is for identifying forgotten or unfamiliar products based on given details.

    e.g., “What book is the feat/class/spell/etc. named ABC found in?”, or “I know there's a book with a cover that looks like such-and-so, what is it?” or “I found this book. What is it, and what game is it from?”

Although answers to a content-ID question might identify the content and where to find it, this doesn't make them product-ID questions — the source product is not inherently part of a content-ID question. (What are the scenes & monsters on the covers? is an extreme example demonstrating that content identification and product identification are independent types of questions, since it's a content-ID question that cannot be a product-ID question.)

This distinction can be seen by browsing the tags. Although they can easily be conflated when simply looking at the tags' names, in practice the tagging is pretty good, with only a few cases where tagging is been questionable. Although some cleanup would help, I don't see any way to make the case that these:

… should have instead, as proposed by this meta question, since they have clearly-identified products already.

(An argument could be made for merging the tags into a new tag-name that did capture a true category covering all these questions, but “they're already the same” isn't a persuasive argument for merging because it's not the case.)


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