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In the support request Synonymize content-ID with Product-ID, the argument is made that and are the same and should already be synonyms (and requests that this please be actioned). The (so far lone) answer there is that they not the same and are currently distinct, so actioning that request isn't valid, and it's been well-received.

However, there is an argument for merging them that doesn't rely on the assertion that they're already the same, and it might be profitable to have that discussion.

The argument I see that could be made is, perhaps the current distinction between identifying content and identifying products is unnecessarily splitting hairs, and it would be simpler and more useful to have a single “identification request” tag. The former only has 20-odd questions and the latter 100-odd questions, and I'm not sure there's a relevant distinction in expertise or searchability served by having separate tags.

Should we merge and rename and into some kind of master “thing” identification tag? If so, what word should “thing” be? (Note the tag size limit is 25 characters.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Shouldn't we discuss this in that synonymization request? Those are open to us going "yeah let's do this" or frame-challenge-style "let's merge them into a third thing" \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jun 7 '17 at 17:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Yeah, I saw we crossposted! That being a [support] that is unactionable based on a false premise, I thought that it would be important to more directly have the discussion that it was skipping, rather than to tangle up “are these the same?” with the question of “should they be made the same” and “what should they be made into?” Having a clear separate question that directly asks whether, and into what, to merge them is cleaner, I thought. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 7 '17 at 17:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, we could make it a [discussion], or treat it as one. Synonym requests have been handled that way before: as requests, which have been discussed with responses such as "we shouldn't do that thing" or "yes, let's do this thing". \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jun 7 '17 at 17:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener I think the voting there could get (already is?) muddy. There's an answer there that says “the premise is in error” that's got a bunch of upvotes already — is that signal supporting change, or supporting the status quo? There could be more answers following the lead of the newest one challenging the [support] frame to discuss ways to merge them, each with different proposals, but then there are at least two discussions happening, and the signal becomes hard to discern. As mods who will be called on to act on the results, a nice, clean request-for-proposals appeals to me. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 7 '17 at 17:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think 2 questions discussing the same synonym is more messy/muddy than 5 votes that can be retracted or overwritten. :( \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jun 7 '17 at 17:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Okay, let's see how that goes. I'll dup-close this and copy over my answer (with some tweaks for context). \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 7 '17 at 17:57
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Yes, I think they should be merged into (24 chars)

Why they should be merged

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.

Why “materials”

I don't think we want a general tag, so there needs to be something qualifying it. 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!)

I'm taking “materials” from the phrase “gaming materials” that's relatively common in RPG communities.

So “materials” is kinda dry and stuffy on its own, but 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\$ This name's really pretty. (As noted on the question though I think this should be posted to that original synonym request.) \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jun 7 '17 at 17:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think tags that are a phrase no one uses are always a bad idea. I also don't see any problem we're solving by changing the two existing tags. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Jun 7 '17 at 17:44

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