10
\$\begingroup\$

The was created recently and used in a now closed question and for this question Are there published rules for navigating and travelling through jungles?.

I removed it from the latter question because jungle is not a topic that one can be an RPG expert in and the tag does nothing to enhance searchability (since searching for "jungle" would easily turn up these results).

But the user disagreed saying that they felt it was useful:

Tags are also meant to make it easier for non technical users to find related questions. The type of environment is a key portion of this question, and thus useful in my opinion.

Should we keep it?

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Not really an answer (not my own answer anyway), but I feel as though all three answers to my own tag related question, Is the Magic Initiate tag too specific?, apply to this question as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Aug 20 '18 at 14:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Suggested title: "Should we cut through the [jungle]?" \$\endgroup\$ Sep 2 '18 at 3:31
21
\$\begingroup\$

Nah, we already have and (if applicable) .

Although tagging is a folksonomy, we have a mature tagging folksonomy. When something new is created, we have eight years of folksonomy and community experience to say “hey, we have a tag for that already.”

is a solidly-used but still only modestly-sized tag. It covers myriad different terrains. Super-specific tags have the potential to encourage people to go on a tagging spree to cover “the rest” of the larger category: jungles, plains, rivers, forests, mountains, hills, badlands, caves, tunnels, waterfalls, streams, grassland, swamp, marsh, fen, bog, wetland, everglade, … .

A super-specific tag that covers only one of those myriad terrains only makes sense if that particular terrain needs the special attention that only a tag can bring but can’t do.

Does make it easier to find questions about jungles? No, searching jungle already does that.

Does make it easier for RPG jungle experts to find it? No, because those don’t exist.

Does collect together a significant sub-category of questions about terrain that should be collected together in their own right? No, such a nexus of question subjects has not emerged.

Does it help group together related questions? No, it actually harms Q grouping, a main purpose of tags: someone tagging with and leaving off actually removes it from the collection formed by the tag. (This has already happened on both Qs recently tagged !) Even with both, the only tag actually doing real grouping work there is is superfluous.

is useful, but only as a synonym to make sure that a Q gets the tag.

The novice tagger’s mistake

A common mistake of novice tag curators (such as many of our first askers, and many of our regular users who don’t work on the tagging part of the site project) is to tag for all the nouns in their question. That’s a mistake because that’s not what SE tags are for — they’re for a focused set of tags pulling out the subject(s) of a question. Tags beyond the subject are noise, and our database gets worse with noise, and noise is worse the larger our database gets.

(That last bit is why a mature folksonomy needs judicious pruning, as soon as the pruning need is noticed — when noticed, else it gets forgotten. Noise’s impact gets worse the larger the collection, because human attention doesn’t scale up with the size of a search result.)

Our asker has made this honest mistake. They’re asking about jungles, so they throw on a tag for jungles. Perhaps thinking that jungles are unique enough concepts to be distinct, not realising that real-world distinction doesn’t matter here, and only RPG-relevant distinctions apply. Perhaps not knowing or caring that our tags aren’t freeform and aren’t largely irrelevant, like they are on most platforms. Most sites, tags are a throwaway feature and mostly useless and full of redundancies — because on most sites, curation is not the point of the tag system.

Here, tags matter. They’re a core part of making the site function now and for future knowledge-seekers. That’s why we aren’t given more than five per Q: we are expected to use our limited tagging space on a Q thoughtfully.

TL;DR

should be a synonym of , because the latter is useful and the former isn’t, and it’s already harming the purpose of tags collecting related question subjects by helping people forget to add .

\$\endgroup\$
3
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ I could get behind making [jungle] a synonym of [terrain] if people want that. I've added the [terrain] tag to the question that's open. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 20 '18 at 17:37
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That makes perfect sense \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Aug 20 '18 at 18:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I have suggested the tag synonym as suggested here. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rubiksmoose Mod
    Aug 21 '18 at 14:36
9
\$\begingroup\$

Tagging is a folksonomy. Tags get added when someone finds them useful, and kept as long as they're not causing problems. This means if there isn't a problem, don't stress and don't overthink it; err on keeping tags that aren't doing harm.

Someone's managing jungle stuff, the jungle tag will help them find stuff that is about jungle adventure stuff and not only incidentally mentioning jungles.

Bear in mind tags mostly get evaluated in context of a game: one could feasibly know stuff about D&D jungle stuff for instance.

If it's really not that useful it won't get used much.


Comments brought up Is the Magic Initiate tag too specific?, which in turn relates back to Should we be tagging individual spells?. I want to draw attention to the fact we specifically choose not to have tags for spells because they cause problems; they add too much tag tax and the ten thousand spells chew through our site's shared tag namespace in unacceptable ways. The same arguments can be made for feats. Those arguments don't however apply to having a [jungle] tag.

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ While I agree that "[t]hose arguments don't however apply to having a [jungle] tag," those arguments would seem to apply, by extension, to having a separate tag for every conceivable type of terrain. Or am I missing something? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 20 '18 at 17:09
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan They don't apply. The concern is that spell tags take common namespace away from other games, such that they interact unhealthily with our tagging, but a [jungle] tag is about the jungle in any system at all. I don't know whether the tag tax issue will apply here, best to wait and see. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 20 '18 at 17:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .