We have accumulated quite a lot of tags throughout the first days or so, which is really good! They seem to be helping guide questions and categorize them better.

Let's start writing descriptions! You have to have 2000 rep to edit tag wikis without any further approval, which clearly nobody has reached - although if certain users keep on track, they could reach it within a week or two. In the meantime, the community mods are the only ones who can approve these edits.

So let's come up with some good tag wikis! But here's where the "sort of" comes in. I've found that questions sometimes shape the tags and the tag wikis themselves. The tags can - in some cases - evolve over time, and there may be meta discussions about them. So let's not be too narrow in the descriptions, but at the same time, let's make sure that the tag wikis accurately and thoroughly describe the tag.

For anyone who needs the incentive, you get +2 reputation for suggesting an edit . . . but you shouldn't need that incentive, because the long-term reward is helping the site grow and get better!

If anyone thinks we shouldn't do any tag wiki edits yet, then please speak up, because I could absolutely be wrong.


1 Answer 1


As we begin to write tag wikis, let's review some of the most common missteps folks encounter in creating these excerpts… to help assure your efforts are productive.

In our [tag] system, we have "tag wikis" and we have "tag wiki excerpts." A Tag Wiki is a free form wiki page that allows the community to create collaborative resource about the subject. It may also contain a list of resources of interest to folks in that subject space. A Tag Wiki Excerpt is a short summary that pops up when users are picking tags for their question. It describes when a tag should be used.

Most Common Problems:

Excerpts describe usage, not definitions

See What should a tag wiki excerpt contain?

Tag Wiki Excerpts are not typically simple dictionary definitions of what a word means. Wiki Excerpts should contain usage guidance for when the tag should be used. For example, here's were a recent example went wrong:

enter image description here
REJECTED — This is a definition of 'liquid'. Does not describe how or when the tag should be used.

This wiki excerpt was later fixed:

enter image description here

Exceptions to the rule:

Sometimes the subject of a tag is so obscure, it really needs the entire space of the tag wiki just to describe what it is. Also, if a tag is an acronym, sometimes it is useful just to clarify what that acronym stands for. (e.g. IEEE — For questions related to The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a professional organization for technical professionals.)

Copied Content

Tag wikis can become a valuable resource to this community. But too often, folks hear wiki, and they simply copy the content of Wikipedia over to this site. While perfectly legal, that is not what tag wikis are for. Tag wikis are designed to create an original and valuable resource for this community specifically. Here is a recent example (rejected):

enter image description here

REJECTED — This edit copies a significant amount of content from an external source. Generic descriptions such as encyclopedia articles and ad copy do not provide useful guidance; try creating something useful to this community specifically, and be sure to attribute the original author. See: How to reference material written by others.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for rejecting my earlier suggestion for the liquid tag; it was pretty crappy. The rejection message had a very helpful link to a page with lots of good tips for editing tag wikis; would you mind inserting it into your (already very comprehensive) answer? Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Jan 22, 2015 at 19:37
  • $\begingroup$ Was it this link? blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/03/redesigned-tags-page — It appears at the top of this post, but it's not very clear. I left it here again nonetheless. $\endgroup$ Jan 22, 2015 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ No; looking back, it was this. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Jan 22, 2015 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 Excellent. I will include it. $\endgroup$ Jan 22, 2015 at 19:42

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