I just noticed that we have a tag, apparently for questions which are specifically about a particular character or characters in a work of literature.

Is this tag useful, or should we burninate it?


I'm going to take the George R R Martin approach here:

Let's kill the s.

  • wouldn't work as the sole tag on a question, which means it's probably a meta tag and therefore undesirable according to SE central policy.

  • The purpose of tags is supposed to be for experts in a given subject to find questions to answer on that subject, but there are obviously no experts on characters in general.

  • It doesn't help searchability, since no-one is going to be interested in looking for all of the questions about all characters in all works of literature.

  • Most questions with this tag are about a specific character in a specific book, so why not just tag them with the tags for that book/series/author? There's no need to further point out "hey, this question is just about one character".

  • The tag hasn't been used consistently so far, which suggests it probably won't be in the future either. Many existing questions about characters don't have the tag. If we're going to use it to classify questions but most of the questions that 'deserve' it don't have it, then the tag seems pretty useless.

Some of the above points are taken from the corresponding M&TV meta post; I think they apply equally well here.

  • I just removed the tag from all questions. If it gets created again I'll ask SE to burn it.
    – user111
    Mar 5 '17 at 23:49
  • @Hamlet Well, that was quick. There isn't really a consensus on this meta post yet.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Mar 5 '17 at 23:54
  • Isn't there a mod option to nuke the tag without manually editing? I didn't find anything.
    – Mithical Mod
    Mar 6 '17 at 0:01
  • Given that the character tag could be applied to at least 50% of the questions on the site, your arguments in the meta post, and our prior discussions about tags, I didn't see this suggestion as anything other than routine. Maybe I was wrong. @Mithrandir I'm 95% sure that's something we have to ask the CMs for help for.
    – user111
    Mar 6 '17 at 0:02
  • @Mithrandir Oh, if only ...
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Mar 6 '17 at 0:03
  • And also, there's a [character-analysis tag], so if people were upset about the loss of the [characters] tag they could use that instead.
    – user111
    Mar 6 '17 at 0:05
  • @Hamlet I wonder if that one should go too, for exactly the same reasons.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Mar 6 '17 at 0:07
  • @Randal'Thor make a meta post? For that tag, I would wait for a consensus, because it seems more controversial.
    – user111
    Mar 6 '17 at 0:18
  • @Hamlet I could simply edit this meta post, since IMO exactly the same reasons apply for burninating both tags. Of course then the status-completed tag would have to be removed, at least for a while ...
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Mar 6 '17 at 0:23
  • @Randal'Thor just make a new question and copy your answer, that seems least confusing.
    – user111
    Mar 6 '17 at 0:47
  • For what it's worth, I don't think [character-analysis] is necessarily the same as [characters] here. I do think it's being used ambiguously, but I think there are ways to define [character-analysis] such that it's a useful informative tag about the topic of a post. Whether it's too broad so as to be not useful is another question, though.
    – user80
    Mar 6 '17 at 1:59
  • @Hamlet Done.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Mar 6 '17 at 2:02
  • @Emrakul I see your point, and I'm not so strongly against the character-analysis tag as against the characters one. But I've still posted an answer more or less the same as this one to argue for the abolition of character-analysis. Feel free to post a contradictory answer if you think that tag is worth keeping.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Mar 6 '17 at 2:03

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