We have several questions about physical books:

Currently, we are using the tags and to tag these questions. Personally, I don't think is optimal, as sometimes they aren't about collecting the books (Should I keep the jacket on a hardcover book? for example), and sometimes not about caring for them (Why do some books have colors on the edges of the pages? for example), and sometimes about neither, such as Why do some books warn that books with missing covers may be unauthorised?. How should we tag such questions about physical books?

1 Answer 1


Add a tag. That will allow people who have expertise about physical books to find these questions. People who have more specific expertise (e.g. they are only interested in questions about book collecting, or the publishing process, etc) can use more specific tags such as , , and .

If I'm wrong and this is a horrible idea, it's pretty easy to remove tags or synonymize tags.

I went ahead and added the tag. This isn't something we need meta for. The tag is only applied to six questions. If for some reason this turns out to be a bad idea, just remove it. If we're talking about a massive retagging, or about general principles behind our tagging system: go to meta. If it's something minor or uncontroversial, just do it.

  • 4
    "This isn't something we need meta for." - this is exactly what we need meta for. Folks creating one-off tags with poor usage guidance is exactly why SFF has a lot of one-off tags with little to none guidance. If you have a proposal for a new tag (if it's a broader tag like this, not a work or an author tag), meta is the place to go first. Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 18:38
  • @Gallifreyan I think the issue on SFF is that it was a new beta site and people hadn't taken the time to learn what the purpose of tags is for. On this site, if it's a tag that applies to, say, less than ten questions, I think everyone here has demonstrated that they know how tagging works, and I think it would save time if you just went ahead and did it. Of course, if someone did something questionable tag wise, I would go to meta to explain why its questionable and get a consensus before fixing it (to avoid an edit war).
    – user111
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 1:21
  • I still believe we can set tag guidance beforehand, when the usage can be foreseen. Note that this doesn't contradict your approach - if the proposed usage isn't good enough, we can go back to meta. Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 2:41
  • @Gallifreyan I've found tag usage guidelines to be overrated. Nobody actually reads them before using tags; people just tag based on what they see other questions doing and based on what tag names sound relevant to their question. I've found that if the name of a tag doesn't make it's usage intuitive, the tag will never be used properly, no matter how much usage guidelines you write. The real usage guidelines are how the tag is used on the site and what the tag name is.
    – user111
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 2:50
  • 1
    Another perspective here is that I'm a huge fan of (1) letting tags emerge organically, and then (2) doing aggressive cleanup. I find that when tags emerge organically, both good and bad patterns emerge; it's then simple to keep the good patterns and remove the bad ones.
    – user111
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 15:42

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