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If you have a look at the edit history of this question, you'll see there's been a minor tag edit-war (not really - all genial, see the comments on the question itself :) ).

I originally put quite specific tags on, but tags that I think (and hope) are likely to be more used in the future. Most of the tags were non-existant, or only had one or two other questions. IRO-bot replaced these with more popular tags. I would totally agree with this if I thought the original tags were unlikely to be used much in the future (or were likely to turn into a useless mess). But I think these are potentially useful. They would be even more useful if there was a hierarchical tag system on SE, but I don't think there is (although sub tags, like ocean-models, can be mentioned on the oceans tag wiki).

So, the question is, how specific can tags be? Should we already be expecting questions to mostly stick to using existing tags? (I'm worried if we do that, that we'll later have to spend a lot of time re-categorising questions into more granular tags).

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In retrospect, I agree that using very general tags may become detrimental in the future as the site develops. I am all for specific tags such as , , as so on for other disciplines (as they are indeed very different subdisciplines).

However, I am concerned about some specific tags being redundant and fully overlapped by two more general tags. For example, could be synonymous with tags. Using just one specific tag could mean a portion of users being left out if they haven't subscribed to that specific tag. On the other hand, using more general tags may make it harder to search for some questions/answers, as @naught101 pointed out. Using all three seems cumbersome and redundant.

If we expect this site to grow, I would like to see specific modeling tags like , , etc., to get more use, and abandon the generic .

Similar logic could be applied to other tags that have an obvious hierarchy of scope.

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  • $\begingroup$ I guess it depends on numbers when the site gets going, or at least on proportion of the site covered. For example, if you're looking for ocean modelling related stuff, both [oceans] and [models] will only contain about 10-20% interesting stuff. On the other hand, [ocean-modelling] will only be useful if it contains at least a few hundred questions (say in a couple of years). $\endgroup$ – naught101 Sep 3 '14 at 3:52
  • $\begingroup$ The other question is what should be the main term of the synonyms [ocean-models], [ocean-modeling], and [ocean-modelling]? I'd suggest the last one, but that's cause I'm speaking Australian :P $\endgroup$ – naught101 Sep 3 '14 at 3:54

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