Categorizing questions with tags

Problem: we need a way to identify questions about specific topics. As a visitor, I want to refine my search using well-identified categories (for example: programming language, geographical location, plant, tractate, …). As a potential answerer, I want to browse (or receive notifications about, etc.) questions about the topics that I’m an expert on.

Solution sketch: tags work well on Stack Exchange.

MVP features:

  • Each question has 1–5 tags.
  • Tag names are ASCII letters and a few punctuation signs.
  • Anybody with a certain privilege can create a tag.

Justification for MVP: a dozen posts in, we already find the categories on this forum too restrictive, and aren’t happy that only admins can create categories. The early days of a site are when a lot of tags get created, so we need a low-friction way to do that.

We may want to refine how they work, to have fancy displays, to allow non-ASCII characters, to add tag wikis, to add tag-specific guidance, to have renaming and mass-retagging tools, to define synonyms, maybe <gasp> have some form of tag hierarchy. But none of that is MVP.


Tags are a must. Fancy editing, not so much. Suggest for MVP:

  • Simple admin page for “moderator/admin” (however we define that) initially. Version 2 can include users-with-X-reputation get to edit tags, etc.
  • Initial tag list for each topic site can be somewhat arbitrarily created based on top tags of comparable SE site
  • Tags should include, but not necessarily require, a free-form text explanation.

Suggestion for MVP: each tag has an optional text description. The purpose of the description is to explain to people (primarily people asking questions) when to use that tag.

Ultimately we’ll want the longer description (wiki, on SE) too. I don’t think it’s required for the MVP, but if it’s easy we should try to do them together.