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  1. Why it is possible to create tags with no description?
  2. If the tag is useful, how hard can it be to summarise?
  3. If it can't be summarised, how can it be useful?

My own answers to these three questions are

3. It can't be.
2. It shouldn't be hard at all.
1. It shouldn't be possible.

Hence my feature request. Problems like this one shouldn't exist.

Over on the Workplace beta, the Money tag has no description. It has a random set of questions showing no clear categorisation. I've submitted a suggested description, but I'd be happy if anything went in there to suggest a purpose and to provide something that would differentiate it from other tags; sooner rather than later, to avoid the need for much reclassification after it develops into a mess. But it makes me wonder why undescribed tags are allowed at all.

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Since tag wikis require approval, this would either force questions to not have those tags, or delay the question until the wiki is approved, or some equally convoluted situation –  Ben Brocka Oct 23 '12 at 16:55
    
@BenBrocka I don't see why it would cause that problem. The current code can cope with showing tags with no description. I don't see why the tag couldn't be made visible straight away, even if the wiki approval were pending. I'm just saying that creation should require a wiki submission; doesn't mean the tag (and associated question) couldn't be immediately visible. –  itsbruce Oct 23 '12 at 17:04
    
Considering that users that just gained the tag creation privs tend to be horrible at creating new tags to begin with, this is probably a bad idea. –  Charles Oct 23 '12 at 17:09
    
-1 This will lead to the creation tag wikis full of gibberish and make asking questions more inconvenient. In the end, we'll lose rather than gain value. –  NullUserException อ_อ Oct 23 '12 at 19:28

3 Answers 3

Creating tags and tag wikis isn't the main purpose of the site. But creating new tags is often directly in the workflow of creating a question, so it should not be a point of friction. If you require a tag summary just to post a question, you'd probably end up with the same nonsense that you'd get if you required a comment with every downvote. I think it's better to leave summarizing a tag for later, after the community has reached a consensus on what tag to use for a topic, and what that tag really means.

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Exactly, especially on the last line. Some tags are not that easy to summarize at all and if I had to do that just for posting a question... I wouldn't. –  Alenanno Oct 23 '12 at 16:57
4  
Yes. I'd rather people not create garbage wikis just to get their question asked. When reviewing tags it's much easier to spot (and thus correct) a missing wiki than a bad one. –  Monica Cellio Oct 23 '12 at 16:58
    
"If you require a tag summary just to post a question, you'd probably end up with the same nonsense that you'd get if you required a comment with every downvote." I disagree. People make new tags much less frequently than they vote. Individual votes are not significant, while tags will be reused and can either contribute beneficially to the structure and value of the site or create noise and diminish it. Nobody should be creating meaningless tags, so asking for a little thought before creating one is a good thing. –  itsbruce Oct 23 '12 at 17:00
    
@itsbruce Sure, but asking me to do that when I'm in middle of writing a question is a bad thing. –  Bill the Lizard Oct 23 '12 at 17:01
4  
@itsbruce I think Bill's point was that if you set the tag wikis to mandatory, people would write garbage just to ask their question. And in that sense, the comparison works perfectly. Tags are much more important than a single downvote, so if anything, it makes more sense for tag wikis to be this way than for comments on downvotes. –  Alenanno Oct 23 '12 at 17:02

I don't think this is a good idea. Depending on the tag it can be quite difficult to provide a good quality summary. Another consideration is that English isn't everyone's first language (and even for some people who it is their first language their writing skills can use some improvement).

In addition forcing people to create a summary is likely to just encourage garbage summaries which I think in turn will discourage the creation/edit of a quality summary (after all there isn't a noticeable absence).

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I say reduce the tag creator's rep by some amount each day that goes by between the creation of the tag and the creation of the wiki.

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I had a nice round number until you posted this... what happens if they can't get their tag wiki's approved because it's not very good? They get punished for being unable to write? –  ben is uǝq backwards Oct 23 '12 at 17:21
    
Yeah, my rep was getting too high here, too. I say give em a week to get it approved then start deducting. It might not be a bad idea to make tag creation cost something, much like, ahem, down voting. –  Chris Gerken Oct 23 '12 at 17:23
    
Ah, a member of the New Tag Deletionist Cabal?! You don't need to punish people in order to help! The point is it's better to have someone who wants to get it right to create something than someone who has to. –  ben is uǝq backwards Oct 23 '12 at 17:26
    
I think you get your cake and eat it, too. Any one can create a tag and any one that wants to can create a wiki for it. What this does is cost someone who creates a tag and doesn't ever get around to explaining what that tag is. –  Chris Gerken Oct 23 '12 at 17:29
    
And btw, I've got at least nine other answers here on meta if you want to even out your rep :) –  Chris Gerken Oct 23 '12 at 17:30

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