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I can't seem to find anything on SO about SO's tag system, and I was wondering how SO programmatically creates the descriptions linked to each tag. I noticed that there are a few descriptions (if not all) with scraped info from Wikipedia. I'm wondering two things:

  • Are the tags added manually? If so, are their descriptions added manually as well?
  • Or, are the tags added with some major attribution to an algorithm, perhaps one that calculates how popular a provisional tag is, then adds it to the official list if popular enough, scraping the description from some website?

If the latter, is there a common ranking algorithm I'd use to implement the voting system if I were to build my own version? I see similar systems in various websites (with different data sets), so I'm assuming that there's a common way to approach this.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com May 9 '13 at 8:06

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It's all 100% manual. Anyone can participate (including you) in the maintenance. –  Mat May 9 '13 at 6:49
    
I'd have asked on Meta, but I wanted to see if I could possibly get some algorithmic substance. Hence, the last portion of my post. –  Mr_Spock May 9 '13 at 6:56
    
Mat, so there's no 'special' vote system? If there isn't, is there a common way to automate this? –  Mr_Spock May 9 '13 at 6:57
    
There is no "special voting system". Your question doesn't really fit on SO: you don't appear to have searched much, and "recommendation" questions don't really fit. There's a bunch of frameworks that support tags (directly or via plugins). Look at how those implement them. –  Mat May 9 '13 at 8:09
    
Is there a common ranking algorithm I'd use to implement the voting system if I were to build my own version? - given that tags are manually managed on Stack Overflow, this is a completely separate question, but it sounds "not constructive" and pretty easy to figure out a basic version or find a more complex version online. –  Dukeling May 9 '13 at 8:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Are the tags added manually?

Yes. Users with 1500 reputation can create tags.

Are their descriptions added manually as well?

Yes. I think just about anyone can edit tag wiki's, but users with 5000 reputation can vote to approve these edits. Once you get 20000 reputation, you can edit these without requiring approval.

Are the tags added with some major attribution to an algorithm, perhaps one that calculates how popular a provisional tag is, then adds it to the official list if popular enough, scraping the description from some website?

To my knowledge, there are no 'provisional' tags. All tags are 'official'. As per previous answers, no description is scraped from anywhere, at least not automatically. If you see a tag wiki copied from Wikipedia, this was done by a user.

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I was wondering how SO programmatically creates the descriptions linked to each tag

The answer to that is simple. It doesn't. Those are the result of users adding and editing them.

You might have noticed some excerpts and tag wiki content which came from Wikipedia, since that is what some users do. A simple copy and paste, which is something that should be avoided.

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