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(Semi-related to Too much retagging)

I have been going through a bunch of single-use tags on Super User (misspellings, tag synonyms etc.) and retagging them with proper, commonly-used tags. However, this causes a lot of unnecessary bumping:

unnecessary bumping

Even accepted answers get bumped by simple retags. Is there any way to avoid this unnecessary bumping by simple retags? Is it poor etiquette to retag a lot of questions in one sitting? Should they be spread out over the course of a day? I don't want the entire front page to be filled with old questions being retagged. Thanks!

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3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

First off, if it is only <30 questions to retag, then it shouldn't be a problem. I don't know just how fast Super User goes, but I think that small enough numbers should go off the front page fast enough. Do batches in the span of minutes, like 3 questions at a time. If you have a really large plate, then it really helps better to make a retag-request.

Probably the greatest hazard of staggered retagging is doing part of it and forgetting to complete the job, or forgetting where you last were. So it usually works easier to do it all in one sitting, in my opinion. I haven't really seen it be a problem, but again it is mostly dependent on whether you're retagging 40 questions or 400. When it is too many retags for one sitting, again it helps for a retag-request. But if you want better numeric advice, you should probably check out this post.

That said, I personally only do one or two tags a day, even if they happen to be small. It just feels simpler that way.

Finally, I always recommend retagging from the earliest posts first. That way, when you near the end of the job, the most recent questions are the ones at the top.

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3  
this is pretty much my strategy -- a small handful at a time, 2 or 3, then leave off for "a while". my definition of "a while" is usually long enough that my last batch of retags has scrolled a third or more down the front page. –  quack quixote May 30 '10 at 17:52

Under the current system, there's really not much choice to throttle your edits when the site is slow.

In the case of Super User, if you're hitting any captchas, then you're probably going too fast. Even then, it can annoy people (justifiably!) when they ask a question and it's pushed off the front page within 10 minutes, when it might normally take 3-5x that long.

There are more issues to be dealt with than just flooding of the homepage. You can find a detailed analysis of the issues involved here (you'll need to read all the answers and comments to get the full picture), and based on the contents of that question, I developed a solution to problem.

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I completely agree that some change to the bumping methodology has to take place, but I guess there's no immediate solution. And no, I'm rarely hitting captchas, and try to limit the retags to 3-5 at a time. And just like quack said, I "leave off for 'a while'". Cheers! –  squircle May 31 '10 at 0:18

Often the purpose of the retagging is to bump. I don't mean that in a "cheaty" way. I'm fixing SO questions tagged that should have been tagged . With the wrong tag on them, they might have been ignored during their time on the home page (a minute or whatever SO questions get) because they wouldn't have the right highlight colour. After the retag, the chances are higher that someone who can answer will see them.

I think the majority of retags are from a decent tag that isn't right for this question to decent tag that is right for this question. Retags like that "deserve" to bump the question. That's why I wouldn't want to have a new "retag never causes bump" rule.

There are also a category of retags that are not well-meaning, such as putting an unrelated tag on a question in order to gain a tag badge or some tag score. Those are more likely to be caught and reversed if the retag causes a bump. That's why I wouldn't want to have a new checkbox that you could check to say "minor edit; no bump".

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