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In the past, users with more than 300 or so reputation points (I don't remember the exact number) had the ability to create new tags. Those tags made it easier to search for similar questions and to identify the context of the questions.

I had created a few new tags for questions I asked. Now, it seems the Stack Overflow team — without prior notice to the users involved or any intimation of intent — has revoked permission to create new tags and set the reputation for creating new tags to more than 1500.

Isn't this an act of bullying? Did the team feel it was useless/unnecessary/not required to inform all the registered users before making the changes?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jun 13 '10 at 4:26

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There is a similar discussion here, on why the tag-creation threshold was increased to 1500 –  Graviton Jun 13 '10 at 4:33
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Why do people feel the need to be blatantly rude in their questions? "Why wasn't the community informed the tag threshold was changing?" would've worked perfectly fine; if the SO team wanted to "bully" us I think they'd choose something a little worse than raising the new tag threshold –  Michael Mrozek Jun 13 '10 at 4:39
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@Michael Quite frankly, this is less blatantly rude that many other questions I've seen. –  devinb Jun 14 '10 at 8:53
    
@devinb I agree with you, but "others are worse" does not equal "this is good." –  Pops May 13 '12 at 20:28

1 Answer 1

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Creating new tags is a "Bad Thing"TM

The purpose of tags is two-fold. One part (the lesser part) is, as you say, to make it easier to find similar questions. They accomplish this by sorting tags into narrow, well-defined categories. Sorting into categories only works if users all sort into the same set of categories as other users. Thus, creating new tags should be something done with care, because a new tag by definition is not used by anyone else. There are now more than 50,000 tags on Stack Overflow. If you can't find an existing that works, perhaps you're not looking hard enough.

The other, more important, purpose of tags is to connect your question to an audience of qualified answerers. This works because these answerers can mark specific tags as interesting or subscribe to the rss feed for that tag, and mark other tags as ignored to reduce the clutter and noise. If you create a new tag, it's guaranteed not to show up on anyone's list of tags they follow, and is therefore a waste of one of your five allowed tags.

Remember: the purpose of tags is specifically not to summarize or index your question, but rather to categorize it, and that is a subtly different thing.

Finally, you claim this change was made without announcement. Perhaps you should pay a little more attention here to meta (specifically, this question), where this kind of change is not only simply announced, but discussed first so you have the opportunity to have feedback. There have been times where management proposed changes that were never implemented because the community here said, "No."

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I'd be interested in seeing an un-implemented change that was stopped by the community. Do you have an example? –  Carson Myers Jun 13 '10 at 7:44
    
@carson Sliding Comment Timer... –  Tyler Carter Jun 13 '10 at 14:15
    
BTW, my comment was there purely to show that there has never been a chance stopped by the community. The sliding comment timer is the timer that resets itself if you try to make a comment before it runs out. The community strongly said no to it, but Jeff is very stubborn and it went into the product anyway. –  Tyler Carter Jun 13 '10 at 14:19
    
The only real way the community is involved in the features of the site is by coming up with new features, finding bugs, and giving general feedback. We don't actually pre-screen features. –  Tyler Carter Jun 13 '10 at 14:21
    
I hate that stupid timer! –  Carson Myers Jun 13 '10 at 20:48
    
@cha that's a bit of a lie, as the sliding comment timer behavior was changed several times to incorporate community feedback. –  Jeff Atwood Jun 15 '10 at 10:30
    
@jeff It really isn't a lie. I said that the community said "No" to the sliding timer, and it was implemented anyway. This it true. I left out the fact that it the community was forced to compromise because I felt it was irrelevant. –  Tyler Carter Jun 15 '10 at 14:53

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