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Right now you can visit the tag synonyms page and see the synonyms that have been suggested but not yet approved.

What incentive does the regular user have to go to that page, click on the tag, go to that tag's Info tab, and vote up or down a proposed synonym?

It is not a quick process at all, so I propose that some incentive is added for creating and voting on synonyms. (Badge) Or, alternatively, put the voting right on the page that lists all of the synonym proposals, so it is easier to vote on the proposals.

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If there is an incentive, I think it should be retroactive. Maybe I can get a few K exps out of the deal: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/58140/… –  Evan Carroll Jul 26 '10 at 18:24
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related: Add voting buttons to the tag synonym overview page –  sth Jul 26 '10 at 18:33
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@Evan, I agree about making it retroactive. Maybe we can all get a few K Exps. –  jjnguy Jul 26 '10 at 18:36
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2 Answers

What incentive does the regular user have to go to that page, click on the tag, go to that tag's Info tab, and vote up or down a proposed synonym?

They make Stack Overflow better :)

I am working on streamlining the process this week and giving mods simple override powers. This will cleanup the backlog. I would also like to make it easier to find these areas.

I am concerned about encouraging this any more, have already seen some really bad suggestions like gvim => vim etc.

I very much doubt we will introduce a reputation based incentive here but we may introduce a badge in future.

Keep in mind even without any new incentives we are getting tons of synonyms on SO.

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I second "have already seen some really bad suggestions"; I think I've seen more bad proposals than good –  Michael Mrozek Jul 26 '10 at 22:13
    
Is the synonyms system restricted to a certain reputation level? If not, that might be a good idea to start. –  Jon Seigel Jul 26 '10 at 22:50
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@Jon its pretty restricted, you need edit rights to propose and vote, was considering adding another rule that you need N votes in the tag to propose synonyms. –  waffles Jul 26 '10 at 23:49
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I'd support the N votes in the tag idea. I don't think you'd have to set the bar very high on that front, though. –  Jon Seigel Jul 27 '10 at 5:08
    
"They make StackOverflow better" is certainly an incentive for a moderator... but not as much for your average everyday user... –  Alex Lockwood Jun 12 '12 at 20:31
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I'm not opposed to an incentive, but I think retaggers (who already spend time retagging posts without an incentive to do so) would happily propose/vote for a tag synonym rather than doing the retagging manually

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+1 A clean system is a big enough reward in itself. –  Jon Seigel Jul 26 '10 at 22:08
    
I thought the incentive was to be able to find stuff more easily in the future? –  SamB Nov 27 '10 at 3:56
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