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Workin' on a new stackexchange site (gamedev), and my rep is starting level (thus low). I was trying to post my question, but turns out I can't create any tags that I find appropriate to the question (after I submitted once, and answered a no-spam captcha once or twice). Then it turns out that I can't post a question with no tags (second submit, and another captcha). so then I had to open up a new tab to read through the possible tags for the site, pick a really vague one just to fulfill the requirement, and submit again (third submit, third captcha). So finally after 3 submissions and 3 captchas, I've gotten my question through the tag-specific-requirements hoops.

This was an annoying procedure for me, so for a newbie I'm sure it would be disruptive.

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After taking a quick look over there, "balance" is an existing tag that works well with that question: you're trying to find a value for X (or multiple values) that keeps the game balanced. "difficulty", another existing tag, is probably a bit of a stretch, but could possibly work. –  Michael Madsen Sep 22 '10 at 0:06
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And as a follow-up, how are any new tags created on a new SE site? If on registration the maximum rep one can start with is 101, then how are tags developed? –  warren Sep 22 '10 at 14:23
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@warren: I believe anyone can create tags in private beta. –  Gnome Sep 23 '10 at 15:14
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@Michael Madsen I consider myself somewhat of a power user, and I have lots of experience with Stackoverflow, superuser, etc etc. So this is me putting myself in the shoes of a new user. For me, it's annoying (primarily because of the multiple captchas). For a new user, I expect it would be a "time to leave this site" obstacle. –  Kzqai Sep 30 '10 at 2:03
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I propose that if a user has more than a certain number of rep on other Stack Exchange sites, then they can skip the low rep restrictions... –  studiohack Sep 30 '10 at 2:12
    
I linked accounts, so I have 130 rep on the site. It's just that that rep doesn't solve the tag restrictions for me. –  Kzqai Sep 30 '10 at 2:37
    
@Tchalvak: It was mainly intended as a suggestion to how you could improve the tags on that question. –  Michael Madsen Oct 1 '10 at 18:19

6 Answers 6

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Perhaps one part of the solution would be to be more clear on tags that won't work (e.g. highlighting them red & italic) because those tags don't exist and you also don't have enough rep to create them.

Edit: To clarify, the part of the problem this solves is: The site allows me to write tags that are new, without warning me in any way that said tags will prevent my question submission from succeeding.

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For new sites (and even SO in general) this would be a neat feature. I would like to see a huge warning label though to prevent useless tags. The only disadvantage is that it does require moderation to "approve" a tag –  TheLQ Sep 21 '10 at 21:07
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How about using a crossed-out font? –  Kelly S. French Sep 30 '10 at 14:23
    
Adding to this idea, if these proposed crossed-out tags were visible to higher rep users, they could be edited into existence by someone else. –  Zan Lynx Apr 30 '11 at 0:31

It sounds like the rep threshold for creating tags is too high for new sites.

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I don't know, 150 is kinda low (on SO it takes 2000). I like (Tchalvak's other solution)[meta.stackexchange.com/questions/65203/… better. –  TheLQ Sep 21 '10 at 21:08
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It does not take 2k rep. on SO to create new tags. –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Sep 22 '10 at 6:36
    
It is currently 1.5k rep on SO to create new tags, increased from 250 a few months ago. –  Gnome Sep 23 '10 at 15:11
    
Basically new sites should (and do) start with lower thresholds. Maybe the starting threshold is still too high. –  Kelly S. French Sep 30 '10 at 14:24

I think it's backwards, there should be a relationship between how many tags there are on the system to the rep required to create.

IE, only 10 tags in the system have a low rep requirement

As it increases, increase rep requirement.

IE, 350 tags in system required 1.5k rep to create

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Going by users seems to be more useful; and SO seems to need an increase about once a year. –  Gnome Sep 23 '10 at 15:13
    
While that is a cool scaling, that's probably not going to solve the usability problem? The problem isn't a lack of tags on game-dev, I think. As a newbie, I shouldn't be able to create my own tags (so what if I think my question is about fish?). But that shouldn't be as much of an obstacle to a successful posting of a question as it currently is. –  Kzqai Sep 30 '10 at 2:29

You can add a section at the end of your post asking a high-rep user to create the tag and retag your post.

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That doesn't help, because there's a requirement of at least one tag. So the catch-22 would still be an obstacle before a new user could even ask for help. –  Kzqai Sep 30 '10 at 2:09
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@Tchalvak, maybe on new sites we need a tab "please-retag" to cover that case –  Ian Ringrose Sep 30 '10 at 9:40
    
@Tchalvak: Place it in the C# tag. But then, do move the note asking for a retag to the top :-) –  Andomar Oct 3 '10 at 11:04

Perhaps another part of the whole solution would be to try to make appropriate suggestions for starting tags for low rep users in the tag field.

Edit: To clarify, I meant (for low rep users) continue to show popular tags as suggestions beyond just alphabetic matches, so that they don't have to fish alphabetically in the dark.

Or alternatively could just always display some top tags in text -next- to the tag field so that resource doesn't go away the moment you start typing in the field (for unable-to-create-new-tags users only?).

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indeed this already happens; note that the tag field is pre-populated with a selection from the top (n) tags as a hint –  Jeff Atwood Sep 22 '10 at 9:29

If I were a newbie, I would just want the problem to go away. So perhaps if I submit my question without the "you must have at least one tag" requirement met, a generic, default tag of some kind should just be tacked on, instead of forcing the new user to jump through hoops?

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