The concept of allowing users to write descriptions for tags presupposes that there exists people who are somewhat knowledgeable about the subject of the tag, and that some of them will be motivated enough to take the time to create and edit these descriptions.

It can, therefore, be said both about persons who follow tags and persons who edit tag wikis that

  1. They care about the subject the tag represents
  2. They know at least a little bit about the subject

If the same people who would follow a tag are the same people who would create and edit tag wikis, then we should try to motivate users trying to follow a wikiless tag to create that tag wiki.

I suppose there is the nice way to do this,

We see you are following the [Derpify] tag. This tag does not have a wiki. Would you consider taking a minute or two to create one? Please click here to create a wiki for this tag

Or you could be an ass about it

Sorry, you cannot follow a tag that does not have a wiki. If you wish to follow this tag, please click here to create a wiki for this tag. This will not only allow you to follow this tag, but will help drive more interest to questions with this tag.

  • 2
    Great idea! Let's also use «Sorry, you cannot ask questions in a tag that has unanswered questions. If you wish to ask a question in this tag, please click here to answer…»
    – Grigory M
    Aug 19, 2011 at 16:16
  • @GrigoryM: Your sarcasm. It is not that good.
    – user1228
    Aug 19, 2011 at 16:20
  • 5
    We have so many tags where I don't even want to think about a description, because they are so self-descriptive. Forcing users to create one isn't the right approach. A gentle reminder is okay, but forcing them to create one is not.
    – slhck
    Aug 19, 2011 at 16:28
  • @slhck: "We have so many tags where I don't even want to think about a description." Let me guess--you don't follow a single one of them, right? Kreskin!
    – user1228
    Aug 19, 2011 at 16:30
  • 1
    Fair point, but not entirely :) Can't talk about SO, but on SU for example, [sound] or [volume] both have no description, but I'm following them. It wouldn't really make sense to write a description for them either (or at least, it's not that important).
    – slhck
    Aug 19, 2011 at 16:35
  • 4
    Hmmm. It's an interesting suggestion, but I can't help but fear that it would mainly lead to the creation of crappy tag wikis, or Wikipedia copy & pastes. Not everyone who is interested in a tag has the gift to write a wiki for it
    – Pekka
    Aug 19, 2011 at 16:36
  • @EatmoreTwisters: I find it hard to believe that someone who wants to follow a tag (which isn't something dbags and people who don't give a crap do) would write a crappy one.
    – user1228
    Aug 19, 2011 at 16:38
  • 6
    For what it's worth, I think that writing tag wiki excerpts is a high art. It's very hard to be precise and to the point if you're supposed to write in a non-native language and you're restricted in the amount of characters you have.
    – slhck
    Aug 19, 2011 at 16:39
  • @Won't hmmm. I see what you mean, but what if a user isn't well-versed enough in English to write a good Wiki? It does take some writing talent. I don't know. (edit - agree with @shlck)
    – Pekka
    Aug 19, 2011 at 16:40
  • 4
    WHY ARE YOU DOWNVOTING etc. Anyhow, its a suggestion. It came to me while investigating the [Toad] tag. I was like, "What the hell is Toad?" then I was like "Dangit, no wiki" but then I was like "Wait, no tag wiki, but seven people are following?" and finally I was like "who the hell would follow a tag and yet leave it wikiless?" Thought this would be a good way to help get wikis on tags, but noooooooooooo.
    – user1228
    Aug 19, 2011 at 16:51
  • 2
    I can see your motivation. I really do. I'm afraid though we'd have to do this differently. Quite a few people don't care about the tags, and they care about their wikis even less. After all, they're not necessary for the functionality of the site.
    – slhck
    Aug 19, 2011 at 16:57
  • @slhck: Okay. Some people don't care about tags or tag wikis. Of course, this suggestion has nothing to do with these people. I'm not exactly sure you are catching on to what I wrote, after that comment.
    – user1228
    Aug 19, 2011 at 17:03
  • Right, my last comment wasn't about the group of users you mentioned (i.e. people who've already written tag wikis). As I said, I have nothing against your first proposal. It's surely a nice way to encourage creating wikis.
    – slhck
    Aug 19, 2011 at 17:41
  • 2
    A +1 only for the non-ass version of this feature.
    – jscs
    Aug 19, 2011 at 18:03

1 Answer 1


I think suggesting to write a tag wiki might be a good idea - but not requiring it.

I'm following some tags where I'm not really knowledgeable enough to write answers (other than in trivial cases), but where I simply want to read interesting questions and the even more interesting answers to them.

It wouldn't be good for the tag wiki if I had to write something here just to name this tag one of my favorite ones.

(Actually, for all but one of my favorite tags there are already tag wikis, and I just wrote one for the remaining one.)

  • This is the answer for all of you to upvote who only want the "suggest" half of Won't's proposal. :-) Aug 19, 2011 at 18:48
  • [jzlib] doesn't have a tag wiki.
    – user1228
    Aug 19, 2011 at 19:10
  • Yeah. This edit will be visible only to you until it is peer reviewed. Aug 19, 2011 at 19:26
  • 1
    @PaloEbermann: Damn, the links were greyed out! I accepted your edits.
    – user1228
    Aug 19, 2011 at 19:54

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