I'm sure this will have already been addressed but I can't find it with a search so a reference will suffice as an answer. There are so many questions on tags...

My understanding of tags is that they are set so that people who are interested in for example c++ can filter and search for questions they might be able to answer or are interested in reading.

So when I see questions with tags such as [recv] when asking a question about that specific API function it seems to me that it serves no purpose as nobody is going to subscribe to that tag. Another example in a recent question is [listbox] because the question is about listboxes. Who is going to subscribe to questions about listboxes only?

So my question is, should those tags be edited/removed to something more useful? it's not that they are inaccurate, they are just rather pointless in my opinion.

2 Answers 2


Who is going to subscribe to questions about listboxes only?

18 people did.

Furthermore, a tag isn't useful only to be subscribed to. It is also useful in searches. A question tagged is specifically about recv, as opposed to a question which merely has recv in a code fragment but isn't about recv.

Generally speaking, if a tag has a well-defined meaning, let it be. Do not remove it (except from questions that it doesn't apply to). Tags that no one cares about are not harmful. Removing a tag that someone cares about is harmful. Do remove tags when they're meaningless (but you should generally discuss the specifics on Meta first) or in favor of another tag with the same meaning (there's a synonym mechanism for that; only remove a tag if it's useless in itself, for example because it's a misspelling).


Tags can also be useful for determining the content of a post before opening it. If it has the php tag but is a question directly related to the Zend framework and Magento, then it would be useful to know that Magento is a main part of the content. [listbox] is a bit simplified for the scope of the site. While a tag such as [listbox] may not be useful, a tag such as (lets pretend for a moment) [xyzframework]x1 would still let everyone know: "Hey, this question is about xyz framework, I'm not very good at that, I'll leave it alone." or "Oh, I'm not excellent at [php]x100000000 but I know a whole lot about [xyzframework]x1 even though I'm not subscribed"

I hope that doesn't sound condescending.

  • No ,indeed it's useful. And I know it will always be a bit subjective. I want to help by tidying things up when I can, but I don't want to remove anything that might be useful. Commented Jun 30, 2012 at 7:35

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