I know that there have been requests to raise the max number of tags for a question before, and I understand that the data suggests that this isn't required since 3 tags is the median number and adding more tags could be a mess...

...but here's my suggestion / request: for those times where more tags are needed, let me "buy" them with my points. Perhaps 5 points to buy 1 extra tag, 15 for 2, 30 for 3, etc. Dissuade me from tag-spam, but let me have them if I need them.

Edit: Personally I'm a .NET developer and my main interests and curiousities are language-agnostic (as far as C# and VB.NET go); however when I ask a .NET (again, not language-specific) question that can be answered by either C# or VB.NET developers then I feel it's beneficial to tag the question with [.NET] [C#] and [VB.NET] to draw the maximum number of relevant users to the question.

I understand this could be seen as abuse of the tags, if it's a .NET question then it should be tagged with just .NET--but if I provide a code-sample in either language then that language also is arguably relevant. To say that I'm abusing the tags by using all three is perhaps correct, but it would also be correct to say that if a question is about the .NET Framework, BCL's or any other feature of the platform with equal representation in both languages then the language tags should be left off entirely and [.NET] should only be used.

  • 2
    WTF was with the verb conjugation on the tags? – TheTXI Aug 18 '09 at 17:42
  • 3
    An example of why we don't want more than 5 tags... – squillman Aug 18 '09 at 17:56
  • 3
    I smell a status-declined in the air – juan Aug 18 '09 at 18:30
  • @TheTXI: Blame Chacha102 – STW Aug 18 '09 at 18:31
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    If I use only two tags, do I get extra rep? – mmyers Aug 18 '09 at 18:38
  • mmyers is coming in under budget! – TheTXI Aug 18 '09 at 18:45

I have yet to see an honest reason why someone would need more than 5 tags to accurate categorize a question. Generally anybody who says they need more than 5 are tagging incorrectly and trying to assign tags that are either redundant or useless to someone who looks through tags for problems.

  • Some problems cover a multitude of domains, like a math-oriented LINQ query in C# for data in an Excel Workbook. This would take four tags right off the bat, and that's without version specific tags. Without a tag hierarchy system it's very easy to run out of tag room on the complex questions. – Lance Roberts Aug 18 '09 at 17:59
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    "LINQ", "C#", "Excel" only takes 3 for me. That leaves you 2 more tags to do anything else. If your question is so complex that it needs more than 5 tags to accurately define the subject matter, perhaps you should think about refining your question or splitting it into more than one question. – TheTXI Aug 18 '09 at 18:02
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    @TheTXI: agreed. The question is the question. The tags are not the question.... – squillman Aug 18 '09 at 18:07
  • All too often people try to make the tags the same as their title or make their title the same thing as their tags. This leads way too often where people will start throwing in tags that don't really mean anything to anybody. The idea is to use the tags in conjunction with the title so that the appropriate people see and then respond to the questions. – TheTXI Aug 18 '09 at 18:10
  • @TheTXI: I've never heard that explanation - provided that the title is essentially treated as tags then I'm fine with that, just make it obvious and known. – STW Aug 18 '09 at 18:32
  • I've updated my question to provide my (probably flame-bait in waiting) reasoning for wanting a couple extra tags. – STW Aug 18 '09 at 18:33
  • @TheTXI: I just tried renaming my title to include "Feature Request", but Rich B decided that Title != Tags; so maybe you two can get together and decide what must be omitted from the title and included in the tags and vice-versa – STW Aug 18 '09 at 18:41
  • Yooder, the appropriate way to tag would be more like ".Net" and "language-agnostic" moreso than trying to include both C# and VB tags. If your question is not reliant on either, there should be no real reason to include them. I understand that you want to try and hit as many potential viewers as possible, but I have a feeling .NET is probably the most watched tag of all, so you are likely to be catching the attention of more than enough people to offset the few you may miss by not including C# and VB. – TheTXI Aug 18 '09 at 18:48
  • @TheTXI: I'd be curious to see how the actual "Interesting" and "Ignored" tag-lists that users have built; I added another feature-request to include them in the data-dump: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/15229/… – STW Aug 18 '09 at 18:58
  • I can see possibly raising it by one or two on Meta. Because you have to have one of the required tags, and you can't replace a Moderator tag. – Brad Gilbert Aug 18 '09 at 20:17

There would still need to be a cap, otherwise high-rep users could just freely create tag spam again. Plus it would clog up the UI something fierce.

I much prefer using concise, appropriate tagging in the first place. I think 5 is plenty. Ask the question in the title and body, don't ask it in the tags.

  • 5
    I don't think high-rep users are the ones who create tag spam. – Lance Roberts Aug 18 '09 at 17:16
  • 1
    @Lance: Right, because we haven't had any problems with high rep users not following rules, conventions and the FAQ. I wish I had a set of those rose colored glasses. – GEOCHET Aug 18 '09 at 17:37
  • @Rich B: I saw a really cool pair once at this store, and they made me think of you. – TheTXI Aug 18 '09 at 17:41
  • @TheTXI: The ones with the little hearts all over them? – GEOCHET Aug 18 '09 at 17:45
  • I once had a pair of Minnie mouse sunglasses. I mean... a friend's daughter had a pair... I wonder where I left those. I miss them so. – devinb Aug 18 '09 at 17:59
  • I agree there would need to be a strong push to dissuade from tag abuse, make the cost-per-tag crazy then. 25 for the first, 100 for the second 500 for the third, etc. – STW Aug 18 '09 at 18:34

Even if you are sacrificing reputation, I believe the same reasons to not allow too many tags apply. It will become overwhelming and messy. Additionally, the tag editing system would have to be modified in reaction to this, which could and likely would add complication and/or confusion. I believe the max number should be the max number, regardless of reputation.

  • I'm already mildly confused by the tagging system, TheTXI, a moderator says they are to be used in addition to the title--while my intuition assumed they should be used to denote the question's relevant categories, even if it's already noted in the title. – STW Aug 18 '09 at 18:46
  • @Yooder, the tags should denote relevant categories, and I'm not commenting on how many tags I think should be allowed, only that whatever the number is, I do not believe there should be a way to "buy" more. Honestly, I don't think I would care if it was raise to 7 or lowered 3, but I think trying to add a system to allow people to add additional tags would become more complicated than its worth. – Timothy Carter Aug 18 '09 at 18:51

I seldom need more than 2 tags... 3 tops

(I often even find myself thinking hard to come up with more tags to fill the 5 quota)


How many tags for 100 rep points? There's a good number of questions out there with bounties, and somebody who wants an answer really badly may also use those rep points to spam tags.

  • My intent wasn't to request specific pricing, but to request that the firm limit of 5 tags be lifted to allow the occasional exceptions to pass. If a question has irrelevant tags I'm sure it will still generate plenty of vitriol and the question will only be replied to with WTF comments rather than answers, same as today. – STW Aug 18 '09 at 18:36

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