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There have been some discussions (1, 2) on the usefulness and visibility of Tag Wikis. Two concerns that have repeatedly been voiced are :

  • Searchability
  • Visibility

These are major problems with the wikis and here are some ideas on how to improve this.

##Firstly, why at all? Tag Wikis are an awesome resource. Stack sites' have a lot of expertise and wikis are one way of documenting and showing it to new users. Tag Wikis can contain some of the canonical information as well as stuff that would not normally be a good fit for the Q&A format, even though the expertise is there, and so is the willingness to help.

##Possible Solutions ###Searchability Making Tag Wikis searchable should not / would not be a very difficult task. They are indexed by Google, so they are searchable externally.

I think they should be made searchable similar to questions and answers internally as well. In a search query, the tags should first be identified, and then the remaining terms could be searched for within the wiki. Then, questions and answers could be searched normally. If the Tag Wikis are well written and curated, they would have the FAQs of the tag and some of the commonly asked information as well, making the search process possibly faster and return relevant results.

###Visibility Tag Wikis are a minimum 3 clicks away* from the home page whereas questions and answers are 1 click away. This itself is a demotivating factor as far as putting efforts into the wikis are concerned as compared to asking and answering. Moreover, the chances of a new user even stumbling onto the wikis is remote.

To tackle this, Tag Wikis could be brought right onto the home page. Clicking on a tag from the panel on the home page would redirect to the wiki and not to the tagged questions. This would be only from the top panel.

RE

The tags that appear on the top panel would be ones that are selected via a democratic process by the community, and not simply the most popular ones. This would allow for the site's best wikis to be displayed on the home page.

###Too much space? This would occupy a lot of real estate and the reason why I think some text should be kept (contrary to the current implementation) is so that new users see it, and then may get curious enough to click through. If we simply had tags, it would not highlight the wiki as prominently, thereby reducing the chances of even getting mouse-overs. It could however, be made dismissable, or not appear for users having rep>some limit as they most likely would know about the wikis.

##Where? Depending on the implementation, most of the high volume established sites would not want this IMO, so this request is targeted towards the newer SE sites, especially beta sites. Beta sites have a much lower volume of questions but not any lack of expertise. Hence, putting efforts into resources such as the wiki is viable for newer sites. It can become an excellent way of showing and documenting the community expertise for new users.

*Wikis are reachable by hovering and clicking on info. However, considering there are 6 clickable options on the hover-card plus hovering by itself is not something new users would do, this is rather un-intuitive.


###Part 2 is now up!

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  • 2
    If nothing else, I think clicking on a tag should take you directly to the tag wiki rather than to the list of top questions for that tag. May 9, 2013 at 5:42
  • 4
    @KyleStrand: No. How often would you refer to the tag wiki rather than the question list? I find myself use the tag to access the question list a lot, while I only look for tag wiki when I feel like reading something about the technology.
    – nhahtdh
    May 9, 2013 at 6:56
  • I suppose, though it's almost as easy to just search for [tag]. May 9, 2013 at 19:44
  • It's less than 3 clicks if you hover a tag and click the "info" link in the popup, but I agree that's still not very visible.
    – hammar
    Jun 9, 2013 at 15:35
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    @hammar Thats very far from being intuitive. Moreover, there are 6 clickable options on the popup.
    – asheeshr
    Jun 9, 2013 at 15:39
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    Agree with @hammar that it's nice that you can simply hover your mouse over the tag and the excerpt materializes... but also agree with OP that "info" is not obviously going to lead to the full-text tag wiki. Maybe make this bigger/colored? Maybe it should say "more" instead of "info"? Jun 9, 2013 at 15:43
  • At least, I think the text used by the learn more… | improve tag wiki | top users | synonyms (4) | FOO jobs links that appear in the summary when clicking on a tag could be improved. "learn more..." simply doesn't cut it considering the wealth of information on the resulting wiki page.
    – JoshDM
    Jul 10, 2013 at 15:10
  • The page that referred me here made me think I was coming to a page in the help area that was going to define tag wikis. Tell me what they are and how they differ from community wikis, but apparently this isn't that. Where should one go to learn what a tag wiki actually is? Apr 25, 2014 at 7:42
  • @TravisBemrose One could start here.
    – asheeshr
    Apr 25, 2014 at 12:28
  • I'm truly glad you are waving this banner about. The value is so high, especially when you consider your point about Beta sites. Added daily content to wiki's can really help to drive traffic to them. The bot measuring a the delta and seeing ongoing additional and modified content will help to drive up the SEO rankings as well as just providing all of the valuable points you enumerated. Are you aware of any traction on this subject matter? I'd love to see the functionality and visibility enhanced. I think it may be the only issue I have with SE and how it works.
    – Cititzen
    Jan 13, 2016 at 23:56
  • It's a pity this went nowhere. At CrossValidated, we do get questions that are completely answered by the wiki of one of the tags, e.g. here, especially if someone has gone to the trouble of editing the basic information into it. Gaze in wonder at our R tag wiki, which I am afraid nobody posting in the R tag ever even glances at. Jul 26, 2022 at 5:22

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