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I had recently begun curatorial work here, to improve tag coverage for

I had a number of edits rejected on the grounds they were not substantial.
(I actually have an edit ban for the next week)

This question regards minor grammatical edits and formatting, but not tagging.

I can understand that adding a tag is a tiny addition, in terms of change-delta.. but I'm seeking various perspectives on why it is a conceptually 'insubstantial' difference.

I'm coming at this from the side of a librarian — I want to see good categorization structure. Is there any way this can be considered in alignment with community policing standards?


Having learned much during my research of this, I think these are the important condensations of the issue:

Re-Tagging Standards:

  1. Editing 'minor' tags with < 2k reputation forces the use of site moderation resources, which is a waste.
  2. En-masse tagging is itself problematic, as it can flood the top-feed with these edited posts.
  3. Tag additions where the content already contains such keywords is less-substantial than removing a tag on a question where it is mis-tagged.
  4. No other edits can be made while yours is pending
  5. Excessive editing forces a question into the status of being a Community Wiki.
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    Those users felt that the value of your edit(s) weren't significant enough to justify the costs associated with suggesting an edit. Based on a simple spot check of a handful of your recent edits, I'd generally agree with the actions taken for them (barring a handful of the minor tag edits that were approved, after looking a bit further). – Servy Sep 19 '13 at 19:54
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    To answer the question of "how do I make changes like this and get them approved?" the answer is either get 2k reputation or take the time to improve the entire post and make more substantial improvements, in addition to fixing the tags, rather than looking at the tags and ignoring the rest of the question. – Servy Sep 19 '13 at 20:01
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Adding a tag in and of itself is neither a minor change nor a major change... it's what you change the tags to that is minor or not. Changing the tag from to is major because it has a profound effect on the audience and the answers. Adding is kind of minor - people reading the question are not going to change their response based on the presence of that tag.

Being a librarian (according to your post), you are probably a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to categorizing (just a guess). In general, though, "good enough" is the standard. Since we all might have subtlely different ideas about how best to categorize posts, these kinds of tiny edits can get out of hand very quickly. In the end, the tags aren't as much about categorizing everything as much as reaching an audience and getting the point across. If your edit doesn't do enough to improve the conveyance of the message, then it's minor.

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  • I disagree; asset-pipeline is used for Rails asset pipeline, whereas many people use the term "asset pipeline" for any framework's handling of assets. Seeing your new addendum (since you moved this from Comment to Answer), I see that the 'good enough' strategy is the evident norm here. – New Alexandria Sep 19 '13 at 20:07
  • @NewAlexandria Okay. That would (maybe) justify removing that tag if it didn't apply to a given question, not why adding that tag would be essential to a question related to asset pipelines (by the tag's definition). – Servy Sep 19 '13 at 20:08
  • @NewAlexandria - I've added some justification for the "good enough" norm. – JDB still remembers Monica Sep 19 '13 at 20:10
  • @NewAlexandria To reiterate what is said above, we're not saying you can't ever adjust the tags if you feel that you can improve them, merely that if they're only slightly off then you're using up a lot of the site's resources to fix it. That time can be better utilized elsewhere. If you do want to take the time to fix these tags then take the time to fix up the entire post, as in many cases there is a lot of value for you to add. When the tags are really wrong (i.e. a Java question tagged C#) then changing just that adds a lot of value, so that can be "enough". – Servy Sep 19 '13 at 20:11
  • It's true that I can only find 2 questions where asset-pipeline is inappropriate. I'll to bookmark them for next Wednesday~ – New Alexandria Sep 19 '13 at 20:15
  • @Servy along with the other Q that I flagged for my Q to duplicate, I can see that consumption of moderation resources is a key matter. i'll wait until I have 2k rep, to avoid that. – New Alexandria Sep 19 '13 at 20:16
  • @NewAlexandria That's certainly one of the main reasons, but there are others. It bumps the question on the "active" page; no other edits can be made while yours is pending, it moves the post closer to becoming Community Wiki, just to name some more. Not all go away at 2k rep (but many do). Even at 2k you should still strive to make more substantial edits, even if the community is a bit more lax at that point. – Servy Sep 19 '13 at 20:19
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I sometimes approve tags-only changes in the review queue if the rest of the question does not need further modification. But most of the tags-only edits in the queue are on questions which do require further improvement (at least in the cases I have reviewed). In those cases, the edit will most probably be rejected (at least I do vote to reject them), because a suggested edit should correct as many problems as it can.

That being said, you are less than 150 rep short of being able to edit questions, I believe you can reach the 2k mark easily and keep up with the good tagging work you have started ;)

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  • I'm under 150 on Meta, but Main SO is different – New Alexandria Sep 19 '13 at 20:24
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    @NewAlexandria He said you're 150 rep short of the 2k needed to edit posts, being just over 1,850 rep. – Servy Sep 19 '13 at 20:24
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    @NewAlexandria What Servy said, you made me realize it wasn't properly formulated ;) – Laf Sep 19 '13 at 20:49

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