I'm interested in finding out when, exactly, a particular tag on one of the Stack Exchange sites was created.

Specifically, I'm trying to find out the adoption rate of the rules as written tag on RPG.SE. It's a relatively new tag, and it seems that in its lifetime, very few relevant questions have actually used it - but I'm interested in actually getting a handle on the exact numbers. I figure the best way is to find out the creation date of the tag, then how many questions were asked since that date.

I can't figure out a way to find it though:

  • The tag wiki only mentions the date it was recorded, not that of the tag.
  • Visiting the questions with that tag, sorting by Newest and going to the last page will only find the oldest question the tag has been added to - if the tag was created in 2012, a 2011 question might still appear there.
  • Sorting by Active is better, but will mislead me if the oldest questions it got applied to have been active since.
  • There doesn't appear to be a creation date on tags in the data explorer.

What can I do?


To get a slightly better indication you can run this query on SEDE to get the earliest date that tag was added to a question.

SELECT min(creationdate) as tagdate
FROM posthistory
WHERE posthistorytypeid in (3,6)  -- 3 = inital tag, 6 = edit tags
AND [text] LIKE '%<rules-as-written>%'

The outcome of this query is

2013-06-20 03:59:07

I can't fully figure out why that tag wiki doesn't show the earlier existence. I expected the clean-up of orphaned tags might have something todo with it but I can't find evidence to back that statement. Maybe the fact that the tag was added by a moderator has something to do with it?


I'm pretty sure if you go to the tag's info page and click "history" it shows when (and who if applicable) created the tag:

enter image description here

Now this could just be the creation date of the wiki, but I'm pretty sure it is the creation date of the tag. For example:

enter image description here

Obviously you can't create an empty wiki.

Tags are only created when they are used, so the creation date of that tag would equate to it's first usage. I'm not sure you can figure out what question used it first though.

  • 3
    This doesn't seem to be the case, though. The history for RAW is, at its earliest, August '13 - but it was applied to a question in June 2013. Apr 19 '14 at 3:07
  • 1
    As he stated in his question, the history shows when the tag wiki was created, not when the tag was created. Some tags go quite some time before a wiki is created for them. The empty wiki was likely created in conjunction with an excerpt (creating one creates the other too).
    – animuson StaffMod
    Apr 19 '14 at 13:52

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