Where I'm coming from
I'm a moderator on an SE with 5000+ visitors per day, a lot of drive-by askers but few regular contributors (6 editors with 5+ edits this year), and a substantial tagging mess.
When I joined the site more than two years ago, I recognized and battled the tagging situation even before I was a moderator. Now, I've been a moderator for more than two years, and have invested a significant amount of time into improving the tagging situation there. Meanwhile, more than 80 tags were removed or merged, probably two dozen new ones were created and populated, a good many at least got tag infos. The tagging situation is vastly improved, but what remains unassailable are about a dozen generic ambiguous "catch-it-all" tags that are plastered on up to 1000 questions. Naturally, those tags don't help much at confining, representing or describing content.
The Quixotic task
After an initial push that dissipated last year, I've recently begun the quixotic task of splitting one of those voracious giants into several tags. I collected feedback for target tags, got a go-ahead from my co-moderators, and provided instructions for the retag. Said instructions were featured until expiration thereof, yet, so far only about 700 edits were done, of which I did 600+ myself. That's still 700 left!
People do seem to agree that the result would be an improvement, yet, apparently it is not sufficient to motivate more users to help. Of course I was hoping that I'd encourage others to step up and help when they saw, but since that apparently isn't happening, I'm getting a bit disheartened… Also, it's incredible frustrating to see the frontpage flooded with old questions whenever I retag another dozen.
Could we please get better tools for operations on large deprecated tags?
Useful would be e.g.
- A "retag review queue" that gets automatically populated with questions featuring tags marked as deprecated
- A tool to burninate a tag (with consensus among all moderators)
- A tool to blacklist useless tags that get re-created immediately after they've been burninated
- A tool to silently retag a lot of questions at once (preferably with review)
- A tool to stage a retag that trickles edited questions to the frontpage instead of the usual flood
- A tool to submit burnination/blacklisting requests to CM review
CM's have been very helpful in the past, but response times can be a hindrance. The need for retags seems to come up in all SEs at some point or another. Some have a great userbase that lends a hand, but on smaller sites it can be extremely arduous to curate content back to order after it grew rampantly without concept for several years. Tags are incredibly important for finding related questions on site and helpful for SEO.
It's not a new idea, but perhaps one whose time has come?
This or similar requests have been made before, and CM has either not responded, or even stated that they'd like to provide better tools. Could this please be reconsidered?
Related discussions following:
- Give mods better tools to get rid of poor tags
- Repurpose the new review system for large-scale tagging operations
- Moderators should be able to remove / burninate a tag themselves
- Ad hoc review queues
- System to enable hand-sorted moderator retagging for sizeable disambiguation jobs
- Let the community add a few data queries to the review queue
- Give moderators the ability to manage blacklisted tags
- Tool for peer-reviewed no-bump mass retagging