Tags are useful for lots of reasons. Accurate and specific tags: much more-so.
When a site does't have a particular tag, it's easy enough to add a new tag to an existing question.
But, applying a new tag to old questions is problematic, because it bumps the old questions to the top of the active question tab.
In my particular case: I've created a tag on a SE site that probably should have been created long ago. There are hundreds of old questions should (indisputably) have this (as their most relevant) tag. Some of these questions are good, but some are not-so-good, and many already have accepted answers. These questions do not need to be bumped.
The SE site in my particular case is relatively slow; it takes about 2 weeks to drop off the 50 most recently active posts.
What am I supposed to do here? I can see a few option, but they all have problems:
Not create new tags.
- no, there are some useful tags that haven't been created yet.
Apply the new tag to all of the old questions in one go.
- this will flood the active questions tab, which is obviously bad.
Apply the new tag to new and currently active questions only.
- this leaves hundreds of questions without their most relevant tag. The old questions will be harder to find, which encourages duplicates.
Slowly work through the backlog, only retag a few questions each day.
- this will take months, and continually restock the recently active questions list with a small number of questions that do not need attention.
- on a highly active site this is probably fine, but on a slow or moderately active site (as in my particular case), this will annoy a lot of users.
Request a new feature (possibly restricted to moderators)
- feature request denied (see Disabling bumping for retags by hi-rep users)
This (and related issues) have been a problem for a long time, as documented below. This includes some proposed (yet rejected) solutions. This problem exists across all SE sites and warrants a solution of some kind (possibly only accessible for moderators).
As is, the system for adding a new tag to old questions is broken. Why hasn't this been fixed?
In my particular case I ended up going with option 3. It ended up taking about 2 months (at 2 posts per day) to get (all?) 120 posts tagged with a new tag. This meant that roughly 2/15 posts in the recently active page of the site were related to the same topic for the whole 2 month process. This is certainly not ideal.
List of Related questions
100 edits in one evening. Is it wrong?
Add an administrative edit checkbox for mods that are acting in accord with some meta topic
Add option to not-bump question when editing/answering
A question that has been retagged is listed as being edited.
Allow non-bumping minor edits, but review them on /review
Automatic minor edit capability
Automatically queue up and evenly distribute mass edits
Best way to mass-apply a new tag to old questions
Bumped questions after retagging
Can I edit a post without bumping it to the front page?
Can the front page say "retagged" instead of "modified" for a tag-only edit?
Can trivial edits not bump the question?
Change the Taxonomist badge to exclude self-edited questions
Changing tags causes questions to be active
CHAOS-like option for moderators to edit without bumping
Could having (tag-removed) tag be useful?
Could we have the ability to mark a change as minor in questions or answers?
Disabling bumping for retags by hi-rep users
Don't make tag edits bump posts
Dumb Edits keep bumping questions
Editing Binge Etiquette
Editing tag into a series of questions
FAQ for tag creation?
Front page flood rate control system for editing
How much bumping is too much?
Ignoring retagged old questions
Is editing an 'unknown' or 'new' tag into older questions bad, or advised?
Is it acceptable to just go ahead and wipe a tag which obviously shouldn't be used and has few questions tagged?
Is there a way to edit a question without bumping it to the front page?
Is there a way to edit without bumping the question?
It should be possible to retag a question without bumping it to the front page
Let experienced users silently edit their posts
Limit for number of questions where tag can be added by tag-creator soon after the creation of tag
Marking Micro edits
Mark edit as "minor" to prevent bumping
Minor edit checkbox?
“Minor edit” feature for trusted users
Minor edits should not make questions 'active'
Minor edits, subject to review
Multiple Retagging Etiquette
On retagging questions I have answered
Organizing Edits Without Bumping
Please prevent adding/removing/changing tags from bumping them to the front page
Please split edit queue in two
Proposal to use review queues for tag cleanup
Repurpose the new review system for large-scale tagging operations
Resolving the dissonance on edits and bumps
Retagging causes bumping
Review queue to approve edits to very old posts with/without bumping
"Silent" Edits for MO?
Should editing / adding tags bump the question to the front page?
Should I approve [implementation] tag removal edits piling up in the review queue?
Should question and answer edits make a question go to the top?
System to enable hand-sorted moderator retagging for sizeable disambiguation jobs
Tag editing bumps questions
Tag editing etiquette on old questions
The flip side of no minor edits
The problem with automatically bumping edited posts
Too many ellipsoid questions being bumped to the front page.
Too many retag requests at once?
"Too minor" edits - better to leave poor quality on the site?
Too much retagging
Tool for peer-reviewed no-bump mass retagging
"Trivial edit" checkbox
Unnecesarily retagging old questions that get bumped.
Why are trivial edits discouraged?
Would you like to have the option to edit a question without it being bumped to the main page?
Yet another suggestion for questions bumped by retagging