Some time last year, I asked a question on SO with the tag [windows-desktop-gadgets]. As of Windows 7 (still in beta at the time), this was the official name for Windows Sidebar Gadgets, since the sidebar no longer existed.

I had thought I'd created the tag, at least it seemed like I was the first to use it. However, I may have edited the tag into someone else's question first - might this have credited them with the creation? There were many questions rather ambiguously tagged gadget, which I edited to collate all the questions under a common tag so that users interested in the subject could browse the tag if they wished.

The reason I ask is the tag received its fiftieth question the other day and I've not seen any sign of the taxonomist badge. I'm almost ashamed to admit I checked twice a day for two weeks, waiting for someone to tag a question with it. :-) Badges ftw!

Update: I sent an email to [email protected] about this some time ago, I received the following response a few weeks later:

That tag wasn't created by any user, according to the database -- the UserID field is null on it, and it was created 2009-07-03.

If you feel strongly that you did create it, and can provide an edit link with the right date and time, I am open to adding your userid to get the badge.

The email wasn't signed by anyone so I'm not sure if it was from Jeff or another member of the team, I responded with:

Cool, thank you. It seems odd that it was created on 2009-07-03, because I asked this question on 2009-07-02 and edited the tag into it later that day:


AFAIK, that has the earliest timestamp of the tag – I thought all SO times were UTC, so it couldn’t be a timezone difference could it? Unless you mean March 7th, not July 3rd. It doesn’t seem likely unless a question was deleted, because there are no new/edited questions March 2009 with that tag, all the ones previous to that were tagged sidebar or gadget or something similar, so I edited the tag into them but not until December last year when I decided to do some tidying up.

That was on 26th April, I sent a follow-up on 18th May - I've not yet received a reply and I have a feeling my emails are being marked as spam or something.

I don't want to be a nag, I'd just like some sort of feedback on the situation :-) It certainly piqued my interest a lot more when the database reported the tag's creation at 2009-07-03 when my edit shows the tag added on 2009-07-02.

I got an email (presumably from Jeff, it wasn't signed again), he said to wait patiently until they get around to it and that it could take a few months. Fair enough :-)

Just landed on SO and saw that I'd got the taxonomist badge for [windows-desktop-gadgets], checked my emails and I had an email confirming that the database had been updated to credit me as the tag creator. Thanks muchly, Jeff! I guess that means this can be edited to [status-completed] now.


Jon Seigel appears to have rediscovered this issue and has been able to post some details about it:

New Tags page attributes a tag to an edit that never happened, and to an author that doesn’t exist

  • 1
  • 1
    Some badge jobs don't run very frequently - how long has it been since it hit 50 questions?
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Apr 9, 2010 at 21:24
  • 7
    I--did--it--all-for--the BADGES!!!
    – Randolpho
    Commented Apr 9, 2010 at 21:25
  • @ChrisF: since April 5th at 7:10am UTC.
    – Andy E
    Commented Apr 9, 2010 at 21:27
  • I wonder if I created the HTA tag. It is up to 30 posts.
    – BoltBait
    Commented Apr 9, 2010 at 21:27
  • @BoltBait: it looks like you could have been. It was edited into earlier questions after your own question. I suppose it all depends on if the tag was created previously but then removed/deleted.
    – Andy E
    Commented Apr 9, 2010 at 21:30
  • @Andy - I would have thought it would have been awarded by now, but as @quack points out you can't find out.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Apr 9, 2010 at 21:39
  • 1
    Are you sure you weren't a null at the time you asked?
    – Alconja
    Commented May 31, 2010 at 23:08
  • @quack: Sorry to bug you, but as the only mod to participate here, do you know of a way to attract Jeff's attention to this question so I can get an official response? It seems adding a bounty didn't work :-\
    – Andy E
    Commented Jun 3, 2010 at 18:59
  • @andy: AFAIK emailing him is the only guaranteed way to attract his attention. you could post a comment with a link to this question on one of his answers on some other post... just remember, this request is probably very low on the priority list. i'd say keep pinging him until you get a response one way or the other, but not more often than once a week or so. patience, patience. Commented Jun 3, 2010 at 19:40
  • also, i've removed the bounty on this question, purely because it amuses me to do so. feel free to post a new bounty; maybe he'll see it this weekend. (don't expect any further bounties to be refunded, tho.) Commented Jun 3, 2010 at 19:45
  • @quack: thanks for the advice and the refund! Like I said in my email, I don't want to nag him, I'm sure he's very busy with other stuff on the site :-)
    – Andy E
    Commented Jun 4, 2010 at 8:16
  • The answer to this question may be revealed here (still in testing phase): meta.stackexchange.com/questions/54384/…
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented Jun 24, 2010 at 0:23
  • @Jon: Ahh, that makes sense - the timestamp on the tag creation is later than when it was actually created, attributed to an edit that never happened and to no author, exactly as your post describes. I'll add it to my post.
    – Andy E
    Commented Jun 24, 2010 at 9:09

1 Answer 1


The time difference, could it be because of a time zone difference? That the database runs GMT but you added the tag somewhere West?

  • That was my first thought, but I don't think it's the case. SO times are UTC, my timezone would have been British Summer Time when I created the tag (GMT+1). The timing does seem rather strange, and honestly, even if I'm not due the badge I'd just like to know why the database field was empty for the user (how can a tag not be created by anyone?).
    – Andy E
    Commented May 31, 2010 at 14:56
  • Maybe the reported date was in an timezone even more East. :-) Commented Jun 1, 2010 at 15:24

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