It seems that some tags like “US” or should it be “USA” are needed for lots of sites, there are lot of other examples.

This may be impossible to sort out for the old sites, but I think we can do something simple for the new sites.

What if the tag surjection list on new sites that you get when to go to tag a question contained all the tags that are used on more than one other site with a usage of 0 – would this be enough to guild people to make the same tag chooses?


This could lead very far. It would be nice for the case you brought up, US vs USA. It even would be nice for sites with overlapping areas of interest. Why should sql-server-2005 not be tagged the same on SO, SF, SU, WebApps, and site alike?

Yet CSI on a crime or TV site means something totally different from CSI on a site about horses, java is obvious, and their synonym lists would be hardly overlapping. Thus a tag usage on other sites could be very misleading.

So this would probably end in a system to decide on neighborhood of sites and therefore probability of same semantic meaning of overlapping tags.


Tagging conventions should be up to the individual communities. Tagging is ad hoc, by design. Something you design for everyone to use, might not be what another site needs.

Take math.SE, for instance. They are talking about using an entirely different tagging convention (employing standard prefixes in their tags). If we imposed our "common tags" on them, their tagging methodology would be full of unnecessary exceptions imposed by the system.

Area 51 is designed to create sites with overlapping groups of experience between sites, so no one site is created in isolation. That group of experienced users would most likely carry over any de facto standards used in other systems.

  • s/math.SE/mathoverflow – xmm0 Jul 30 '10 at 20:49
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    @Mehrdad: No mistake. I got it right, as written. They already have that tagging convention on Mathoverflow. But they're talking about doing using the prefixes on math.SE, as I wrote. – Robert Cartaino Jul 30 '10 at 20:56
  • Good to know. Actually, I wasn't too sure so I didn't make the edit myself. Checking their site, however, didn't immediately reveal it. ;) – xmm0 Jul 30 '10 at 21:05

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