A recent round of re-tagging highlighted that the way we are tagging questions relating to software and websites is highly inconsistent, and that not everyone is happy with the current state of affairs. This question seeks to reach a consensus on a tagging approach that:
- Is easy for people doing the tagging to understand (especially for newbies), and does not require the intervention of more experienced users unless in exceptional circumstances
- Allows individuals to easily locate questions related to the one they may ask/have asked
- Allows individuals to easily follow/subscribe/filter to the tags they are interested in and be relatively certain that they aren’t missing questions of interest
- Ensures that search engine results (which are prepended with the most popular tag on a question) entice newcomers to the site
- Is helpful now, but also future-proof against growth in the site without a massive amount of re-tagging becoming necessary at any time
These requirements are not mutually compatible.
Background data on current tagging volumes (of course many questions have two or more of these tags so the volume of questions as a percentage of the site total is less than it might appear):
And some observations and questions (in no particular order):
The guidance for product-support says:
Related to the effective use of a product (principally software) intended to support or facilitate genealogical research. Where relevant, should be accompanied by a tag identifying the particular products.
However the tag is only used 5 times, so clearly it isn’t being applied consistently, given that we have over 200 questions about named products.
Should we retrospectively apply it to all named products/websites? Or is naming the product/website sufficient to imply that product support is required.
online has no guidance, and is used for a mixture of questions relating to finding online records, transferring/synching data between programs, participating in message boards elsewhere, using named websites, seeking product recommendations, url standardisation, and sharing/privacy concerns.
website has 24 questions, but there are 156 questions that name websites!
subscription has 4 questions, which might fit into “recommendation” or “product-support” tags if we can’t justify keeping it separate.
Do we need to differentiate between software and websites other than implicitly by product name. If somebody specifically wants a recommendation for a desktop software product or an online solution, they can specify it in the question — is there any real value in tagging for this? Perhaps people want only to follow software-related questions and are violently disinterested in website-related ones? Is there a clearcut distinction between software and websites any more? Should we differentiate between websites for locating records and websites for other purposes?
I’m going to put my suggestions into separate answers, so people can vote for the ones they like and discuss the ones they don’t like (or make counter-proposals).
Parking some data points here as they're too long to go in comments...
The tag-wiki from the now defunct software
Use this tag for questions about software which can help with genealogy or family history research or record keeping. Do not use for questions about websites (which has a separate tag).
Most genealogists and family historians use software to help them perform their research and record the results. Questions using this tag could include:
- How do I do X with a particular software programme?
- What criteria should I use when selecting a software programme for X purpose?
If you're asking about a specific piece of software, tag the question with the name of the software as well. It would also be helpful if you were explicit in your question about the version of the software you're using and which operating system it runs on.
- What is the best software to do X?
- Which software can do X?
- What features should be supported in the programme I'm developing?
All these are likely to generate lists, opinions and debates and are not a good fit for our Q&A site. (Chat might be a good place to have those sorts of discussions).
From the on-topic spiel of https://softwarerecs.stackexchange.com
This site is for questions asking for recommendations of software ready-to-use to accomplish a particular task, that is, “what software can I use to do …?”. While this includes software libraries for development use, note that recommendations of tutorials, data sources, media libraries (e.g. icon collections) etc. are off-topic – as are questions like “what technology to use for …?”
Good software recommendation requests have two components:
- A purpose — a task to accomplish, a user story
- Some objective requirements — a minimum set of features
How do other sites that allow software-recommendations (or other recommendations) tag them
travel.stackexchange.com : software (Not all of these questions are software recommendations but some are, but it's a very low volume tag)
ebooks.stackexchange.com : software (Not all of these questions are software recommendations but some are, but it's a very low volume tag)
astronomy.stackexchange.com : software (Not all of these questions are software recommendations but some are, but it's a very low volume tag)
askubuntu.stackexchange.com : software-recommendation
askdifferent.stackexchange.com : software-recommendation
gis.stackexchange.com: software-recommendations (with a tag wiki excerpt that says
Questions seeking software recommendations are better asked at the Software Recommendations Stack Exchange)
photography.stackexchange.com : equipment-recommendation
superuser.stackexchange.com : software-rec -- points users to the software-recommendations site but there are 700 open questions
bioinformatics.stackexchange.com : software-recommendation
gardening.stackexchange.com : plant-recommendations
Relevant to the 'shopping question' question