Now that we are in public beta we are open for anyone to find us through search engines or links or browsing. With this in mind, and thinking about new users, I wanted to raise a discussion about the chat tags.

I'm not familiar with tags in chat so I don't know their purpose. They don't seem to be visible on the list of chat rooms but they can be used to filter the list (although only if you know them already as I can't see a list). At the moment we have 3 tags applied to our main chatroom:

At the time of writing these tags do not exist and lead to a 404 page.

I'd like to see discussion of the following:

  1. Do we want chat tags?
  2. Do we want chat tags to be real tags with a tag summary page?
  3. Will imaginary chat tags confuse new (or existing) users?
  4. Will tags bring new chatters to the room?
  • $\begingroup$ Embrace the whimsy. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Sep 30, 2014 at 9:11
  • $\begingroup$ @TimB I understand they are not meant to be taken seriously, but with new users coming in I wanted to get a feel for how the community views these. $\endgroup$ Sep 30, 2014 at 9:13
  • $\begingroup$ I don't mind which way we go but I want to see it discussed so we have somewhere to link to if it is asked about in chat. $\endgroup$ Sep 30, 2014 at 9:15

2 Answers 2


Nearly any tag that would be appropriate for a site-wide chat room would be far, far too broad and useless as an actual tag for questions on the site. We should not compromise the integrity of the main-site sorting system for the sake of the chat; the chat system is a tertiary function in the Stack ethos and should bow before mainsite and meta in all things.

This means that we either have no tags on the chat, or primarily made-up ones. Many sites go for the former, and that's fine--but kinda boring. Some sites find a particular use for chat tags: RPG.SE chat has tags specifically designed to clue in newcomers that it's not a chat room about explosives, video games, or legacy programming.

Since we don't seem to yet have a particular purpose the tags need to fulfil, we're having some fun with them. They can get changed at any time (another reason not to try backing them up with main-site wikis purely for the sake of an impermanent chat conceit), and no doubt will as the chat culture grows and changes.

So in order:

  1. Chat tags aren't necessary, but they can be useful and/or fun! I like 'em.
  2. It's unlikely existing main-site tags will be useful as chat tags, and we shouldn't invent main-site tags just to accommodate chat.
  3. If people are confused, they can ask. A lot of people don't even notice chat tags at all, in my experience. Tags shouldn't be misleading or offensive, obviously, but otherwise I'm seeing this as trying to fix a problem we don't yet have.
  4. Tags will not attract chatters to generic site rooms. In my experience people either go straight for the room they already know they want, or just click on the most active rooms in a kind of "go lucky number 52" gamble and see what they get.
  • $\begingroup$ This makes sense and answers everything... Now if someone asks in chat we can link to this answer. $\endgroup$ Sep 30, 2014 at 12:05

I personally they should be allowed to remain as tags of the chat room. It doesn't matter what the chat room tags are right now, because there aren't really any other rooms.

But I love githubphagocyte's idea of creating fake tag wiki pages for them, just to keep up the comic relief. My only problem with that is that they then have to be tagged on at least two questions (on the main site). Then again, that could be done, some of the tags would produce interesting posts.

I do think that we should only do this for the three tags currently on the main chat room, it would get annoying if anyone could make a chat room with fake tags and start making fake tag wikis.


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