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In the light of a recent discussion about the usefulness of sub-tags for the "weapons"-tag and a short discussion with Monica Cellio in the comments of my answer I would like to discuss the future of the 300 reputation "create tags"-privilege.

Currently a new user only needs 300 reputation to single-handedly create a new tag when he is asking a question. This is pretty early compared with other tag-related privileges like "create tag synonyms" and "approve tag wiki edits". Many users with only 300 reputation will probably not pay too much attention to guidelines and Meta-Discussions about this topic and will therefore quite often create tags that may for example be too specific, as was the case with me and the "bows"-tag I created as there already was a "swords"-tag.

Seeing now that there is a "Sandbox for Proposed Tag Edits" and the creation of a new tag can lead to a longer Meta-Discussion I think it would be better to replace the current 300 reputation privilege to create a tag with a "suggest new tag"-privilege. The concept of "suggest and then wait until it is peer-reviewed until you have 2.000 reputation" is already in place for normal edits on the main site (not on Meta as there is no "suggested edit"-feature for normal posts on Meta). Therefore making the creation of new tags a "suggested edit" should feel normal for most new people, but at the same time still provide an incentive to get more reputation. Especially seeing that there is, according to Monica Cellio, already a 10k Moderator tool to view the newest tags this shouldn't pose too much of a problem.

The new "create tags"-privilege could be integrated with the "approve tag wiki edits"-privilege at 5.000 reputation. This could also be done with the 2.500-reputation "create tag synonyms" privilege.

This way users have a lot more experience when they are able to single-handedly create tags and the community in form of high-rep users has a better control over the creation of new tags. Initiating Meta discussions would be easier this way as somebody has to manually approve new tags suggested by low-rep users.

What do you think?

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I think perhaps switching the thresholds for create tags and create tag synonyms would be the best tactic. This is a thought I had from the bows/swords discussion you linked to.

If you had separate projectile-weapons and melee-weapons tags I think a lot of weapons would fall under this. However it is unlikely that someone will think, in their question about crossbows, to try a tag projectile-weapons. Which is why, I think, we have these tag creations early on. They just type "crossbow" and a tag is made.

If, however, they could search for tags and realise their crossbow tag could be absorbed into the projectile-weapons tag they can instead create a synonym for it instead.

When a user tries to enter a new tag is there a way to provide a custom message with a hint to do something like this?

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    $\begingroup$ IMHO archery would be a better synonym for crossbows than projectile-weapons. History, tradition and commonsense, that sort of thing. $\endgroup$ – a4android Dec 14 '17 at 12:07
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I have upvoted @LioElbammalf's answer and would like to add to it.

For the last 20 minutes or so I was browsing through the approximately 75 used-only-once tags. My goal was to find interesting tags that could generate a cool question and bring attention to the tag.

What I found were duplicates... duplicates, duplicates, duplicates. And a few "why on earth do we even have that tag?" tags.

I began by finding this Meta post by @Vincent and even took the time to add two recommendations for deletion.

Then I realized new users were posting questions with newly invented tags that very specifically expressed an idea only as they wanted to say it. Since the usefullness of tags incluses subscriptions and followers, that seemed very impractical, and I wondered how they were getting those new tags created.

So I visted the privileges page, found the 300 rep trigger, which prompted a "what the...?" moment, which prompted a search... which led me to this page.

I am 100% in favor of raising the reputation trigger for creating tags. I wouldn't even bother giving such young users the ability to suggest a tag. They haven't figured out yet how to use tags, and yet they have the ability to create them without even providing basic explanations about what they mean (much less checking to see if they're duplicates, or even insensible).

  • Recommend setting the create-tag privilege to 12,500

  • Recommend setting the create-tag-synonym to 17,500

  • Recommend granting the ability to "recommend a tag synonym" at reputation 300. The feature would post synonym requests to the review queue for voting. (I won't be surprised if this isn't possible.)

I recognize that a potential consequence of these recommendations is an increase of Meta questions asking "Can't we have a ______ tag?" That might be useful. Users who are willing to figure out Meta and post the question might deserve to have the question taken seriously.

I also recognize my recommended reputation triggers are quite high. Higher than my own reputation at the time of this posting. What can I say but, if you want to play in the kitchen, first learn how to cook.

And if anyone can suggest an easier way to clean house, I'm more than happy to work on it from time-to-time. But posting recommended changes one-answer-at-a-time is too inefficient for the 75 or so that need to be processed. Much less the hundreds with 4 or fewer questions. Thanks.

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    $\begingroup$ 12.5k and 17.5k seem prohibitively high to me. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Dec 12 '17 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ Prohibitive compared to what? At the moment, I consider tag creation to be like smoking. Proverbially, 99% of all new smokers are under the age of 21. Almost no one starts smoking once they've reached an age to make a considered decision about their health (or, at least, when they start paying for their own medical bills). The only new tags made by people 12.5k and over will be almost exclusively well thought out, while right now tags are created willy-nilly. Lowering the value to, say, 7.5K means dealing with "teen" experience, some will do it right, others won't. $\endgroup$ – JBH Dec 12 '17 at 20:02
  • $\begingroup$ Do you have statistics on single question tags, and their rate of creation? I think before we do a fortyonefold increase in the reputation needed for a privilege we should see how much of a problem it actually is. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Dec 12 '17 at 20:16
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings, I'm slowly working through the tags one at a time (I have no direct access to statistics). So far, every tag was created for one of the first questions asked by a new user. However, since I cannot know what the exact reputation was when the tag was created (only the date-list of the created questions), I can only surmise what the actual rep was when the question was created. Further, I don't believe anything about the tag tells me who actually created it. So far, they've all been 1:1 associated with the one question they're attached to. $\endgroup$ – JBH Dec 12 '17 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ I guess what I'd call a single question is a tag that is only applied to a single question, that is at least two months old. (Because every tag starts out on a single question). I'm curious every month how many new single question tags we get. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Dec 12 '17 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings and JBH: I don't have the reputation but as far as I know 10k should unlock the access to the moderator tools, one of them being an overview about newly created tags and their frequency. Both of you have this amount of rep. Maybe some information can be found there. $\endgroup$ – Sec SE - clear Monica's name Dec 12 '17 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Secespitus That only provides a list of tags that have been created in the last 2, 7, 14, 30 days. Not enough to get a good historical view of things. It looks like 3 tags have been created in the last 30 days; soceity, prosthetics, and kaiju. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Dec 12 '17 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ I've removed the misspelled tag. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Dec 12 '17 at 21:25

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