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I added a new tag today on one of my questions, based on the subject matter ("ecology", similar to the "physics" and "chemistry" tags that already exist). I'm considering adding this tag to previous questions that it fits.

Is this:

  1. a good idea
  2. a bad idea
  3. a waste of time because no one cares about tags?
  • I for one certainly like the idea of introducing this particular tag (being a theoretical biologist), and even took the liberty to post-tag my Gillespie solver. On the other hand, I was reluctant to retag all those questions that involve e.g. predator-prey dynamics, as most of the time, the issue there is more of the coding type then the biological. So I suggest one should only apply this tag if the post has some practical relevance to one coming from the field. – István Zachar Feb 11 '17 at 16:54
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    @IstvánZachar Thanks, I can't wait to give your Gillespie solver a try! I agree that there are a lot of less-than-interesting questions that could be retagged. Also, I don't want to flood the main page as per this discussion. So I think I'll start by retagging the most interesting questions I dig up and see how that goes. – Chris K Feb 12 '17 at 21:58
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This is my personal take on the issue:

It is generally better to keep the number of tags down, and keep tags relatively broad as categories. There is granularity limit beyond which categorization will not make searching easier. So let us try to find a good balance.

When is it a good idea to create a new tag then?

I think that one (but not the only!) criterion should be that there are already a sufficient number of questions which fit the tag. I propose that we should not create a new tag at all unless it can be applied to many past questions.

Thus when you do create a new tag, please don't just add it to a new question. Add it to a number of prominent old questions as well. If the tag doesn't fit any old questions, then please do not create it.


To take the example at hand, some people interested in will want to browse old related question. When you tag the most interesting ecology related questions, you add value to the tag and you make it worth browsing.

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    In other words, if there are a lot of older questions that fit, tag away. – rcollyer Feb 10 '17 at 16:45

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