How to use tags for forum topics

This wiki post outlines how to use tags on

Categories vs Tags

This forum uses both categories and tags to organize posts.

We use categories to broadly organize and set the tone for different types of content in the forum. You can see a list of categories on its index page (look for a ‘Categories’ button in the navigation bar or site menu). Read the descriptions of each category before posting to see where your discussion belongs. A moderator might recategorize your post if necessary. If you think a new category is needed, write a proposal in Meta.

Tags provide fine-grained classification of content. Tags can be applied across categories, and each topic can have multiple tags. For example, an ‘astrometry’ tag might be applied to a topic in Announcements explaining a new astrometry API, and might also be applied to a topic in the Q&A category asking for help in using LSST’s astrometry code.

What tags exist?

The Tags index page has a listing of all tags. Various parts of the forum UI also allow you to filter by tag.

Adding tags to topics

The original poster can tag a topic using the text box below the main content window. Tags will auto-complete. Remember that each post can have multiple tags. Topics don’t need to have tags.

Creating new tags

If you’re a Level 3 or above user, or a moderator/admin, you can create a new tag on-the-fly by entering it in a post’s tag box. Make sure the tag isn’t redundant in the existing taxonomy.

If you don’t have permissions to create a new tag, you can write a proposal for one in the Meta category.

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Hi @jsick ,

Would it be possible/good to let everyone create tags? I really find I want to add tags to my posts to make them more discoverable/descriptive/classifiable, but there aren’t any (and to ask for one is a bit of a hassle).

#WantTags #NeverHappyAboutAnything

Probably not good to let newbies create them, but it should be OK for even minimally-experienced members as long as we can delete/edit poor ones.

By default, Level 3+ users can create tags, but anyone can apply an existing tag. Tags are easy to edit post facto, but there’s also value in creating a ‘controlled’ vocabulary (though one that suits the users). You don’t want accidental tag synonyms to appear, for example. I’ve nominated @ktl and @mjuric as moderators, so you should be able to create tags on demand now. We can talk about opening up the ‘moderator’ ranks across more DM staff, but I think that in the long run the people who will naturally become Level 3 users will turn out to be the ones who will need to create new tags. Trust levels are skewed at the moment because there has been limited time+content to naturally sort users out.

My thinking is that (at least initially) it may be good to have a free for all, w. @jsick monitoring and editing newly created tags as appropriate. That will seed the tag pool quickly, and we may find our community is well behaved enough that adult supervision is not needed :slight_smile: (I’m an eternal optimist, plus tag autocomplete/autosuggest helps in this a lot!). If things become unmanageable, a restriction could be introduced later.

Just my $.02…

I’ve temporarily opened up tag creation to everyone, but once we get people naturally gaining trust, I’ll change that.