After a comment in chat about the The 7 Essential Meta Questions of Every Beta, I looked to see if we had done work on deciding how we want our tagging to be handled. While I found small discussions of bits and pieces, I didn't see any giant universal tag discussion. So I'm creating one.

Some things I think we should do with tags:

  • Create synonyms for similar tags where needed
  • Minimize one-time tags that provide little/no future value
  • Add descriptions to tags without one
  • Decide how to differentiate between tags, and hopefully retag some of the most popular questions along those lines

Here is a list of tags on The Workplace and the count of questions with that tag as of July 17th, 2013, using the stackexchange API:

The following tags have only 1 question, and should be looked at by the community to determine if they are better off merged with other tags, made a synonym, or removed entirely:

There are many country/region tags which were partially discussed in this Meta thread, but we may want to revisit the topic since there seems to be a bit of a mess currently.

A lot of the tags also seem like they could be duplicates, or they should be properly labeled to explain their usage. There are also a significant amount of tags without any description, which should be worked on, but unfortunately it doesn't seem like the API will let me find them easily.

2 Answers 2


Here's some holistic tagging ideas:

1 - Location Tags

I think the most sensible idea is to take our best crack at segmenting tags into regions with overlapping workplace cultures. Some of this might be population dependant, but the overriding goal should be that if a given culturally-specific answer would apply to multiple areas in the same part of the world, it have a generalized tag. Under that principle, I'd currently propose:

  • US - there's just so darn many of us, and we do get into US specific norms and law.
  • Canada - maybe - just because there ARE some issues out there that are separate
  • European Union - I'm willing to believe that there are different norms between countries, but I think the population is better served with a tag that accomodates more questions
  • Britain
  • Australia
  • Asia
  • Southeast Asia
  • South America
  • Middle East

Over time, I'd be up for separating the regions that are not countries into more country specific tags - but at the moment, I've noticed a collection of questions around countries who are recipients of the shift in tech work to SE Asia who have a set of common problems that could be leveraged across countries - the language/culture barriers in these trends are more similar than they are different.

Job-specific tags

Like "developer" and "software" - I'd like to do away with completely. A litmus test I often use for recommending a close is that if the question can only be useful to someone in that field, it shouldn't be on this site.

I don't mind broader categories like: - knowledge-work - engineering - academics

Because I think there are generalities that can help a larger audience.

Issue specific tags

I think we'll always have to prune a bit here - people will always come up with tags for their special issue which isn't so special. I know one of the meta threads a while back was an attempt to cleanup tags in the vicinity of hiring and applying for jobs. Looking at the low-count list, I think we managed to keep that area clean, but now need a cleanup on tags relating to leaving your current job.

For example - exit interview could be merged with termination...

But some of the issue speicific tags that are low-question number may be question asker branching out into new and valid areas - like:

  • vesting, leave of absence, intellectual-property, injury prevention, probation - all seem like good tags to keep around

Stuff to help me do my job?

Let's have one tag - equipment - to replace hardware, server, stationary, supplies and anything else that one needs to do one's job.

Time to Eliminate

We are at a point where I think a good slim-down would be useful. I think we should kill, or come up with a really solid, useful definition for:

  • I don't hate these - I'd agree to keep if we had a rock solid definition - alertness, morale, respect, salaried-pay
  • I worry that these lead down the needs-a-lawyer path - citizenship, contract-extension, immigration,
  • cliches
  • credentials - worth checking, but I think we already have a synonym in the vicinity of resume stuff.
  • job-acceptance
  • library
  • mauritius
  • paperwork
  • portfolio - can keep if it is distinct from resume questions
  • promises
  • referrals
  • workplace-routine

That's good work. This is now 3.5 years later, and all those tag counts have changed, can someone with enough rep just delete the bad tags already? Can you update your question with current numbers, drop all the zero-count tags, or else add (7/2013) to the title so we know it's obsolete?

Issue-specific tags

  • -> ; is just a stupid faddish jargon word occasionally used by business types. 'negotiation' is the perfectly adequate English term.
  • is a vague bullshit tag because ~60% of the time it gets used about miscellaneous interview-process/phone calls/emails/coding-tests/compensation/references/background checks, and the other 40% it's other/ general interactions/ HR issues. So create an umbrella tag for the former, e.g. for "Following up with references after an interview", we simply tag and . For the latter (non-hiring-process), it should be tagged according to whatever, e.g. or whatever the primary topic is.

Location-specific tags

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