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I’ve noticed many suggested tag wiki excerpts along the line of this:

The passenger-facing crew in the cabin

I’ve been reviewing these based on the guidelines given by Stack Exchange, and rejecting accordingly:


The excerpt is the elevator pitch for the tag. You only have ~500 plain text characters for the excerpt, so don’t feel obligated to cover everything in it! Save that for the 30,000+ character Markdown tag wiki. The excerpt should define the shared quality of questions containing this tag — boiled down to a few short sentences.

It’s short. Good.

Avoid generically defining the concept behind a tag, unless it is highly specialized. The “email” tag, for example, does not need to explain what email is. I think we can safely assume most internet users know what email is; there’s no value in a boilerplate explanation of email to anyone.

I wouldn’t consider to be a highly specialised tag.

Concentrate on what a tag means to your community. For “email” on Server Fault, mention the server aspects of email including POP3, SMTP, IMAP, and server software. For “email” on Super User, mention desktop email clients and explicitly exclude webmail, as that would be more appropriate for webapps.stackexchange.com.

Provide basic guidance on when to use the tag. In other words, what kinds of questions should have this tag? Tags only exist as ways of organizing questions, so if we don’t provide proper guidance on which questions need this tag, they won’t get tagged at all, rendering the tag excerpt moot. Think of it as a sales pitch: in a room full of tags screaming “pick me!”, what would convince a question asker to select your tag?

Can I ask about questions like “Is a flight attendant able to access the cockpit in an emergency”? How about “Can a flight attendant give out free Qantas Frequent Flyer membership”? I don’t know.

Some tags are common knowledge. Most tags require a bit of explanation in the excerpt, even if it’s only 3 or 4 words. But if the tag is common knowledge — that is, if you walked up to any random person on the street and said the tag word to them, and they would know what you were talking about — then don’t bother explaining the tag at all. Stick to usage of the tag within your community in the excerpt.

I’m sure most people would know what a “flight attendant” is.


However, I’ve had some disputes over whether this was the right action to take. Do you agree with what’s a suitable tag wiki excerpt? If not, a short explanation would be nice.

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  • $\begingroup$ On the "can you ask about xyz" questions, that's something to ask on Meta. Both questions sound on-topic to me. On the "I'm sure most people would know what a flight attendant is"; I don't see this as a good enough reason to leave the tag wiki blank. Also, you've picked out one suggested edit in particular - many other tag wikis I've suggested are longer in length, yet all have been rejected. This is also the case for other users' suggestions. $\endgroup$ – Danny Beckett Apr 9 '14 at 1:33
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I'm a fan of descriptive tag wikis (like this one) for a lot of the aviation terms we have in the tag list. In the case of though a bit more detail would be better if someone can come up with the words (like what sort of questions we're looking for in the flight attendant tag -- honestly I'm not sure how to go about describing that though).

Others I'm skipping or rejecting because I'm not sure the tag should exist ( as opposed to position-specific tags -- a subject for further meta questions after I review the questions with that tag), or because a dictionary-descriptive entry is less appropriate than a "what sort of questions do we want in this tag?" entry ().

(Generally though I ignore the tag wiki queue and let them accumulate community votes - it's a better way to get consensus on their content than mod-stamping stuff :-)

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    $\begingroup$ Pretty much this. I'd also caution that adding excerpts to possible 'meta' tags ends up legitimizing them to a degree, which encourages broader use. When in doubt, it's always best to raise a 'do we need this tag?' discussion here before spending time writing stuff that might not stick around for very long. $\endgroup$ – Tim Post May 22 '14 at 8:29
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There are some tags that:

  • Aren't really meta tags, they're legitimate tags
  • Aren't ambiguous to professionals or amateurs

.. it's up to you if you want to put a short summary there. What I caution against is adding one if you're at all doubtful of the legitimacy of the tag, because that tiny little description can legitimize it for others, causing wider use and more effort to clean up later.

Acronyms and technical terms used as tags should have a short description, and if enough depth exists around the use and history of a tag, a proper wiki / info page. I really like well-curated tag wiki pages because they're a great place to start when you simply want to learn about something specific.

Don't hesitate to raise a "do we need this tag?" discussion if you're at all uncertain, in fact it's a great place to collaborate on what precisely needs to go into the info / summary if we're going to keep it.

The one that you found is just a 'captain obvious' case, but legitimate nonetheless.

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    $\begingroup$ So what do you feel should be done with the 'captain obvious' tags? $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger May 23 '14 at 23:39

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