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In the past week, I encountered a lot of tag-wiki edits in the review queue. Thanks to everybody participating in writing/updating them – we often tend to forget their importance!

However, I get the feeling we should establish some general rules for those – especially for the excerpts. Keep in mind that those are the texts "popping up" under the tags when a user edits its post. And as we all know, we can be lucky if the "poster" takes a look at them at all.

So: What things should we consider here?

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I want to add something here:

Don't plagiarize

That means:

  • If you're suggesting an edit to a tag wiki, suggest original content. I see this most with excerpts - convenient chunks taken directly from Wikipedia, a product page, etc. I tend to be a little more lenient if there's a link to the original source in the wiki, but it's all-around better to just write original content. If I remember correctly, Google even lowers a site's ranking if it sees too much plagiarized content.

  • If you're reviewing these, please take a moment to check. All I generally have to do to find these is take a couple sentences or two from it and do a literal Google search (wrap it in double quotation marks "")

    If you reject one of these as plagiarism and it is ultimately approved, or if you run across one in normal use of the site that is obviously plagiarized, tell us. I don't care how, as long as someone knows - ping me in a chatroom, flag any post with a custom flag explaining the situation, etc.

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    Where's the +2 button? When quoting, always name the source! Most if not all "free licenses" (including CC*, maybe excluding CC0) name that as requirement (my books e.g. go under CC-BY-NC-SA – where the "BY" is the clear indicator: tell BY whom is the original). For Wikipedia, see here (basically a CC-BY-SA license – oh, and literally, too, as I just see :). – Izzy Mar 24 '15 at 20:07
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tag wiki excerpts

These should be short and precise, with no unnecessary fuzz.

Use this tag if you are seeking software recommendations for …

is very bad style – for multiple reasons:

  • "use this tag": superflous. Of course tags are there to be used :)
  • "if you are seeking software recommendations": super-superflous. What else is this site for?

The excerpt should be as short and precise as possible – and not have more details as really required. Let's take an example: the , currently having the following excerpt:

Use this tag when asking for software that needs to run specifically on Windows 7. Please tag with "windows" if it's related to the Windows OS in general.

Which shows up under the tag as:

when asking for software that needs to run specifically on Windows 7. Please tag with "windows" if it's related to the

You see: most essential parts are cut off (at the end).

if software needs to run specifically on Windows 7. Please tag with "windows" if it's related to the Windows OS in general.

Turns up under the tag – exactly like that. Nothing cut off.

tag wikis

Here we can put more details. Though people rarely happen to come here – if they do, they should be rewarded:

  • a longer description of what the tag is about
  • details for when to use it (and when not)
  • if available, related tags: when to use them instead, and when in addition
  • unrelated tags often mistaken for the given tag (if any)
  • Links to e.g. Wikipedia for things like detailed product descriptions (where appropriate)
  • whatever deems helpful in the context

Though we can be more generous here "space-wise", don't exagerate: keep it precise still. With our example tag: this doesn't need the entire history of the Windows OS, or who runs the company – just facts helpful in context of our site :)

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