Based on recent discussions in other Q&As, it seems we are in agreement that:

  1. The built-in tag synonym suggestion system is fundamentally flawed
  2. The old "How to suggest tag synonyms?" question has outlived its usefulness (and is now on hold)
  3. Tag synonym requests should now be proposed as individual questions.

Let's come up with some guidelines for those requests.

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Here is my proposal for the guidelines which started as a copy/paste of @blah238's because I think that has lots of merit but is not suited to discussing just via comments:

  1. Ask a new meta question. Use the meta tag on your question.
  2. In the question body, state the problem you are addressing, cite examples, etc., but do not discuss (at length) the proposed solution.
  3. Add an answer discussing your proposed solution. This allows alternative proposals to be suggested and voted upon.
    • If proposing a new master tag, or if an existing tag is desired to be the master but doesn't have a tag wiki, consider including a draft tag wiki for it in your answer or, assuming you have the required privilege, just edit it direct (and link to it).
  4. In general, community consensus can be considered clear cut when voting has reached:

    • A score of 5 on a proposal; and
    • A lead of 3 over all other proposal(s)
    • but tag decisions may often be made by the moderators more quickly than this in the interests of avoiding log jams and extended voting periods
    • but moderators will continue to use their judgement to decide whether a popular proposal should be implemented, because there are sometimes consequences which may not be obvious to many newer, but eligible, voters.
  5. (For moderators) After a proposal is implemented/deferred/planned/declined, add the appropriate meta tags, as appropriate.

    • - any necessary synonyms or merges have been done, or a disambiguation is complete
    • - awaiting clearer consensus before any implementation commences
    • - used for some disambiguations that take time to implement
    • - implementation not planned

I've removed @blah238's "flagging to become Featured" point because, if there were half a dozen tag suggestions running concurrently, they will reduce exposure of what is normally seen there. I think this one should be left to moderators to exercise their judgement as to what are the key tag suggestions that may need prompting for more input.

In conjunction with this proposal I think we should remind ourselves that the help/tagging page exists.

Here is my proposal for the guidelines:

  1. Ask a new meta question. Use the meta tag on your question.
  2. In the question body, state the problem you are addressing, cite examples, etc., but do not discuss (at length) the proposed solution.
  3. Add an answer discussing your proposed solution. This allows alternative proposals to be suggested and voted upon.
    • If proposing a new master tag, or if an existing tag is desired to be the master but doesn't have a tag wiki, include a draft tag wiki for it in your answer.
  4. (optional) Flag the question for moderator attention and request that it be made . This puts a link to the question on the main site under the "Featured on Meta" sidebar area, which should help increase participation and hopefully garner the required votes.
  5. Voting thresholds:

    • A minimum score of 5 is required to implement a proposal
    • A minimum of 7 days is required to allow for alternative proposals and votes to be entered.
      • If after 7 days no alternative proposals are entered and the minimum score of 5 is attained, the proposal wins by default and is implemented.
      • If after 7 days and one or more alternative proposals exist, an additional 7 days (14 total) are required for additional discussions and voting to take place.
        • After 14 days, the proposal with the most votes wins and is implemented.
          • In the case of a tie, a moderator will decide which proposal to implement.
  6. (For moderators) After the voting period is over and the winning proposal is implemented (or none meets the minimum score), or when a moderator decision is required, add the , (for backlogged work) or meta tags as appropriate, and close the question.

This may seem onerous, but is intended to expedite and give structure to what was previously an often lengthy process that was difficult to follow, let alone participate in.

Additionally, the minimum score and minimum waiting periods are meant to allow discussion and alternative synonym proposals to be suggested before any (possibly destructive) action is taken.

What do you think? The voting thresholds can obviously be adjusted as needed, depending on participation and moderator workloads. I would also welcome a simpler proposal as an alternative, if that makes more sense.

Also this totally won't work unless the moderators are all on board with it, so after you all have had a chance to digest and discuss it amongst yourselves, let us know what you want to do :)

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