And can anyone imagine using them?

I have a really hard time imagining "following" any of these tags, or ignoring them either. Has anyone actually found a use for them?

They're not that useful for searching on, since the sites default search actually works pretty well for that (even for particles).

  • Good point. I occasionally do with a limited set of them. – user458 Jun 12 '12 at 11:20
  • @sawa: How so? Honest question here, I'm having a hard time imagining them being useful for someone, so I'm curious how you're using them. – jkerian Jun 12 '12 at 16:29
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    I don't use the detailed ones. Just some general ones, only once in a while. Most of the tags are useless. I agree with you. – user458 Jun 12 '12 at 16:50
  • @sawa If you [and anybody else that uses tags] could post which tags you find helpful in an answer, that would help out. It'd be good to get a sense of what types of tags people find helpful and what types of tags are useless. – Troyen Jun 12 '12 at 17:18
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    To be honest, I have a few popular tags favorited because it provides some nicer visual breaks on the front page, not for any reason related to the tags themselves. – jkerian Jun 12 '12 at 18:46
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    They play a part in how SE does SEO. – Louis Waweru Jun 18 '12 at 5:49

I don't follow any tags, simply because I check the front page often enough to not have the need.

But I do think the tags are good for a few reasons.

  • Sometimes, when I'm having trouble figuring out what exactly a question is about (whether this is because it's too difficult for me or it was poorly worded), looking at the tags can tell me what to pay attention to. For example, if the example sentence that you are confused about happens to contain a number, you probably wouldn't use just because the sentence contains a number. If you were asking about the number, you would use though.
  • I've browsed a few different tags just to see if they have any interesting questions. I usually arrive at the tag from one question that seems interesting and want to find more.
  • I'm not 100% sure on this one, but it's possible that the tags add to the "findability" of our questions which apparently is a problem here. Again with the example (but of course it applies to all tags), you might not specifically say the word "number" in your question, but because of the tag, someone on Google may be able to find your question more easily if they are searching with the word "number".
  • So far, your third point is the only compelling reason I can see for tags such as [particle-ni] to continue to exist. It is, however, a rather compelling one. – jkerian Jun 21 '12 at 4:03
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    In light of the fact that tags weigh heavily on SEO... should we be cutting particle-ni down to ni? – jkerian Jun 21 '12 at 7:19
  • @jkerian I think it's best how it is. Building off of my third point, if someone is looking for info about the particle に on Google and is having trouble finding relevant results with just "ni" or 「に」 they might add the word "particle" to their search. Keeping "particle" in our tag will make our questions easier for them to find in this case. Also, if it were just "ni", it might be a little ambiguous - are you talking about the number? Or maybe you're asking something about one of the kana for ni? etc. – atlantiza Jun 21 '12 at 13:30
  • The on-site search does a pretty good job of finding things if you search for Japanese characters. Off-site search seems to mostly be the focus of the tags, if I'm understanding correctly. – jkerian Jun 21 '12 at 15:47
  • If this is the intent, it is not working... compare: に vs で in japanese (decent google hits, title match), against ni vs de in japanese, japanese particles ni vs de, ni-particle vs de-particle in japanese and に-particle vs で-particle in japanese. (The latter two are a bit unlikely) – jkerian Jun 21 '12 at 16:14
  • @jkerian If I Google "what is the difference between ni and de" (without the quotes), JLU is not on the first page of results. If I change it a little to "what is the difference between particles ni and de" (again, without the quotes), the JLU page for the tag particle-ni is on the first page of results. – atlantiza Jun 21 '12 at 16:22
  • That's true, but probably not ideal (since it doesn't actually match very well). Hop over to Japanese Language Chat if you have time to mess with this a bit more. – jkerian Jun 21 '12 at 16:30

Looking through all of the tags, I can imagine:

I don't really see any of the others as being useful (although I certainly could have missed some).


They are useful as filters to see questions on topics you're interested in. Currently I'm following 23 tags and ignoring 2.

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    With following 23 tags, is that significantly different from just looking at every new question? – jkerian Sep 22 '12 at 16:50
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    In my experience, yes, actually. It's not as noticeable as (say) on Stack Overflow though. – Mechanical snail Sep 22 '12 at 22:50

Tags are probably not so relevant now because JLU is so low traffic that one can easily scan the most recently active questions for topics one is interested in. This also makes search without tags relatively easy because the number of hits returned will also most likely be within an easily digestible scope.

But, assuming and hoping that this site becomes a hub of a lot of activity, enough to get it out of beta and beyond, tags might become a helpful as they are on other SE sites.

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    While I agree with you in theory, I just don't see anyone being interested in most of the tags as they are now. I'm having difficulty imagining a theoretical person that would want to follow/ignore 95% of our tags. – jkerian Jun 14 '12 at 18:49
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    I've removed most of my contributions to this entirely-too-long thread. This is mostly because you do not seem to be able to resist insulting me, and refuse to take on good faith that I'm attempting to improve the community experience for users, particularly new users. If you have something constructive to say, find me in Japanese Language Chat. Your answer here did not actually answer the question I asked. If it did, the ensuing conversation would not have happened. (Although there was an implicit 'no') – jkerian Jun 22 '12 at 3:06
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    @jkerian: I never insulted you. Relax. It's just a web site, it's just tags, and it's just a disagreement of opinions. – Questioner Jun 23 '12 at 2:10

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