Since you are just setting out with this SE, you might appreciate to hear about my learning experience: I've been a moderator on Bitcoin.SE for more than two years now, and I have spent a lot of time on fixing tags there: Tagging can quickly grow rampantly, when not cultivated.
E.g. when I started the clean-up, we had lots of

So, perhaps consider these ideas to evaluate tags:

What properties do good tags have?

  1. Descriptive. Does the tag add valuable information when it is added to a question?
  2. Representative. Can the tag be the only tag of a question?
  3. Unambiguous. Does the tag commonly mean the same thing for different people?
  4. Confined. Does the tag create a specific, well-defined category?
  5. Meaningful. Can you see anyone at some point subscribing to the tag or searching for related questions by using the tag?
  6. Constrictive. Can you see anyone using this tag to ignore a topic?
  7. Unique. Is there a very similar tag that is more popular which could be applied instead?

If a tag's usefulness is contested, think about whether its name or definition could be improved, but finally rather err on allowing it.

The good news is that your tagging looks pretty already. Lots of tags have descriptions and most seem to be good ones.

I'd just like to point out a few tags that we've already had run-ins with on Bitcoin.SE:

There are few meta-tags such as , and .

And some tags may be too unspecific in the long run such as , , , , , .

Believe me, it's much easier to do a little work now than cleaning up tags with 1400 questions later because the tag encompasses a huge part of all topics on your SE. ;)

I'd be happy to help or advise, if you are interested. I'm usually hanging out in chat, and will be looking at this SE from time to time. :)

  • Should we be creating tags before they are used? New users with under 150 rep are not able to create tags and may therefore be forced to choose a tag that is less specific than what that would have chosen if given a choice. Should new tags be primarily created by moderators or by users asking questions? Aug 10, 2016 at 7:48
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    You might want to seed some tags that you are certain will be used. New tags get mostly created by any experienced users, either when they are asking about new topics or when they are reviewing "first posts". Actually, "first post review" is a great place to help quality standards of the site in general. You probably don't want to create a new tag if it won't at least garner 10 questions.
    – Murch
    Aug 10, 2016 at 7:53
  • I am looking at your mining and transaction meta topics now. Obviously Monero is different than Bitcoin in many ways. Having said that are we at risk of offending anyone from Bitcoin SE by utilizing many of your same tagging categories where appropriate.... for example coinbase-transaction (among others) we are already using. Aug 10, 2016 at 7:53
  • thank you for the "first post" guidance. I have already been guilty of approving first posts based on content, without always spending much time thinking about if ideal tags were used. Aug 10, 2016 at 7:56
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    No, certainly not. Please use any that you find helpful. Rather than being offended… "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." ;)
    – Murch
    Aug 10, 2016 at 7:56
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    It is hard to imagine changing tags already used in 100s of questions. Thanks for sharing your recommendations1 I think I will start with the mining and transaction tags based on your feedback. Aug 10, 2016 at 8:09
  • Is it okay to utilize Bitcoin tag descriptions too? for example your mining-pool tag description would suit Monero well. Aug 10, 2016 at 8:15
  • Are many synonyms a good thing or a bad thing? Aug 10, 2016 at 8:15
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    I will help with the tags too
    – Susan
    Aug 10, 2016 at 9:02
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    @studycrypto: I don't think there is a problem if you copy a tag description. Preferably you can link to the source. – Synonyms make sense when there are several terms in use for the same concept. It allows people to find the right content even when they are using the other term. Each of the synonyms should make sense on its own though. We often have synonyms for plural or common abbreviations, e.g. pos is a synonym for proof-of-stake. For the master tag you should always prefer the more descriptive.
    – Murch
    Aug 10, 2016 at 11:52
  • It looks like most of out generic mining tag usage is now gone! Working on tag descriptions for the replacements
    – Smart Kid
    Aug 10, 2016 at 16:03

3 Answers 3


Thanks again for the well research, Murch. I would like to comment on the four categories which you highlighted.

Ambiguous tags!

I agree. This is the worst type and they should be removed constantly. If they just keep coming back (most of them wont), it should be considered to blacklist them.

Meta tags!

I agree. There is a nice StackOverflow blog post by Jeff Atwood explaining the details and criteria.

Duplicate tags.

I agree. They are easy to identify and in most cases creating synonyms is sufficient.

Too broad tags?

I partially disagree. And basicly just came here to say that, because I saw this thread. Quoting myself from the bottom of my answer over there regarding the two example tags:

And while we are at it: Don't be scared about or at this point. In my eyes they are valid. On Ethereum stack exchange there are only 266 transaction questions (9.7%) and 194 mining (7.1%) questions. At this stage it might be also worth to read up through this meta thread from short after the Ethereum public beta launched, and also this thread with a good comment by Robert Cartaino:

Tags aren't like questions that have too many answers. They are supposed to organize somewhat large swaths of subject matter so folks can find and follow their general interests. Some of those interests are more specific while others remain somewhat general.


That's an interesting post. I've recently been annoyed at what I see as being useless tags: tags that are overlong, and overly precise. An extreme example being "human-powered-mining" (honestly, who's going to have the idea of searching for that ?), but also more subjective examples like "quantum-planning".

I see good tags as short (ie, what someone wanting to find questions related to a given topic would try out first) and in a kind of sweet spot being not too broad so it matches everything and becomes useless, and not too specific that nobody's going to search for it.

I think it depends on how people use tags. Do they type some keywords to search, or do they do find a tag list and click ? In the former case, short and non obscure tags are best, but in the second case, the long and obscure might do too (though if those are used, then the more generic ones should also apply, so someone looking for "quantum" also finds posts tagged "quantum-planning" as well as the dozen quantum-something that are bound to pop up.

I think what bothers me is tags that will be attached to a couple questions. I see those are pointless, unless the subject really is a specific one. But a dozen of "quantum-something", each matching a couple questions... I just don't see the point, it seems like tag spam to me.

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    Yeah, a tag should encapsulate a specific topic or fit at least 10 questions. – E.g. I'd pack "human-powered-mining" into "mining-theory". I'd probably leave one tag "quantum-computing" because questions about vulnerability of Crypto to that come up frequently. I don't follow on tags necessarily needing to be short: There is a suggestion box that pops up when you type tags, and synonyms resolve to the synonym master. I.e. if you type "pos" on Bitcoin.SE, it'll suggest "proof-of-stake".
    – Murch
    Aug 13, 2016 at 12:06
  • What really bothers me though, is when there are only a bunch of broad and generic tags, and you get a huge array of questions that have only the same three generic tags on them but cover vastly different topics. Think e.g. "mining + transaction + blockchain". That's where more specific tags can help distinguish questions for better searchability.
    – Murch
    Aug 13, 2016 at 12:07
  • @murch Do you mean tags should fit 10 questions now or we think they will likely fit 10 questions eventually?
    – Smart Kid
    Aug 13, 2016 at 12:11
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    I think right now you can aim for the latter, but in the longterm you'll want to only create ones that fit the former requirement. ;)
    – Murch
    Aug 13, 2016 at 12:13
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    @SmartKid: Perhaps an addendum: Good tags are ones that the community accepts and uses on their own. :)
    – Murch
    Aug 13, 2016 at 12:15
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    I meant short as a good rule of thumb, because it's more obvious to someone searching. If there's an autocompletion, then it matters less. As an example, this morning I saw "fiat-conversion-slippage". I'd have tagged that as "fiat" and "slippage". Shorter, and IMHO more useful that the longer, narrower one.
    – user36303
    Aug 13, 2016 at 14:36
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    In fact, thinking about it now, maybe what'd we'd need are tag trees. So "mining" would have "pools", "theory", "software" as subtags. Searching for "mining" would get all of these, and searching for a subtag would get only the relevant ones. A post could be tagged with N branches.
    – user36303
    Aug 13, 2016 at 14:46
  • @user36303 I like the tree idea, but how is that different than what we have now? When I ask a question and start to type "mining" as a tag, I see the subtags. When I type "mining" here monero.stackexchange.com/tags I see them as well.
    – 254123179
    Aug 13, 2016 at 15:38
  • If that's how you use tags, then it could work like that if you want a leaf, for things like mining-theory, mining-pools, etc. You can't select all top level or middl e level though, AIUI. Anyway, my point was that I think too narrow tags are counterproductive, and since I don't do the tags, I'll go with whatever people who do choose after reading the argument.
    – user36303
    Aug 13, 2016 at 18:12

At this point the generic transaction and mining tags are gone. I share the concern of user36303 that some of the resulting sub tags like human-powered-mining may never be used. We can always merge back the the overly specific mining tags later into a general mining tag if we change our mind. We cannot easily do the same thing in reverse (converting large numbers of general tags into specific tags). The downside of this approach is that edge cases (that do not fit any existing specific tags) like the one you mentioned human-powered-mining will keep appearing if we are eliminating the general mining tag as a catch all.

I am not sure which method (using broader mining and transaction tags like ETH SE tags or more specific tags like BTC SE) will work better for us long term. However the BTC SE method is clearly more flexible because we can merge specific tags into more general tags later much easier than the other way around.

Would testing both approaches be reasonable?

  1. Stick with specific the tag replacements for mining and transactions (but trying to avoid creating more than we already have)
  2. For other topics (not mining and transactions) we use general tags such as quantum-computing and not have any other more specific quantum tags.
  3. Reevaluate in a few months to see if we prefer the results of 1 or 2?
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    Getting rid of tags with just a few questions is really easy: Anyone with just a few thousand reputation can edit them out and a tag without questions gets automatically deleted at midnight. IIRC tags that are only on one question disappear automatically after 30 days.
    – Murch
    Aug 13, 2016 at 12:12
  • I was not aware of the 30 day rule thanks. Hopefully that will help resolve the human-powered-mining example (and similar examples) by itself. I know I helped cause the problem when I was helping to eliminate the general mining and transaction tags
    – Smart Kid
    Aug 13, 2016 at 12:16
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    Correction: Single-use tags are deleted after six months, if they don't have a tag wiki.
    – Murch
    Aug 13, 2016 at 12:26
  • I just submitted an edit to remove the quantum-planning tags and agree with the advice for a single quantum-computing tag
    – Smart Kid
    Aug 13, 2016 at 12:44

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