Adding tags to another person's AskMe July 3, 2006 7:43 AM   Subscribe

It would be useful if one could add tags to another person's Ask Metafilter post—it could clarify the content where the original poster has neglected tagging altogether, or where the poster's tags are vague. The user-added tags could be marked as such, and kept separate from the poster's tags. Is this possible? Or would we be afraid of abuse?
posted by interrobang to Feature Requests at 7:43 AM (16 comments total)

It's been asked at least a few times before and the answer has always been user abuse.
posted by Ryvar at 7:51 AM on July 3, 2006

It's been discussed a couple of times before. I'd be afraid of abuse, what with all the personality wars that tend to break out between some of the more highly-visible posters. Still, better tags make for better searching; if there was a suggest-a-tag feature, where the tagging was still left up to the poster, maybe that would be a decent happy medium, though it'd probably be at the bottom of the innovation pile.
posted by Gator at 7:54 AM on July 3, 2006

We've provided ample evidence, on numerous occasions, as to why we can't have nice things. If something can be abused, we invariably abuse the living fuck out of it.

Third-party tagging might work on a contacts-only basis, though.
posted by mcwetboy at 7:57 AM on July 3, 2006

Third-party tagging might work on a contacts-only basis, though.

Similar to flickr. That's a neat idea.
posted by Ryvar at 8:00 AM on July 3, 2006

Is that how flickr works? Someone just added a tag to a photo of mine and I have no idea who this person is.

I like the idea of third-party tagging via your contacts, too. With the option of being able to delete the tags added by them if we object.
posted by iconomy at 8:13 AM on July 3, 2006

Flickr can work that way, yes. If you click on the privacy options for a photo, and look at the "More Options", it gives you the option as to who can add tags and notes. Also who can leave comments.
posted by antifuse at 8:21 AM on July 3, 2006

I hate seeing AskMe questions with few, useless, or no tags. If user abuse is really that much of a concern, I'd be more than happy if #1 or #292 tagged posts more often, though some have found that problematic as well.
posted by youarenothere at 8:22 AM on July 3, 2006

I think it would be cool if you could arbitrarily define "tagging groups," which you could then invite people to join. A person could join one or more tagging group. The idea behind a tagging group is that you could tag other peoples' content, but that tag would only be visible to other people in your tagging group.

In your profile, you would have the ability to enable or disable a given group that you are a member of. By disabling a group, you would be hiding their tags. You could even have multiple groups enabled at once, and see the tags from different groups in different colors or something.

Anyway, the idea would be the same - when you leave a tag, you're leaving it as part of a given tagging group. Only other members of that group could see the tag.

I'm surprised nobody has done this yet.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:45 AM on July 3, 2006

I don't see how allowing users to tag a question is more prone to abuse than allowing users to comment on a question. Plus the behavior in AskMe is remarkable.
posted by panoptican at 9:00 AM on July 3, 2006

I think we should set up a fund and use Amazon's Mechanical Turk to pay people $0.03 to tag a question.

We could have the entire database tagged in a few hours.
posted by vacapinta at 9:22 AM on July 3, 2006

Afroblanco: that sounds like an intriguing MetaMeFi project, yes indeed.
posted by boo_radley at 9:30 AM on July 3, 2006

Tell the poster in the thread as happens now. (nicely)!
posted by adamvasco at 11:50 AM on July 3, 2006

Afroblanco, I'm working on something much like your idea right now. I haven't implemented groups yet, but in a month or two it will find its way to projects, with groups and some more bells and whistles. If anyone wants to test it, the working pre-alpha version is linked in my profile. Suggestions by email are welcomed, also.
posted by MetaMonkey at 5:39 PM on July 3, 2006

It's been asked at least a few times before and the answer has always been user abuse.

Back when we were first pushing Matt for tagging, I strongly militated for a private tagging system, displayed only to you, the currently-logged-in-user, in parallel to the public one, where you could tag anything on the site. No potential for abuse there, and it allows us, if we're so inclined, to folksonomize to our hearts' content.

Short version: you can publically tag your own contributions, but only privately tag those of others.

He'd be able to aggregate and use the private tag-dictionary for magical sorting and cloud-building and filtering and stuff in the back end if he wanted, of course, to bubble up the good oil to the presentation layer.

I still haven't seen an argument as to why it might be a bad idea, other than that the amount of time mathowie might spend on it could be better allocated elsewhere.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:07 PM on July 3, 2006

I can't think of why private tagging would be a bad idea, except maybe from the perspective that, being private, it wouldn't really add usefulness to the site, though it might be useful to the individuals who would use it. It's true that, being private, it couldn't really be abused, but at the same time it wouldn't help anybody else find what they might be looking for, which I think is the primary purpose of tags.

It's kind of like how, if I recall correctly, Matt didn't want to set up a private "Favorites" or "Bookmarks" feature, reasoning that public favorites were more interesting and useful to the site as a community feature than something private that only each individual could see.

If I'm making sense, at all.
posted by Gator at 11:36 PM on July 3, 2006

youarenothere writes "I hate seeing AskMe questions with few, useless, or no tags. "

Few or no tags on a post isn't necessarily because the user couldn't be bothered. They may have intentionally not included whatever super tag you think should be there.

I against anyone but the original poster tagging posts if for no other reason than it would make derails worse.
posted by Mitheral at 7:18 AM on July 4, 2006

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