This is an offshoot of the Rats nest of tags question. Because of the number of tags involved, I don't want to flood Meta with individual tag cleanup requests. This question is a little in the style of the manufacturer tags; it's intended to serve as a bulletin board for tag disposition guidance.

This question pertains only to selected tags that are candidates for elimination.


Which, if any, of these tags should we keep:

The list will grow as we work our way through these.

Each tag will be "recommended" in a separate answer. It is really just presenting a case for the tag rather than an actual recommendation one way or the other. This format presents the tags in a consistent way, so upvotes will always be a vote to preserve it, and downvotes a vote to eliminate it.

Comments can be used to share thoughts on the tag's usage, arguments pro and con for keeping the tag, and any suggestions for retagging.

Please vote and comment on the answers since that's what will drive action on each tag.

Update: The following tags have been cleaned out based on your input:

(see comment on question below)

  • 4
    Maybe you should've done your answers as "Remove X" instead of "Keep X". I mean you said it yourself you can't make a case to keeping the tag and give reasons to remove it-- yet the answer should be supporting the tag if you start with "keep" :P
    – Insane
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 14:43

8 Answers 8


Keep (19 Q's after initial cleanup, 16 followers)

This was the subject of one of Raystafarian's tag cleanup requests (Be done with [gtd]) that led to the Rat's nest of tags question. He closed it as a duplicate, so I want to make sure that the tag gets addressed.

Getting Things Done is a productivity/time management method described in a book of the same name. The GTD method rests on the idea of moving planned tasks and projects out of the mind by recording them externally and then breaking them into actionable work items.

  • The majority of the tagged questions are off-topic software requests. There are only six questions, plus one that's closed as a duplicate, that are on topic. However, as long as the off-topic questions remain on the site, their tags should be appropriate.

  • The tag is about a method, not a particular application, and not many people are familiar with it. The questions could be retagged with a more generic tag, like .

  • A more generic tag would probably be better at attracting answers in many cases. For some questions, however, the only answers of interest to the OP are ones that reflect the GTD approach (which could be included in the question, rather than a tag).

  • The tag has a surprising number of followers, so it should not be cavalierly dismissed.

  • 2
    I don't think we should keep this, however if we do decide to retag it [time-management], then [gtd] should be synonymised with that tag.
    – Robotnik
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 4:08
  • 2
    I'm a follower of GTD as I follow evernote, I use productivity.SE and I like to catch the questions. I don't think it has any place here. I agree to make it synonymous with time-management and merge time-tracking also Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 12:16

Keep (12 Q's before any cleanup, 0 followers)

Another tag I can't make a case for. To me, it's completely meta. Anybody who wants to add a case, you're welcome to it.

We also have and tags (6 Q's, 0 followers, and 72 Q's, 0 followers, respectively). I would think any questions for which an instance tag is warranted should be one of these, instead.

  • [single-instance] is actually a concept in Windows, but it looks like the tag's usage has nothing to do with that. I have no idea what [multiple-instances] means, and it looks like the tag is used for a billion different things.
    – Ben N
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 13:17
  • @BenN: You're right about the [multiple-instances] being all over the place. There is a legit usage though, some apps require jumping through hoops to open multiple instances. Otherwise they try to open additional docs or tabs in the same instance, or throw a message saying it's already open. I could see value in a tag for that problem. BTW, can I infer that you think [instances] is a waste?
    – fixer1234
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 13:48
  • 2
    Right, there's not a lot of meaning in [instances]. I think it might be OK to put questions about forcing multiple instances under [single-instance], because the OP is trying to circumvent the single-instance system.
    – Ben N
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 15:12
  • [instances] has been cleaned out. Some were decoration, some retagged [multiple-instances].
    – fixer1234
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 5:44

Keep (70 Q's before any cleanup, 4 followers)

This is an undefined tag that has been used for everything imaginable.

  • There are a lot of questions where it is only decoration, like Excel problems, and it should be removed from these.

  • There may be a collection of questions where an analysis tag might add something, but I suspect it should be replaced with something less ambiguous. Please comment with recommendations.

  • I don't think data-analysis would be good - there are tons of spreadsheet tags for that already. problem-analysis would be ambiguous still. regression-analysis already has regression and any product analysis would be off-topic. What other analysis is there? Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 12:10
  • @Raystafarian: some of these would be covered by the existing [diagnostic] tag. Many relate to analyzing some characteristic of some process.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 19:59
  • Cleaned up noise and decoration. 18 Qs remain.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 6:20

Keep (44 Q's before any cleanup, 0 followers)

Collaboration is the use of processes and tools that allow multiple people to work in concert to accomplish a shared goal. Relative to SU, collaboration typically requires special tools or infrastructure to integrate the actions of multiple contributors.

  • On some questions, collaboration is incidental to the actual issue. The tag should be removed from these.

  • The tag should be removed from questions about simple file sharing.

  • A number of questions are about how to use a particular application or resource, like a specific messaging app or sharing service, to facilitate collaboration on some task. I could see the tag adding focus and helping to attract users with experience doing this.

  • Some applications include a feature or provision to support multiple-user input on the application's documents. [collaboration] is relevant in this context. If the application is typically used by a single person, knowledge about the collaboration features might be limited and I could see the tag being useful to attract experienced users.

  • On the development side, there's overlap with version control. That is actually the focus of a few of the collaboration questions. To some extent, it's useful to have tag names that correspond to the vernacular of the users; it isn't the end of the world if programmers have a version control tag and document writers have a collaboration tag, and there's overlap. Please comment with your thoughts.

  • 3
    Torch it. It's not very helpful to have a tag that talks about something very different in different programs. For the collaboration features in Office programs, I think an Office 365-specific tag would be appropriate.
    – Ben N
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 17:22
  • Cleaned up noise and decoration. 11 Q's remain.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 7:23

Keep (41 Q's before any cleanup, 9 followers)

Sorry, it's just not in me to make a case for this meta tag. It's basically off-topic and irrelevant to the site. Anyone else who wants to do it is welcome to have at it.

That said, there's 41 questions and 9 followers, so I didn't want to just clean this up without public comment.

  • Cleaned up questions where [learning] was just decoration or off-topic use. None remained.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 7:21

Keep (49 Q's before any cleanup, 2 followers)

Workflow is a planned and repeatable series of activities used to accomplish a recurring task. In addition to general use, it's an integral concept in SharePoint.

  • Some questions are decorated with [workflow] only because they're asking how to do something. The tag should be removed from these.

  • General questions about how to efficiently accomplish something that must be repeated a lot could be retagged with something like if [workflow] is eliminated. Or, [automation] could be cleaned up by retagging relevant question with [workflow]. (Please comment with advice on this.)

  • Does [workflow] help to attract knowledgeable answerers when it's relevant, or does it add no value to the subject matter tag?

  • On Sharepoint questions, is it useful to add a [workflow] tag? We have a total of 300 SharePoint questions, 4 of which also have a [workflow] tag. It isn't clear whether [workflow] is a great search aid or it's useless because nobody thinks to add it. We need input from some of our SharePoint experts on whether this tag would change who responds to a question.

  • 2
    Demolish it. [automation] is actually descriptive of recurring tasks, while [workflow] has zero meaning to me. I could get behind a [sharepoint-workflow] tag though (unless all SharePoint questions are about workflow; I don't know the area too well).
    – Ben N
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 17:23
  • Cleaned out noise and decoration. Workflow is an element of Automator and Sharepoint. 7 Q's remain. Need input from subject matter experts.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 7:27

Keep (80 Q's before any cleanup, 1 follower)

Another tag I can't make a case for. To me, it's completely meta. Anybody who wants to add a case, you're welcome to it.

  • There's already 8+ tags for protect - I think this would fit in with all of those. Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 12:17

Keep (59 Q's before any cleanup, 3 followers)

The tag has no definition but it is a commonly used term. It generally refers to detailed instructions that teach someone how to do something.

  • The tag is used when the OP wants an answer with comprehensive instructions (which could be stated in the question rather than a tag). It does serve to screen responses in that answerers who aren't interested in leaving detailed instructions "need not apply". However, it's also used for requests to be pointed to learning materials.

  • Requests for learning materials are off topic, but I believe that's more focused on acquiring general knowledge about a subject area than asking for detailed instructions, and asking for links to external information. Still, a "tutorial" tag has an off-topic flavor.

  • The tag has three followers. I can only guess that these are people who like to create tutorials and see the tag as an opportunity to do that.

  • Some of the questions could be retagged with , although the terms aren't synonymous. A lot of documentation needs a tutorial.

  • 3
    Burn it. It's not really needed. If answers don't provide detailed instructions then the OP can comment on the answer and point that out.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 19:49
  • [Tutorial] has been cleaned out.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 15:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .