On SuperUser there are lots of questions which are looking for product recommendations for various purposes. These can range between hardware, software, or other types of products. Right now there are two tags which are serving most of these purposes

  • software-recommendation
  • product-recommendation

Should we think about merging these tags and attempt to steer future questions into a single selection, or should we move towards specific tags dependent on what type of product they are looking for recommendation on (software/hardware/service/product/etc.)?

  • these tags are WAY too long, and screw up listings in a bunch of places. We need less absurdly long synonyms for this. Jul 27, 2009 at 11:13
  • 1
    Though not truly synonymous, how about "tip" instead of "recommendation"?
    – Kyle Cronin
    Jul 27, 2009 at 16:54
  • 1
    So now there's a bunch of Foo-rec tags, along with tags like foo-buying and foo-networking spelled out - why shorten just the recommendation one? This is the year 2009 - we've passed the 8.3 naming limits, haven't we? Many with english as a secondary or tertiary language will not even get what the heck a rec is... anyway, I'm just happy trying meta.so and instantly find useful answers on the wierd foo-rec-tags I got hung up on - kudos for that ^^
    – Oskar Duveborn
    Aug 9, 2009 at 21:52

5 Answers 5


Personally I'd rather see these questions getting closed.

It seems to me a good chunk of them are written by people (possibly marketers) who ALREADY know the answer they want to accept when they ask the question. Somebody asks a question about "the best ____" and then they accept an arbitrary answer within a few minutes (by arbitrary, I mean an answer with the same amount of votes as many others).

Have they really gone out and bought that product and decided that it was the best? Is this type of question even worth having?

I like the concept of superuser, but frankly, at this early stage it reads like a series of advertisements rather than questions/answers.

  • 1
    I'd up-vote twice if I could for "Somebody asks a question about "the best ____" and then they accept an arbitrary answer within a few minutes (by arbitrary, I mean an answer with the same amount of votes as many others)."
    – AnonJr
    Jul 27, 2009 at 10:55
  • 1
    A few minutes seems way too long. They're usually accepted with the first single-word/link-as-answer inside the minute they're posted.
    – random
    Jul 27, 2009 at 11:23

Where along its short life did SuperUser become the product recommendation and what to buy advice service?

Isn't that what the plethora of reviews out there are all about? They're all biased anyway.

Merge questions with [*-recommendation] tags into the ether. Or back to the forums from whence they came.

If wanting synonyms, label them for what they are, [*-pimp|plug]


Looks like trim() has already happened, *-recommendation cut down to tags just like software-rec.


I think the tag should be splited. software product recommendation.

So a question about software recommendation should have two tags, software and recommendation.

  • 1
    my only problem with that is "software" is such a broad tag that it seems to not really provide any useful information UNLESS it is joined along with some other tag (which may make it a waste of a tag when you could just use one tag instead of two)
    – TheTXI
    Jul 16, 2009 at 0:59
  • It is broad because "everything" is software. But a question about firefox shouldn't have the software tag, should have the firefox tag. I think using the software tag only makes sense if it is about "any" software, not a specific software. This way I don't think it will be such a broad tag just because it is a broad subject.
    – Daniel Moura
    Jul 16, 2009 at 1:32

I think there shall be a separate section on the site dedicated to product reviews. I myself had found answers to my "what is the best ___" here, on SO. I assert that if there is a dedicated section, with functionality specifically tailored to product rating - it will be used and will be useful.

My problem with all the review sites, is that those are biased. Here, I can expect that most of recommendations will come from experienced engineers. I would also add a 500 rep requirement, before you can put your opinion there.

I think 'accept' feature would make no sense in the said section.

I do realize such section would be a deviation from SO main stream, but IMHO SO would be a perfect place to have such information.

Summary of the summary: I need product reviews from trusted source, and forcing that sort of information into a regular question form is a stretch. So I propose you add separate section just for that sort of information.

  • I suggest that you post your suggestion in a new question so that it receives more attention.
    – waiwai933
    Jun 28, 2010 at 1:31

It depends on what will make those posts searchable. If you make recommendation a single tag you can couple that with whatever you want: software, hardware or whatnot.

Regarding closing these questions due to arbitrary votes.

My personal take on this is that I don't accept an answer until there are at least some upvotes or when I tried it out and it was an actual solution, which is exactly what I was asking for.

I think the solution to the problem you have is that these questions don't have one correct answer and therefore should be community wiki.

Though still only one answer can be chosen as accepted, at least the person doesn't get more rep than he "deserves".

  • 1
    I'm not worried about rep, I'm worried about useless "viral advertising" spamming up SU.
    – TM
    Jul 27, 2009 at 12:05
  • I don't really see it as advertising, plus you can easily ignore those questions ;-) There are other people interested in those answers
    – Ivo Flipse
    Jul 27, 2009 at 12:45

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