Please look at the 226 questions under .

We are a site for computer problems. Tags such as "error" often don't add any additional value. The same goes for "failure", and it's probably a bit more evident here that the usage of the tag is completely out of scope. In fact, there's no follower for that tag either.

Well, what is failure according to the tag on our site? Looking through the questions:

  • Hard drive failure
  • Hardware failure, like in motherboards
  • Boot failure
  • Software failure
  • Generally: All things that fail

Does this tag add any value to the site? Burninate or leave? Split up into more specific tags?

  • 5
    Burn. I don't think there's a reasonable use case for anyone to browse that tag (as e.g. for computer-buying). If you are interested in tech support, it's both more focused (most failures are probably not relevant) and involves quite a bit of things that aren't failures.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 20:33
  • 1
    Believing or not, a lot of people (mostly gamers) do use such phrase to express a variety of things. Read here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Failure
    – HelpNeeder
    Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 8:35
  • @HelpNeeder Doesn't make it a useful tag.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 10:44
  • In a similar vein, hardware-failure. Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 12:12
  • Who is this General Failure and why is he reading my disk?
    – kinokijuf
    Commented Dec 17, 2011 at 12:48

3 Answers 3


I understand that in a perfect world we'd retag these, but I took a scan through the first page and IMHO 95% of the time this tag adds no value, regardless of whatever synonym I could think of.

it is now burninated.

tag burninated

so let it be written, so let it be done


I say it's useless as a tag. Half of the questions in the computer world could be tagged "failure". :)

How about a "successful" tag?

"I keep getting memory failures but it passes all tests I run?"
#memory-testing #successful #failure



slhck on : I can't imagine anybody using this tag as a favorite.

slhck on : In fact, there's no follower for that tag either.

The amount of followers is in no way a motive to determine whether a tag is good, a tag is not a category.

You rather have to look whether it adds value when reading the question one-box and searching...

Other than that, I think it's best that we retag them.

People should use more specific tags that describe what exactly is happening.

Is it ing or ing, does it , does it give an , a perhaps?

At first I didn't see the vagueness behind , some arguments:

  • They do add value when searching...

    For example, searching for + is different than searching for .

    The former makes it easy to learn why power supplies fail and how they can be fixed, the latter just yields a lot of questions about power supplies while they are not all about failures.

  • They do add value when you see the question in a list...

    It allows you to identify that the question is talking about a failure, the title doesn't always give that away.

  • Burning the tag takes this value away.

  • Splitting the tag yields too many new tags.

    Also, you get long tag strings like .

  • 1
    > You rather have to look whether it adds value when reading the question one-box and searching... – That's not the main point, don't take it as the main reasoning for removing a tag. I just mentioned it because a tag having followers at least indicates that it's useful to some people.
    – slhck
    Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 20:22
  • @slhck: So that means we can remove about everything past the fourth page of tags? That indication really doesn't make sense. The main point of tags is making it easier to find questions which are about similar subjects, so I do take it as the main reasoning about tags... Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 22:27
  • Ah, sorry, I actually quoted the wrong part of your answer :) Yes, you are absolutely right, I meant to say this with regards to the follower count.
    – slhck
    Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 22:45
  • @slhck: No problem, it just made me wonder because you listed it in both Qs... Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 22:54
  • 1
    Actually, I mentioned it here because Daniel mentioned it in a comment on the other one. For me personally, it doesn't have much of an importance.
    – slhck
    Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 23:05

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