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I was thinking about this question: Merge of tags `info-visualisation` and `info-visualization` into ìnfoviz`

And I was also looking around and saw several other tags that should be combined - "dropdown" and "drop-down-lists" stand out right now to me.

As it stands, there are only 7 users on the site that can create (and I'm assuming vote on) tag synonyms. And Patrick is the only one of those that seems to know about them, since he's the one that has created any (and none got voted up so far). I think this could be hurting the quality of content on the site by making it harder to identify duplicate content as it comes in.

To me, it makes sense to make this function a little easier to accomplish, at least the voting portion of it. Waiting for four additional people to vote up a synonym when only six other people on the site in total can do so is not really a working situation.

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    I don't think this can be changed. As far as I know, there's one set of privileges for beta sites (2000 rep for mod tools) and one for graduated sites (standard 10K for mod tools). What's weird is that some don't get decreased for beta, like create tag synonyms (always at 2500). – Nicole Mar 24 '11 at 16:13
  • @Renesis - well if that's the case, so be it. Do you know if it's possible for admins to automatically approve synonyms? – Charles Boyung Mar 24 '11 at 17:46
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    sorry I do not know. Possibly a good question for meta.stackoverflow.com? I agree with you that young beta sites need a better way to take care of this. – Nicole Mar 24 '11 at 20:28
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I guess we're trying to solve the wrong problem. For beta sites, it's easier to have one or two people retag questions than it is to get four people to upvote a synonym.


As we're building the site it's good to have lots of ways for people to leave their marks and feel connected so they'll spread the word and keep coming back. Properly tagging questions is an important moderation task that's available for people with relatively low reputation.

As the site grows, keeping the growing body of content organized will become more important. At the same time, that body of content will have a lot more "gravity" to attract people and keep them engaged. And we'll have a larger pool of partcipants who can vote on synonyms.

At that point the scale will tip toward synonyms rather than manual retagging, but there will no longer be a need to lower the thresholds for synonyms. (We'll be under the standard thresholds by then anyway.)

Jeff and the SE team designed the system quite brilliantly, when you think about it.

  • Patrick - the problem with that is that it is going to be a continual process - people are going to keep using those other tags, which means that those one or two people are going to have to keep maintaining those retags indefinitely. – Charles Boyung Mar 27 '11 at 15:10
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    @Charles Once a tag is eradicated, it doesn't show up in the autosuggest. If comes back repeatedly, that might be a sign that either we really do need two separate tags or we chose the wrong one as the winner. But that's not why I said we're solving the wrong problem -- see my expanded answer. – Patrick McElhaney Mar 27 '11 at 21:54

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