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First, I just want to say I'm really impressed with the user community at drupal.stackexchange.com, and I had a follow-on question to the many posts about creating tags.

I chair a Drupal group (http://commons.esipfed.org/collaboration-area/drupal-working-group) for a virtual organization, Earth Science Information Partners (http://esipfed.org/), comprised of Drupal developers across NASA, NOAA, NSF funded science projects. We are exploring ways we can ask Drupal questions of the larger Drupal community about issues that are relevant to our research projects. So far we've tried using Twitter and Google+ without much success in both getting answers but also keeping track of issues raised by our developers, and we really like this community here for its responsiveness and expertise.

So, we are looking to track the issues created by our members, durpal.stackexchange has the infrastructure and critical mass to support Q&A and knowledge sharing, and tagging issues seems an obvious way to keep track of science-related questions.

My question is, is it considered misuse of tags by drupal.stackexchange to have a community-based tag like #science-on-drupal? Before going off and creating one, we wanted to be good citizens of the Stack Exchange community and be respectful of this community use of tags.

Any advice, or alternatives, you can offer would be much appreciated!

cheers, Adam

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    Questions that meet our on-topic guidelines are always welcome here. I pinged a member of the Community team for some guidance on this, and to see if there is a precedence from another site. As a developer who works with some very large science organizations on Drupal projects, I wouldn't object to this. – mpdonadio Jul 10 '14 at 23:01
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    Actually, would you be able to provide a couple of short sample questions similar to those you think your developers might ask? I think that would be very helpful to get the brain juice going – Clive Jul 10 '14 at 23:17
  • Hi Clive, I'd be happy to share some examples. Our group is meeting face-to-face today as part of our annual camp. I'll gather some samples questions and post them as a comment here. Our questions are of the same scope as the Q&A that happens here. Our hurdle is finding a way to gather and locate our Q's on a sustainable platform while exposing our questions to a wider audience of expertise. We very much want to exist within the Drupal community ethos, striving towards the Drupal Way, bringing exposure to the Drupal issues that are important to realizing concrete science outcomes. – Adam Jul 11 '14 at 13:50
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    @Adam Pick a question and post it as an actual question. It may be a stretch, but I think you may be able to use SEDE to do what you need. – mpdonadio Jul 11 '14 at 15:31
  • Hey MPD, SEDE looks great! We can use kiamlaluno's suggestion to add "#science-on-drupal" in the body and then use SEDE to extract those. Thank you very much! Here is an example: drupal.stackexchange.com/questions/123121/… – Adam Jul 11 '14 at 16:11
  • @Adam, along with the SEDE suggestion, you can do a direct search of your own questions with this type of link: drupal.stackexchange.com/search?q=user%3A4050 – Jav Jul 19 '14 at 21:18
  • @Adam, another idea, you can also track responses to your questions via email notifications alerting you to the responses. You can use a dedicated email address and forward responses to all team members so they are aware of progress (or lack thereof). – Jav Jul 19 '14 at 21:26
  • thanks for the suggestions Jav! – Adam Jul 21 '14 at 14:45
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The rule on Stack Exchange is that tags say something about the question, not the user who ask the question; that is the reason why tags like , , or are not acceptable.

The usual answer is that everything about a user should be reported in the profile; that is why a signature is not welcome on Stack Exchange: If you want to make others know your real name, you put it in the profile. As far as I can see, you cannot look for people writing a specific word in their interest; if that were possible, you could find all users that writes #science-on-drupal on their interests, and from there find the list of all the questions asked from those users. Since that is not possible, I just see a possibility, for which I raise some points: Add #science-on-drupal in the body of a question, but not at the beginning. The reason for not putting it at the beginning is that users should first read the question, which is the purpose of using a Stack Exchange site; that is the reason why a sentence (or a paragraph) explaining, for example, that a user is a Drupal beginner having troubles with understanding Drupal is normally removed, especially when it comes before the question itself.

My concerns about this are the followings:

  • Does #science-on-drupal say anything that matters to the whote community? If the purpose is just tracking the questions asked from users of a specific community, I could imagine that community needs its own way to find which Stack Exchange users are part of it.
  • What does #science-on-drupal say to the other users? If it says "this question will accept an answer," then I would say it is not desirable.
  • Is there a way to avoid abuse of #science-on-drupal? We don't know which Stack Exchange users are part of that community; if users see that questions marked as #science-on-drupal obtain answers quicker than other questions, they could start adding #science-on-drupal to their own questions, without being really associated with that community.
  • Does introducing that meta-tag give a bad habit to new users? If they say questions containing #science-on-drupal, they could think it is acceptable for them to do something similar and they could use, e.g., #me-likes-icecream in their questions.
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    Regardless of how this might be implemented, if only certain people are 'allowed' (or supposed) to use a tag, then we definitely can't allow it IMO. Not fair on the rest of the community, and it just doesn't make sense. I don't see why we couldn't just tag the questions with the specific area of science that they relate to, and users of #drupal-on-science can simply follow the tags that interest them. That would be perfectly in keeping with what we've already got, and no feathers get ruffled – Clive Jul 11 '14 at 8:03
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    The fact is that the tag would be used for questions asked by specific users, not about a specific topic. Stack Exchange doesn't use tags for questions asked by specific users, or for users who should answer them; otherwise, we would have a chx, I guess. – kiamlaluno Jul 11 '14 at 9:45
  • Clive and kiomlaluno, these are all REALLY good points too, and I'm glad I asked this question here. That makes total sense that what we are trying to do is user-driven and we want to be inclusive of everyone here. thanks for your input and advice! all these posts are why this community is great! – Adam Jul 12 '14 at 0:07
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I strongly oppose community-based tags. Or any other way of making some group of users (or their content) stand out*.

I'm here to help Drupal community, and to get help from it. That's the only community I expect and want to see here. Introducing divisions will only make some people feel treated better or worse than others.

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, don't build any fences.

People in sub-community will probably start to feel they are ignored, or their tag gets misused by people outside it. People outside it will feel that questions with this tag gets better treatment. It will lead at least some users to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. And it is the path to dark side.

I hope your community will feel welcome here. But I also hope you want to integrate with us when it comes to Drupal questions, not only to use us, but stay separate. If you plan to do the second thing, please, please stay away.


* Except for prizes like reputation, badges, and moderator's diamond, because it's a mark of our service for the community, not a sub-community mark.

  • I appreciate your sentiment and we in no way want to foster exclusivity. The idea of the tag was more a technical solution for aggregating science-related Drupal questions together. Probably not the best solution, but it was the first thought that came to mind that didn't require our group, with its limited resources and the use of taxpayer dollars, to spin-up infrastructure that needed maintenance. Using tags to aggregate content works really well, but we too were concerned about misusing and offending the community. Thanks Molot. – Adam Jul 11 '14 at 13:55
  • I'm not saying that you are into foster exclusivity. I'm just saying that it is inevitable that some people would feel you are, if you will insist on making yourself stand out. – Mołot Jul 11 '14 at 13:56
  • ooh, yeah, that's a good point. sorry i misunderstood your post. thanks for all the feedback! – Adam Jul 12 '14 at 0:06

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