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I'm pleased to announce that the first phase of merging the audio community from AVP with Sound Design has successfully completed. Over 1500 questions have been migrated here, and users are quickly signing up and being associated with their contributions.

What we have unavoidably created, however, is an interesting tag salad - which we've got to take a look at examining. There's two reasons why this might be the most interesting tag clean up in Stack Exchange history:

Sound Design never had a meta site

How did these folks put together such an awesome site with no meta site? Well, I could start by talking about how they also used to walk miles uphill to school in the snow with no shoes, but I'd digress. Tagging just happened naturally, much like folks sort of fall into a queue when there's something to wait for.

AVP had a split personality

Audio & Video Production started off as two distinctly different proposals - one for audio, one for video. Being the naive yet benevolent jerks that we can sometimes be, we thought it would be best if they came together to create a single site. That was a mistake, and we ended up with tags being used to differentiate the two communities and cultures, and a lack of consistency between the two when it came to taxonomy.

We've got to get to organizing our tags.

Fortunately, it won't be too difficult to fix the more urgent things as far as tagging goes. By urgent, I don't mean that a death star is pointed at an inhabited planet and waiting to see what happens with tags - we just want to get the more active tags sorted so that new questions are more likely to be tagged correctly so the problem doesn't continue to grow.

Here's a plan:

  1. Identify tags that should simply be deleted (like the and tags, this site is all about both - no need to use a tag for that.)
  2. Identify meta tags that are good candidates for removal.
  3. Identify tags that mean essentially the same thing, and decide on which tag should be used going forward, then create tag synonyms for convenience and order
  4. Create tag excerpts and info pages where needed, to help folks understand what a tag is for, when it should be used, and any interesting resources related to the tag

It's important to note that as you look through posts with the intention of getting a problem tag removed, make sure that you fix all that needs fixing on the posts because that problem tag is probably the only way to easily scope those questions again. Also, make sure the tag isn't the only tag on any posts.

Don't worry, this can be fun!

Have you met our pet one-armed dragon Trogdor? He appears out of the ether when you call him once you've identified a tag that is safe to remove. We need a separate meta discussion for each tag that we decide to do something with, tagged with one of the following additional tags applied:

  • for letting the community know that you've identified a tag that should be removed, and invite others to examine it and agree or disagree. Quite often, these lead to a discussion regarding work that should be done before the tag is removed entirely

  • for letting the community know that you've identified two or more tags that mean essentially the same thing and a discussion should take place on which tag to keep, and which tags should be made synonyms

  • for requesting that a tag be created if it doesn't exist, you should indicate some reasoning when asking and link to questions where this tag would apply

  • for letting the community know that you've discovered a problem in an existing tag's nomenclature or spelling, and suggesting how it should be changed. This could be anything from a typo, moving / removing / inserting a dash for consistency, etc

Once the community has weighed in on these requests, moderators or Stack Exchange employees will apply one of several status- tags to indicate the result of the discussion. Typically this will be or . While tag actions typically aren't deferred or reviewed for too long, you might see those respective statuses from time to time as well.

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you!

This isn't just a tag cleanup, this is a chance for old and new users of Sound Design to get to know each other while working together here rather informally on meta, and to attract people interested in content curating and governance to meta.

Working on projects like this helps to bring about a sense of pride and ownership in the site, and you'll enjoy using it even more once you've got that. I've already made this way longer and more complicated than it actually is - I'm turning the floor over to all of you to get this underway. If you've got thoughts on how to better organize and drive the cleanup effort itself, please post an answer here and let us know. Otherwise, let the mass tag drive begin!

  • I will try, but like most of us from both SSD and AVP, I don't think we have the time or patience to actually sort out the tags. All we want to do in our downtime is to read, learn, and communicate with our peers. This is a clean up because we are gonna spend time arguing about tags instead of answering questions or sharing experiences that could benefit someone else. – user6513 Mar 15 '14 at 18:44

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