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Genre tags are tags describing the genre of a movie, like , or .

Currently there is no consistent usage of these genre tags on the site. While they are mainly being used for questions, they are also used here and there for "normal" questions, but not consistently. Example: Are the events in Black Gold based on fact?

This raises the question: How do we want genre tags to be used?

To answer this we have to think about what we want to achieve with those tags.


From my knowledge the main purpose of tags is to describe a question. For genre tags this actually is true for questions, because they describe the movie that is being searched for. (Example: Mid 70's Sci Fi horror, please identify)

For normal questions about a movie however it can be argued if the genre tag really is describing the question. In most cases it is describing the movie that the question is asked about. Just look at the Black Gold example above. The question has nothing to do with at all. That just happens to be one of the movies genres.

This might also influence the filtering function of the tags. If I click the tag, am I expecting questions regarding action aspects or am I expecting questions about action movies? I'm on the fence here.

Another problem with those tags is, if we want to use them consistently, that there usually is more than one genre for a movie, often a whole dozen of them. And sometimes it is not even that clear, which genre a movie belongs to.


So what options do we have for use of the genre tags?

I can think of three possibilities:

  1. Use them consistently on both identify and normal questions.
  2. Use them only on identify questions.
  3. Use them only where the genre is really important to the question. (which might be arguable)

How can we bring some consistency in genre tags? What do we want to be their purpose?

  • Work just piled up but when I have some free time I'll post some thoughts – Tablemaker Apr 17 '12 at 15:19
  • Actually, no need for a rant, upon further reading. 2/3 like what @DForck42 said :) – Tablemaker Apr 18 '12 at 2:08
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I'm with option 2/3, using them when they are relevent to the question. If I ask a question about Inception, but the genre of the movie isn't important, then I shouldn't tag it with [sci-fi]. However, if I were to ask what elements of Inception make it a sci-fi, then I would tag it as [sci-fi].

The main drawback though is that SE.Scifi actually has a feed in their chat for our sci-fi tag.

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Tags start out detailing what the author believes the question to be, but they are molded by the readers to refine what it really is, and aids the searching capability later on.

If questions are meant to be only in the here-and-now, any tag (or none) would be sufficient. Everything currently stays on the front page for days.

Later audiences will use the tags to acclimate and find that rare gold question (no offense, gold is in the eye of the beholder) that is buried on the back pages. Consider the broad user base you/we all wish to have; help them find with the broadest possible search terms in the way of tags.

Remember the line from Chariots of Fire: I believe that's a question for the committee...
Answered by: We ARE the committee!

So, we can make this anything we want, but let's not make it pleasing just to ourselves.

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    So, the tldr is, let's talk about this? – DForck42 Apr 17 '12 at 17:18
  • I think Beta means broad-stroke ideas and actions. Leave refinement for later, after we have a base. If all we want is "committee", this is a great way to go about it. However, we actually want users who want to come here; we've had defections, one very public one, and untold private ones. Remember tags are just data, and data has the characteristic of being malleable. You/We can refine later. – wbogacz Apr 17 '12 at 17:30

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