The key is that the same tags must be used in order for the tag functionality to work effectively.
We’ve been observing the use of tags and developing a system for use here at the Bolter & Chainsword. Many members have used the tags system as a method of expanding upon the topic title. Alternately, many members have simply ignored the tag system as they are unaware of the value in the system. The most widespread problem, however, is that similar topics have been given different tags for the same thing (e.g., Space Wolves, spacewolves, Space Wolves Chapter, Vlka Fenryka, etc.). We need to correct these problems.
In order for the tag system to be used to best effect, some level of standardization is necessary. This system will drive the “correct” tags to use with content in order to optimize searching. The dynamic and extensive nature of the Warhammer 40,000 game in terms of both rules and lore means that we needs a flexible system of guidelines (rather than a fixed set of tags). We also expect that any tag guidelines we develop are subject to change in order to better accommodate hobbyists’ needs and as our community understanding of the tags system grows.
So here are guidelines to using the tags to best effect:
- Topics about an organization (e.g., Adeptus Astartes Chapter, Adepta Sororitas Order) should have the tag for the organization name, including the organization type. So a topic about the Exorcists Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes should have the tag "Exorcists Chapter" applied. This will reduce confusion and duplicate usage (simply using "Exorcists" might bring up topics about the Adepta Sororitas tank).
- Topics about Successors are different from topics about predecessors, so use the “Successors” term in tags when appropriate. For example, an Ultramarines Successor should use the tag “Ultramarines Successor” rather than “Ultramarines Chapter”. Practically speaking, a tag indicating that a Chapter is a Successor should only be used when the relationship with the predecessor really matters.
- Topics about individuals should use both first and last name, where known. If individuals also have specific ranks, those ranks should also be applied as separate tags if they are relevant to the discussion. Similarly, the organization(s) to which an individual belongs may also be included if they are relevant to the discussion. For example, a topic about Marneus Calgar would definitely have the tag "Marneus Calgar" applied. If the topic concerned the Ultramarines Chapter, then the "Ultramarines Chapter" tag would also be applied. Similarly, the tag "Chapter Master" might also be applied. If the topic is about converting the Marneus Calgar miniature, however, the last two tags might not be used.
- Spelling matters and is complicated by the differences between the United Kingdom and the United States of America for words like armour/armor, etc. In these cases, follow the spelling that is used in the rulebooks.
- While capitalization doesn’t matter, members should use capitalization in tags appropriately. A caveat to this is that Games Workshop habitually uses unconventional capitalization for things like Terminators, Space Marine Chapters (i.e., the word "Chapter"), etc. In these cases, GW convention should be followed.
- Abbreviations and acronyms should never be used as tags. There are too many that have multiple uses and/or are confusing.
- Exact wording is important – terms and phrases should not be broken down into subordinate elements if those elements aren’t accurate. For example, “Chapter Master” is the default tag for any content relating to any Chapter Master (e.g., Vladimir Pugh, Marneus Calgar, Logan Grimnar). Breaking this term down into “Chapter” and “Master” would yield incorrect results. The “Chapter” tag would return any topic about a Space Marine Chapter while the “Master” tag would also return topics about Unforgiven Company Masters, Grey Knights Grand Masters, etc. Similarly, breaking “Space Marine” down into “Space” and “Marine” and other such uses are just as useless. So keep specific terms and phrases complete, only breaking them down if the subordinate elements provide real value in terms of accuracy, but only doing this in addition to the tag for the complete phrase/term.
Ideally, the “correct” tags will be included when the topic is first created. This is when the topic and its associated tags are loaded to the database and the search engine. Editing topics later produces sub-optimal effects – the time for the search engine to be updated with the new tags varies (and sometimes doesn’t take effect at all).
While we would ideally like to see members using the correct tags, there is no realistic expectation that this is going to happen 100% of the time. So expect to see the moderators and administrators editing topics for tags. We don’t want this to be your planned outcome, however (i.e., not putting correct tags in because you expect the mods to do it for you is lazy and not desirable). Having to correct your tags won’t garner you any disciplinary action, either. I fully expect that the mods and admins are going to get really tired of editing topics in order to correct tags, so help us out by doing your best to make sure that your topics have all of the correct tags.
If you have questions about the tag guidelines or recommendations for additions/changes to the guidelines, feel free to post them in replies.