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Now posted on MSO


There have been discussions on the usefulness and visibility of Tag Wikis. Two concerns that were voiced were :

  • Searchability
  • Visibility

I had some ideas on how to tackle this.

Searchability

Making Tag Wikis searchable should not / would not be a very difficult task. They are indexed by Google, so they are searchable externally.

I think they should be made searchable similar to questions and answers internally as well. In a search query, the tags should first be identified, and then the remaining terms could be searched for within the Wiki. Then, questions and answers could be searched normally. If the Tag Wikis are well written and curated, they would have the FAQs of the tag and some of the commonly asked information as well, making the search process possibly faster and return relevant results.

Visibility

Tag Wikis are a minimum 3 clicks away from the home page whereas questions and answers are 1 click away. This itself is a demotivating factor as far as putting efforts into the Tag Wikis are concerned as compared to asking and answering. Moreover, the chances of a new user even stumbling onto the Tag wikis is remote.

To tackle this, Tag Wikis could be brought right onto the home page. Clicking on a tag from the panel on the home page would redirect to the Wiki and not to the tagged questions. This would be only from the top panel.

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The tags that appear on the top panel would be ones that are selected via a democratic process by the community, and not simply the most popular ones. This would allow for the site's best Wikis to be displayed on the home page.

  • 1
    It's a nice suggestion! You'll get more response on Meta Stack Exchange - it isn't RE-specific, is it? – Keelan Apr 13 '13 at 11:46
  • @CamilStaps Lets see what the community feels about it first. Not every site has good Tag Wikis so I dont think everybody would want this. – asheeshr Apr 13 '13 at 12:28
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While I agree with the overall idea, I wouldn't exactly "waste" (hope you forgive the strong word) 20-30% of vertical screen estate to highlighting the tag wikis. Instead I would go with the top-X (e.g. X == 10) from the popular tags tab nicely in a single line, no bigger than they appear under a question.

The reason this still should work, is because the excerpt gets shown on mouse-over. So the information you want to cram onto the screen and which I deem "wasting" my screen estate would still be there, just shown on mouse-over. What do you think?

Edit: As AshRj pointed out in a comment to this answer, we could also meet somewhere in the middle - provided the SE staff likes the idea and is up for implementing it ;) We could make the appearance of the top tag wiki list dependent on the reputation a user has (i.e. using the bigger version shown in the above question for lower rep users) or allow the vertically bigger list to be dismissed/minimized, as long as this setting sticks.

  • The reason why I think some text should be kept is so that new users see it, and then may get curious enough to click through. If we simply had tags, it would not highlight that as prominently, thereby reducing the chances of even getting mouse-overs. About the wasted screen space, it could be made dismissable, or not appear for users having rep>some limit as they most likely would know about the wikis. – asheeshr Apr 17 '13 at 1:39
  • @AshRj: sure thing, if you could dismiss it and that setting would stick or if the rep makes a difference it makes total sense. Will edit it in so it doesn't get lost as a comment :) – 0xC0000022L Apr 17 '13 at 1:42

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