PSA: Tagging is Awesome

I’d like to sup­ple­ment the open call for tag­gers with a few points:

  • Tag­ging is a ne­glected cause area. There is still a huge amount to do, and tag­ging makes a real differ­ence in mak­ing LessWrong con­tent eas­ier to dis­cover, ex­plore, and re-find.

  • The prob­lem is real. Peo­ple find LessWrong difficult to read be­cause it is full of deep in­fer­en­tial dis­tances and spe­cial jar­gon. Tags offer an easy way to dis­am­biguate jar­gon, and refer­ence all the rele­vant ma­te­rial on a sub­ject.

  • Tag­ging isn’t just al­tru­is­tic. Want to pro­mote an idea/​topic? Tag­ging posts and writ­ing a good tag de­scrip­tion is a great way to make that topic eas­ier to dis­cover and ex­plore. If writ­ing blobs of text which lots of peo­ple later read pumps your ego, tag­ging is a good way to do that. Write that tag be­fore some­one else! But it’s also use­ful—not just to other peo­ple, but also, to your­self. Tag­ging posts on sub­jects you love, and up­vot­ing the tag on the most rele­vant ones, will make it eas­ier for you to refer­ence them later.

  • You will prob­a­bly dis­cover things you want to read. Tag­ging nat­u­rally gets you search­ing for con­tent on LessWrong re­lated to your fa­vorite top­ics. You are likely to dis­cover than more has been writ­ten on these top­ics than you pre­vi­ously re­al­ized.

  • Tag­ging is easy. When­ever you think of a tag you want to ex­ist (usu­ally be­cause you’re read­ing a post and de­cide to tag it with some­thing, only to dis­cover the tag doesn’t ex­ist yet), just do a search for that thing on LessWrong and tag all the rele­vant re­sults! There are other ap­proaches, of course, but if ev­ery­one did this, then we’d be in a pretty good po­si­tion: any new tag cre­ated would already be put on most of the rele­vant posts. (This strat­egy doesn’t work for tags which cover a sig­nifi­cant por­tion of the con­tent on LessWrong, such as the core tags, of course.)