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Should we allow genre meta tags, and if so, should they be applicable to any series within that genre so that fans of that genre can more easily find those questions in order to answer them/learn more, or only to questions inquiring about the genre itself?

For example, we currently have genre questions such as the following, which have a smattering of varied tags attached to them, such as and others, but some of the tags chosen weren't applicable to the question (the OP might not have been able to select a more appropriate tag).

I would propose that

  1. A "genre" tag could be useful for people to use when asking a question about differences between or about similarities between genres and demographics. It would be nice if questions like those above could be located in an easy-to-find location for users interested in answering and reading questions about genre.
  2. Anime/manga-specific genre tags (such as "shoujo," "mahou shoujo", "yuri," yaoi," "moe," "nichijou," "seinen," etc.) could be useful so that, for example, someone who is an expert in "josei" could easily find questions about their area of speciality to answer, and to find answers of interest to read, without having to wade through many questions searching by series title. I, for one, would use such tags to periodically check for questions I could likely answer.
  3. Although previous discussion posited that "a genre-based tag could work, but it would need to be used on questions about the genre itself (e.g. production, tropes, etc.) and not questions about individual series," and that "Tagging series questions with genre tags would make the series tags redundant and the genre tags bloated," I would suggest that the series tags would not become redundant, because a user who can generally answer "shoujo" questions and is interested in reading their answers is not likely to search title by title just to check for them, especially since the OP might not know the title (for ) or the user might not remember the title off-hand in order to search for it but would recognize it if seen within that tag.
  4. Some of the previous reasons given for not creating a "hentai" tag were variations on being age-appropriate for a 13+ age, which is not applicable regarding genre tags other than "hentai" and possibly "yaoi" and "yuri."
  5. Genre tags that are not specific to anime/manga (such as "sci-fi," "romance," "comedy") would be less useful than those for genres which have originated in anime/manga. I would make a motion that only genres which have developed through anime/manga mediums get tags. I don't think there are so many anime/manga-specific genres that the number of genre tags would be too unwieldy, nor that frequent users would try to pile a ton of genre tags all onto one question.
  6. Meta tags which were previously voted against were "characters," "character-abilities," "variations," and "plot-explanation," which I heartily agree with as 1) not helping users to find questions and answers of interest via searching by tag, 2) "don't add much to the question," and 3) "hurt search engine visibility." Anime/manga-specific genre tags would contribute to search engine optimization rather than detract from it.
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    Meta tags are always bad unless they actually help categorizing. – Unihedron Jun 11 '15 at 6:12
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    Closely related: meta.anime.stackexchange.com/questions/2235/… (my answer there would imply no, at least in the way the OP seems to want to use them here). – Logan M Jun 11 '15 at 6:20
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    Re: #6 - I think you may be unaware of the particular way in which meta-tags hurt searchability. The most popular tag on a question gets auto-added to the HTML title of the question page. So currently we have e.g. "akatsuki no yona - How did Ki-ja the Hakuryuu (the White Dragon) get this scar?". But with genre tags, this would become "shoujo - How did Ki-ja the Hakuryuu (the White Dragon) get this scar?", which is significantly worse for searchability. – senshin Jun 11 '15 at 23:11
  • @senshin, I see; is there no way to auto-add the first 2 tags to the HTML title of the question page instead of only one? Is that something SE format can't allow? For this SE to be found in a search engine by a search for "Akatsuki no Yona" is useful, but getting high search rankings for words like "shoujo" and "moe" would also be beneficial since those words are searched far more often. If I Google "shoujo," this SE doesn't show up within 5 pages of search results (I didn't check past 5, which most seekers wouldn't); wouldn't we want this SE to be a go-to authority on basic topics like these? – seijitsu Jun 11 '15 at 23:40
  • @seijitsu: I'm not sure if adding 2 tags would solve the problem with series tag. Our site has lots of spoiler in nature, so I don't think we should show up on such vague queries with the genre. On the other hand, general questions about the genre in general may benefit from the addition of genre tags. – nhahtdh Jun 12 '15 at 2:03
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  1. Anime/manga-specific genre tags (such as "shoujo," "mahou shoujo", "yuri," yaoi," "moe," "nichijou," "seinen," etc.) could be useful so that, for example, someone who is an expert in "josei" could easily find questions about their area of speciality to answer, and to find answers of interest to read, without having to wade through many questions searching by series title. I, for one, would use such tags to periodically check for questions I could likely answer.

  1. Meta tags which were previously voted against were "characters," "character-abilities," "variations," and "plot-explanation," which I heartily agree with as 1) not helping users to find questions and answers of interest via searching by tag, 2) "don't add much to the question," and 3) "hurt search engine visibility." Anime/manga-specific genre tags would contribute to search engine optimization rather than detract from it.

I disagree with tagging a question with genre tag in addition to the series title for the following reasons:

  • Without exception, the genre tags will end up having more question than the rest of the series tag. For the same reason as why the rest of the meta tags are frowned upon, it will hurt search engine visibility. Note that this refers to ranking of our pages on external search engines -- like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. -- not the search engine on SE.

    Since the genre tag, which has the highest count of questions, will be placed in the title of the HTML page, as the search engine gives more weight to matches in the page title over the matches in the page body, questions from our site will rank lower.

    Do note that it's natural to search for the name of the series rather than the genre of the series on search engines.

  • Even if the problem above is resolved, as the number of genre tags expands, so is the amount of effort to keep the tags consistent over all questions of a series, for existing questions and incoming questions.

    This is not yet mentioning all the potential meta issues that come with the introduction of genre tags (e.g. Which genre tags should series X have? How should we add genre tags for questions with 2 series tags? Question ABC will exceed the 5-tag limit - which genre tag should be removed?).

  • When a question is tagged with series tag, the genre is mostly not relevant to the subject-matter in the question. It only serves to describe the series tag.

While I agree that the current system is not ideal for users to look for and answer questions by genre, I don't think tagging every question with its genres is a good solution.

Maybe a better solution is a tagging system for tags, where series tags are tagged with their genres (since the main purpose here is to look for series by genre), though the chances that it's implemented here at SE is small, since it will introduce significant changes to the existing system.

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    Note that this answer doesn't say that the whole genre tag idea is bad. I only say that it's bad when used in tandem with series tag. For genre tag in id-req and discussion about genre-specific characteristics, I'm still open, since it sounds like a good idea. – nhahtdh Jun 11 '15 at 11:49
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    "tagging system for tags" +1 for that idea – Toshinou Kyouko Jun 11 '15 at 12:52
  • "Tagging the tags" is a very good idea (albeit probably one with no possibility of implementation), but genre tags are a very bad idea (except for questions about the genre itself, e.g. "how did X come to be a common motif in genre Y", and so forth). – senshin Jun 11 '15 at 23:00
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    I guess it would be possible to jury-rig a system of "tagging the tags" on top of tag wikis - if we put structured metadata into the wikis (JSON in HTML comments or something?), we could, in principle, write third-party tools to query that metadata and do fancy things with it. This would be useful for addressing OP's point #2. – senshin Jun 11 '15 at 23:08
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    can we restrict searches to tag-wiki exerpt only, for example? if so, we could put the genre in the tag-wiki of the series, and then search there. – Mindwin Jun 15 '15 at 15:47
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    @Mindwin: We can put them in the tag wiki of the series (not the tag excerpt, though), but I don't think it helps filtering/searching for the series by tag directly, unless we use a 3rd party app to display (like what senshin suggested). – nhahtdh Jun 15 '15 at 16:15
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I don't know if they're a good thing. I feel that they could keep expanding until they're unmaintainably large:

What is this anime?

I read a lot of shoujo, and I do see that having the tag would be useful if you wanted to only answer shoujo questions (or similar) - but a search for the word shoujo or finding particular series seems sufficient to me. Tags seem more to indicate what the post is about rather than a description of the contents.

Example: The question is about looking for an id for an anime. The question is not about shoujo anime. (rather it is a description of the id-request)

One thing I would recommend regardless is setting up your favourite tags so that those questions are hilighted for you.


I might expand on this later, but I'm currently at work - so I'm making it community wiki if other people want to tag onto this side of the argument

  • Yes, I have set up my favorite series tags, but questions about them rarely get posted, unfortunately. I wouldn't bother to set up favorite tags for all the series I know about but don't especially care for just for the sake of getting wind of when something gets asked; as just one example, I wouldn't favorite the tag for Fushigi Yugi, but if there were a shoujo tag and I saw a question about FY show up that I knew the answer to, then I'd be happy to answer. Without a shoujo tag, I'm sure a lot of shoujo series questions go unnoticed by me, such as . . . – seijitsu Jun 11 '15 at 10:17
  • . . . ones like this where the OP hasn't written the word "shoujo" in the question and only tags it with the series name. – seijitsu Jun 11 '15 at 10:18
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    That's a great point about the possibility of an OP piling on a stream of genre tags. If the idea of genre tags goes forward, I'd propose that "shounen" doesn't actually need a genre tag since that is the largest corpus of series (its like a default). It might be sensible to also exclude "yuri," "yaoi," & "BL" and to only include "shoujo-ai" and "shounen-ai" as genre tags in keeping with 13+ age appropriateness, which can curb accidental duplicating. If moderators & others see contradictory tags like "shoujo" as well as "josei" both claimed on a single question, the false one could be removed. – seijitsu Jun 11 '15 at 10:37

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