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The Admin's tale - War of the Tags



The admin is sure, you already noticed these little tags, you can (and should) add to your questions, discussions and articles here on our Community Platform. The main product and interest collections are represented as tags, but you can also add any tag you want and as much tags as you want to your questions and discussions.

What do you think - how many different tags did we collect over the last years here on the community and its preceding platforms? Incredible 20.0000 tags! A lot of them are used only once and also a lot of them were automatically generated by asking a question on a page on Atlassian's documentation. But no matter where they came from, there are too many of them to be useful. 

At the moment, we are fighting the "War of the Tags" - manually trying to identify tags, which

  • have a wrong spelling
  • do have nothing in common with the belonging question 
  • can be merged with other tags, e.g. if the only difference is an underscore instead of a dash
  • can be divided into already existing tags

At the time, this article was released, we killed already more than 5000 tags by looking at every single post and decide, whether the tag is needful or not. This takes a lot of time, we haven't thrown enough tags yet into the eternal fires of Mordor, the War of the Tags is not over, there is  a lot of work left.

What can you do?

Take care of your tags! Tagging your questions is important and needful. But always keep the basic question in mind:

"If I wanted to find my own question, would I really search for this tag?"

Would you really search for the words "gibberish" or "stagingtoproduction" or "wrong"? I don't think so.

So, here are some guidelines for using tags:

  • Always tag your question with the correct product or interest (this tag is set automatically, if you click on "create" in the context of the product / interest)
  • Also provide a tag "server" or "cloud" - this makes it much easier for us to answer your question
  • Separate parts of a composite tag with hyphens, not underscores or spaces. E.g.  use "test-automation" instead of "test_automation" or "test automation"
  • Don't put anything into one large tag - it's better to use some short tags than a long one, e.g. use "jira-server" and "api" and "gagdet" instead of "jira_server_api_gadget" (or have a look at the special tag added to this article for a very bad example)
  • Do not seperate anything with a hyphen, e.g. do not use the tag "web-site" instead of "website"
  • Do not change technical terms, e.g. classnames, spell them as they are written in the error log, without additional hyphens or underscores
  • Try to avoid present participles ("...-ing-Words") - e.g. use "vote" instead of "voting" 
  • If it's possible, use the singular form of a noun, e.g. "task" instead of "tasks" (and please don't use both tags, because one of them must be the right one...) 
  • Check the spelling of your tag. It's not the end of the world, if the spelling is not correct, but probably you've just created one more tag to remove for the Tag Cleanup Crew
  • Tag your question with the main topics, limit yourself to a small number of tags

But please, don't be discouraged now from tagging your questions. They are important, they help you and others getting good and fast answers.  

In the end, we will win the War of the Tags. One day, with your help, I'm sure.


Just for your interest: today is May, 8th, 2018 - and we reduced the number of tags to 5,200! Our main task is now: don't let this number grow again in an uncontrolled way! 


Monique vdB Community Manager Feb 02, 2018

@Thomas Schlegel I am dying laughing at your third tag.

cassieACE Community Manager Feb 02, 2018

Very helpful advice. Thanks for the tips!

Thomas Schlegel Community Leader Feb 02, 2018

Thank you, @cassieACE - I'm glad, you like it! 

carolyn french Community Leader Feb 02, 2018

A lot of these points also apply to Confluence users and are good practices to follow. Plus the Marketplace has some great add-ons in the label management area for those admin out there...

The "underscore vs. hyphen in tags/labels" argument is more a preference, but once it's been standardized on an instance, it makes sense to continue with one (in Community's case, use hyphens!)

Like gcrcoderepo likes this

Fantastic Article...Thanks

Excellent feedback that I will actually use in the near future!

Great advice. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you @Thomas Schlegel for the guidelines.

The ten commandments of tags.  I like it

Ok, this is great feedback.  But It still gives me an error message around my question box saying I should use tags.  Nothing I do is accepted.

Thomas Schlegel Community Leader Jul 11, 2018

Hi  @Petrolene le Roux, if you create your question in the context of a product (click on "Explore" in the header and then select the product you want to ask a question for and then click on "Create"), the appropriate tag will be set automatically.

I'm with Petrolene, tags aren't 'sticking'.  It's pre-populated with 'jira', but it still won't publish as it tells me I need to enter tags.

@K StevensonI submitted a different Q yesterday which worked.  I cannot remember on which browser I was when it didn't work - but maybe try a different browser.  I suspect that's why mine didn't work the first time - but cannot confirm it :-)

@Petrolene le Roux thanks, that worked!  I went into Chrome on my phone to get it to work.  Interestingly, it didn't work on IE11 or Edge.

Great @K Stevenson!  Thanks for letting me know!

Woot!  Thanks for everything you and the community champions do!  

Love this tag by the way, is it okay if I use it on my stuff too... ?  ;)

[tag - 

this-is-a_completele_nonsense-tag-just-to-make-clear that correct tagging_is _essential


Thomas Schlegel Community Leader Aug 07, 2018

Hi @BillyP - thank you!

Of course, feel free to use the world's most famous tag :-)

Tansu Akdeniz Community Leader Sep 19, 2018

@Thomas Schlegel Great article, thanks !!

Andy Gladstone Community Leader Dec 26, 2021

Taking some time to go through some oldies but goodies, and came across this post. I wonder where the tags are now over three years along. Has the team been able to tame the beast? 


Like luannagobbato likes this


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