I'm foreseeing one possible problem with the site. Beer brewing questions are already outweighing wine making questions. I have a feeling this won't go away. Do we specifically tag each beer brewing question or wine making question or do we let people figure it out themselves?

My concern is that some people might forget that there are wine questions on the site and become confused when they see one geared toward wine.

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This is already happening; I got an answer on my question about what happens if you use the "wrong" kind of yeast for your wine which kept talking about the kind of beer it would make. –  kathryn Jun 25 '11 at 16:40
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4 Answers 4

This does seem like a good idea. One of the key strengths of StackOverflow.com is that the people who know a lot about, say, C#, don't have to wade through a million questions on PHP- they can just look through questions tagged C#.

In the same way here, there will likely be a contingent of wine people with no particular interest in beer brewing, and vice versa.

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Many principles of brewing are applicable to both wine and beer brewing (and cider, mead, 'alcopop' and all other forms of brewing!).

Some questions are applicable only to one or another.

Tags are there for organisation, if we're not going to tag wine/beer/other specific questions as such, we'll run the risk of misleading people.

We MUST tag questions with a beer tag or a wine tag etc as appropriate. There's very little wiggle room on this one.

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I don't disagree. But seeing that 99% of the time these will be beer questions, is it necessary or can it be assumed unless otherwise tagged? –  Joe Philllips Nov 10 '10 at 17:23
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@Joe if this was the BEER homebrewing site, it could perhaps be assumed. Currently more of the questions are beer related than wine related (I doubt it's as high as 99% personally), but the site is 2 days old in a private beta. Things could change. –  fearoffours Nov 10 '10 at 19:41
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I agree with Fisttoaster and fearoffours, and I think we need to point out the obligation to use the "beer", "wine", "mead", etc. tags on all questions on our FAQ. Is there a way to get the system to enforce required tags, like it does when you create a meta question? Otherwise I foresee a good deal of ongoing re-tagging. –  Nicholas Trandem Nov 10 '10 at 21:38
    
What if a question fits into both categories? Then I think you wouldn't use either tag –  Joe Philllips Nov 10 '10 at 22:47
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Good question. I think we actually would want to use all applicable tags (beer, wine, mead, cider, etc.) for a question that applies to multiple types of fermentables. That way when people narrow down by tag, those questions will still be in their list. –  Nicholas Trandem Nov 11 '10 at 17:15
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I agree with Joe and disagree with Nicholas. Nicholas - you already put 4 tags in your example and five is the limit (no room for any specific tags.) Additionally, by tagging non-specific topics with a specific tag, you dilute the results of searching for that tag. If I have a generic question about yeast, I believe the tags should simply be "yeast" and anything else specific to the context of my question. –  Mike S Nov 22 '10 at 5:11
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I am answering this one to get a bump on it.

I just rejected three edits from a new user that put beer in the tags of three questions. I rejected the edits because the questions had the word "beer" in the title. (Maltiness was used in one of them, not beer). I think those are obvious.

Seeing how "brewing" is largely a beer term I think its safe and logically to assume most of the things being asked are beer related.

I propose the best way to handle it is to put a wine tag on wine question.

I had never seen this question before on the meta site. There needs to be a better way to communicate community-based rules for posting. I am sure once said user sees I have rejected the wine tags they'll leave. Its too bad there is not good way for me to communicate why.

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I think I was probably that user. I assure you I have no intention of leaving over so minor a trifle. But I must confess that now I'm confused. Since the highest upvoted answer expressed strong favor of tagging things as beer or wine, and the broad consensus seemed to be that this was the thing to do, I've been going through and tagging them. It probably IS obvious - but if you sort them by tags (which...is kind of the point of tags, no?), the "obvious" ones won't show up, because they aren't tagged with "beer." –  kathryn Jun 24 '11 at 3:18
    
OK lets go for it then. Community rules. 14 upvotes for doing it so. Live by the site die by the site I say. Start working through 1000+ questions and tagging them. Don't forget to tag the mead and cider questions too. –  brewchez Jun 24 '11 at 12:47
    
Um...I don't understand the hostility, there. I realize I'm a new user and all, but I'm failing to see what, exactly, I did wrong. I of course disagree with you on this, but I am not about to start a war over it. Majority opinion seemed to point one way, now you seem to be telling me you'll reject these edits regardless. I'll leave the tags alone. I had no idea this was such a sensitive issue - clearly I underestimated its importance. –  kathryn Jun 24 '11 at 14:38
    
It doesn't really make sense to me to filter on beer for a site that's mostly about beer anyway. You would probably use a negative tag -wine -meade -whatever which would probably work better. Personally, I rarely use tags for filtering though –  Joe Philllips Jun 25 '11 at 16:54
    
@Joe Phillips: Is the site mostly about beer, though? That seems to be the fear of the person who asked this question (and several of the respondents), not the ideal. –  kathryn Jun 26 '11 at 20:55
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I think it would be better if there were two stackexchange forums: one for wine and one for beer. This worked well for Usenet -- there are these two:

rec.crafts.winemaking
rec.crafts.brewing

Mead or cider questions might get into either or both of those and it was no big deal.

The way the forum is now, it's hard to see someone who is only interested in winemaking checking in regularly.

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I disagree with the dual forums, Stackoverflow has shown us that tagging can bridge the gap where there were traditionally different forums –  Nathan Koop Nov 17 '10 at 15:04
    
Maybe, but if you had separate forums, those interested in either one could easily go to it every day or two and easily read all the headlines of all the active threads, without mucking about with tags. Totally unlike Stackoverflow, which gets a new question every 2 seconds or so. –  Jeff Roe Nov 19 '10 at 3:59
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"without mucking about with tags" - You mean typing "wine" in the search or clicking "wine" tag? Also, you may notice that SO figures out which tags interest you and filters & highlights based on this information. "which gets a new question every 2 seconds or so." - isn't that the goal, that the community gets so large that lots of specific and/or esoteric questions on the minutia of brewing are asked? SE was designed to overcome the shortcomings of archaic forums and Q&A sites (youtube.com/watch?v=NWHfY_lvKIQ). Applying archaic methods to organization doesn't seem reasonable. –  Mike S Nov 22 '10 at 5:27
    
Sure, but SO is a techie forum for techie people. I'm quite sure the average winemaker would simply come here, see that the vast majority of the questions were about beer, and then not come back. –  Jeff Roe Nov 22 '10 at 21:52
    
And now, 3 months later, I think time has shown that I was correct. This forum is not being used by winemakers. –  Jeff Roe Mar 1 '11 at 14:24
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