We've been noticing a fair amount of tag abuse lately, and wanted to clear a few things up to make sure the tags get used properly.
First, and most importantly, you need to know that tag abuse is a bannable offense. If an administrator sees you've engaged in tag abuse, you will be formally warned. Repeat abuses can result in banning at any time without a follow-up warning. This diary should be taken as a warning in itself - now that we are unequivocally on the record about this, we will be more willing to take action against tag abusers the first time we see it.
So do not express your dislike of a diary or diarist in tags. Reserve that for the comments.
Tag abuse includes deletion of tags in order to replace them with "troll diary." We have been tolerating the addition of the "troll diary" tag without appreciating it, but if it continues to be applied to diaries that are not clearly, absolutely, 100% definitely troll diaries, its use will be prohibited as something that starts a lot more fights than it is worth.
For the basics of tagging your own diaries, look at this early post by kos on the subject:
A reminder, since many people are misusing the tags. The big thing to keep in mind when tagging -- they are a search tool. What do people search for? Issues, people, and races. Tags should ALWAYS address one of those three.
- Use combinations of simple tags rather than inventing complex ones.
- Try to think of what tags people might use to search for something and use those. Remember, tags are like categories. And people don't search for "humor" or "satire". They search for issues, races, and people.*
- Try to re-use existing tags.
- Keep it simple. Don't use tags that are redundant.
- For election blogging, add the year, state and office. So the Colorado governor's race in 2006 is tagged: "2006, governor, Colorado". Also add the dKos-style abbreviation of the race (two digit state abbreviation and race). So a governor's race would be "CA-Gov", a Senate race "CA-Sen", and a congressional race would be "CA-06".
- Stop with the "cutesy" tags. This is a tool to help organize content, not show how clever you are with keywords like "HUNTERRIFIC" to express how great Hunter's diary was.
- Use first and last names for all people. Believe it or not, people sometimes share last names.
* It has actually been suggested that people do search for "snark" and "satire" and that these are useful tags. Perhaps one of the tag librarians can speak to that. Update: SarahLee notes that indeed, the "snark" and "humor" tags are on the list of approved common tags, because their use is widespread and they serve to organize content on the site. So use those, just not the cutesy ones.
More recently, tag librarian SarahLee wrote this diary on the topic, in which one of the important points she made was that people writing about elections should tag with 2008 elections rather than simply 2008. As the elections draw near, this will be an important point helping people find the information they need.
We don't, of course, require that you be tag-librarian skilled at tagging your diaries - if just being bad at tags was something you could get in trouble for, several of the contributing editors would have been banned long ago. Just give it your best effort and don't mess with other people's tags except to be helpful (correcting typos, adding first names, etc).