Mi Yodeya caters to two distinct populations: those who give questions that show some good research and demand sophisticated answers, and those who ask basic questions and want simple answers. A tag can help discriminate between the two groups.

I would like to discuss ideas for a new tag aimed at extremely basic questions. I am referring to questions about a straight-out halacha (like According to Jewish law, may a women wear men's clothing?), foundations of Jewish belief (how do Jews pray?), and other questions that show minimal background.

The tag would serve several purposes. It would enable interested parties to follow these questions. These questions are also different enough from the scholarly questions to be viewed in their own section. And it would also remind people to give appropriately basic answers to such basic questions.

Since most of these questions are asked by new users with minimal knowledge of tagging, I want to see if the community can agree on a Tag and protocol for tagging these questions when they show up in the Review panel.

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On Mi Yodeya, we generally actively avoid meta-tags (i.e. tags that describe the type of question being asked rather than the topic of the question itself). We have some meta tags that are grandfathered in (e.g. ), but we try to avoid creating new meta-tags. There are two main reasons in my mind why we discourage meta-tagging.

  1. Usually meta-tags don't create a grouping of logically related questions. It's just a group of questions of a similar format. As such, it's unlikely that anybody will ever want to see a group of these questions. This actually may not really be an issue here as actually is a kind-of logical grouping of questions that a person might logically want to follow.

  2. The application of meta-tags is subjective. This is definitely a problem here. Whether a question is "simple" is a completely subjective question. What is "simple" to one person is complex to another. Furthermore, the person asking the question may not even know whether it is simple or not. I have often seen people ask questions that they seem to think are simple but turn out to be rather complicated.

For these reasons (mainly #2 in this case), I don't think it makes much sense to create such a tag.

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  • I agree that we want to avoid purely descriptive, adjective based tags. I think we can find a wording that captures the usefulness of the grouping - as judaism-101 does. – LN6595 Dec 29 '15 at 2:50
  • If you look carefully at my question, I expect the tag to be applied by reviewers, not by posters, mainly because most of these posters are not good at tagging and get stuck in the review queue anyhow. – LN6595 Dec 29 '15 at 2:52
  • @LN6595 The problem is judaism-101 is subjective. One reviewer may think a question is basic while another might think it's not. We shouldn't have tags that a person asking the question wouldn't know whether it applies or not. Even an OP who is not good at tagging should be able to answer "yes" or "no" when asked if a particular tag applies to his/her question even if he/she didn't know about the existence of the tag in the first place. That would not be the case here. – Daniel Dec 29 '15 at 3:19
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    mi-yodeya-series is a meta-tag, but it does say something about the content of the question, and it suffers from neither of the problems listed here. sources, on the other hand, has the first problem but probably not the second. – Isaac Moses Dec 29 '15 at 9:16
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    As a component of the subjectivity problem, I think that it would be inevitable that there would be cases of askers' feelings getting hurt and controversy related to a "101" tag being applied when they don't think it does. – Isaac Moses Dec 29 '15 at 9:19
  • It seems like subjectivity is the main problem. So lets define criteria. – LN6595 Dec 30 '15 at 17:24
  • @LN6595 If you can come up with some objective criteria, I'm all ears :) I suspect that if that were to happen, then a new name could be applied that would make it not a meta-tag anyway. – Daniel Dec 30 '15 at 18:06
  • @Daniel Should we move this to chat? or start a new question? – LN6595 Dec 30 '15 at 18:17
  • @LN6595 Whichever you prefer. You could edit this question as well – Daniel Dec 30 '15 at 18:35
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    Let's define criteria. See meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/3823/… – LN6595 Dec 30 '15 at 20:45

As Daniel explained in a prior answer and as Jeff Atwood explained in "The Death of Meta-Tags" (2010 Stack Overflow Blog post), we use tags on Stack Exchange to denote the subject matter of the question rather than meta-characteristics of it.

For people interested in following new 101-type questions, perhaps someone could create, e.g. a Twitter account that tweets out links to them when they come up. It takes very little time to set up a Twitter account, and it would take very little time per post for someone dedicated to the cause to paste question titles and links into it. At our average rate of ~12 questions per day, it shouldn't be hard to review each day's questions to find the ones that qualify.

If you're interested in creating a catalog of notable 101-type questions from all time, I recommend creating a Meta post in the tag.

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    +1 That's a nice idea! – Daniel Dec 30 '15 at 21:32
  • But it would be hard to cover questions that already exist on the site. – Daniel Dec 30 '15 at 22:25
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    @Daniel those questions wouldn't have the tag either, so a person who's going through questions to apply a meta tag could as easily tweet them instead. – Monica Cellio Dec 30 '15 at 22:28
  • @Monica Right. The people following that account would probably experience a huge blast of tweets at first but I guess that's not a huge deal. – Daniel Dec 30 '15 at 22:38
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    @Daniel, if the idea is to follow such posts as they come in, there would be no need to go through the 24K existing questions and tweet them out. – Isaac Moses Dec 30 '15 at 22:40

I think we should create a tag called "Judaism101" or something like that. It's hard to grade questions as being more or less basic, but that is kind of impartial.

I personally would enjoy following such a tag.

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