We all know our tag wiki needs work. I've been thinking this over and I think one reason why it is the way it's now is that we do so little with it. When you ask a new question you get to see this

enter image description here

when you start typing a tag name. So you pick one and move on. No wiki. I very much doubt that other users who visit the question will click the tag to read the wiki. Correction: I'm absolutely sure they don't. So when do we see the wiki? Never.

What if we would use the tags more? Like in-lining them in the body of a question or answer, like you would have hyperlinks in a Wikipedia article? I would show them different from common hyperlinks, though I think the boxed format disrupts the text flow. I would rather think of a dashed or even wavy underline.

I think we can promote the tag wiki to a genuine lexicon this way. We may get more clicks to the wiki and maybe we'll get more summaries written.

One caveat: there's the risk of lexicon link overload, that a user would insert a link for every term they use in the text. I've seen articles on Wikipedia where they mention the cost of something, with the "$" hyperlinking to the WP article on the dollar.

So, a lexicon, what do you guyz/galz think?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think this lexicon linking should be an automatic process. Every first occurence of a known term to be converted to a lexiconLink. Like on Wikipedia a different color when the article is currently empty. I don't mind too much about your $-example, it is a small 'price' to pay for letting the server do most of the work. \$\endgroup\$ – jippie Jul 24 '12 at 7:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is very interesting idea, I really like it. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jul 24 '12 at 7:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk - Thanks, I knew you would. Or I hoped you would :-) \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jul 24 '12 at 7:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @jippie - If it would be automated we would have to get rid of a lot of trivial tags first, otherwise every other word would become a link. And even then I think we should be able to mark tags as "don't use for lexicon linking". \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jul 24 '12 at 7:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh - yup, wouldn't that be a nice moment to clean up trivialTags (TM)? It makes us more aware to keep tags clean. \$\endgroup\$ – jippie Jul 24 '12 at 7:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jippie I have discussed just that with W5VO before, this is my prime target once we have enough of a moderation presence. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jul 24 '12 at 9:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Linking $ to a specific country's dollar article is perfectly legitimate. The country should be obvious from context, but if you're not sure, you can click it and find out that it's the en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belize_dollar, for instance. also see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/… for guidelines \$\endgroup\$ – endolith Jul 24 '12 at 16:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @endolith - the linked article was this one. I don't recall what the context was, but let's say the NASA budget, then that link is absolutely irrelevant. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jul 24 '12 at 16:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sounds like a good idea... \$\endgroup\$ – Oli Glaser Jul 26 '12 at 13:01

I believe you're mistaken that tag wikis don't show up - in fact that's precisely why we(by we, I mean the Super User community, I'm a Moderator at Super User) took so much pains in ensuring that tag wikis for first 5 to 10 pages of tags were filled out.

The reason? The excerpt does show up when you type it.

tag wiki

With the tag wikis filled in, We've seen that the users are lot less likely to select wrong tags. Of course, on the rare occasion we see things like question and tags having absolutely nothing in relation; but that's a rare case.

Regarding linking - hmm. I'm not too sure. As you said, it runs the risk of link overload.

Though Wikipedia style footnotes aren't that bad, but a little lower we have the tags, which when combined with tag wiki; I believe the current implementation is sufficient.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Could it be that the excerpt only shows when there are only a few tags, and the excerpts don't take too much space? The picture in my question wasn't photoshopped! \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jul 24 '12 at 8:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ I didn't suggest the automatic linking. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jul 24 '12 at 8:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh unlikely. Also note that the tag wikis for measurement, current-measurement aren't filled electronics.stackexchange.com/tags/measurement/info electronics.stackexchange.com/tags/current-measurement/info \$\endgroup\$ – Sathyajith Bhat Jul 24 '12 at 8:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh my apologies; I've retracted that part. \$\endgroup\$ – Sathyajith Bhat Jul 24 '12 at 8:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Still I don't think people will read the excerpt. Like I said, IMO they look at the tag, pick one and move on. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jul 24 '12 at 8:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh if they are not going to read the message that pops up when they are selecting I am not sure how you can expect to get them to read them any other way. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jul 24 '12 at 9:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk - Because at that moment they're thinking about posting a question, and a tag won't give them an answer, they just know they need at least one. I can tell sometimes when I see how badly tagged some questions are: a question about a relay module with 4 tags, but not "relay". When they're reading an answer they're assimilating new information. IMO the starting point is completely different. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jul 24 '12 at 9:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh the user you are discussing seems to be an example of a user whom is just not trying to make good quality posts, I know whom you are referring to and after multiple pieces of feedback has not corrected a few other odd habits. The only way you can deal with this is have correction of the tags by edit, they just dont seem to get it no matter what you do. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jul 24 '12 at 9:25

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