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I think it’s a good idea to include useful external links (from well-reputed sites) in tag wikis, as they make it easy to learn more about the tag’s topic, and they can make sure that we are talking about the same topic in the first place (think of musicians with the same name).

For musician tags, I like to include links to the musician’s

  • official website,
  • Wikipedia article, and
  • MusicBrainz entry.

Most of my edits were approved, but recently the external links from (at least) two of my edits were removed:

(And an edit for the genre tag was rejected, which, in addition to an external link, also contained related internal links).

I’d like to add them again, but want to make sure that it’s what the community wants:

May/should tag wikis contain relevant external links, in particular from authoritative (e.g., official website) and open/free/libre (e.g., Wikipedia, MusicBrainz, …) sources?

Example tag wikis that currently have such links:

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    In my option, it's kind of silly to have our wiki just be links to other sites epically when they are the first few search results in Google. I know Movies & T.V. does it, but that doesn't mean we have to. – Dom Jun 15 '15 at 17:58
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    @Dom: Don’t you want to add this as an answer? – unor Jun 16 '15 at 6:42
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    @Dom I don't see the question propose the tag wikis to "just be links", that would indeed be bad. Rather than that it seems to opt for links in addition to an otherwise proper and complete tag wiki. Is your stance toward that the same? – Major Tom Jun 16 '15 at 11:56
  • @ChristianRau yes and I'll add a full answer on this a little later. – Dom Jun 16 '15 at 12:02
  • @Dom "I know Movies & T.V. does it" - No, they don't actually encourage link-only tag wikis on that site either. Those are of course bad tag wikis. – Major Tom Jun 16 '15 at 14:48
  • @ChristianRau movies.stackexchange.com/tags/breaking-bad/info . They may not encourage it, but it's very common. – Dom Jun 16 '15 at 14:52
  • @Dom So? That's not link-only. But if that's what you deem "link-only", I might understand your reservations. – Major Tom Jun 16 '15 at 14:54
  • @ChristianRau while it's not completely "link-only", it's missing a lot of potentially useful general information that people would want to know, for example the main actors, writers, and how long the show ran, epically for such a highly used tag. – Dom Jun 16 '15 at 15:18
  • @Dom Those things don't really belong into a tag wiki. Tag wikis aren't supposed to replicate Wikipedia, they're supposed to say what the tag is to be used for and that's what that example does. – Major Tom May 30 '16 at 13:44
  • @MajorTom that's the excerpt, not the actual wiki. – Dom May 30 '16 at 14:02
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While links are ok to put in a tag wiki epically when it comes to citing sources, it's kind of silly to have our wiki just be links to other sites epically when they are the first few search results in Google.

Our tag wiki should for the most part be self contained. Someone shouldn't have to go somewhere else to get basic information about a topic.

Let's just I didn't know anything about the band Guns N' Roses and I was curious about the band and clicked on the and the learn more section, the only information I would get is this:


External links


They aren't necessarily bad sources, but from our wiki alone I don't know more about the band without going somewhere else which kind of defeats the purpose of those wikis. We should strive to include basic information about band's and artist including:

  • Genre
  • Members
  • Years active
  • Notable Songs/Albums
  • ect.

We can and should add much, much more to these tag wikis over time and we should be able to maintain all of our tags without just relying on outsides sources.

If you want to see an example of an over the top tag wiki that has all the information you would ever want about C#, check its wiki. There are plenty of useful links in the wiki, but the wiki itself is not just those links and inform the users a lot about the topic.

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    "We can and should add much, much more to these tag wikis over time […]": Exactly! Those tag wikis don’t have to be complete after the first edit. And I think external links (from sources like the ones mentioned) are an important part of a tag wiki. So I see no point in rejecting tag wiki edits that add links, and even less so in actively removing them from tag wikis. – unor Jun 16 '15 at 18:40
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    @unor my stance that I tried to explain is that adding only links to a tag wiki doesn't tell someone much about the subject. The guns-n-roses is a perfect example of a wiki that needs more attention and to be honest, isn't helpful at all to us right now in it's current state like I said in my post: They aren't necessarily bad sources, but from our wiki alone I don't know more about the band without going somewhere else which kind of defeats the purpose of those wikis. . So if you're already editing them, please add more. – Dom Jun 17 '15 at 0:56
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I think external links in tag wikis are useful. We are part of the Web, and hyperlinks are its building block. For example, having a tag wiki about a musician and not linking to the musician’s official site is kind of ungracious. You come to a tag wiki to learn more about the topic, and having a curated list of relevant external links is a big and important part of this.

This does not mean that our tag wikis should only consist of external links.

But the tag wikis don’t have to be extensive from the get-go. We should welcome any useful contribution. Tag wikis (should) grow over time.

It’s not just that we are more likely to achieve more if everyone does a little bit (instead of waiting for someone who does everything in one step), multiple (even if small) edits over time also lead to more eyes checking and reviewing the tag wikis, which will lead to better content.

Think of this:

  • Alice reads a question, gets interested, and clicks on one of the tags she doesn’t know a thing about. What is more useful? An empty tag wiki (→ Alice is disappointed and hits the back button), or a (far from complete) tag wiki that only contains a link to a source where she can read the topic’s definition?

  • There is the band named Death and there is the band named Death. There is nothing more powerful to identify a topic than by pointing to a URL.

  • Even if we’d love to, we will never be able to get complete and up-to-date tag wikis for every tag we have. Think of all the musicians that might only be known to a very small circle, or maybe only in their home city etc. And then think of discographies, tour dates, biographies. We won’t be able to cover everything. But other places might. Let’s link to them.

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