I ran into a ford-1987 tag today, and I wonder if it is an attempt to set some sort of tagging standard (because I had not seen any other one like it after trying several manufacturers). Should it be kept and expanded, or eliminated?
In my opinion they are extraneous. While tags debated at Tags for specific models of cars? can be helpful, especially using umbrella synonyms, something like “1987 Ford” does not mean much. There are tons of different models of different cars, pick-ups, and lorries, from different continents that would have little in common aside from blue oval on the grille.
I'm in favor of breaking out all the useful information into tags. For instance, I'll break out subaru and wrx in my questions. There's a problem when we start including years as tags, though: I happen to know that the USA WRX was largely identical for 2002 and 2003, with significant changes in 2004. However, if I was searching for an answer to an issue on a 2003 (e.g., foglights), I would miss the 2002-relevant information if I just went with tags. I definitely wouldn't want information on the 2004 foglights.
Fundamentally, I think that the combined tags tend to make the site harder to navigate rather than easier. A partition of tags into wrx-2002, wrx-2003, and wrx-2004 would make it harder to quickly scan the superset and find something most relevant to my issue (click this tag, then click that tag, etc).
Instead, if we can provide the key distinguishing features as tags and let the search engine parse out the rest for us.
The ford-1987 tag sounds like belongs to me. After much frustration trying to look for information related to a 1987 Ford F150 pickup truck rough idle and ending up getting either Google results about 1992 Ford Escort idle problems or 1987 Chevy Cavalier idle adjustment specs, or just random noise in all of the forums, I've often thought of how nice it would be to be able to limit searches to specific makes/models only and then filter out all of the noise.
Or vice versa, wouldn't it be nice to search for Ford idle problems and open up the search to all Fords.
The problem we face here is that we're limited to 5 tags, so I thought that ford and 1987 would perhaps be more helpful if combined. However, the problem with combining them is that it makes it hard to look for just information on Ford, since the Ford and 1987 are bound together and cannot be searched for separately.
I think a great feature request for Mechanics would be a sub-tag feature. For instance, if I select "Ford" as a tag, I should be able to also tag with a Model and year so that people who want to search just "Ford" can do so, while people wanting to search "Ford - 1987 - F150" can also do the same.
This Make-Model-Year combination could be considered one of the 5 tags, with the requirement that you select a Make (or all) and a Model (or all) before specifying a year (which you could also mark as "all").
I am not 100% sure what the answer is to the tagging situation, and if anyone wants to kill my ford-1987 tag I won't hold it against you. ;) Also, if you're going to kill that tag, also be on the lookout for thunderbird-1968.
While I think expanded tagging could be helpful, based on the inconsistencies in my tag naming schema, it's quite evident that the current tagging mechanism isn't robust enough to tag individual makes, models, and years.
As an aside, the forum noise problem is something I talk about here in this chat transcript. I wanted to discuss before posting on meta. Let me know what you think.
Some questions really could be specific to a particular year of a given make/model. If not, though, I don't think they should be tagged marque-year.
How about platform tags? I don't think they're an alternative by themselves, but maybe along with the much maligned year tag, together or separate?