My 2p… (nothing very new here, tbh)
I’m another tagger in IFDB (at least sporadically), again mostly using existing ones, occasionally inventing my own.
I think as a system it’s worth it, provided you don’t take it too seriously, and recognise the messiness that comes from the limitations of the implementation and available effort.
I would be interested to know if there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes effort in moderating tagging.
While AO3-style tag curation sounds lovely, it also sounds like a lot of upfront and ongoing work to implement and maintain, as well as raising the barrier to taggers by making tag semantics more complex, all of which this community may not have the energy for. (I’d totally be up for being a tag curator, though! For now I settle for going through and adding the majority tag to works with a minority spelling/term, now and again.)
I don’t think anyone’s really suggested it, but for the record, I think having to have new tags preapproved would basically kill most energy for tagging. Better to have some way to tidy/curate them after the fact, I think.
Mm. I occasionally feel some guilt/responsibility about this, as a tagger.
While I kind of like that authors mostly aren’t super privileged by IFDB, it might be nice if there were some way for authors to contest tagging that bothers them, less drastic than ‘pester the tiny core admin team’.
When I’m entering (other people’s) works into IFDB, I’m very reluctant to use the Genre field, and often leave it blank (unless the author has provided an Official Authorial Genre, or it’s very obviously a trad ‘Fantasy’ work or something).
I’m reluctant to promote my perception into the single “this is the most important facet of this work” genre slot. Whereas I’m happy to tag something as espionage or whatever, without thereby implying that’s its most important attribute.
Aside on Forgiveness Rating
(Relatedly, I do see what certain editor(s) are doing with the ‘Forgiveness Rating’ field. …I’m here for it, honestly.)
As has been said, some interactive suggestions of existing tags to nudge people onto the consensus spelling/ontology would be nice; or (probably easier to implement in IFDB’s current form) even just saying in the editor whether the entered tag already exists in the ‘Edit Tags’ popup, before ‘Save Changes’.
Wouldn’t be perfect (hard to see how any system would have steered me from *‘timed text’ to the consensus term ‘delayed text’, to pick a recent example).
Currently it’s two clicks, and probably manually opening a new tab/window, to get from editing tags to the unabridged list of all existing tags, which seems like a lot to ask of people (I have it bookmarked, instead) – there may be an easy tweak to reduce that.
I’m not super fond of the busywork and duplication involved in entering/maintaining competition membership into IFDB’s well-developed competition system, and also tagging it in various ways.
As you say, Wouldn’t It Be Nice If there were a search term like
compresult:"Annual Interactive Fiction Competition":"1st Place" (with the second part matching either series or individual comps), to answer use cases like mathbrush’s? (I think this would answer CMG’s need too.)
Agree. I’ve also held back from tagging for this reason.