5

I can find at least ten different question that are directly inspired or directly related to XKCD.

My opinion is that such a tag is both appropriate and useful. I can totally envision someone wanting to read all the XKCD-related questions or subscribing to . But I also believe there may be dissenters. I thought I would preemptively ask the meta.

Is both on topic and useful?

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  • Note: obviously the tag can only apply questions, not answers that reference XKCD. There could be a tendency for the inexperienced to want to retag based on answers. – ThePopMachine Jan 7 '16 at 16:35
  • we have a "checklist" that seems to have good acceptance to "score" tags; It will probably need to get moved into a separate "how to tag" type post later, but it's currently here. – KutuluMike Jan 7 '16 at 16:54
  • 1
    If it's on-topic, it obviously needs a tag (what else would you tag it with?). The only real question is whether it's on-topic. – Kevin Jan 7 '16 at 17:47
  • 3
    @Kevin - I see XKCD more as a medium (or a source if you will) than a on/off topic work (IOW, asking "if it's on-topic" has no meaningful answer). E.g. XKCD is a data repository; which sometimes contains on-topic SFF content that can be asked about. Actually, when put like that, the tag becomes more of a meta/media tag and thus probably a bad idea. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 7 '16 at 20:05
  • @MikeEdenfield - I just found out Han Solo had Ark of the Covenant on his ship. NOTHING ever again will give me the hives, by comparison :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 8 '16 at 2:00
  • I would love an XKCD tag in this site, but how is it scifi and/or fantasy? – user13267 Jan 18 '16 at 14:22
  • Now that I look at the questions tagged XKCD, they are mostly about other scifi/fantasy work, only the questioner was inspired after reading xkcd. Non of the questions are about xkcd itself. Would this tag include discussions on the xkcd comics themselves? Because that would be my first guess on what this tag was about if I saw it – user13267 Jan 18 '16 at 14:26
8

tl;dr: I'm skeptical that we need it but I would not likely argue over it, which is just another way of saying "not contentious."


Using our "checklist" here, for me I score a 7:

  1. Does it make sense to be an "expert in "? +1 possibly.
  2. Does it make sense for a question to be tagged only with ? -1
  3. Does have a single, universally-unambiguous meaning? +2
  4. Is likely to be used correctly just based on it's name? +2
  5. Are there "enough" (> 15) but not "too many" (> 10% site-wide) questions that qualify for ? -1: Not at the moment
  6. Are people like to use to find questions to answer? +2.
  7. Are there likely some users (be objective!) who will favorite or ignore ? +1 given the range of topics, favorite maybe, ignore unlikely
  8. Could be reasonably used to feed questions to a specialized chat room? -1
  9. Can be used to search for questions (for any reason) in a way that keyword searching cannot accomplish? +2 (questions/answers might mention XKCD without actually being about one of the comics)

Based on my short sample of good/bad tags, the "probably good" tags score 8 or higher, and the "obviously good" ones at least 10. 7 is pretty low, meaning I would be skeptical that it will be of much use (primarily: I think it will get applied correctly but never used much).

Having said that, we have much worse tags than this, and 7 is borderline. It's also getting close to the arbitrary 15 question threshold, which would push it up to a 10.

Ideally, I'd say wait to see if we get any more questions and then we can go tag them but I wouldn't object very loudly if someone wanted to do it now. 1-2 years from now if there still aren't many questions we can always remove it again.

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  • Very nice Mike. But I would question #2. Is it inconceivable to have questions about XKCD (and are SF) without being tagged something else? XKCD sometimes has its own narrative. Or also, many XKCD compare many franchises and therefore couldn't be tagged (and wouldn't be correct to tag) based on franchise. Example: xkcd.com/1563 and xkcd.com/1568 (ignore Rocky). If you ask a question about that, you don't tag it ST, SW, HP, etc -- that is useless. – ThePopMachine Jan 7 '16 at 17:23
  • #1: What about Randall Munroe? What about the participants of explainxkcd.com? – ThePopMachine Jan 7 '16 at 17:25
  • @ThePopMachine All of these questions have to be taken in the context of a science fiction and fantasy site. A question only tagged xkcd isn't on-topic. It has to be an on-topic question that is also tagged with XKCD (e.g. not a Gorilla vs. Shark question.). Also, I admit there probably are some "sf/f xkcd experts", which is why it was a +1 and not a -1, but an entire website can't be "an expert" on a topic :) – KutuluMike Jan 7 '16 at 17:30
  • I think #2 could happen. There have been XKCDs with fantastical or surreal elements. Not every comic is a pop culture reference. – user1027 Jan 7 '16 at 17:33
  • would an XKCD comic strip all by itself be considered on-topic here? IMO that's stretching things a bit but ok. (Also, guys, feel free to score it differently than me and post an answer :) ) – KutuluMike Jan 7 '16 at 17:37
  • My current read on this is that based on Mike being one of the resident tagging experts not objecting to it, and based on the discussion so far, and based on my opinion that [tag:xkcd] is not harmful to anything, I will probably go ahead and add it. Bottom line: personally, I would like to see it, I would use it, and it's not harmful. Therefore it is good. – ThePopMachine Jan 7 '16 at 17:53
  • please remember: 5 questions at a time until the front page clears back out :) – KutuluMike Jan 7 '16 at 18:28
  • 2
    Seeing how many of XKCD's posts are rooted in scientific and often humorous lampooning of science fiction and fantasy tropes, I can see it being a secondary tag to any number of topics. Will it be a singular tag? Possibly but not often. I think we should keep it. – Thaddeus Howze Jan 7 '16 at 19:11
  • I'm with Keen. #2 could happen. To offset that, i'm highly skeptical of #6 - the name is unambiguous enough AND the word is rare enough that searching by word vs. tag isn't THAT much of an issue. And this comes from someone who wrote an impassionate Meta answer about using tag search. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 8 '16 at 1:52
  • @DVK I think you mean #9, based on our earlier discussion; #6 just means "will people look for this tag to find interesting questions", #9 means "will people use this tag in lieu of keyword searches." – KutuluMike Jan 8 '16 at 1:53
  • @MikeEdenfield - oups. Yes. Actually, #6 is also a no-to-unlikely-maybe. Do you see someone deliberately saying "I'm bored, I have nothing to answer, I'll go find me XKCD questions in case there are some"? Maaaaybe but unlikely – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 8 '16 at 1:57
  • To offset THAT, #8 is clearly a +2, since a nerd chatroom that doesn't want XKCD themed material isn't worthy of its designation as a nerd chatroom. Anyway, I'm +1 on this answer, meh on the tag. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 8 '16 at 1:58
  • @DVK - I suppose this would be the place to admit I was bored, ran out of daily votes, and clicked on the tag just in case there were some? I guess I am the unlikely here... – Megha Jan 11 '16 at 1:01
  • " +2 (questions/answers might mention XKCD without actually being about one of the comics)" This logic seems backwards to me. Answers don't have tags at all, so the tag can't be used for searching whereas keywords can. If the question mentions XKCD, without being about one of the comics specifically, w/should it have the tag at all? I don't know how exactly your scoring system works, but seems like that particular criteria should have, at best, a score of 0 (making the overall for the tag 5, not 7) or possibly -1 (i.e. searching with the tag is inferior to just a keyword search for "xkcd"). – Anthony Grist Jan 11 '16 at 11:54
4

XKCD won the 2014 Hugo Award for "Best Graphic Story". That's enough for me to make it on-topic, even if not all individual episodes are.


My evaluation of the checklist scores 12:

  1. Does it make sense to be an "expert in "?
    +1 — Possibly.
  2. Does it make sense for a question to be tagged only with ?
    +2 — I expect questions about a specific episode to be tagged with .
  3. Does have a single, universally-unambiguous meaning?
    +2
  4. Is likely to be used correctly just based on it's name?
    +2
  5. Are there "enough" (> 15) but not "too many" (> 10% site-wide) questions that qualify for ?
    -1Currently no; out of the 8 questions that mention xkcd, only 2 would qualify for the tag.
  6. Are people likely to use to find questions to answer?
    +2
  7. Are there likely some users (be objective!) who will favourite or ignore ?
    +1 — Favourite maybe, ignore unlikely
  8. Could be reasonably used to feed questions to a specialized chat room?
    +1 — I can imagine a xkcd-themed chatroom.
  9. Can be used to search for questions (for any reason) in a way that keyword searching cannot accomplish?
    +2 — As evidenced by this search, a number of questions mention xkcd without actually being about xkcd. Answers even more so.

Here's the Hugo Award for xkcd, held by a member of this stack.

someone holding the xkcd Hugo award

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3

For Sci-fi & Fantasy-related questions to the world of XKCD, I'm cool with the tag. XKCD is not, by its nature, Sci-fi & Fantasy, but some of the strips are, and Randall Munroe being who he is, there's a decent chance we can even get explanations for how those world work.

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