is kinda meta-taggy. I think it often gets added in an attempt to legitimize wide-open questions as appropriate places to collect random tips.

But collecting random tips isn't really the Stack Exchange thing (even though, really, the engine works pretty well for that, it doesn't fit the answers mission).

I think, as with , this should go. What's the community verdict?

  • \$\begingroup\$ (I've removed it already from a few where I thought it was completely extraneous.) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 5:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why? didn't you say just now that opinions which are backed by experience are great? So, can't tips/advice tag be used in such cases? BTW, it would be better if you could help to narrow down that protest question too. :) :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 5:45
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @AnishaKaul But polling for tips/advice is different to getting tips/advice in response to a focused question \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 8:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RowlandShaw In that case first thing to be done is to write a blog for "how to ask for tips". If there is already something like this kindly point me to that. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 8:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AnishaKaul It is covered in the faq - which has the advantage of being linked to from every page (as opposed to blog entries that only show for a few days) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 8:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RowlandShaw I have read FAQ many times. It says that open ended questions are not allowed here. Right. I meant in my above comment that mods here should give 5 examples of open ended "tips" questions to reduce the vagueness of the FAQ statement. Take for example my "protest" question which is considered an open ended question asking for tips. How to make that kind of question shortened? Another example will be asking for "What are the tips for shooting a sunset?" This is broad too, how to shorten it up? this needs a blog I think. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 8:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ P.S. @Anisha it's not just you. I just picked that one as an example. There are clearly plenty of others. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 11:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ And exactly how open-ended of questions we want to allow isn't a hard-and-fast rule. Like many things on the site, it is a matter of community consensus, and not everyone agrees about how to define that. So here we are. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 11:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm I do know, but if you really want people to ask perfect questions then you need to provide detailed examples on questions like : What are the tips for shooting sunset/protests/ etc. simply downvoting and moving on doesn't help. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 11:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm Yes, people's opinions vary and that's why examples are needed. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 11:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Anisha Kaul: Rather than asking for a blog entry around perhaps an alternative approach might be to ask a community wiki question on meta around the subject, something like 'What are signs that a question is becomming too open ended' and asking for recommendations to avoid it / turn the questions around. A good read in general for how to ask stack exchange questions can be found on Jon Skeet's blog, although you'll need to do some subject substitution is should still be useful: "msmvps.com/blogs/jon_skeet/archive/2010/08/29/…" \$\endgroup\$
    – forsvarir
    Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 14:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @forsvarir I didn't mean literally "blog", I meant anywhere where it is explained in a "detailed" way. Of course a meta question instead of blog would be better. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 15:12

3 Answers 3


I agree with you that doesn't seem very useful. I'm a layman when it comes to photography, but looking at the questions in the tag right now, there's nothing particularly common about their subjects. This suggests to me that as a tag isn't helpful when it comes to categorizing these questions.

Far as its tag wiki goes,

Questions which ask for guidance born out of personal experience. Good tip questions are confined in scope to a specific photography-related topic.

The first sentence applies to all questions as well. The best answers come from personal experience and are backed by facts and references. The second sentence seems to just define what makes a good question for the entire site.

I personally don't think a tag is serving a useful purpose, but as an alternative a better tag wiki and careful review of questions that attract this tag to avoid it being a "catch all" location for questions would help.


[tips] may not be useful by itself, but it's likely to be used along with other tags:

[tips][manual-focus] or [tips][street-photography]

Other tags that perhaps would be better:

[best-practices], [technique]

If someone asks "what is best practice for xxx" then I think people stop and think before they answer. The way I do it may not be "best practice". Asking for "tips" to me is asking everyone to chime in with anything off the top of their head. Having said that, browsing through the [tips] tag, there are some great topics there.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just followed the meta-taggy link, and I see JA doesn't like [best-practices]. Oops. Personally I like that tag, but I guess it's not considered any better \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Commented Jan 28, 2012 at 23:52

One way to keep on using [tips] tag would be to never use it up front but always as a hindsight. A new question without any answers so far would not be allowed to use tips-tag. Simply remove it, when a new member has used it upon posting a question.

When answers have been posted, and those upvoted answers float up, then would be the time to add [tips] in question tags if it seems to fit the nature of those answers.

Later, when searching the questions under tips-tag, it would show questions which have tips as answers, not questions asking for tips.


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