During the Pastry Question Challenge, it came to our attention that different people have different ideas about what qualifies as a "pastry". Normally, one would look to the tag wiki for to see what the guidelines for its use on this site are, but alas, there was none.

Despite several people pointing this out, no one filled out the tag wiki.

That's not good.

So here's my proposal: Over the next week, think about your favorite cooking topics. Think of tags related to that topic, and see if they have a tag wiki yet. If they don't, spend a few minutes creating one. Anyone can do this; it will be placed in a queue for approval by a moderator or anyone with over 5000 reputation.

The tag wiki doesn't have to be long. Just a sentence or two or three to get it started, to help shape the way tags are used on this site.

Remember: Tag wikis are not just definitions or excerpts from Wikipedia; they tell the user how the tag should be applied specifically on this site. Tell us what types of questions should have this tag applied, aspects of the definition that are unique to this site, etc. The equipment tag is a great example of focusing on how the tag is to be used on this site, rather than just defining what "equipment" means.

If you find a tag wiki that you completely disagree with, ask a question about it here on meta, and you can hash it out with other users until we reach a common understanding.

If each of our regular users completes one tag wiki per day over the next week, we can make a big dent in the empty tags with very little work from any one individual; I know that filling out tag wikis is daunting, but if you know you're not alone, that makes it a little better, right?

Don't know where to start? Check out the list of suggested tags for the weekly topic challenge.

Tag wikis help make the site great by providing lasting guidelines for new and old users alike; they are helpful for the weekly topic challenge contests, but those are not essential to this site's success. Having great questions and great answers, classified in a clear and standardized way, is.

So what do you think? Will you help? :)

If you have no clue what a tag wiki is, or how to use/write one, check out the following posts:

What is the purpose of tags? How do I use them appropriately?

What are the guidelines for a good tag wiki?

Blog post: "Improved tagging"

  • While it is mentioned in the guidelines link you posted, could you please explicitly call out in this question / post that tags should not just be the definition of the term, but rather how it is used on the site? What we don't need is that everything gets a tag wiki and they're all terrible.
    – yossarian
    Jan 31, 2012 at 16:43
  • @yossarian Done.
    – Laura
    Jan 31, 2012 at 16:52
  • Awesome, thanks.
    – yossarian
    Jan 31, 2012 at 17:24
  • The [pasta] tag is a lousy example of a tag wiki; it's exactly what a tag wiki shouldn't be, a generic definition of the term. [equipment] or [food-safety] or [culinary-uses] would have been way better examples.
    – Aaronut
    Jan 31, 2012 at 17:27
  • @Aaronut Sorry, I saw it used as an example in one of the meta threads I linked to, but the quote I remembered was an example of "better" - I didn't realize that it was never actually made into the tag wiki. It should be! Why didn't anyone do that?
    – Laura
    Jan 31, 2012 at 17:47
  • It was in this answer: meta.cooking.stackexchange.com/a/1179/6808
    – Laura
    Jan 31, 2012 at 17:48
  • Figures, I wrote most of that answer! Guess I never got around to updating the wiki itself.
    – Aaronut
    Jan 31, 2012 at 18:48
  • @Laura about nobody updating the wiki for pastry: KatieK wrote a definition on meta about which chat users agreed, but by that time everybody seemed to agree that the contest should include questions which don't fall under the new definition. So she proposed to write the tag wiki after the competition, as not to change the scope in the middle of it. She wrote the wiki when the competition was over. Now I realize we should have codified these decisions on meta, but we didn't think of it then, it was 3-4 sentences in chat.
    – rumtscho Mod
    Feb 1, 2012 at 8:08
  • @rumtscho That's perfectly fine (and she wrote a great tag wiki!); it probably should be discussed here on meta, but talking about it in chat is fine. If someone disagrees with the tag wiki that she wrote up, they are free to bring it up; that's why they're editable. ;)
    – Laura
    Feb 1, 2012 at 18:47
  • Oh, and the point about the pastry tag was that to me, it looked like people stopped participating (no one wrote the wiki, but people weren't really asking questions either) due to lack of consensus...there is no consensus if there's no activity. Talking in chat is a great way to hash some of this stuff out, though, so please feel free to keep doing that; just post on meta if it's a widespread or contentious issue. We don't need a meta post about every tag.
    – Laura
    Feb 1, 2012 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


As a bonus, there's a new silver badge for editing 50 tag wikis! Newly introduced! I may consider throwing in a small prize for the first person to earn this badge.

  • Done! Is there a Gold Badge?
    – KatieK
    May 14, 2012 at 18:38
  • @KatieK Oooh, awesome! Don't think we have a gold badge at the moment, but don't let that stop you. You're on a roll! ;)
    – Laura
    May 17, 2012 at 17:35

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