Why must every followed tag have a comment?

+9 votes

1. WT now requires users to enter a comment when they follow a tag.  Why?

2. Despite #1 (above), some profiles with followed tags do not have comments.  Why not?

[NOTE: I'm asking because I don't want a comment for each of my tags.  Yes, I've tried to remove comments from my tags: WT does not allow me to do that.]

in Policy and Style by Living Straehle G2G6 Mach 1 (14.9k points)
I would guess #2 are grandfathered code changes (they created their tags before the code change that now requires comments)

Hey, thanks Dennis! for providing the link to Chris W's explanation.  It did answer my questions.

Chris's explanation -- that forcing tag-comments is a means "to encourage collaboration" -- is, I believe, disingenuous.

First, "encourage" is not the same thing as "force".  (And Chris, if you are reading this, consider how a government 'encourages' citizens to pay taxes.)

Second, the one-comment-per-tag implementation is, in my opinion, poor.  Why was it chosen?  Was there any consideration of one-comment-per-group-of-tags?  (For instance, "My roots are Germanic, Russian, and Polish.  The following tags are for the surnames of my family, with variations.  If ever there's a 'one-name study' for any of 'em, COUNT ME IN!!")

However, forced comments is the current law-of-the-land.  So I've removed the 18 surname tags for which I am not advertising my willingness to collaborate.  The (forced) comments simply take up too much room on the page.

A (negligible) negative result for me: I won't get the automatic emails for activity on those tags.  A (potentially large) negative result for the community: someone who wants my collaboration on a surname will have a more difficult effort to find me.  What a shame.

1 Answer

+4 votes
Best answer
by Dennis Wheeler G2G6 Pilot (540k points)
selected by Living Straehle

Hello, Juli!

Sounds like you're a rebel and non-conformist - like ME!!

Seriously, though, you shouldn't let a small task like adding a comment to your tags upset you. Even though this requirement seems superfluous, it is a useful tool for collaboration.

If you test the system, you will find you only have to enter a single letter or number to complete the task anyway - I generally go with 8 (if  you can't change the system, you can at least muck it up - just kidding!!).

And if you don't want to collaborate on a specific tag, just enter something like "going solo," "back off." or "my eyes only" - or some other humorous remark.

Just realize (as we all should) that WikiTree is for ALL of us, so it has to have mass appeal and not just cater to a few members!!

When I originally added tags, my "comment" for every single one of them was ".".  Can't get any shorter than that, right?  But the system insisted on giving each tag a minimum of two lines.  Twenty tags, forty lines -- half of them with only the "." on them.

Please don't read my words as "upset", though.  If my foot got lopped off, that could be upsetting.  But the peccadilloes of WT?  Hardly!
Maybe I am grandfathered into the system and can create a tag with just one letter.

Are you using the quotation marks in your comments? Try just a letter, word, or short phrase without quotes or other punctuation to see if it works!

If it still doesn't work, just write some nonsense phrases and copy and paste them to all your tags. That'll teach WT to mess with us rebels, Juli!!

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