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I see nothing in this question that warrants the tag that has been added; I think it should be removed.

If the tag is justified in this case, how so, and would not that logic allow gross over-tagging by any related topic?

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The below comes from completely personal opinion and my experience of working as a rock climbing instructor for a little over 3 years, and my desire to make this stack exchange as awesome as possible.

I think part of the bigger issue with Bouldering vs Climbing vs Rock-Climbing is not actually Bouldering but the Rock-Climbing tag. Everything tagged Bouldering can be tagged Rock-Climbing as well. Bouldering is one of 4 major subsets of climbing, the other 3 being Ice, Sport and Traditional (trad). All 4 require different sets of gear and to some extent different techniques. Also, there are somewhat few outdoor areas that are setup for sport and trad, and while you could boulder at those areas, there are usually better places to go if all you want to do is boulder.

I think the bigger issue is not Bouldering tag but Climbing tag and Rock-Climbing tags. Should they all be rolled into one or should they be separated and specifically defined somehow?

Also, about the finger pain after climbing I don't think directly relates to bouldering. The content of the question could pertain to any form of technical rock-climbing, and other than the tag doesn't specifically mention anything that is unique to bouldering.

I'd go one of 2 ways. Either have one all encompassing tag Rock-Climbing and no subset tags, or all subset tags and only allow them to be used when the question specifically pertains to that subject. In this second form, a question about a carabiner is not specific to any one subset (being used in Ice, Sport and Trad) so it could only be tagged Rock-Climbing but a question about nuts could be tagged trad.

  • Since as you state bouldering is a subset of (rock)climbing it seems to me that it the specific tag should be reserved for questions that specifically relate to bouldering. Doing otherwise strikes me as analogous to slapping a "trad-climbing" tag on any question about carabiners, simply because carabiners are used in traditional rock climbing. As someone with experience in the subject how would you organize the tags? – Mr.Wizard May 23 '12 at 17:53
  • @Mr.Wizard I'd go one of 2 ways. Either have one all encompassing tag Rock-Climbing and no subset tags, or all subset tags and only allow them to be used when the question specifically pertains to that subject. In this second form, a question about a carabiner is not specific to any one subset so it could only be tagged Rock-Climbing but a question about nuts could be tagged Traditional (trad). – MaskedPlant May 23 '12 at 17:59
  • I like what you propose (second form), and since you have 3 years of climbing instructor experience I think you're as close to an expert as this site currently has. I moved my Accept to this answer. – Mr.Wizard May 23 '12 at 18:08
  • @Mr.Wizard Thanks! The only real downside that I see here is that the sport tag would be rarely used, as most of the equipment used in sport is used in Trad, so the only sport questions would largely be about climb locations. Another consideration would be combining Sport and Trad. – MaskedPlant May 23 '12 at 18:15
  • I just posted a question on the main site partially to act as a test case; please take a look. I think there will be plenty of use for a sport-climbing tag as it is quite popular. – Mr.Wizard May 23 '12 at 18:20
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    I would comment to remember that tags aren't there to make sure our site is all sorted and neatly segregated and such. We're not a library ;) Tags are there to help people find answers. Those people are quite likely not experts. The other use for tags is so that people can follow topics. The question for a tag is not "is this question unique to bouldering?" but rather "does this question apply to bouldering?" – Russell Steen May 30 '12 at 17:52
  • I agree with this last comment by @Russell. And I'm one of the people adding the bouldering tag to questions that are general enough to apply to bouldering as well. My intention was, as Russel said- to be able to make it easy for someone (like me) to find the questions which are relevant to bouldering. – Eyal Sep 15 '12 at 8:49
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On the first, finger pain after climbing directly relates to bouldering, so I think at this time it's appropriately tagged.

On the second, the logic does not follow that if we allow this one question to be tagged in this way then there will be rampant and gross over-tagging. It's kind of a "But where will it END" slippery slope argument.

There are going to be areas with lots of overlap, but which do have distinctions. Over time we may find that bouldering is a superfluous tag, but right now I think we should leave it for search engine stuff. It's logical that someone bouldering may be looking for finger pain help and find these answers useful.

So far, no one stands out as a above-and-beyond expert on the bouldering topic. If we do keep the tag then we'll want to consult someone with a high rep in that tag (and other climbing topics) to help trim it down. I'm hesitant to start heavily tag policing gray areas until we have more community activity. So, unless there's evidence that this is either discouraging traffic, or discouraging climbing experts, I'd leave it.

Lastly, there's only 5 total questions tagged as bouldering. I'd wouldn't consider that some sort of gross over-tagging epidemic.

  • Okay. :-) ..... – Mr.Wizard May 22 '12 at 0:14

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