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As the title says, I’m proposing some new tags for similar purposes:

  • Tool: a developer tool, often posted through a github repository link and OSS
  • Product: a more generic item, often posted through a homepage and costing money

I’m currently on the phone but I’m sure I don’t need many examples to show that there are many of these posts already (if it is necessary, I will add them later.)

A common comment is that “tag X will encourage more posts of that type” while that can be true, we should also agree that these posts already abound, they are not OT and they often have lots of upvotes.

I’d like a way to filter all those.

What do you all think?

Posts (Being updated) [Anything being somehow sold = Product | anything else software = Tool]:

[I stop at 40 but I could go on]

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    I can’t think of a single post in either category where these tags would add anything for me that isn’t better covered by the existing “release” tag.

    For example, if someone was excited to share the nifty feature they just contributed to the newest release of doggo with the community, I don’t see how adding [tool] or [product] would be any better than the [go] [networking] [show] [release] tags we have. Put differently, I don’t think either tag adds information, and I think replacing any of the 4 tags I just mentioned with “tool” or “product” would make the tagging less informative, not more informative.

    So, absent some good motivating examples, I think anything that would need these tags but isn’t covered by existing tags is off-topic. And I am having a hard time thinking of things that are on-topic where these tags describe them better than what we already have.

    Maybe others are smarter or have better imaginations than I do. But some examples + descriptions of what these tags add in each case would help me.

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      I am basically tired of seeing links to github repos, new projects and/or hardware “reviews” that are clearly a form of advertisement.

      I will add links soon.

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      I feel the problem with adding a tag to filter out these kinds of posts is that it also promotes the content as acceptable to new users. We already see on IRC a number of new users trying to self post content and run into the 70 “new domain” rule.

      Instead of adding a new tag, we explicitly add a story vote reason of “Product Placement” or something similar?

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        I have heard that response already but the posts are here, they are numerous and, for some reason, some are highly upvoted (some even had 30+, which is unheard of even for some of the best written articles out there.)

        Flagging is a lot of work while tagging goes around that. If the community doesn’t reject those posts, at least let us filter them out.

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        I’ve long wanted a tool tag for things that are tools.

        My concern is how quickly it will be abused for product promotion. We can’t flag all of them, and eventually it’ll be normalized to shill paid products on here. That would complete the transformation of the site into just a smaller orange site.

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          I strongly believe that’s already happening but they are more nefarious and harder to filter.

          Someone posts a link of “New RPi 4 at $20” and gets 30+ upvotes, either lots of people absolutely love that or there are some product shills. The mods are not rejecting those, so that means they accept them, and if that is the case, I personally don’t want to see them.

          Same really goes to pure github repo links, that’s just OSS promotion. Who knows who’s posting and why. Then one could make a “review” or make a little project using a specific (and amazing) tool/library, that’s the same but a higher lever of obfuscation.

          Since I believe there is currently no mod strict enough to outright ban all these low effort and dishonest posts, I think we need a tag to filter them.

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            In the specific case of the RPi Pico submission, I don’t think there’s evidence of behind-the-scenes marketing. There are no spam flags as far as I can see. Raspberry has some nerd cred because they’re a friend to open-source and a lot of people enjoy their products.

            There is a [hide] link at every submission, too.

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              It doesn’t matter who posts, if the post is about buying something, I don’t think it belongs here or at least it should be tagged as such.

              And anyway it’s just 1 post out of 40, you can forgive me for that :P

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                That’s fine, I was on the fence about flagging the RPi post as spam myself.

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          Please add examples at your leisure!

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            Adding them now!

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            Is this meant as an alternative proposal to the marketing tag which you brought up a while back? Alternatively, is this tag meant to be for posting about an interesting tool/product you found?

            Someone brought up in the previous thread adding a tag potentially normalizes posting about something, and I’m not sure normalizing marketing or show-and-tell style posts for something the poster didn’t create will positively contribute to the quality of the conversation. I think those kinds of posts are generally lower quality with less engagement.

            I could see some value in being able to filter out posts about products (the Raspberry Pi Pico is one example that showed up just a few hours ago), but I’d hope to see more examples before admitting it’s worth the mental overhead for me.

            It’s also worth noting that “tools” is already a category listed on the tags page - it probably wouldn’t be a great idea to have both a “tool” tag and a “tools” category.

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              Yep but without the negative connotations of marketing.

              I understand that people are against such a tag but it seems that they are not against such posts. So, I would really rather being able to filter them out or it will highly decrease my enjoyment of lobste.rs

              P.S. Tools is not a category I can access.

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                I hadn’t noticed that tools was a category when I replied earlier… look at the bottom of the page here or at the links listed here. I’m pretty sure that if I can access it, anyone can. I’m nobody.

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                  See if you can suggest “tools” or “tool” as a tag for a story.

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                    I can’t. I can’t suggest languages either, but I think having languages as a category and “language” as a tag would be confusing. Similarly, I think having “tools” as a category and “tool” as a tag would be confusing.

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                      But we have “Practices” as both a tag and a category, so no need to overthink it :P

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                        Though the practices tag is under the Practices section. This usage of tools seems different from what is currently under the tools heading.