So, this is spawning based on the discussion in the clean up thread. Pulling it out so it is more visible and can be discussed.
What should we do with the achievements tag?
2012/06/26 - Update: Tag has now been removed from the clean up list. This tag may be revisited at a later date, but for now the decision to not burn it holds.
So, we've had a bit of a reversal. Well, almost. At the time of writing this, saving has
1012 upvotes, and burning has 1112. In comments on the burning, the size of this tag pool has been noted (500+) and we have users who have come forward and said the tag is useful. With that in mind, I'm going to propose the following:
Burning the tag, as noted in comments, would be a huge endeavor. With 500+ tags it would basically require its own dedicated cleanup or dev intervention. For how split the vote is on this, I don't think that it is worth it to clog the system or do a database cleaning manually. Also, some of our higher rep users have come forward and have noted that they find this tag useful. Even the negative answer noted a potential positive for the tag, so we have some reasons for letting it stay anyway.
As noted, the name of the achievement is also an important feature. There may be questions in the system that have the achievements tag, but never in the question say the name of the achievement, which can hurt both internal and external searching (achievements tag will help a little, but not always). If you see a question that is tagged with the achievements tag, but does not make mention of what achievement it is they are going for (if it is one in particular), please try to work it into the question body. It does not necessarily need to be in the title (as the names of some of them are extremely long) but placing it on the page will likely do us good.
If you notice any games that are tagged with it, and you don't know what achievement they are talking about, please get clarification from the OP.
Also, and this one should hopefully be obvious but I'll state it outright anyway, if there are questions that are not about the achievements/trophies/whatever else they are called, be sure to untag it. I recommend those who follow the tag pay attention to its use and make sure it is appropriate. Also do so for games you follow. As a cross-game tag, it will need to be used correctly to continue to be useful. I don't think there will be much trouble with it since it is a well known and common feature in games these days, but keep an eye out just to be sure.
achievements is a useful cross-game tag because people can actually be experts in getting achievements without knowing much about the games involved. Often people will rent games, grab an achievement list, and plow through as many as they can, skipping everything else. These people would be great for answering questions about achievements as they often times know or learn the easiest ways to get the achievements. And they may never follow the tag for the game, because they rented it only to get the achievements.
Personally, I'd say to burn its house down with the lemons and possibly put up a sign saying there was a house there. Achievements is often a meta tag as it is often used to describe the abstract context of achievements in general when the questions are about one specific achievement in a specific game and/or system. There are questions about achievements in the general sense, but those are covered by the inherent platforms and systems wherein they exist (steam, xbox-live, psn, within selected games). It also has too broad and undefined a body of knowledge to draw from diminishing its usefulness.
Some games have in-game achievements. Others run their achievements through an external system à la Xbox Live, PSN or Steam. Some achievements are given unique names depending on the context (Blizzard's Feats of Strength for example).
So very many games have achievements with more being constantly released that it becomes impossible to watch reliably. It covers all platforms and such a vast array of games that it is not possible to really be able to cover them all.
Many achievements require some in-depth knowledge of the game or extensive amounts of research and experimentation to be able to understand, achieve and answer some of the more esoteric questions on the subject. If someone is so knowledgeable about said game, it is more likely that they would be looking at content for said game rather than some meta tag that could cover any game.
AchievementHunter and other such examples are groups of dedicated individuals who will specifically go out and try to collect achievements. The individuals of these groups might be experts on specific games or on specific achievements, but it is not likely that any one of them would be an expert on all of them or even enough to find watching the tag to be terribly useful. Answers to questions with this tag will often reference such sources and so theoretically, somebody could watch this tag and either a) use it to fill in information for AchievementHunter, etc. or b) reference AchievementHunter, etc. for answers to questions in this category for easy reputation gain.
Who does the tag service? Is it useful as a filter? Does it add to the question?
+ Doing a search for [diablo-3] [achievements] is a nice way to turn up the correctly tagged diablo 3 achievement questions and in theory could even tell me how to get all diablo 3 achievements - pretty convenient and even better when [diablo-3] achievement also turns up even the non-achievement-tagged questions too. As a filter, it's pretty useful to find achievement questions for a specific game. Adding the word achievements to the body/title of questions with this tag and lacking such a notation would yield the same search functionality.
- If I'm looking for a specific achievement, I'll usually look for it by game and by name anyways. By nature of the question, questions about achievements will need to list the specific achievement in the question body and often even in the title. The tag does not add any useful information to the individual questions themselves. Experts on the specific game are as likely as others if not moreso to have answers to that game's achievement questions and I don't feel this tag attracts users more able to answer these questions.
- Questions about specific achievement systems fit under the headings of the platform tags or the game/series tags. I cannot think of a meta achievement question that would really be covered by this meta tag.
There are 32 people following this tag. Is this enough to save it?
To aid searchability, I think it might be useful as part of the cleanup to add into the questions tagged achievements the appropriate word denoting the classification of achievement ie. achievment(s), trophy(ies), medal(s), etc.
Skovacs's answer acknowledges at least one specific case where it is useful. Diablo 3 is not the last game that will have tons of questions, nor is it the last game that will have lots of questions about achievements. Being able to search for the questions about achievements within the game tag (as opposed to every question that mentions the word) is a useful thing.
So it seems the burden should now be on the side of "What significant damage is being caused by this tag that warrants us deleting it completely?" Since we always get the top two tags in the header now anyway, the fact that achievement is more popular than many games isn't really a problem. So where is the damage? If there is no damage, why do we feel the need to destroy it?