Is there a way to signal the difference between new tags and existing tags when asking a question?

I got burned when asking this question. My internets are slow here so the Ajaxy-popup with suggested tags was too late to suggest tags based on the first few letters I typed. And when I pressed space it automatically converted my tag to a nice tag-image-thingy suggesting it was correct and existing.

Some visual feedback in the Tag-Label-Thingy would have alerted me that I was creating new tags instead of reusing existing ones. (A color? A check mark? Different border?)

  • This makes some fair sense.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


I'm assuming that a mechanism that checks if a tag exists while you type it would suffer from the same performance issues as tag suggestions.

There actually is a check done when you click Post Your Question as the creating a tag privilege requires at least 150 reputation while we're in beta (300 reputation afterwards). So once a question is posted would be the most reliable time for the system to give feedback to the OP.

My question is, would anyone except our more conscientious users do anything about it? Is it worth the SE team implementing?

  • The amount of time available to show the tag popup during the typing of the tags is short (~2-4 sec, especially with short tags) The updating of the tags-display (new or existing) has much more time (until the users hits submit)
    – Dribbel
    Commented Sep 2, 2011 at 7:19
  • 1
    The problem is that when you do hit 150/300 reputation, then you don't get any warning that the tag being created is new. And while you could get some hint from the tag suggestion, it depends on how complete your tag is. I think that a different coloration could go some distance to pointing it out more clearly.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Sep 2, 2011 at 13:55
  • 1
    or just add a small 'new-tag' icon in the tag-label (works for colorblinds beter)
    – Dribbel
    Commented Sep 2, 2011 at 15:29
  • I like this idea more and more, especially from the perspective of improving quality of the sites. Hopefully this can be implemented @GraceNote :)
    – Alex Angas
    Commented Sep 6, 2011 at 23:47

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