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Some more tag connecting feature suggestions
Some more tag connecting feature suggestions
Wall of text incoming!

matter 1 - making connections is too hard

I have done a little tag connecting for the first time in a long while, and I'm having a hard time making interesting connections. Sometimes I get two or three tags that I think are very interesting together and I really want to expand on it by connecting more tags, but I have to reroll literally dozens of times before I find something else I think is passable.

I think the problem is is a combination of two things. There are a lot of situational tags, and the system is too random for the current tagbase. This means the more diverse tags get drowned by the situational stuff, which is one of the reasons it is hard to make good connections.

The problem can be tackled in several ways. Such as making tags with many connections appear more often (although this would also make the gap between overused and unused tags wider), or some kind of smart tag categorization system, or giving a little priority to "friends of friends" (for example, if Armor is connected to Guard and Guard to Sword, but Sword not to Armor, make Sword have a higher chance to appear when Armor is selected). But most of these sound to a layman like me like it would take more development time to make and processing to run than it might be worth. But there's another way.

One of the easiest and more effective solutions is probably simply to give people the option to add a tag to the connection by typing them. Many times while making connections words just pop into my mind that go perfectly with the interesting design concept I have in mind, and just being able to add those would help a lot.
This would also allow people that stumble upon a tag duo they really like (perhaps from the random tags or from other people's submitted sessions) to make multiple connections based on them, expanding the connection web of certain tags with more and higher quality interconnections. Another thing this would allow is looking at a cool concept piece and describing it with a set of single words, and submit those as a connection. (very similar to one of the tricks I used when thinking of new tags to add)

Although I can understand if you don't want people to be able to bypass the randomness of the connection process. In which case maybe adding limitations is an option. Such as a maximum of 3 manually added tags and/or requiring there to be at least as many randomly generated tags as manually added ones, or similar stuff. And if needed you could flag a connection submission with manually added tags, noting the admin reviewing it to be more critical of its quality or something.

matter 2 - new tags and ones with few connections

Another thing I have been thinking about is that maybe there should be a way to make it easier for new tags or tags with few or even no connections to get connected. Once again I can think of several ways to do this.

One way is to add a little something that makes the tag more prominent (maybe a color or a border or an icon) if it doesn't have a lot of connections, and something even more prominent for tags without any connections. This would make people choose the tags more often.

Another is to have a certain portion of the generated tags (maybe two or three out of nine) always be one of the tags with fewer connections. Although this group might clutter with unpopular tags after a while, so a better way might be to add newly submitted tags (and retroactively any tags with very few connections) to a group that has a much higher chance to get picked until they have appeared a certain number of times in the tag connection tool. This way new tags get a head start without unpopular tags getting in their way.

I guess I suggested something similar a year ago, but out of the suggestions to the tag connection system I made back then I think it's among the ones that stayed most relevant.


Anyway, just a few ideas I had lately. Hopefully it's useful, or it gets your gears turning with other perhaps better feature ideas.
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