I was thinking about how we can use superiour features of Stackexchange to attract those people to this site.

I made already the suggestion to tag historically, not only thematically.

Another thing i would like to discuss/suggest is putting a timestamp on every question (where we know exactly the century).

So, e.g. every question on WW1/2 gets tagged with a 20th timestamp (for conventions on historical dating look here.

Century means per definition a time frame of 100 years, while notations like BCE-CE lack this implicit time range. Imho a century is a good historical scale and well suited for tagging.

A Problem arises for dates BC, either negative centuries or we leave out tagging with centuries there and refer to epoch as suggested in my first link.


This could get a quite nice tool for prof. experts/students but of course also enthusiasts like most here to search easily what happend within a specified time frame and region by using powerful stackexchange search syntax, e.g. +[18th]+[19th] napoleon battle

Using tag-synomys we could match distinct questions then with epochs/eras, e.g. +[middle ages] +battle (all tags from 4th - 15th) to see all battles in a epoch. Neither Google or Wikipedia can do similar and it would be unique selling proposition.

Wikipedia has a good list of names of distinct periods and correlating centuries

Thoughts welcome

  • I think that is is an excellent idea. We clearly a more solidified tagging system, but this will be worked out better in time. Commented Oct 13, 2011 at 1:13
  • I like the idea of tag-synonyms! middle-ages + war!!! :D
    – Daniel
    Commented Oct 13, 2011 at 17:22
  • I just got century tags on 95% of the questions!
    – Daniel
    Commented Oct 13, 2011 at 21:22

1 Answer 1


We don't have a method to actually imply, that is, append extra tags from the presence of a trigger tag. Tag synonyms only serve to directly rename tags from one to the other. So you could not, for example, group all of the - century tags under an umbrella without sacrificing the ability to individually use the sub-tags for each century. You also could not create a correlation between and mechanically unless you were trying to say they were equivalent. You would have to keep the tags separate in order to properly use them.

The lack of mechanical assistance to this endeavor also leads me to have low expectations on the success of such double-tagging in practice when the site is opened up. You are likely to have users who will only use the event tag, rather than the period/century tag, which would require a lot of upkeep on the community to maintain proper tagging. Without constant vigilance and maintenance, it will quickly result that questions with the event tags will not always have the corresponding period/century tag, and vice versa.

An alternate option that is available is to provide custom tag sets through the http://stackexchange.com tagged questions section. You can create a tag filter that would select, say, all of the events pertinent to a particular period or century. So for example, you would include , , and (I know there's more to history than wars, but those were 3 easy picks) under the "20th century" tag filter, and similar filters for other centuries. You could also group events or centuries with particular periods like the Middle Ages.

Tag filters can then be subscribed to, by email or by RSS feed, to allow for monitoring in a similar fashion as with favorite tags. Though, one unfortunately cannot search within the subset of these tags automatically.

  • That stinks... Is there any way that the SE team could implement that for this site?
    – Daniel
    Commented Oct 13, 2011 at 20:42
  • thank you for clarification. I misinterpreted tag-synonmys as group-tagging. Would be a very nice search feature, perhaps in near future :) Im aware of the tagged rss feed, this post was more inspired by a database search within a specific time frame via tagging, would have been a killer feature.
    – Hauser
    Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 0:10
  • @Dan the Man, post it as a feature request and we'll see what happens
    – DForck42
    Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 14:56
  • I completley agree, the logistics of doing this would be crazy
    – DForck42
    Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 14:57
  • @DForck42, I just posted it here
    – Daniel
    Commented Oct 18, 2011 at 3:00
  • Never mind, it was duplicate and declined.
    – Daniel
    Commented Oct 18, 2011 at 3:07

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