20

The tag is strangely named and mildly confusing: what's so special about Georgia that the associated tag can't be ? And no, the argument that plain could mean the US state doesn't hold much water. This is intrinsically not a US-centric site, the country is the obvious meaning. We have a tag, and it gets on average 1 questions/year, compared to with 19 questions/year. To the typical asker on this site, “Georgia” means the country.

Please rename to .

  • 4
    bear in mind that google changes results based on where your IP address is, so assumes that if you're in Europe, Georgia the country will be more likely at the top of the list :/ – Mark Mayo Supports Monica Apr 27 '12 at 21:43
  • also, while you may not feel it's a US site, I suspect you'll find a disproportionate percentage of users are based on the US. – Mark Mayo Supports Monica Apr 27 '12 at 21:45
  • however, I agree that we should consider a better solution, but having just georgia allows for ambiguity, which is not ideal. we could do ga-usa, but that's getting a bit cryptic. – Mark Mayo Supports Monica Apr 27 '12 at 21:46
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    I second this request... – rlesko May 27 '12 at 9:38
  • I reject your google evidence. Performing the same search for Georgia Travel, 8 of the first 10 results I get are about the US State. (The country is responsible for the second and fourth numerically, fwiw). – LessPop_MoreFizz Jun 20 '12 at 2:46
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz I wasn't in the US when I performed this search, nor was I in Georgia or a neighboring state. It makes a difference on Google, as does your search history. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jun 20 '12 at 15:04
  • Even if we have a disproportional amount of users from the US, we should wish to diversify and a US-centric view will not help to do so. BTW, I get only the country among the first 20 hits. – gerrit Jan 20 '13 at 22:08
28

I agree. As per the justifications you give, the country should take precedence on a site like this.

Make the tags and .

Yes, a small risk exists that as the site becomes more popular, questions are mistagged from time to time. But this is mitigated by the fact that when user starts typing geor... they will see both options and the descriptions, and are quite likely to choose if they mean the US state.

enter image description here

And even if they choose the wrong tag, someone will have fixed it in a matter of minutes. (Questions are suboptimally tagged all the time, so it certainly isn't a big deal.)

Using good tag names is important for many reasons, one of them being search engine optimisation. The current clumsy often ends up e.g. in the start of the page title. So if I search Google for tbilisi batumi train, I get this somewhat odd-looking result:

enter image description here

13

Tags are not some sort of award or honor signifying "importance" or "respect"; they are for searching and categorizing. They must be as common as possible and as clear as possible to serve that purpose. We can't control the terminology people use all around the world, we can only reflect it.

One Georgia is a sovereign country, home to a civilization dating back to medieval times, and a growing tourist destination. But the other is one of the most economically important states in the U.S., home to numerous global corporations and with an economy between 12 and 16 times larger than the country's depending on how it is measured. Georgia the state is also home to the world's busiest airport both by passengers and movements, and represents a swath of land more than twice the size and with more than twice the population of the country that sits directly on the well-traveled tourist highways from the Northeastern U.S. to Florida. So no, it is not obvious at all that based on "importance" or usefulness to travelers that one or the other "deserves" a bare tag.

It would be like arguing that Perth, Scotland (counncil pop ~150,000) should get tagged as "Perth" because it is the original, whereas Perth, Western Australia (metro pop. ~1,700,000) needs to be tagged as "Perth-Australia." Or that the city known as "Kiev" must be tagged with the far less familiar "Kyiv" because that is the Ukrainian name, rather than the Russian name.

Georgia clearly has two "primary" meanings in English. For that, blame history. The rest is just politics, and not something that is going to be constructive.

  • 5
    This. A thousand times this. – Ankur Banerjee Jun 21 '12 at 12:29
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    Perth, Scotland and Perth, Australia are not countries. Georgia is a country, while Georgia, USA is a state. The comparison does not fit very well. – Andrea Lazzarotto Jan 29 '17 at 13:59
10

This was a massive debate on Wikipedia (I read some of it), but it should be a much smaller debate here. We're talking about travel. For globetrotters, the country of Georgia takes precedence over the state of the USA. For travellers, questions about individual US states (with the possible exception of New York) will be rare. Compare with three questions (one closed) and with four pages of questions.

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    Well to be fair, the vast majority of the Georgia (country) questions were asked by me, because I was one of the travel.SE pioneers and I spent seven months in Georgia when the site was new. Things might look different if I had been travelling in the US south at the time (-; – hippietrail Jan 20 '13 at 6:24
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    @hippietrail Even discounting your questions, it's still 18 about Georgia vs 3 about Georgia, USA. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jan 20 '13 at 14:14
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    I must disagree that the country of Georgia necessarily takes precedence in the minds of travelers, for reasons I give in my own answer. As a purely practical matter, the U.S. state of Georgia receives far more visitors and is both a more important airline hub and economic center. – choster Jan 24 '13 at 15:38
  • New York is not a good example; in fact, out of all the states, I'd say New York is one of the cases where a foreign traveler is least likely to be asking about the state as opposed to New York City. States that I would expect to draw separate interest include California, Florida, Texas, and Hawaii. – choster Jan 24 '13 at 15:41
5

Wikipedia went through a similar discussion: should the wiki page "Georgia" refer to the country, the US state or a disambiguation page?

Not all the considerations there are relevant here, but it might be worth a read (if you can stomach it all): Georgia Talk (1), Georgia Talk (2) and Georgia Talk (3).

Personally, I believe a country should take precedence over an internal administrative unit.

  • 1
    Calling a US state "an internal administrative unit" is going to offend a lot of people. First, it was not so, at least at its founding, and second, the US had a very long and bloody civil war over which the role of states in the union was one of several points of contention. The several states are certainly less after the war than before it, but this term trivializes its status and the lives of a lot of people. – Michael Hampton Jan 1 '17 at 22:55
3

Tags are meant to provide the most unambiguous ways for a user to categorise a question. In this case, it was felt that there was a reasonable chance of confusion between Georgia the country and Georgia the US state. Ultimately, tags exist not as a library-style rigid system of classifying things. Many people don't go on to read tag description, but go on the tag name itself. Without picking on the OP here, this meta question was originally tagged feature-request rather than the correct discussion. Similarly, when the site graduates and, say, gets dozens of new questions a day it's very possible an ambiguous georgia tag will result in mistagged questions.

The second consideration, and this was discussed in the chat room (not sure whether on meta) is "Which of the the two Georgia's is more important to claim a standalone georgia tag?" We couldn't come up with an answer to this. Search result rankings depend on your own search history plus geographic location, so these can be hard to count upon as an indicator of popularity.

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    Not on meta, I searched before asking. About the search results, Duckduckgo (which AFAIK returns the same hits for everyone) also puts the country well ahead of the US state. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Apr 27 '12 at 23:08
  • shall we organise a chat room debate for this? Could be fun :) – Mark Mayo Supports Monica Apr 29 '12 at 0:43
  • On the same basis we can find arguments for tags usa-country or europe-continent, but I suppose it will annoy many of us here. – crenate Jun 19 '12 at 13:14
  • Those terms don't need disambiguation. – Ankur Banerjee Jun 19 '12 at 14:15
  • @Gilles I don't know what duckduckgo returned then, but for me today it returns a page of 30 results, 24 of which are about the US state. Of the top 10 results, only 3 are about the country, the highest of those at position 3. – Michael Hampton Jan 1 '17 at 22:48
  • The usage ratio between the two tags is currently 19:1. There is no ambiguity that justifies the tag's silly name. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Dec 31 '18 at 13:49
2

I don't believe in countries blindly being given precedence over regions. And even if I support "precedence" that is not tied to how I would tag a country. I am in favour of pragmatically taking everything into account, from the point of view of a travel website.

For a useful comparison, think about Macedonia, which is a country, a region of Greece, and a region which encompasses both.

Pragmatically, we sometimes have to disambiguate. When talking about my travels in Georgia I often have to say "the country", and the person I met in Georgia (the country) from Georgia (the US state) often had to say both "the state" and "the country" depending on who she was talking to and what she was talking about.

I'm for unified solutions that work for more than one place / tag. I'm against "blindly" following some other authority, including the U.N., Wikipedia, Wikitravel, Lonely Planet. They don't just blindly copy each other. Each one weighs up the pros and cons from their perspective and comes up with a practical compromise that makes sense for their mission.

We should accept that we have to make compromises, and make them in ways that make sense for a travel-oriented website that wants to embrace the whole world, upsetting as few people as possible, supporting as little repression as possible, but realizing we can't make everybody 100% happy 100% of the time.

Therefore I am in favour of using the -country disambiguation suffix when it makes sense for us.

  • makes sense and doesn't upset Georgians.
  • makes sense probably only upsets some Macedonians and some Greeks, but all travellers will understand them without being confused.

They can be contrasted with:

Using a country's name as a suffix can be another principle we use over whenever it makes sense, as a kind of standard.

We do not need either as main tag, or as synonym:

Having the latter would surely upset some people. Doing the same for the former allows us to have a standard we apply to all similar situations without anyone credibly complaining that we take sides.

(For the same reason I'm also against our current being a synonym for .)

0

I strongly agree. It is first the matter of respect shown to the country and this a site should be aware of such issues. And second as probably USA counts for most of the crowd here, Georgia as a country is still a more familiar travel destination.

  • 1
    If we choose one over the other for the not-disambiguated tag, then we'd be respecting one at the cost of disrespecting the other. This way there is balance. – hippietrail Jun 19 '12 at 16:07
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    This is true in some sense, but on the other countries have priority over states. – crenate Jun 19 '12 at 17:43
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    I also foresee some issues where if tags start suggesting they give higher priority to countries that it will be brought up by people saying "Palestine/Tibet/Taiwan/Abkhazia/etc is not a country" just when tags of those names are used. I don't think we need a concept of "priority". Just a plain vanilla concept of "place". – hippietrail Jun 19 '12 at 18:15

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