Its been at least two years now that dotgov has hijacked this site for their support.
Hijacked is pretty harsh, but this has been a long time coming.
From linking directly here from their sites for support, to creating tags without following any procedure, and ultimately neglecting this forum and these tags, they're dumping all of their work on this community.

Example: labor tag was created by the US Department of Labor, before there was a need for one. Even worse, labor is not unique to America, as far as I can tell every country on this planet has some form of labor.

So I call it hijacking, because they're not a part of the community in visible way, shape, or form. Active members should be aware of the tag creation process, furthermore active members properly create tags: see need for specific tag, create tag including giving it a proper definition. Mea Culpa: I have created tags before they were needed thinking I was being smart before. I learned that was a bad idea from asking in Meta if there was a need. The thunderous succession of downvotes still rings fresh today. I've also made mistakes elsewhere on stack sites, in many ways. The difference is I kept coming back (stayed active), read comments/downvotes of where I was wrong in the community's eyes and/or policies, and learned from it. I now view pretags as a premature optimization, and therefore think they are unnecessary. There is zero guarantee there will be a need for a future tag in this forum.

Furthermore, pointing here for help from a canonical source in and of itself is not bad, on the contrary it is desired! Please send everyone interested in open data our way! How this has been implemented is where things go south: as far as I can tell there has been zero discussions here about any of this with these departments/agencies, which in effect simply equals zero discussion. Reaching out to a few of these groups has not fixed anything, except given me clarity into the realities of the situation. At least one of the responders was a third-party contractor, who was very responsive, but in the end too busy/didn't care. And why should they? Its not their product, nor their company/career. The College Education Scorecard's parent repository is devoid of information. They can't even be bothered to link to their home site, let alone explain what the acronym of their group means.

So after two+ years of this, I have turned 180 degrees on this topic and now am in favor of closing certain types of questions regarding support for these sites.
It would be one thing if these people were active in this community, heck, I'd even take them just regulating their questions.
Clearly this is too much to ask of them...considering most of their stuff is on GitHub (which begs the question why are you asking here in the first place), their users need to meet them there where they are. I have wasted entirely too much of time on here (as have a few others) directly dealing with these issues.
I have commented on here and commented on questions about this on Open Data SE, and nothing ever changes. I have commented on numerous GitHub repositories, to get answers and get the owners to their users.
Its a fools game. What I find most concerning is the lack of responses here.
To that point, I could be entirely wrong here. I would never know because I never get an answer.

tl;dr; Moving forward I am going to be recommended any dotgov question that is incredibly vague, technical, repo-related etc., for closure and pointing the users to the owners. I hope you all will join me.

Edit: Non-definitive list of tags:

possible tags:

  • fcc

  • 2000-census

  • federal

  • fbo.gov

  • irs

  • noaa

  • pubmed

  • usaidopen

  • us-census

  • usgs

  • 1
    are there any dotgov tags that are actually maintained by someone from the referring sites? can you edit your question to include the tags that are referred from dotgov sites?
    – philshem
    Feb 24, 2018 at 16:43
  • sorry, that was implied in my head. my bad.
    – albert
    Feb 24, 2018 at 18:27
  • I just think it would help to see all the tags, and perhaps some are adequately maintained by people at the referring sites, and some not
    – philshem
    Feb 24, 2018 at 18:32
  • i agree completely, i could be entirely wrong here and these are all monitored.
    – albert
    Feb 24, 2018 at 19:06
  • followup: this approach fundamentally feels wrong to me. not backing out, just thinking aloud. with aim of having better answered question ratio and more engagement/answers from those of us spending time cleaning dotgov up, this is the best approach i came up with. i dislike it, and hope there are other ways.
    – albert
    Feb 27, 2018 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


I am one of those "third party" users trying to support a dotgov API management platform by using this site. We don't have a tag yet and we haven't linked our new website to this site like labor. We want to, but we want to do it right. If you think we should just use GitHub (like Dept. of Ed does for questions) we can but I'd like to explore the idea of creating the right tag here and following your suggested best practices. Open to all feedback/ideas.

  • you win simply for responding. i think you should own your documentation and some level of forum/questions. to what degree, i'm not entirely sure. if you're going to link here, please on board your users as to how this place works. if you want a tag that doesn't exist, don't just create it. i think tags should be created as needed...so if a number of your users come here asking similar questions that can be turned into a tag, etc. this isn't definitive, just my quick thoughts. can't thank you enough for participating.
    – albert
    Mar 2, 2018 at 14:26
  • 2
    Thank you for the suggestions. We are going to come up with a plan to on board our users and only create a tag if we see the type of engagement that warrants a tag. Keep send feedback my way! Mar 2, 2018 at 16:07

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