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We have a few questions that are tagged with brand names:

In general I don't believe that they make good tags, since they don't tell me much about the problem that the OP is facing. Especially so when a brand name may not be widely known (for example, are people outside of North America familiar with Kenmore appliances?) The [whirlpool] tag was created for a question about a whirlpool tub, not about the appliance manufacturer, so the fact that its two uses can be confused tells me that it's not a good tag.

An exception would be where the brand name is synonymous with the type of product, in which case the brand name could be added as a tag synonym for that product. Some examples might be:

How should we handle these tags? Let them be, create tag synonyms, delete them when they pop up, retag the questions, blacklist them?

EDIT: A couple of relevant Wikipedia links:

  • I'm guilty for the Corian tag. I never thought about it being a brand-name. I was more going for the Kleenex or Xerox route for describing the material type. Is there a generic name for it? – Doresoom Dec 17 '10 at 18:23
  • Oh gosh, and I created the Whirlpool tag! I'm unknowingly leading the charge for creating superfluous tags. Sorry guys. – Doresoom Dec 17 '10 at 18:28
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There is this post (The Death of Meta Tags) from Jeff Atwood a while ago which talks about the tagging issue that you describe above. Make sure you read the article but I believe the brand names tags that you reference at the top of your question (Whirlpool, Kenmore, Lennox) would be considered "meta tags" and are just not helpful in describing the content of the question.

Also there is this post (Please zap the meta-tags and dependent tags) (referenced in the post on blog.stackoverflow.com) which has some great reasoning why a tag like "Whirlpool" is just not helpful.

But I do think brand names that have become synonyms for the actual product name (like the examples you give: Sheetrock and Corian) are fine but probably they should be added as tag synonyms (probably... I haven't thought this statement through enough).

  • Corian > Solid Surface Countertop
  • Sheetrock > Drywall
  • Spackle > ???
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    +1 for agreeing with me! Per Wikipedia, spackle -> spackling-paste; I created a spackling-paste tag and suggested spackle as a synonym for it. – Niall C. Dec 16 '10 at 14:12

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