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Just pragmatically speaking from System76's point of view, and other partners of Canonical; I would imagine that it would be in their interest to have an account which was subscribed to a system76 tag, so they could offer "Official Answers" to questions regarding their service. This would likely help them streamline their support, instead of relying on ubuntu forums.

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I think that if there are people who work for System76 (to use that brand as an example) who intend to provide support on Ask Ubuntu in that official capacity, and they know how Ask Ubuntu works and will comply with our community's norms (in terms of our standards for good answers, for example), and they have a significant preference for a tag to exist and believe it will help them help people here, that then we should strongly consider allowing such a tag to be created.

In that situation, I think your reasoning about helping the company provide support has merit. I do not think we should have these tags in anticipation that they might help System76 employees provide quality support on Ask Ubuntu.

I'm don't think their status as an official Canonical partner per se is the main reason why this situation would be special. I think anytime a brand's name is mostly synonymous with a particular product or product line and there's no other, separate, commonly recognized name for the product/series, and an organized group of people (not even necessarily the company's employees) can explain why having a tag for it would substantially enhance their ability to contribute to Ask Ubuntu with quality answers, I think most of the same considerations apply.

As for whether or not we should make a System76 tag right now: Unless you're a System76 employee or similar and you are trying to tell us that having such a tag would substantially improve your productivity in creating quality answers for your product, I think the answer is no.

  • You know there was a agreement between Facebook and Stack Exchange, in which some Facebook employees will answer questions, but that died out pretty quickly? Lets not repeat the same mistake. Do not create company tags under the pretense that employees will answer questions. – Braiam Aug 6 '14 at 3:14
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    @Braiam That arrangement was not the basis for the facebook tag existing on Stack Overflow, and the degradation of that arrangement has not resulting in anyone advocating against the existence of that tag. If you believe that situation really is relevant to this question, you might consider posting an answer. – Eliah Kagan Aug 6 '14 at 4:31
  • I'm just saying that companies tags just don't work in SE, for whatever reasons people wants to create them, and my anecdote seems relevant only to your answer "I think that if there are people who work for System76" <--- terribad idea – Braiam Aug 6 '14 at 14:11
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    "Haven't in the past" does not mean "won't in the future". If a company wanted to support their Ubuntu users through a branded tag, we'd be idiots to turn them away. We could always remove it later on if it turned out to not be worth it. – Oli Aug 6 '14 at 14:46
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    @Braiam It doesn't matter who they talk to. All I care about is that it's the company or developer that requests the tag and that they take it seriously. Those guidelines are a good start but try not to get too bogged down in bureaucracy before there's even a hint of a problem. We are essentially talking about a series of events that hasn't even started. – Oli Aug 6 '14 at 15:40
  • @Oli "A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether." I prefer to be wise in this situation. – Braiam Aug 6 '14 at 15:46
  • @Braiam We are speaking about companies run by people, not a law of nature. Facebook being compared to System76 is in my opinion; inappropriate. Facebook does not have paying customers. Facebook is not expected to provide support, and System76 has a proven track-record at Ubuntu Forums. If people have migrated from Ubuntu Forums to AskUbuntu, then it follows that there is some pragmatism for System76 and others similar (Perhaps BQ and Meizu) to do the same. However I think Elijah and Oli make a good point in letting the company approach AU first before creating the tag. What do you think? – Akiva Aug 6 '14 at 18:29
  • @Akiva I rest my case – Braiam Aug 6 '14 at 19:27
  • @Braiam Unfortunately you continue to use the same fallacy of a faulty comparison. You have failed to address the point of a) "canonical" being a tag, and why it deserves to be one. And b) That Partners to Canonical are different from just manufacturers, which that article is addressing. To the article op though: where something-developed-by-or-related-to-microsoft can be excel, windows, visual-studio... you get the idea. ergo; should the tag then be not system76, but "gazelle-professional", or "system76-restoration-image", or "system76-driver"? – Akiva Aug 6 '14 at 21:20
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I do agree with Eliah's answer, I just wanted to stew it down:

  • We would love companies to support their Ubuntu users on Ask Ubuntu. That gives us answers from professionals and helps the wider Ubuntu community.

  • They can have tags to help them. Most of us take a fairly utilitarian approach to tagging and can abide whatever makes most sense at the time. If that means having a branded tag, so be it.

  • But we shouldn't give anybody a tag. This has to be a process that the company wants to get involved in. By asking for a tag like that you'd be committing to maintaining its questions. One of the SE Community Managers posted some best practices for a similar problem on Stack Overflow and I'd say those broadly apply here too.

So if you represent a company and you want to commit to answering questions about your brand or product, either drop us a Meta post or use the contact link in the footer to talk to SE directly.

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