Heres an idea to add to the brainstorm. No solution, just another idear.
I don't know if I've seen this on some other forum or mobile news site, I'm not sure which one or where it would be. (Hopefully it doesn't come across like idea stealing.)
What about a carrier icon instead? Every carrier has a well known logo/brand. Perhaps A visual indicator might be better than looking at [VZW] [Sprint] [ATT] [ETC.]
Pros: nice clean look, nothing extra to read, doesn't clutter up titles, doesn't add to the amount of tags out there, would be kinda cool to have them added in the smilies/post icons database,
A few cons might be: copyright/trademark issues?, might add to the visual clutter?, millisecond slower load times?, hard to add to the back end of the forum architecture?, someone with vector art experience would be needed to draft a nice set of small universal icons, not every thread needs a carrier noted - is the amount that do need a [tag] worth the trouble of changing the visual appearance of the website? ie wasted space, doesn't answer the question of where the carrier data will come from or how/when to implement during the topic creation process, won't work with TT
I've mocked up an idea, in MS paint, using icons I've borrowed from here found during a google search: GUAR
I grabbed a screen capture from the multi-carrier Note 2 general forum. It turns out after I checked every thread on the topic list absolutely none of them were carrier specific, so what you see below is not representative of actual needs. Just a render.