We have officially garnered 48 clicks (more than CR's ad) on ads on Programmers, 9 clicks on Game Development, and a whopping 171 clicks (6 per day) on Theoretical Computer Science! Hooray!

UPDATE: Ads have been posted! Vote for us!

There was a tie, with two answers at 10 votes, so I just decided to post them both. Ads have been posted on Programmers (1, 2), Mathematica (1, 2), Game Development (1, 2), and Theoretical Computer Science (1, 2)! Vote for our ads there so they start showing up on the sites!

So I noticed that Robotics Stack Exchange made their own little ads to post on other sites' community ad posts:

robotics stack exchange

I think we should make one of our own! It could be posted on Stack Overflow, and it would really help bring in more traffic, which we really need. It might also fit on other programming-related sites.

So, make an ad and post an answer below! Here are the rules you must follow for the ad:

  • The image that you create must be 220 x 250 pixels
  • Must be hosted through our standard image uploader (i.stack.imgur.com)
  • Must be GIF or PNG
  • No animated GIFs
  • Absolute limit on file size of 150 KB

It should also have a border.

The highest voted ad once it has been at least two weeks, or there are at least 3 submissions with 3 votes each, or there is a submission with over 10 votes, will be posted on the community-ads post on various programming-related sites.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I suck at drawing, but here's my idea: have a piece of code with a two-letter variable laying on grass, with a golfer standing next to it and firing one of the letters (could be an o symbolised by a golf ball) into the distance. \$\endgroup\$ – John Dvorak Mar 29 '14 at 7:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Immediately, I picture Reddit-style sidebar ads. :P \$\endgroup\$ – cjfaure Mar 29 '14 at 11:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, so I'm somewhat stupid and can't figure out how to upload pictures to i.stack.imgur.com. When I go there, it says, among other things "you're probably not supposed to be here". No upload button. I think this is a great idea, so could anybody tell me how to upload stuff? \$\endgroup\$ – wec Mar 29 '14 at 12:04
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Tungsten If you create an answer to this question and use the image button on the editor, it gives you the option to upload the image. \$\endgroup\$ – Gareth Mar 29 '14 at 12:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do we have to pay for this to be hosted? \$\endgroup\$ – TheDoctor Mar 30 '14 at 16:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TheDoctor Umm... what? \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Mar 30 '14 at 16:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Doorknob most sites have you pay to put up an ad. \$\endgroup\$ – TheDoctor Mar 30 '14 at 19:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TheDoctor Nope; that's why they're called community ads. ;) \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Mar 30 '14 at 19:40
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ They're also called community ads because they're selected by the respective community, so I don't think you should be encouraging people who aren't regular participants in the other stacks to upvote ads to appear there. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Apr 1 '14 at 9:09
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ You could have handled the selection process a bit more fairly. Picking yourself as a winner after just 3 days and only two hours after receiving two new submissions seems a bit rigged to me. #jussayin \$\endgroup\$ – r3mainer Apr 1 '14 at 9:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @squeamishossifrage Meh, 10 votes each on the answers seemed like enough support to me. And next rotation of ads, we need different ones, so yours could be used then. \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Apr 1 '14 at 12:29
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ It's still poor form to change the "winning criteria" after submissions have been entered. \$\endgroup\$ – Geobits Apr 1 '14 at 13:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe this ad should be posted on Stack Overflow. \$\endgroup\$ – tbodt Apr 7 '14 at 19:38

This one's a bit retro :-)

Programming Puzzles & Code Golf

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I think this is the best one, but there is a lot of untapped potential here. For instance, to illustrate better what codegolf really is, the yellow trace of the ball could be a string of ones and zeros, or maybe a line of golfscript :) And "Let's play" -> "Fore!" \$\endgroup\$ – daniero Apr 1 '14 at 10:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @daniero Good suggestions! Maybe next time. \$\endgroup\$ – r3mainer Apr 1 '14 at 10:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 like. Though on the less-is-more front, if clicking on it takes you to the site I don't think the URL is needed. You could beautify a bit by taking that out and working more with the space. Here's a quick hack job to show you what I mean. \$\endgroup\$ – HostileFork says dont trust SE Apr 9 '14 at 4:01
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Another suggestion with the space... get the flag out from in front of the planet, here's an even bigger hack job on that suggestion that I'm not going to bother to try and do correctly. :-) \$\endgroup\$ – HostileFork says dont trust SE Apr 11 '14 at 1:53
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I like this, but I voted for success kid. \$\endgroup\$ – Almo Apr 11 '14 at 17:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I really like this one! It has like a retro-style golf, and a kinda geeky edge to it! \$\endgroup\$ – Dozer789 Apr 14 '14 at 20:45

codegolf.SE gone Reddit with a hint of self irony ;)

Imgur Imgur

  • \$\begingroup\$ 19 because 19th byte and all \$\endgroup\$ – daniero Apr 1 '14 at 0:13
  • 17
    \$\begingroup\$ I vote for the second one. At least it gives a little context. \$\endgroup\$ – Justin Apr 1 '14 at 5:28

Here's my entry:

PCG ad

It's got the name of the site, a call-to-action, and a cheeky subtitle - all of which you can read without breaking out your base64 decoder or firing up your IDE :)

GIMP source file is here, the grass texture is in the public domain, and the fonts are all OFL, i.e. freely usable. The image above is a PNG and below the file size limit, as required by the spec, but JPG would be much smaller.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I really like the simplicity of this one! +1 \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Mar 31 '14 at 12:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Doorknob Thanks! Like you said - people look at ads for a precious few milliseconds at most. The message has to be simple or it won't come across in time. \$\endgroup\$ – Wander Nauta Mar 31 '14 at 12:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Although, I just noticed it doesn't have a border. Fixed that for you ;) \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Mar 31 '14 at 13:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Doorknob Thanks for the reminder. I made the border a little more subtle, I hope that's okay. \$\endgroup\$ – Wander Nauta Mar 31 '14 at 16:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Great ad! I've posted it on four sites; vote for it so it starts showing up! :D \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Apr 1 '14 at 2:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nice! How do I vote? \$\endgroup\$ – Wander Nauta Apr 1 '14 at 8:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just click on the links at the top of this post, and upvote the posts they link to! (You may have to create accounts on the respective sites first, but with the +100 association bonus you'll still have enough rep to vote.) \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Apr 1 '14 at 12:27
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If you're going for the "mystery click" I'd omit the reveal of what it's for at the bottom of the ad, and from a graphic design perspective I'd lose the small text. Maybe lure a bit with Unle4sh y0ur 1nner puzzl3r. leetspeak. Or perhaps the grass sort of overlay and decay into something green-terminal-matrix-y? \$\endgroup\$ – HostileFork says dont trust SE Apr 9 '14 at 3:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe add a golfball... \$\endgroup\$ – TheDoctor Apr 29 '14 at 22:13

Here's my idea that I'll start off with:

Programming Puzzles and Code Golf Stack Exchange

The puzzle graphic is licensed under the public domain. The font is Neuropolitical, and the code is in Courier New and is from this wonderful answer.

Feel free to use the same text and/or ideas in your own ad, if you think this could be improved!

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Hmm. There's something about pointing out that a thing is fun that makes it seem... less fun. (And something about that logo reminded me of an old high school text book :/) Good effort tho :P \$\endgroup\$ – daniero Mar 31 '14 at 23:50

That's a real challenge, describing what this website is in a clear and small graphic.

Here is my attempt:



  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ No offence, but to me this looks sort of like a conglomeration of some text and a couple icons, with random punctuation marks at the bottom. \$\endgroup\$ – The Guy with The Hat Apr 25 '14 at 16:58

It's a bit plain, so I'll probably have to think of a way of brightening it, but it conveys what I want it to convey.

enter image description here

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ To me, this doesn't really yell "programming puzzles" or "code golf." It just looks like a bunch of random characters followed by an ==. \$\endgroup\$ – wec Mar 29 '14 at 11:49
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Tungsten The == doesn't hint at anything to you? \$\endgroup\$ – Gareth Mar 29 '14 at 11:50
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ it sort of does, but I think it would be clearer if you had a title that made it clearer this is an ad for code-golf.SE. \$\endgroup\$ – wec Mar 29 '14 at 12:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tungsten You have to decode the text to get the ad. \$\endgroup\$ – Gareth Mar 29 '14 at 12:12
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ Meh. Remember that we're not targeting current users of the site; think like a non-golfer! :-P \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Mar 29 '14 at 12:34
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Doorknob If people aren't interested in solving puzzles, why would they come to our site? :-) \$\endgroup\$ – Gareth Mar 29 '14 at 13:30
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Indeed, but people would probably just ignore the ad when glancing at it (people usually don't study ads for longer than a second) because they don't even know what it's advertising! \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Mar 29 '14 at 13:31
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I find it more suitable to advertise Cryptography beta. If at least would be written with better font, so OCRs could read it… \$\endgroup\$ – manatwork Mar 29 '14 at 14:50
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Gareth: very nice puzzle (although I'm still trying to crack it :)), but I agree with others that this is more targeted to existing CG users, because standard users would just skip it. \$\endgroup\$ – rubik Apr 4 '14 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rubik Yeah, it seems my idea has not gone down well. Ah well. :-) \$\endgroup\$ – Gareth Apr 4 '14 at 15:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for effort, but most people will stop after "Good Start!" and not know the point or if they typed it in right... \$\endgroup\$ – HostileFork says dont trust SE Apr 9 '14 at 3:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you haven't seen base64, you won't know that the == is the padding. \$\endgroup\$ – Almo Apr 11 '14 at 17:52
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ i would decode this if it wasn't an image... and i can't be bothered to type it out \$\endgroup\$ – user16402 Apr 18 '14 at 12:42

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