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As you all know, advertising is an important source of revenue for Stack Overflow and it helps us support all the sites across the Stack Exchange Network and the resources that go into maintaining and improving the experience on the platform. We are going to be introducing middle sidebar ads, which have been on the main Stack Overflow site for years, to some of the tech sites including Code Golf.

The middle sidebar ads have the same standards as any other ads on the platform. Ads are non-intrusive and static. Ads go through a vetting process to ensure they are appropriate for the communities on Stack Exchange. If you see an ad that may not follow our established standards and guidelines, you can let us know by using the "report this ad" functionality. Here is a mockup of what these will look like when two ads are showed (the existing ad placement and the new middle sidebar ad placement):

sample of ads on the middle side bar of the site

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    \$\begingroup\$ I assume that the community ads won't be candidates for these advertising spaces? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 3, 2023 at 16:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @cairdcoinheringaahing that's correct. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rosie StaffMod
    Commented May 3, 2023 at 18:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Very disappointed that there was no room for discussion with the site itself. \$\endgroup\$
    – ATaco
    Commented May 7, 2023 at 22:13

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It's slightly disappointing that Stack Exchange feels the need to extend their advertising to sites that, frankly, don't have anywhere near the reach or audience that Stack Overflow does. I question whether this will actually generate significant income in the first place, but if the company believes it necessary, then I suppose we have to accept. In fact, in and of themselves, I don't really have a problem with one additional extra ad per page, if it helps the company.

However, what really disappoints me is that this feels like yet another blow for Community Ads. As I said almost 2 years ago,

I like Community Ads, they're probably one of the few systems of advertising I support

source

and I still stand by that today. Further, the most recent update to Community Ads was incredibly unpopular on our site, there haven't been any new updates on these ads for 2 years, and now we're being told - not even asked, but told - that we're getting more ads from corporations instead of any kind of prioritisation of our own Community Ads. Overall, I don't expect this to be a popular announcement.

At the very least, please start allowing us to promote things we want alongside these adverts.


For full transparency, Rosie has clarified on the future of Community Ads over on Retrocomputing.

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