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From my point of view, Stack Overflow is a non-profit website, as I cannot see any advertisements (like on wikipedia.org). But why is the domain stackoverflow.com (a commercial website), rather than stackoverflow.org (a non-profit organization)?

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closed as not constructive by Time Traveling Bobby, Kip, ChrisF, Lorem Ipsum, kiamlaluno Sep 28 '11 at 13:59

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And I cannot see any advertisements in SO [citation needed]. There is advertisement on SO. –  Time Traveling Bobby Sep 28 '11 at 13:33
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Who said it was non-profit? –  razlebe Sep 28 '11 at 13:38
    
@razlebe oh! I am a fav lover of open source and non-profit organizations. I kept SO in the list. Hard to beleive. Where I can see the advertisement? –  EAGER_STUDENT Sep 28 '11 at 13:42
    
see stackoverflow.com/privileges/reduced-ads the areas in Red have adds when logged out or on any SE site where you don't have 200 rep –  Some Helpful Commenter Sep 28 '11 at 13:45
    
@all ok. right! whyn't we could have stackoverflow.org in future? –  EAGER_STUDENT Sep 28 '11 at 13:46
    
SO is also not open source (it's already been mentioned it's not non-profit). –  agf Sep 28 '11 at 13:49
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i don't think "whyn't" is a word... dictionary.reference.com/browse/whyn%27t –  Kip Sep 28 '11 at 13:49
    
@EAGER_STUDENT Not sure where you are still trying to go with all this. As others have mentioned, this is not a non-profit site so .org is not appropriate. Its apparent that .com is working so far. –  hydroparadise Sep 28 '11 at 13:53
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Does .org versus .com versus .net mean anything anymore? –  user7116 Sep 28 '11 at 13:55

2 Answers 2

up vote 15 down vote accepted

What makes you think Stack Overflow is non-profit? There are ads along the right side of the page, but if you want to see more of them, just log out of the site and view it as an anonymous user.

The idea here is that studies show that regular users to a site learn where the ads are and sort of turn off those spaces in their minds. The ads just aren't effective, and lowers the cpi (cost per impression) they can charge.

But new users of the site have to pay more attention to the layout. They're more likely to actually see and read an ad, and since they likely came to Stack Overflow because they were looking for something anyway, odds are better that the ad might be able to help them, rather than just get in their way. The cpi goes up, Stack Overflow pulls the same revenue with lower bandwidth costs and happier regular users.

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I think you are a bit confused, though most participants of SO are volunteers and do it for non-profit [or at least, non direct profit] reasons, the SO as a website is not non-profit [double negation here, sorry for that], and makes revenues from adverts.

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I'm not sure it actually makes a profit. Right now they're more likely burning up their VC money. But it does bring in revenue. –  Joel Coehoorn Sep 28 '11 at 14:00

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