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One of the "benefits" of earning 200 rep points is that fewer ads are displayed to you. Instead of seeing three zones (Leaderboard Top, Leaderboard Bottom, and Sidebar), you see only one (Sidebar).

Now I put "benefits" in quotes because I personally don't consider less advertising (especially on SO) to be beneficial. Of course, as the "ad guy", I really don't care because the loss of impressions are statistically negligible, but as a member I feel that I'm missing out on something.

We work hand-in-hand with each sponsor to make sure their ads are high quality and relevant, and we won't even talk to companies with a product/service that we know is a poor fit. And now that there's no more AdSense, that's the only thing we see.

There are so many awesome products/services that I've found through relevant ads, most of which solved problems I didn't even realize I had (or were solvable). Cushy CMS, for example, has very recently "changed my life". And of course, there's no other way I'd find out about these, because I don't spend a whole lot of time reading reviews, etc.

So long story short... I think the "reduced advertising" thing should be changed to work as follows:

On the User Profile page, there would be a Checkbox that reads "Show Reduced Advertising". The Checkbox remains hidden until the member reaches 200 rep. Upon reaching 200, the box gets automatically checked.

Basically, it would work exactly the way it did before, except you get the option to turn off reduced advertising.

And yes, of course I'm biased. But still, Good ads are are a Good Thing.

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8  
Case in point: how many of you saw these ads (meta.stackexchange.com/questions/14347/…) before the meta question? –  Alex Papadimoulis Aug 15 '09 at 17:54
2  
Why not default to the checkbox being unchecked? That way the user must see the option and click it before getting reduced advertising, so they are consciously aware of the change (and that they are receiving this benefit). –  Ether Aug 15 '09 at 19:37
    
Now that I think about it, I love non-obnoxious ads. I often spend ages on sites like 37signals and Fog Creek Software salivating over their products that A) I can't afford and B) I don't even need. I've found these through ads. –  Charlie Somerville Oct 3 '09 at 7:54

7 Answers 7

up vote 22 down vote accepted

Ad Overflow Greasemonkey Script!

// ==UserScript==
// @name           AdOverflow
// @namespace      AdOverlow
// @description    Adds Advertisements 
// @include        *stackoverflow.com*
// ==/UserScript==
(function() {
    function GM_wait() {
        if (typeof unsafeWindow.jQuery == 'undefined') { 
                window.setTimeout(GM_wait,100);
        } else { 
                $ = unsafeWindow.jQuery; letsJQuery(); 
        }
    }
    GM_wait();
    function letsJQuery() {
        	$advert = $('#mainbar #question');
           if ($advert.children('div.everyonelovesstackoverflow').length == 0)
           {
           	$advert.prepend('<div class="everyonelovesstackoverflow"><a href="http://ads.stackoverflow.com/a.aspx?ZoneID=3&amp;Task=Click&amp;Mode=HTML&amp;SiteID=1&amp;PageID=52405"> <img src="http://ads.stackoverflow.com/a.aspx?ZoneID=3&amp;Task=Get&amp;Mode=HTML&amp;SiteID=1&amp;PageID=52405" alt=""> </a></div>');
           }

    }
})();
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3  
+1 for AdOverflow –  TheTXI Aug 15 '09 at 19:42
    
Hehe, brilliant! –  Alex Papadimoulis Aug 16 '09 at 1:54

I saw Jeff's tweet about 200+ rep suppressing ads. And I thought, "Someone out there is going to object". Then I thought, "How could you let users turn their ads back on by themselves?"

Then I hit on the idea of "magic tags" whose mere presence could trigger actions like this.

I headed over to meta...the 200/rep/ads issue was at the top of the page! And, guess what, people have been suggesting "magic tags" all along. Actually I'm not speaking of the tags, but of the "interesting" / "ignored" tags that we can all "configure" ourselves. Program code would only need to detect the presence of these.

True that this issue affects few people. But so did the original "feature".

I've created nothing new here. I'll be moving along.

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6  
wtf are you on about? –  Charlie Somerville Oct 3 '09 at 7:56
    
I thought I had a good idea, but it had already been thought of. Simple as that. This stuff was a hot topic but it's old now. Props to the downvoters and folks who reply to ancient threads. –  gbarry Oct 12 '09 at 16:02

Jon hit the nail on the head... But if you want to see them, don't want the grease monkey script, then simply "LogOut"...

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The checkbox should be "Reduce advertising'. Or, 'Show full advertising' and default to unchecked on rep 200.

If I uncheck something that is to do with showing advertising, then I would expect to see less advertising, not more!

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If they change the SO logo to a picture of the Irish Girl will that make you happy? Don't be coy, that's the only reason you want to see the ads.

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I would prefer this not to happen for a few reasons:

  1. It's extra work for very little benefit IMO
  2. It's an extra option, meaning more complexity, for very little benefit. Joel has previously expressed his opinion about many options just being about developers not being confident in knowing what users want.
  3. I think very few people would go to the trouble of deliberately opting in to extra advertising.

I don't strenuously object to this, but I'd be very surprised if there wasn't something the SO team could be spending their time on which would give more benefit to more users.

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5  
Thanks for the comments. I'd agree, in terms of priority, I would say this probably is just slightly above the "Make a custom UI of the site just for Alex". Haven't gotten around to asking that one yet ;-) –  Alex Papadimoulis Aug 15 '09 at 18:20
    
I think chacha's suggestion is a better one, below –  Jeff Atwood Aug 15 '09 at 21:28
1  
For the record, if the option were available, I'd opt in for the ads in a New York minute. –  John Rudy Aug 16 '09 at 0:32
    
"I think very few people would go to the trouble of deliberately opting in to extra advertising." Exactly. –  Troggy Aug 16 '09 at 5:47
    
FWIW, I'm eligible to check the "no advertising" box on Slashdot. I haven't. The ads haven't been annoying me. However, I do find the additional ads on SU annoying sometimes, and am hoping to get a decent rep there sometime. –  David Thornley Sep 10 '09 at 20:19
    
My reaction to getting the "privilege" was "How do I turn it off". I even bothered enough to come here and find this saddening response. –  Richard Sep 13 '11 at 17:51

I think that part of it is that such a small amount of people actually get reduced advertising that it doesn't really matter. Considering a majority of traffic comes straight from Google, that means all of those people get all the ads.

I for one agree that they have actually put up some good ads. I actually went and read through a lot about Splunk. But I think that because this feature would be so little used, it is not likely a priority at all.

I'd rather have a 'Sponsored' page where the team can list all the advertisers, and then I could just go and look at all the people who advertise on StackOverflow.

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I appreciate the feedback on the ads - Splunk definitely has a great product, and has been a generous sponsor. But you're absolutely right; the "lost" impressions aren't even a statistical blip. As for the gallery, it's definitely on the list: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/14716/… –  Alex Papadimoulis Aug 15 '09 at 18:23
3  
+1 for the sponsors page - would make it much easier to see which products are "recommended" for SO users –  a_m0d Aug 19 '09 at 5:45

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