As Stack Overflow has grown, it has become increasingly clear that we're going to have a significant amount of unsold ad inventory for the forseeable future.
Thus, we'd like to put that space to good use, by featuring useful open-source programming projects in the sidebar ad slot.
(remember, the leaderboards are hidden for any user with >= 200 rep, but not the sidebar)
Current plan: we think we can do this by leveraging meta.
- There will be a monthly question on meta with a specific tag.
- Post your favorite / most worthy open source projects as answers to that question.
- Vote up or down on the answers.
- The most highly voted answers will be scraped and formatted nicely in the sidebar ad (likely text only, though we might be able to pull logos..)
This way you guys can control what appears in that ad slot, and it can be driven by popularity and interest. The ad engine will periodically poll the RSS for the question and format the top (n) answers by votes into a public service ad for that open source project.
We would likely have a narrow whitelist of known code hosting sites like SourceForge, GitHub, CodePlex, and so on. Only links to projects on those sites would be considered valid and eligible for appearance in the sidebar ad slot.
We figure we can pull RSS for the project page, or worst case, write some Q&D regex template code for each of the ~8 whitelisted code hosting sites to get relevant information for the open source project.
Thoughts? Feelings? Ideas? Palilogy?
this is now implemented at
made public on the blog at