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I hope I don't get really flamed for this, but I actually like the idea of the sponsored tags. Not so much the fact that they are sponsored (I don't care if somebody's paying for them or not) as much as the fact that some tags have icons.

I'd like to see more of these: a windows logo for windows tags, a penguin on linux tags, the Python logo on Python tags etc. I think it adds to the site (no pun intended), and gives an additional visual cue regarding the scope of the question.

I wonder if people would be bothered by it if:

  • it wasn't advertising, just the first in a series of icons that are on the way, unrelated to advertising.
  • it didn't appear on ignored tags.
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-1: I find tag icons visually distracting. (Like you, I have no axe to grind over whether they're sponsored or not.) –  RichieHindle Oct 1 '09 at 23:30
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-1 Logos in tags are distracting and misleading. I can understand the need to generate revenue, and can (just) deal with tags that have the 'natural' sponsors logo (Adobe in Flash etc) but the RedGate logo on tags like 'performance' and 'email'......that is scammy marketing crap ;b –  David HAust Mar 24 '10 at 1:24

4 Answers 4

I think a lot of the problem is because of a bunch of users are incredibly anti-ads in all ways and will find any excuse to hate them. I imagine that if you suddenly had PHP icons on php tags and Visual Studio icons on visual studio tags, etc. etc., you wouldn't see all of this animus.

I think it is sort of hard to weigh in on your request to "add more" seeing as how that is entirely dependent on the sponsors.

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It's not so much a request as a desire to see more. I'm not asking anybody for it, just saying how nice it would be to have them, sort of in a passive-aggressive way –  Nathan Fellman Oct 1 '09 at 21:57
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Indeed, I think most people who are against the icons don't like them simply because they know Adobe paid for it. –  Rex M Oct 1 '09 at 22:56
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You're partially right, I think the irritation comes from a sense that advertisement is mixing with content. While people have no problem with product placement in visual media, I think this sort of "Ad creep" makes people upset for reasons that aren't clear to me. In particular, when it's added on top of an experience they're already used to. Speaking for me personally (and for the record), before the sponsored tags, I have never had a problem with the ads on SOFU sites, and I don't block them, so I can't say whether this comes from a deep-seated hatred of ads for other people. –  ベレアー アダム Oct 2 '09 at 2:14
    
+1 for proper use of the word "animus" –  Jeff Atwood Oct 2 '09 at 9:23

Adding image icons to non-sponsored tags would completely remove the incentive for an advertiser to sponsor "their" set of tags.

Suppose you add the Microsoft flag to each MS technology tag. Aside from the questionable use of trademark, wouldn't Adobe feel a bit slighted that they had to arrange to sponsor their tags? And then where's the incentive for Microsoft to sponsor their tags which already have the flag?

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Plus, simply putting an icon is no substitute for the real potential of this style of sponsorship, which is official engagement with the community. –  Rex M Oct 2 '09 at 0:20
    
I'm not saying it should be done for free. I'm saying it should be done, period. How it gets done is up to the SO team. –  Nathan Fellman Oct 2 '09 at 22:19

I think that more would make them less distracting. Though it might take a while to get used to them.

Not sticking them on the ignored tags would be a nice touch.

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I'd go for it. Don't really care about the icons on the tags themselves, but the little header thing is nice. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing, for instance, a set of good1 jQuery and JavaScript references at the top when jquery is selected.

1no links to w3schools please!

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