nhj asked the other day, How to revisit ad in Stackoverflow? In my answer, I wrote:

We were thinking of putting together a "sponsor gallery" of sorts that listed out all of the sponsors with a brief description. Kinda in the vein of what we have on the every-now-and-then sponsor appreciation posts at TDWTF.

So, consider this the discussion for that topic.

What would you like to see in a sponsor gallery? Should it be one big, long list? How does the order get determined? Should we organize the sponsors based on tags (and if so, what about sponsors who target like java and .net)? What about former sponsors... do they get removed from the list, or go on like the "past sponsors" section/page?

Keep in mind that this is not something we intend to charge extra for... this is more a service to the you, the members, than anything else. I've gotten postive feedback from the TDWTF "gallery", as a lot of readers come through RSS, have adblock running, etc.

  • 2
    I suppose that this proposed feature has simply died? Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 5:00
  • Alex, any progress on this gallery? Don't let the Perfect be the enemy of the Good -- throwing together something boring that works might be Good Enough for most of us most of the time.
    – sarnold
    Commented Apr 9, 2012 at 22:23
  • Has this proposal been dropped? Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 4:42

4 Answers 4


I do think this has value. I think quite a few of us on the various sites would like to be able to see the products/goods/services offered by the site's advertising partners. Why? Because they're selected based on how much of a match they are for the site, and therefore may likely benefit us.

I'd personally love to see the feature.

As for organization, I think tag-based is probably best and fits in most with the site feel. It also has the advantage (I hope) of not requiring transcription of the ad text, which sounds ridiculously laborious. It'd be awesome to just be able to browse a tag, see the dozen or so sponsors associated with that tag (perhaps with their original ad or ads), and be able to click the ads.

I also think this creates an even more compelling reason for people to advertise on SO: More impressions via this technique, and I think these clicks would be even more qualified than standard ad clicks, because these are users actively seeking products/goods/services. (Call me crazy, but I love the idea of perpetuity -- perhaps by organization, if not necessarily by specific ad, as products and wares will change over time.)

I'd totally use this feature across all of the StackExchange-based LOJ sites.

  • The whole process of managing a quality ad program is ridiculously laborious (200+ Hours/week!), spending a few moments to transcibe a banner isn't a big deal... but I suspect we'd just write a few sentences about the product/service anyway (like on TDWTF). Commented Aug 16, 2009 at 1:48
  • Regarding the additional impressions/clicks... while the numbers that this would bring is miniscule (sponsors buy in multiples of 100K impressions), they could be more qualified. But regardless, even if only a few hundred people see it, I think it'll be worth. Commented Aug 16, 2009 at 1:52
  • I have to admit shock that the 200 rep ad removal really has such a small impact on impressions. Are there really THAT many users who haven't achieved such a small milestone?
    – John Rudy
    Commented Aug 16, 2009 at 4:55
  • @John: it's not even a blip. I don't know the % of "users", but most traffic is from non-registered folks from google, looking for answers. And I hate to say it, but I haven't hit 200 yet on SO -- I just can't answer questions fast enough! Commented Aug 27, 2009 at 3:31
  • That's awesome how quickly SO got such a serious level of Google juice!
    – John Rudy
    Commented Aug 27, 2009 at 11:52
  • @Alex - Working for 200 hours a week would be... 28 hours a day. That does sound ridiculously laborious.
    – deleted
    Commented Jan 20, 2010 at 3:20

This sounds interesting, yes. Admittedly still of limited use and more work than your other suggestion, but...

Organizing things doesn't matter too much if we can search. You could use the same sort of search format as for Q&A search; e.g. [java] to find sponsors of Java adverts. Possibly have two views - one by advertiser and the other by advert (with both being searchable). That way if you remember basically any reasonably rare text within the advert, you should be able to find it. If advertisers supply image-based adverts, they should also supply the text for search purposes (and targeting - I don't know exactly how the ad targeting works on SO at the moment; is it just by tag?).

Possibly "former sponsors" shouldn't be treated differently for a while, but maybe disappear after (say) 3 months after they last sponsored anything.

  • As for effort, I'd personally take on putting together this feature, but I have less developer-fu to work with, so that means it'll probably be a static page that's hand-edited, maybe with some JQuery sorting magic or something. Text adverts are basically gone, so all we've got is images and the tags (if they chose to target tags). Commented Aug 15, 2009 at 18:33
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    But image adverts typically have some text on - and that text should be searchable. Basically without search I don't think there's much value, but with search it could be really powerful. Jeff may have infrastructure in place to make adding this (with search) relatively easy... I don't know.
    – Jon Skeet
    Commented Aug 15, 2009 at 18:38
  • Gahh.. I mean, code-fu. Not developer-fu. See what I mean? Anyway, yeah... we can transcribe the ads. As for searching, I'm sure CTRL-F in the browser is good enonugh for anyone who reaaaaaly wants to search the list. Commented Aug 15, 2009 at 18:40
  • @Alex: How big is the list, and how big do you expect it to get over time? Given the range of tags, I'd expect the list to be pretty big (for individual adverts)
    – Jon Skeet
    Commented Aug 15, 2009 at 18:45
  • I'd have to run a report for an exact number... but I think we're in the 30-40 active range now... and that will probably grow in the short term to 50. I think the upper limit of active sponsors will be 100. As for inactives, it's hard to say... but, I don't see keeping them on the list. Commented Aug 16, 2009 at 1:44

Yesterday I was looking for a solution that was advertised on SO to provide my client with a "security camera for SSH sessions" that far surpasses the one used now.

Lost about 15 minutes, googling for (unquoted) variations of 'what your remote contractors do', 'how to see what remote staff do', 'how to audit remote operations' - but found it.

Now, can anyone remember anything useful from ADs or at least recall the name of the thing I was looking for, without any following searches?

And why the gallery post got removed? It is to be understood that gallery produced a permanent ad (including links), rather than a campaign that was paid for specific time/# of impressions. But still - why gallery couldn't exist in "no hyperlinks, no media" form?

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    I'm pretty positive that the client you are referring to is ObserveIT. Their website is observeit-sys.com. I'll bring this up internally to see what our options are regarding the gallery; however, we'd need each client's approval to use their ads in this manner. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 13:07
  • @Danny, it is. But - the problem is that I googled it already, before posting here. Spent 15 minutes. But because advertising in a topic about advertising is a bit.. obscene, just said "found it".. and anyway, thanks for your kindness and efforts.
    – kagali-san
    Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 14:59

I am probably one of those people that doesn't care much about the organization of an ad gallery. The only things I could potentially think about are categories for the sites (so, su, sf, all) and/or categories for the sponsors themselves.

  • Each site would have its own gallery, since they've thus far been mostly different. Commented Aug 16, 2009 at 1:44

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