I see that almost all of the people of StackOverflow leave their About Me area without using it as a sales page, to showoff their skills, projects or anything that could get them big business. Why do they do so? Maybe because the questions and answers speak for them?

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    Why do you assume everyone on SO is looking for business? Stack Overflow attracts a very different demographic than Quora does. – Martijn Pieters Jun 5 '13 at 22:41
  • @MartijnPieters: See the edit. – user151055 Jun 5 '13 at 22:41
  • If there is a single negative vote, it represents a bad question, if there is a -3, what does that mean? – user151055 Jun 6 '13 at 1:11
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    Meta's downvotes have a different meaning than Stack Overflow. It usually means "disagreeing" rather than "bad". – SomeShinyObject Jun 6 '13 at 1:45
  • disagreeing should raise answers not pull the OPs leg by downvotes. – user151055 Jun 6 '13 at 10:41
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    "If there is a single negative vote, it represents a bad question" That's simply not true. A single negative vote means that one person has downvoted you, and nothing else. – meagar Jun 6 '13 at 18:06
  • I can see a few reasons for downvoting your question: 1) it sounds like you're suggesting they should which they disagree with, 2) you've opened up a fairly open-ended chatty question which people don't like, 3) people don't like that you would think their About Me should be used that way. You can debate how much each of these buckets warrants a downvote, but that's the culture of meta - downvote means "dislike" more than it means "bad." – djechlin Jun 6 '13 at 20:05
  • FTR I didn't downvote. Came close for my reason (2) but I saw this as a more legitimate question with an answer, namely, same answer as "why do people answer for free?" hence my answer just tersely links to that discussion. – djechlin Jun 6 '13 at 20:06

Maybe because the questions and answers speak for them?

Pretty much. I have my current job because my employer found me on the top (weekly) page of Stack Overflow, contacted me, offered a far better job than the one I was in, and the rest is history.

Besides, what else would we put up there? What exactly are we developers usually "selling" besides our skills and time?

  • I went to the users area and made it show the users with respect to their points. Among the top users was a person who had written a book. He had mentioned that he had written a book but there was no amazon link attached. – user151055 Jun 5 '13 at 22:52
  • @Ak1to - well that is pretty stupid. Jon Skeet links to his book, and everyone already knows how awesome it is. I can't imagine why other authors wouldn't do the same – Adam Rackis Jun 5 '13 at 22:53
  • @Ak1to That's interesting, but what does that have to do with anything? Maybe his book wasn't on Amazon, or maybe he just forgot? – user200500 Jun 5 '13 at 23:08
  • I'd think people who read here have no problem to locate a book or author once getting in focus. Direct link is more convenient but not so necessary – Balog Pal Jun 6 '13 at 1:51

I'm not a consultant for hire right now. That's kind of the idea.

Some who are, do. This ultimately comes down to "why do people answer for free," though.

  • To which the answer is: "Because reputation". – user200500 Jun 5 '13 at 22:45
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    @Asad yeah where do you get your fake internet points? – djechlin Jun 5 '13 at 22:46
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    Fake? You mean these points have no value or meaning outside of Stack Overflow? I've wasted the last year and a half of my life – Adam Rackis Jun 5 '13 at 22:51
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    @AdamRackis, the points can be redeemed for monopoly money. – Anthony Pegram Jun 5 '13 at 23:40
  • @user414076 So I didn't waste the last year of my life? Sweet. – Servy Jun 6 '13 at 2:37
  • @Servy, nope. It's good. – Anthony Pegram Jun 6 '13 at 2:38

Some people do...

Some even promote stuff that others might find useful. Such as... themselves. Of course, the best way to prove it is to answer a bunch of questions really well, so...

See also:


Many don't because they don't have products to sell. That, and many programmers just aren't that entrepreneurial.

The ones that are entrepreneurial are rich. Think Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Think Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky. (Those last two have pulled a coup like none I've ever witnessed.)

Not every profession has this kind of mindset. I sense it's a contributing factor to the fact that the Personal Finance and Money Stack Exchange has been in public beta for over 1,000 days. There just aren't that many people knowledgeable about that subject who see the benefit to their careers, or their bottom line, by building someone else's web empire. They build their own empires.

Some do it for the same reason they do it here -- because they like to help. But there's a miniscule direct payback for their work. The top-ranking user over there has gotten less than one profile view for each question he's answered.

If people want "conversions" for a product, there are far better places to do that than their profile page on the SE network.

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    PF&M may have been a bit slow to get going, but it's actually a pretty solid site these days. – Shog9 Jun 5 '13 at 23:43
  • Bill gates and Mark Zuckerberg are here? – user151055 Jun 5 '13 at 23:43
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    @Shog9 Point of history: I started one of the competitors to that site back when SE was a service. I had been blogging for six years (a fairly long time for that niche) and had a very hard time getting people to participate. Chris Rea dumped a boatload of money into SO advertising for his site when it came out. In the end, he gave up the site and it became money.se. And the thing still hasn't launched? It makes me look for why, and what I wrote above is the best I've come up with. – John Jun 5 '13 at 23:55
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    @John: well, that was probably part of it. Another part of it is the whole transition from SE 1.0 -> 2.0 tended to be a rocky road for the sites that tried it. A big part of it though is... well, exactly what you're describing: competition. There are a lot of great resources out there for personal finance advice, so to get traction takes a lot of work - y'all have put in a lot of work though, and it's paid off. – Shog9 Jun 6 '13 at 0:03
  • Ha ... shows you how little I've been over there lately. I didn't know that. Maybe SE is just coming to the realization that car insurance ads are about $30 PPC. :) – John Jun 6 '13 at 0:06
  • @John I believe your assessment is correct. Yes, there haven't been many PF bloggers participating at Money SE. There are a few, plus sufficient non-blogging people with excellent knowledge who've been willing to make it work. We're finally seeing decent & growing traffic from Google. Hasn't been easy! But we slogged. As for joining SE 2.0's network in the 1st place: I certainly don't regret it. I reasoned there was no point in competing with a network of sites I adored. By then it was also evident it would be more difficult and time-consuming to grow a site stand-alone on a lesser platform. – Chris W. Rea Jul 30 '13 at 19:54

A number of people are here on SE sites to "advertise" themselves. Most of them just aren't obvious about it.

There are plenty of sites, and plenty of ways to showcase your talents, mainly by writing good answers (or questions). Anyone who wanted to "advertise" could sent a link to a prospective client, or hiring executive.

For a variety of reasons, most professionals don't want to make it too obvious that they are looking for business or a new job, either on this site or elsewhere. It's one thing to have a set of answers or questions "in stock," and quite another to go flaunting this, especially on their About Me Section. Many people have strategies that are quite subtle, and don't want to be seen "making a move," until they are actually ready to make a move.


Have you considered someone may not be a professional programmer looking to sell themselves?

I program because I enjoy programming as a hobby, but I don't desire to be anymore more than that. I love what I do and I love my company, so I have no idea to sell myself anywhere to anyone.

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