I had a question closed earlier today, and was suggested to post a question related to it here as I did not realize that "Making Money" as the moderator termed it is considered banned from the site.

I love using the sites for my programming questions both for work, hobby and freelance projects. I have questions about items like AdWords and other affiliate programs, and even if there are ad agencies out there that will take a commission and sell space on your site (where my banned question was asking)?

To me this is as important for some sites as CSS layout and bot blocking. I feel that placing ads, membership fees and other items that we use on our sites should be valid topics as well. Otherwise where would we go?

And I do not think this will open the floodgate with "Should I use Adwords or Amazon Affiliate"?, it is subjective and if one is answered others would be flagged as re-posts, which seems to work great for all of the other content on these sites which is why I like them.

Still with me? Should software and code topics that cover sources of revenue be allowed on the sites?

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    The question: superuser.com/questions/33710/… – Sampson Sep 1 '09 at 18:48
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    See: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8401/… – Shog9 Sep 1 '09 at 18:49
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    You gave me a negative for asking a question as directed by a mod. That is pretty weak. – RiddlerDev Sep 1 '09 at 18:53
  • @IPX I don't know who down-voted you, but I disagree with their action. You should probably make this CW to save yourself any future down-votes. – Sampson Sep 1 '09 at 18:54
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    I asked a similar question recently also: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/19078/… – Troggy Sep 1 '09 at 18:54
  • Nice Troggy, did not show when I was looking before. – RiddlerDev Sep 1 '09 at 18:56
  • The question was poorly worded. You might be able to salvage it. – Brad Gilbert Sep 1 '09 at 19:00
  • Awesome, and now I am getting downvotes for the closed question since it was linked from here. Really thought we had more mature users. – RiddlerDev Sep 1 '09 at 19:08
  • -1 for switching it over to CW simply to protect from downvotes. – TheTXI Sep 1 '09 at 19:28
  • @TheTXI ...wow way to abuse the moderator tag... you downvoted me, again for following another mod's request? the insanity will never end. – RiddlerDev Sep 1 '09 at 19:44
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    Being a moderator doesn't give TXI's down-votes any special meaning. They're every bit as meaningless as anyone else's down-votes... – Shog9 Sep 1 '09 at 22:39

The key here is that you have to separate the technical implementation of building the web site from business implementation of operating it. Both are equally important, but StackOverflow is only intended to help with the former. Therefore:

Technical implementation questions are welcome. A good example could be "Given this layout, ad data, and other code for the page, how do I rotate ads in this space randomly?". Business implementation questions, such as "How or where do I show ads for best effect?" are discouraged.

Once you find an answer for a business question like "Where is the best place to put this ad?", come back to StackOverflow or Doctype to ask how best to get the ad to show up in that place.

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    Nicely put, Joel. – Sampson Sep 1 '09 at 18:47

One thing that will get your question treated more harshly is to include a URL, or other self-promotion that is not necessary for understanding the question. People come here to ask and answer technical questions, and are justifiably angry when duped into reading advertising. The communities here are brutally efficient at removing spam posts (not just questions, answers, too) that seem to be spam.

It's possibly hypocritical to close a question because it's money-making in direction. Most of our questions regard on-the-job topics.

I would guess that your question was closed as advertising, though it sounds as if you were intending it as a request for information on different services (something we're well used to on SF). Careful phrasing may help - see the disclaimer on this question. I think the OP's acknowledgement of possible hostility did a lot to alleviate friction.


There are a lot of business topics surrounding software and the web. SO, SF, and SU are for technical questions only.

If you have a technical question about implementing advertising - that would be fine. But questions about revenue generation, traffic, etc, are not a good fit for these sites.

Please understand that this does not mean SO or its community is anti-business.


The Question in Question

Sounds like the question was justifiably closed. After finding, and reading your question, I will say what I rarely every say...Google for alternatives to what you're currently using. Your question doesn't really belong on any of the so-sites. Sorry.

  • My exact question was that my site requires registration to view most of the content, so AdWords and a few others refuse to allow it, so I was looking for others. Which forum do I ask that in? And I saw others closed for things that were not specific to one program. – RiddlerDev Sep 1 '09 at 18:45
  • IPX, It's not a computer question, and it's not a programming question. It's a question about the policies in play for particular ad-companies. This is a question that should be taken to Google. – Sampson Sep 1 '09 at 18:46
  • @Jonathan - thanks for digging that up. The way "The How-To Geek" worded that came across a little harsh and anit-business-ish. The question was probably better suited to SO, where it still would have been closed (but perhaps with a more gentle explanation). – user27414 Sep 1 '09 at 18:50
  • @JonB I agree. It's almost SO-appropriate, but not quite. – Sampson Sep 1 '09 at 18:52
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    I'm not sure that the original question varies significantly from the constant stream of "what service provider would you recommend for X?" questions we get on SF. – Kara Marfia Sep 1 '09 at 19:10
  • I agree Kara, where do we draw the line? – RiddlerDev Sep 1 '09 at 19:26

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