I remember hearing (can't find a link right now) that advertisements aren't shown on most sites - in fact, in my simple study, they were only shown on the Trilogy.

What is the motivation to launch more sites? All of SE's revenue seems to come from ads and Careers - which is targeted at programmers. Not gardeners.

It's awesome, of course, that there is a site for almost everything. But what's in it for SE? If you aren't showing ads, and your users probably won't use Careers, you're not making any money. So what's the plan for monetization? Is the idea just to expand web presence/reputation?

Of course, I don't expect an answer. Future plans are probably locked down tight. It just occurred to me, and I thought to post this out there. SE is awesome.

  • 2
    Well, no ads now doesn't have to mean no ads (or other means of monetization) in a year, no?
    – Pekka
    Oct 30 '13 at 3:22
  • Of course not - but I haven't seen any move at all to expand ads past the trilogy.
    – Undo
    Oct 30 '13 at 3:23
  • 1
    True. Not sure what the plan is here (and they probably and understandably won't tell us)
    – Pekka
    Oct 30 '13 at 3:24
  • Like any site, there must be traffic in order to generate revenue. chess.stackexchange.com for example is not generating much traffic, so what sense would there be in attempting to generate revenue from it? There wouldn't be much sense in doing it, and since there isn't much traffic it really isn't occupying much resource (especially not when compared with even one of the trilogy sites).
    – Travis J
    Oct 30 '13 at 4:23
  • WORLD DOMINATION Oct 30 '13 at 9:31

Check this blog post out.

"...we don’t hard code our revenue model too early. If the platform creates value for a lot of people, he told us, we’ll have plenty of opportunites to make money that actually make the site better."

Pretty smart if you ask me. It's important to keep an eye out on where a website is heading. It'll help build a better revenue model down the road. For example, Stack Overflow launched in 2008. It was only in 2011 when Careers 2.0 was released.

Once a website gains a sense of direction it's easier to put up a revenue model that'll benefit the company and, with regards to the Stack Overflow, the community (Careers 2.0).

  • I would like to say that starting a business with no plans for how to monetize it is a terrible, terrible idea. But being flexible with monetization is OK.
    – Kevin
    Oct 30 '13 at 3:43

What I see now is that they could monetize the traffic and monetize the user base.

Monetizing the traffic means display ads, tag ads, and other ads. Financial CPM ads are really quite lucrative.

Monetizing the user base means job boards. Something like a future careers.stackexchange.com. Like careers.stackoverflow.com, but broader. Restaurants could hire chefs. Tech firms could hire electrical engineers. Lots of people could hire writers. Etc., etc.

They can't do too much to monetize the content. They're giving that away. But the attribution rules are such that any use of it increases traffic to the SE sites.

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