I support the need to generate income and Jeff et al. do a really great job of making it work. But I was just thinking about the extension of this "tag buying" advertising...

What about the tags that don't have a natural sponsor?

  • W3C icons for CSS HTML?
  • algorithm?
  • TDD?

Will these just get lost in the sea of "shiny" logos and make the tags seem a little less important?

  • 3
    I'm going to sponsor CSS, HTML, XML, and Javascript and use the Coding Horror icon. I think that pretty much expresses how I feel about those :)
    – user27414
    Oct 2, 2009 at 13:06

5 Answers 5


I don't expect there will be that many sponsored tags at any given time.

I could be wrong, but the idea that "the tags list will look like Times Square" is a little hysterically overblown.

  • 6
    Forget Times Square, man. It's Tokyo all the neon way.
    – random
    Oct 2, 2009 at 9:20
  • Hi Jeff so do I - but just counting my ignored list of tags I could end up with 11 Logos and only 3 text based ones "C" tag is small tag and would be dwarfed...
    – littlegeek
    Oct 2, 2009 at 9:41
  • 1
    @littlegeek: If you're ignoring them, why does it matter if one is dwarfed. ;) Oct 2, 2009 at 14:51
  • @gnovice - since despite the fact that i am ignoring them - they are still there in the rhs. Also as i find sometimes the tag "group" ie Adobe - i havent got in my ignore list and the ad would still be there.
    – littlegeek
    Oct 2, 2009 at 15:12
  • -1. Just letting you know that I agree with the Times Square analogy. Yeah, it's hyperbole, but not 'hysterically overblown' by any strech. IMHO.
    – Dhaust
    Mar 24, 2010 at 1:28

"Tough cookies" for them.

Sponsored tags cost money--they should stand out from the rest. They are arguable worth less if all/most tags have icons. Also, there is no need have all tags sporting a little image just because.


How does a logo make a tag important? How could a missing logo make a tag less important? I don't know how you use stackoverflow, but I use it to search for information that is relevant to me. Whether the tags that are associated with that information come with a logo or not hardly matters and I will surely not change my interest because I want more of those shiny logos on my profile page.

  • 1
    Manni - its because if there are more logos in the tags then I have to do a lot more mental work to sift through to get the tag information ... think angle bracket tax v text file
    – littlegeek
    Oct 2, 2009 at 15:08
  • As I said, I don't know how you use stackoverflow. I never sift through any tags.
    – innaM
    Oct 2, 2009 at 16:07

I can imagine if a sufficient number of tags have icons on them, then a reader's eye might start to regard them as a cue that a tag is there, similar to a bullet point. If that happens (emphasis on "if"), then it's possible that tags without icons might be more easily lost to the eye.

However, Jeff has stated that he doesn't expect the sponsored tags to become so numerous that they "outweigh" non-sponsored tags.

Even if they did, I'd imagine simply adding a generic bullet point (like ■) before the "orphaned" tag names would fix it visually.


I see no reason why tags like those should be ineligible. The whole idea behind "tag sponsorship" is that the sponsor has committed to purchasing a dominant portion of the advertising space for questions associated with that tag, and is then given the opportunity to be recognized for that and provide the community with some interesting/relevant links relating to the tag topic.

Obviously, I don't know every single company and product out there, but I could see..

  • [css] - perhaps someone makes a tool to help edit and manage CSS files; in my experience, it can be a pain, and I'd like to see something better than Visual Studio for that purpose
  • [algorithm] - without really looking into it, I found SciCode; no idea what they do or if they'd be a good fit, but they see to be all about algorithms
  • [tdd] - how about a company that makes unit and mock testing tools

Keep in mind that we work very hard towards relevance. We won't sell ads, for example, to a Java component company that wants to buy c#-tagged questions. As such, you're not going to see crap like:

Do you like tdd? Find tdd for a great price on NexTag!

Unless, of course, they throw in a yacht (50ft min). You can't blame anyone for selling out for a yacht. And if you do... it won't matter because we won't be able to hear you from our yacht anyway.

  • 1
    Hi Alex, please I do get what you the need to generate revenue and you are one of the most responsible sites in the world wide west, but its a signal to noise ratio that comes into factor - when will the noise ratio start to interfer with the reason for the site? Would be good to test the theory with a SO clone and some all tags getting a tag just to see what happens...
    – littlegeek
    Oct 2, 2009 at 15:12
  • Programming out at sea you say? Sounds like you'll also need to have the yacht company sponsor the [boat-programming] tag... (mattmcdole.com/boat)
    – John Rasch
    Oct 2, 2009 at 17:07

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