The closest existing answer I could find to my question states:

Broader announcements not really specific to that community — DEBATABLE

But that was well over 2 years ago. Has there been a more definite consensus on how related the topic of a proposal and graduated site need to be before requesting a Community Ad for the proposal site isn't spammy? Is it sufficient for the proposal site to belong to the same category as the target site or does it need to be more closely related?

Here are some made up examples. If the following beta sites had Community Ads on Seasoned Advice SE during their proposal phase:

  • Unrelated: Chess SE
  • Both related to food: Beer SE
  • Both in the same SE category (Life/Arts): Writers*
  • Both in the same category AND related to food: Coffee SE

Which would be OK and which would be spam?

To be clear, I'm not asking how close they need to be in order for the ad to get posted; I understand that's up to each community. I'm asking about the appropriateness of requesting the Community Ad be posted in the first place.

*By category, I mean the categories used by Stack Exchange itself to group sites:

  • Technology
  • Culture/Recreation
  • Life/Arts
  • Science
  • Business
  • Professional
  • how is writers in the same category of cooking food? – Aquarius_Girl Jul 21 '15 at 4:49
  • I have seen "Mathematics" site ad in "Photography.SE". How are related to each other in any way? – Aquarius_Girl Jul 21 '15 at 4:58
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    @TheIndependentAquarius Photography.SE has no approved Community promotion ads. You're confusing the two different types of ads. – Catija Jul 21 '15 at 6:59
  • @catija I removed my part of the conversation from that thread because it isn't relevant now since I have discovered about the system's own way of advertisements. BTW, about voting-- I do not think that voting on the ads which you want to be shown of other sites is rude if the ads are posted on "relevant" sites --- (they are now). Your opinion may differ and I am okay with it. – – Aquarius_Girl Jul 21 '15 at 7:53
  • @TheIndependentAquarius Unless users are previously members of both the proposal community and the community voting on whether to show its advertisement, then I am inclined to agree with Catija that users should not be encouraged to join a community for the sole purpose of helping an advertisement get into the displayable range. To me that is "hijacking" that community. – PolyGeo Jul 21 '15 at 7:57
  • @TheIndependentAquarius I'm adding an image to show you that A&C is actually getting the proposal ads on sites. I don't know what they're called, but we are getting them. – Catija Jul 21 '15 at 16:30
  • @Catija don't bother. Have seen it already. – Aquarius_Girl Jul 21 '15 at 16:35

Please be sure to actually look at the Community Ads Meta posts of the sites you're talking about.

Cooking.SE only has three Community Ads with sufficient votes to appear on the site (as of this writing):

  • Coffee.SE (because coffee)
  • Gardening.SE (because a lot of people grow their own food and then wish to prepare it)
  • Health.SE (Because health/nutrition questions are off topic on Cooking.SE)

There are a few that have some votes but none are the sites you mention, Beer.SE (which would probably be fine), Writers.SE, and Chess.SE.

The ads you are seeing other than these three on Cooking.SE are a completely different kind of ad and they are made by the SE system, internally.

So, there are actually three different types of ads that appear on Graduated SE sites:

  1. Community Ads - These are decided by the community in a post on that site's meta. You can tell if they're community ads by hovering your mouse over them. If they're a community ad, they have a pop-up at the bottom with the vote stats and a link to the Community Ad Question on Meta.

ELU Community Ad W/O Pop-up ELU Community Ad with Pop-up

  1. Hot Network Questions - These are created by the system to draw attention to popular questions on sites. The system creates these for both graduated and beta sites.

RPG.SE HNQ Ad Japanese.SE HNQ ad

  1. Area 51 Site Proposal ads - These are created by the system to draw attention to new sites that are still somewhere in the proposal/commitment process.

Area 51 Proposal Ad for Arts & Crafts

As a user, the only one of the three that you can control is the first one. If you want to get a site to advertise something, you have to follow the protocol to get that site to carry the ad by posting it on their Community Ads Meta topic and getting them to vote it up to the 6 vote requirement.

As far as I know, there's no rule saying you can't submit an ad to every graduated site for consideration... you're just very unlikely to get any positive reaction if there's no connection to their topic.

So, from your examples, there's nothing preventing Chess.SE from submitting an ad proposal to Cooking.SE... it'd just likely get voted down or deleted by a mod.

  • which may explain the non-related ads you're seeing - The examples in my question were just examples, not real ads I'd actually seen on those sites. I listed them to describe how different sites could be related and thus be appropriate to have in Community Ads. I will update my question to make that more clear. – BSMP Jul 21 '15 at 16:40
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    And, as you can see, your Arts and Crafts Q&A Proposal is getting the ads on other sites. I didn't say it wasn't. You are correct that the Arts & Crafts discussion is what prompted this question, but I was hoping to get an answer about the general case, not a discussion about Arts & Crafts specifically. – BSMP Jul 21 '15 at 16:53

Whether a Community Ad gets shown to a community depends on Meta voting by that community.

Consequently, if you think it is close enough just post it as an answer on their Meta question that asks for Community Ad nominations.

That community will let you know quite quickly whether it is thought appropriate there via whether it let's your ad reach the score threshold (for that site) or not:

Score Threshold

There is a minimum score threshold an answer must meet (currently 6) before it will be shown on the main site.

You can check out the ads that have met the threshold with basic click stats here.

For example, our GIS community seems happy to have Open Data (Beta) advertised, but has not yet endorsed Earth Science (Beta) to the same extent.

  • So are you saying that it's not considered spammy or inappropriate, regardless of how unrelated it is or are you saying posting one is the only way to find out? – BSMP Jul 21 '15 at 2:29
  • Only if you think "spammy or inappropriate" is "close enough" to appropriate, which I would hope not. Please read my answer as trusting your judgement, and anything other than saying anything goes. It is just one, and the most direct, way to find out. – PolyGeo Jul 21 '15 at 2:32
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    But telling everyone in your proposal to join the site and vote up the ad is rude, particularly when you have no connectIon with the site otherwise. – Catija Jul 21 '15 at 6:30
  • @Catija I would certainly agree with that. I hope that has not been done in this instance. – PolyGeo Jul 21 '15 at 6:34
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    It has here. This is actually the conversation that spurred this question, I believe. – Catija Jul 21 '15 at 6:35

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