Two sites, Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence, have or had corporate sponsors (Strangeworks and IBM, respectively). This is part of a pilot program to increase community engagement. From the announcement:

As the biz-dev folks spread the word about these new products, they've actually stirred up quite a bit of interest in our existing communities. Some of these project teams have sizeable communities of their own, so it would be amazing if we could engage these organizations to actively support our current sites — along with the financial resources they bring to finally make our Q&As more attractive for active development again.

It sounds like sponsors are expected to bring both users and money to the table. While I suspect that this is individually negotiated in each case, what are the broad parameters? What's the general ballpark for what sponsors are expected to provide?

If I were an interested company SE would say "contact us and we'll talk", but if I'm a member of a community with ideas about possible sponsors, I can't reasonably approach those companies about it without first having an idea of whether a match would be possible. I don't want to be like those recruiters who spam us all with wildly-off-base job postings; I need to be able to say something better than "I think you'd be good for this site, but I don't know anything more and you'll need to ask them".

So what are the general expectations, so community members can figure out who we should or shouldn't approach for sponsorships?

1 Answer 1


Sponsorships are still a somewhat loosely defined opportunity for organizations to provide support and increase their participation in a community. We have a few administrative requirements (graphic assets, support links, etc), but we haven't yet codified a "standard of performance" because we don't want any participation (in Q&A or otherwise) to become forced and contractual.

If companies want to brainstorm how they can get involved, we'd love to hear it! This is a relatively new product inspired by some genuine interest from 3rd parties asking how they can get more engaged in our subjects. The goal was to set up a framework to take advantage of these opportunities organically rather than dismissing them outright.

I don't have a lot of insight into whether the early sponsors have plans beyond what we see now, but I've been party to a few early talks for larger projects which could fit a sponsorship framework nicely. It's hard to predict what might come of these discussions, but at least now we have the groundwork to bring some cool resources to the network, should those opportunities ever come to pass.

We've seen a lot of the work for Stack Overflow Teams & Enterprise spill back into the public Q&A; it's all the same codebase. That's quite a proof point that Sponsorships could also spur further development for the benefit of everyone.

I've also seen way more buy-in that we can (and should) get our non-SO Stack Exchange sites much more involved (yay!) — so I personally hope to play a much larger role in getting SE sites involved in more of these activities for years to come.

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