Is it just me or is SO starting to become a Times Square type of place with advertising everywhere in the form of sponsored tags? I wonder if there is anyone else who feels the chilling effect this has on the site.
Is it really so bad?
- None of our ads are ever Flash or animated in any way; this is our permanent policy.
- Earn 200 reputation and the leaderboard ads are suppressed, as a courtesy to active participants.
- Some of our ads are donated to further free open source projects.
I think our site is quite restrained with ads compared to, say.. this.
These days ad-based income is the bread and butter of most sites on the internet - those that aren't are either backed and funded by some other means (for example online stores or govenrment websites etc...) or require users to pay some sort of free. StackOverflow certainly isn't covered by the first category, and I am very glad that it doesn't subscribe itself to the second!
Personally I find the adverts currently hosted on StakcOverflow to be fairly unobtrusive - the hosted ads on the side-bar are unoffensive enough (in no small part thanks to not being animated), the most obtrusive of these (the bar at the top) disappears at 200 reputation, and the small icons next to tags are also easy enough to ignore.
I think StackOverflows attitude of "responsible advertising" is leauges ahead of most of the rest of the 'nets, and far better that any alternative that I can think of.
UPDATE: If you read the blog there are some interesting articles on advertising on StackOverflow - in particular I find the second one on experiments with amazon based advertising pretty interesting: It shows that a fair amount of thought has gone into balancing the "evil" vs the gain when it comes to advertising on the site.
If you use Firefox and have installed/are willing to install greasemonkey, you can hide all sponsored tags, add more sponsored tags to some open source projects and some propietary products. Also you can hide the sponsored tags in the tag pages or only from the ignored tag list.
Actually, while the Adobe logos were a sore thumb when they first emerged, the more logos we get the more it looks like that's an intentional, integrated part of the design.
The only thing that bugs me is the white background color on a non-white tag style. It makes my facial tic act up, but that's about it. This is more egregious with e.g. the Android and Redgate logos than with Adobe. Everything would look that much more coherent with a consistent background color.
I strongly recommend a sweater. Or a nice tentacle scarf. Much more practical than depriving the inventors of this entertainment of their living.
I can understand how SO needs money and would feel pretty cheap to not accept those adds after all the help I have gotten from SO. Heck sometimes i'm like: "wish there was a link to donate money cuz i would". The only add that got on my nerve a bit is the one disguised as a question, it makes me feel tricked and I dont like that(though it was effective for the first click, i never clicked on it again after that).