94

Catija has recently explained that which blog posts get displayed in the side bar for each site depends on a blog tag:

It's tag-dependent.

  • Blog posts tagged "bulletin" appear in the sidebar on sites that are considered technology sites (based on the sites listed in the footer) but not on others.

  • Blog posts tagged "announcements" appear everywhere on the network.

  • There's a third for "stack-overflow" which only appears on SO unless it also has one of the other two tags.

  • We also have an "international" tag for blog posts written in other languages and that can be paired with a language tag to cause the post to appear on the Russian, Spanish, Portuguese or Japanese SO sites

The announcements tag is not however limited to actual announcements of relevance to non-technology focused sites. It also has included:

It has often been the case that the sidebar will show two blog posts, neither of which should be promoted in this way on non-tech sites (or even arguably on any site).

screenshot of the page sidebar

I would like to make the simple request that the announcements tag be limited to only those posts which are actually announcements.

Actually, no, I'll go further than that. There needs to be accountability for the way the blog is pushed onto the hundreds of sites in the network. It cannot be the case that one staff member can act like a free agent and push random posts onto our sites without oversight.

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    It seems we've been through this already: Don't show tech-focused blog posts on non-tech sites. – Rebecca J. Stones Mar 7 at 0:50
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    Adblock works just fine on these sort of posts. It baffles me why they're pushing them out network wide. – Richard Mar 17 at 19:28
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    The most annoying thing about this for me is that it takes the place of other content. I'd like to see more featured meta posts etc in the side bar, and less generic tech blogging. (To be fair though, there seem to be more SO-specific blog posts lately, which are fairly interesting. The ones that were just "Joe Smith writes about technology Y" were just...weird.) – Steve Bennett Apr 21 at 12:15
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    @CesarM hi, can you please explain why you added the status-completed tag, i.e what exactly was changed? (This question is not even a feature request.) Thanks. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask May 29 at 8:22
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    @ShadowKeepsSocialDistance They've finished their review of it, and since Ryan posted below I haven't seen any objectionably tagged posts. – curiousdannii May 29 at 8:52
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    @ShadowKeepsSocialDistance the [status] tags are being used as part of our internal process of responding to meta and since this was responded to by Ryan with changes to the tags on the blog, it's been responded to accordingly :) – Cesar M May 29 at 16:15
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    @CesarM thanks, figured that. The answer was posted long ago, and author has no diamond, so first impression was that there wasn't any official response. :) – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask May 29 at 17:47
  • Unless Dark Mode makes it so you don't have to sock puppet, I don't see what it has to do with me. It's a post by a free agent, pushing random posts at me, where their job is to do the oversight. First impressions are [auto correct]. – Mazura May 30 at 2:20
4

We hear you about the overuse of the announcements tag, so we're going to put into place a formal definition of what gets tagged as an announcement. From here on out, we'll only syndicate company and product announcements and community news that makes sense for network-wide distribution. We'll no longer tag as announcement any blog posts that we may think be of wider interest to our network unless it fits into this definition.

But that means a few of the posts that you highlighted will still show up. While we understand Teams is currently only available for Stack Overflow accounts, we still want the product to be relevant for everyone and to share our progress on it. With that in mind, major announcements of Stack Overflow for Teams features will still be announcements.

Part of the issue here is that we have two things in the blog backend sometimes referred to as tags: categories and tags. A few of the posts mentioned in this list came from experiments to see which one actually triggers syndication. Right now, we're working on a clearer solution that lets us tag a post (with a tag, not a category) that is only to trigger syndication.

tl;dr -- Announcements are only product, company, and community posts from here on out.

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36

As a workaround, I am now using this filter with uBlock Origin:

stackexchange.com##[href^="https://stackoverflow.blog/"]

Honestly your post broke the back of the camel for me. I have been looking at those links for some time now, and I have to say I haven't been interested in a single one.

As others have alluded to, the blog seems to have turned into this weird marketing/advertising thing that I don't want to consume. I am much more interested in the "Featured on Meta" section, as those are usually (or used to be) posted by users, or by staff and contain topical information about what is going on in the community.

Sadly my filter isn't great, as whoever designed the site put a CSS ID for the entire sidebar, but no ID or unique class on the blog section to allow for easy filtering.

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    Here are the filters I use that will remove the blog panel entirely: *##.s-sidebarwidget--content:has(a[href*="stackoverflow.blog"]) and *##div.fc-light.s-sidebarwidget--header:has(+ .s-sidebarwidget--content:has(a[href*="stackoverflow.blog"])). If other sites match those selectors exactly, you may have to specify stackoverflow, stackexchange and the other few sites with their own domain... but that's unlikely – ert Mar 7 at 12:21
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    @ert It's been changed. it's now s-sidebarwidget--item, not content. – VFDan Oct 1 at 18:18
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I think the real point ... is simply a re-iteration of what was written in January already: there needs to be a consistent, well thought strategy about tags.

Which tags exist, and how exactly are they used, and most importantly: infrastructure around that, to easily use these tags for navigation!

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5

FWIW we recently(-ish) changed the feed of one of the chatrooms in an attempt to filter out the noise.

https://stackoverflow.blog/tags/community,company,stackexchange,survey/feed

It's mostly cleaned up our feed. Unfortunately the most recent Teams ad still ended up getting included, and I don't think it's possible to filter out specific tags.

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