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The conclusion of the latest blog post, titled "Why the number input is the worst input", is:

I felt compelled to build my own form builder [...] Your last option is to do what I built for Keenforms: use a simple input type="text“, which will always give you its value, and do all your validation via JavaScript.

The contents of the blog post, paraphrased:

Form validation sucks, and I found out the right way. I'm not going to show you, but take out a subscription on my app and we do it for you!

Because the only thing that blog post does, is list out in how many ways the native browser way sucks.

Then there was "The many problems with implementing Single Sign-On", paraphrased:

We raised $10 million in 2017 to build an email client/server solution in Electron. The project died, but the spinoff company sells a Single Sign-On solution because that was one of the things the server side of the email project needed.

Both posts were categorised under the tag "code-for-a-living", described as:

We’re here to help developers at every stage of their careers.

None of that applies to those blog posts, and frankly, they are advertorials. If the posters paid Stack Overflow to be hosted, you have to disclose that anyway in the EU:

You have the right to be informed if a newspaper article, TV programme or radio broadcast has been sponsored by a company as a way to advertise its products. This must be made clear by images, words or sound.

These aren't blog posts trying to teach developers something. They're advertisements with a thin veil of shallow information about complex subjects, aimed at selling stuff.

Please mention that on those blog posts, and/or tag them differently.


The most recent blog, "For developers, flow state starts with your finger tips" (apparently no relation whatsoever to the "Flow State" event hosted by Stack Overflow yesterday) mentions "sponsored" a couple of times, which is a Good Thing ™.

It is also tagged as partnercontent, which is (at least in sort order) something else than the partner content page and the partner-content tag. However, not all blogs tagged "partner-content" show this tag on top of their post, see:

Top of SSO blog post shows a tag-like element titled "code-for-a-living" despite being tagged "partnercontent, single sign-on":

title and tag of SSO blog post

Bottom of SSO blog post:

Bottom of SSO blog post showing tags

And at the bottom the following blurb is included, no idea if it was there before:

The Stack Overflow blog is committed to publishing interesting articles by developers, for developers. From time to time that means working with companies that are also clients of Stack Overflow’s through our advertising, talent, or teams business. When we publish work from clients, we’ll identify it as Partner Content with tags and by including this disclaimer at the bottom.

Expectations

When I click a blog post title in the sidebar, I want to be able to immediately see a text, tag or label or whatever clearly stating "sponsored", so I can evaluate whether I'm interested in reading an advertorial or not, before getting sucked into a story that will probably not teach me anything, other than to stop reading the blog.

Ideally it'd even be visible in the title (like: "[adv] Rest-of-title-here"), but I can imagine why that won't be an option.


The October 12 blog meets these expectations, thanks! And apart from that, it's an actually interesting post with loads of information, I'll give it a read.

Can't upload an image at the moment, but on top of the blog post it mentions:

SPONSORED BY SUMOLOGIC

Which is nice.

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  • 1
    "If the posters paid Stack Overflow to be hosted..." Um, it might be the other way around, sadly. (Can't find the page about the blog where I remember reading this.)
    – Laurel
    Commented Sep 16, 2022 at 12:05
  • 4
    Some of the podcast episodes could be classified in the same way (they also have blog entries to mention them and to provide sort of show notes). Commented Sep 16, 2022 at 12:15
  • @This_is_NOT_a_forum colloquially, a single blog post is called a blog as well, but I'll leave the edit as I generally like yours.
    – CodeCaster
    Commented Sep 16, 2022 at 12:24
  • @Laurel yeah I've read something like that as well, that being featured on the blog can yield you a couple of bucks.
    – CodeCaster
    Commented Sep 16, 2022 at 12:53
  • 5
    Yes, it was particularly disappointing when realisation dawned on the SSO one, I felt I'd been suckered into reading something I expected from the location to be high quality technical content.
    – MandyShaw
    Commented Sep 16, 2022 at 17:00
  • 1
    I doubt the recent blog post being done "properly" got anything to do with this request, looks like each author simply doing what they want and deem right. Not a proof, but no staff has answered or commented here, yet. Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 20:47
  • Regression? This is clear personal promotion of some external blog, yet no hint whatsoever, or any label it's promoted content. As a bonus, one of the links to his blog is broken, leading to some spam site. Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 14:35
  • @Shadow interesting case. Mark Seeman / Poeh.dk is well known in .NET, and their own blog as well as this post are chuck full of information and don't necessarily try to sell you something in order to obtain information or functionality. It's all there in the post...
    – CodeCaster
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 14:48
  • 1
    I see. One thing still bothers me, there's link to a "US$45 per month" course (Outside-In Test-Driven Development), given by the author. That's not a blog, it's actual product he's selling for money. Posted on SE site, I'd flag such thing as spam without a second thought. Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 15:00
  • @Shadow oof, yeah, that's a nasty one. That should at least require an affiliation link warning or something like that. My browser blocks "pxf.io".
    – CodeCaster
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 15:04
  • @CodeCaster What's "pxf.io"? Where you saw it? The spam/broken link points to pluralsight.com which appears legit, the issue is taking money for it. :) Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 15:09
  • @ShadowTheKidWizard The link https://blog.ploeh.dk/outside-in-tdd redirects to https://pluralsight.pxf.io/c/1192519/424552/7490?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pluralsight.com%2Fcourses%2Foutside-in-tdd which I suppose then does the redirection to Pluralsight. But it's where pxf.io is encountered. uBlock Origin blocks it for me
    – VLAZ
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 15:12
  • @VLAZ huh, nasty. So pxf.io is most likely meant to collect as much private data as possible, before redirecting to the target. :/ Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 15:14
  • @ShadowTheKidWizard I suspect it's to track incoming links. But I'm absolutely unfamiliar with the site - first time seeing it. It's entirely possible that it's required by Pluralsight to link to them through there (maybe in only some circumstances). Again, just a guess though - I'm basing this on the fact that there's a subdomain pluralsight, so I suspect some link between pxf.io and Pluralsight.
    – VLAZ
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 15:18

3 Answers 3

7

Since November 2022, there is now one "sponsored post" label attached to, well, a sponsored podcast in the community bulletin (right sidebar):

A screenshot of the blogs section with one post marked as "sponsored post"

<3

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  • 1
    That is just one place, and there might still be blog posts with ads not marked as such, it depends on author and their good will. Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 11:34
  • Good point Shadow, I'll unaccept and bump when it occurs again.
    – CodeCaster
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 11:35
  • Does it depend on the author that "sponsored post" does or doesn't show up in the "The Overflow Blog" box? I would have thought that was a SO/SE feature (that they recently added). It'd be nice to know.
    – davidbak
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 12:31
  • 1
    I just updated this meta "question" to point out this positive change, which I also had, to my happy surprise, noted today.
    – davidbak
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 12:33
  • Yeah let's see whether this is now consistent (see title).
    – CodeCaster
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 12:45
  • It appears to be applied consistently, thanks again.
    – CodeCaster
    Commented Nov 25, 2022 at 11:44
3

For what it's worth, the same blog post about Keenforms has just been re-posted (with a note saying it's a re-run), and it still isn't labelled as sponsored/partner content in either the post or the sidebar link, though the other sidebar blog link is labelled as a sponsored post.

enter image description here

I guess perhaps this particular post may not have been sponsored in the sense that the author paid Stack Overflow to publish it. But even if it really isn't paid advertising, it still ought to have a prominent disclaimer at the top of the post saying that the post is about a product the author sells.

1

Another one missing the "sponsored post" label:

enter image description here

The linked post is clearly labelled as sponsored after you click through to see it, but the label is missing in the sidebar when browsing the main site.

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