For the Community Promotion Ads program, which allows community members to place ads on certain sites that benefit other community members for free.

What are Community Promotion Ads?

Community Promotion Ads are community-vetted advertisements that will show up on the main site, in the right sidebar. Community members provide images of the advertisements in answers to a designated question for the year tagged , and community voting will enable the advertisements to be shown. The ads are cleared and refreshed every year.

The Community Promotion Ads program runs on almost all launched sites, as well as beta sites that have specifically requested it. It doesn't run on Stack Overflow; instead, a similar program known as Open Source Advertising runs. This works very similarly to Community Promotion Ads, except that the ads can only promote open source software, and ads that made it to the site in a previous cycle cannot be submitted in subsequent cycles. The same technical functionality is used for both programs, so if you have a technical question about the latter, it may be accepted on this site if it also applies to the former; for questions that only have to do with the latter, you should ask on Meta Stack Overflow.

Why have Community Promotion Ads?

This is a method for the community to control what gets promoted to visitors on the site. For example, one might promote the following things:

  • cool desktop and tablet apps
  • the site's Twitter account
  • script packs or power tools
  • cool events or conferences
  • anything else your community would genuinely be interested in

The goal is for future visitors to find out about the stuff that the community deems important. This also serves as a way to promote information and resources that are relevant to your own community's interests, both for those already in the community and those yet to join.

How do Community Promotion Ads work?

Community members interested in promoting something create an image for the ad, which will be shown as the actual ad in the right sidebar. The image must be 300 by 250 pixels, the same size as normal sponsored ads, though they may be double that size to support high-DPI screens. They then specify a tagline that is shown on mouse-over, and submit the image and tagline as an answer to the designated yearly question.

Then, other community members review the ad and determine if it's suitable for inclusion, by upvoting or downvoting the answer. Once the answer reaches a certain threshold score, it will become part of the normal advertisement cycle on the main site.