There's been discussion lately about encouraging people to post questions that are only slightly GIS-related to a different SE site.

Instead of this advertisement...

enter image description here

... I would like to see questions posted from other sites that have one of my favorite tags.

For example: arcobjects is a favorite tag of mine. Both codereview.SE and gis.SE have an arcobjects tag. Therefore when I load the page, the sidebar panel should have an affinity for questions from other sites that have the arcobjects tag.


I found the term I was looking for: Contextual Advertising. The ads that appear might be based on a users favorite tag, or any number of other factors. As a geographer, I can't resist suggesting that a users Location would be a factor. But other factors could be based on things like the tags of questions recently answered. Certainly a bit of random Funk music would be acceptable, but right now the signal to noise ratio for these ads is pretty low IMO.

Update 2

Some of the advertisements, like this one, might not be suitable for many workplaces. enter image description here

  • +1 that's a great idea.
    – underdark
    May 18, 2011 at 19:53

2 Answers 2


It is possible, in theory, that we could target these house ads to your specific interests -- but the point of the ads at the moment, is to expose users to great (highly voted, hot) content from all over the network.

Like a radio DJ, we might spin a song that you like, that you wouldn't have necessarily known that you liked ahead of time. In other words, if you haven't heard funk music (yet) you couldn't have possibly listed it as a favorite.

I don't object to what you are proposing but

  • it's hard

  • we'd have to know a lot about you, and very few users list favorite tags

  • it's not really what that spot is intended for, per above

  • 1
    I had assumed that SE is working on an ad placement engine that would allow advertisers to target particular groups. If this is the case, then couldn't that engine be dogfooded to advertise SE sites? May 19, 2011 at 23:08
  • Updated question with contextual advertising elaboration. May 20, 2011 at 22:27

Maybe it should be a toggle -- some of these are quite amusing:

enter image description here

  • 1
    I guess I'm missing out on a lot of fun with AdBlock Chrome extension. oh well...
    – HDunn
    Apr 17, 2013 at 23:30

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