I saw a listing on r-sig-geo. Mentioning an upcoming training for geo-statistics in Germany.

While I am not traveling to attend it mentioned availablity to attend free online (live).

Being GIS related but not a question however with the capability of answering many.

What is appropriate?

I'm sure if I posted even as a community wiki there are many ways this violates our policies here at GIS SE.


3 Answers 3


I think this could be handled through advertising. Unfortunately, policies for advertising at SE are a bit murky.

I read somewhere that there are free advertising opportunities in the sidebar for open source projects - SO had users vote on it back in 2009 - but I don't see anything for GIS.SE. It sure seems to me SE needs to focus on getting an ad placement engine working. For example, it would make sense for an advertisement for this class to appear on an R related gis question. There should be feature in GIS.SE that would allow users to place ads there without going through a long drawn out voting process. I think the ads should appear along the side bar, not as large images, but unobtrusively - like they do in gmail.

I bet at least some of the VC's who've invested in SE are expecting tools for ad placement.


OK, I just found the link about community promotion ads. Still,

The goal is to help visitors find out about the cool stuff your community is doing and help promote activities they find important. And it’s all visible right there on the sidebar next to every question, and the homepage.

IMO it doesn't need to be next to every question - only next to relevant questions. We need to have features that allow for targeted ads.

  • 2
    ... We could have used a community promotion ad to garner questions for the ESRI UC ...
    – whuber
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 15:28
  • 1
    We now have the community promotion ad capability
    – whuber
    Commented Jul 19, 2011 at 21:24

I can appreciate your enthusiasm to share your discovery with this site — But disguising an announcement by giving it the appearance of asking a question isn't really appropriate. Even if the underlying information is useful, most folks do not react well to astroturfing. It's not a good fit for this site.

There are features on this site which are specifically designed to help community members share their interests and common goals. Part of community-building is using these places to get together and talk about the cool things happening in the GIS field. Instead of using the Q&A space, try adding to this site by contributing to one of these features to get the word out:

  • The chat system
    Chat was designed as a proverbial third place to provide a social setting to get away from the "work" of building Q&A. The chat room on this site has been egregiously underutilized. That's unfortunate. To share common interests with your fellow GIS enthusiasts, chat is a great place to start focusing your community-building efforts.

  • Community Promotion Ads
    "Ads" isn't really the best word here. The free Community Promotion Ads program is a service TO the community. With it, you build a unique "community bulletin board" where users can pin up notices to let the everyone know about intriguing events or services which might otherwise have been missed. It's for those situations where you say, "Man, I wish there was a way I could get the word out about …" Sound familiar? Here's how the ads are being used Network wide. This site should have one for exactly these types of situations.

  • Community-Operated Blogs
    Blogging is another resource communities are using to talk about subjects that interest them… and we'll do all the legwork of getting one set up for you. If you haven't already considered a blog, you should see if there is interest to create one within the GIS community.

So there are a lot of ways to share information with the community without shoehorning an announcement-question into the Q&A inappropriately.

  • as noted by our site mod @whbuer SE is thick with functionality, so it is a bit difficult to know everything and/or apply what we do know to all the options and get it right first time. Besides the question really does fulfill a desire for knowledge of such that I am working on. Along with the fact that I am not even remotely associated with the "announcement". But I do agree with the astroturfing statement. I steer clear of sites that allow that rifraf.
    – Brad Nesom
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 18:45
  • 1
    @BradNesom No worries -- that's why the SE Community Team hang around. It's our job to kind of nudge people at how to best use the platform, and in general nurture our communities. :)
    – HedgeMage
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 18:59
  • @HedgeMage- That's me: The Community Noodge... I mean Nudge. Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 19:25
  • So SE isn't trying to Get Ahead in Advertising? Commented Jul 15, 2011 at 17:02

You're right. Posting such notices is not so much a matter of violating policies as simply not fitting in, period. However, there may be some creative ways to introduce such information on our site. The trick is to focus on collecting information that is widely useful, long lasting, and factual.

One possibility is to start a thread asking people for sources of current information about GIS. Answers would refer readers to things like r-sig-geo, enabling them to be party to the same information you have. Other questions might similarly probe our community for information about what kind of training is needed, where people can obtain it, and how they can find out about it. Yet another question might ask about professional GIS societies and what they offer. This approach, properly done, provides information that will last longer and be more universal than an evanescent blurb about one opportunity at one time at one place.

  • both of these are good commentary for the subject. I sent the OP a link to the community ad instructions. It remains to be seen if he creates an ad and gets it posted. Or where he posts it.
    – Brad Nesom
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 15:25
  • @Brad Thanks. I really like @Kirk's answer, including his suggestions to streamline the process.
    – whuber
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 15:30
  • I posted on GSE something please edit/markup as fit
    – Brad Nesom
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 15:42
  • 1
    @Brad Link? (What's "GSE"?)
    – whuber
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 16:07
  • Sorry whuber, GIS Stack Exchange gis.stackexchange.com/questions/12195/…
    – Brad Nesom
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 16:35

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