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As you all know, advertising is an important source of revenue for Stack Overflow and it helps us support all the sites across the Stack Exchange Network and the resources that go into maintaining and improving the experience on the platform. We are going to be introducing middle sidebar ads, which have been on the main Stack Overflow site for years, to some of the tech sites including Quantum Computing.

The middle sidebar ads have the same standards as any other ads on the platform. Ads are non-intrusive and static. Ads go through a vetting process to ensure they are appropriate for the communities on Stack Exchange. If you see an ad that may not follow our established standards and guidelines, you can let us know by using the "report this ad" functionality. Here is a mockup of what these will look like when two ads are showed (the existing ad placement and the new middle sidebar ad placement):

sample of ads on the middle side bar of the site

This ad space won’t be available for display until May 10 because we wanted to give you a heads-up before you started seeing them. Ads are an essential line of business for us and we’re committed to giving you advanced notice whenever we introduce a new form of advertising on the network sites. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.

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    $\begingroup$ Isn't there a risk that people will check the Hot Network Questions less frequently? Are there some statistics on this (just out of curiosity)? $\endgroup$ May 5, 2023 at 8:17
  • $\begingroup$ Whoever upvoted this and downvoted my answer, can you offer an explanation? The community consensus so far is that we don't want these ads on our site, but if there's good reasons to have them, I would like to see those reasons and to take them into consideration. $\endgroup$ May 9, 2023 at 18:19

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The existence of ads, especially huge ones with so much color that goes against the general "look and feel" of the site (as your example perfectly illustrates), deteriorates the user experience.

Quantum Computing Stack Exchange has already generated plenty of revenue for its host company, via sponsorship from Amazon, and previously from Strangeworks.

Quantum Computing Stack Exchange also costs the company barely anything compared to other sites that have generated zero revenue via sponsorship and still don't have these huge "middle sidebar ads", for example Mathematics SE which gets ~112,000 visits/day compared to QCSE which only gets ~1,200 visits per day.

I for one am not in favor of introducing more ads to this site, especially in the way it's being done here (e.g. with only 7 days notice and with no choice).

Out of curiosity:

  • How much does Amazon's sponsorship give the company?
  • How much does hosting QCSE cost the company?
  • How much does advertising currently give the company?
  • How much more will the new line of advertising give the company?
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