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I think it's nice that there are cross network ads to have people find other SEs, but it feels to me like most of the skeptics ads are so offtopic that it detracts from the site itself:

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(Jeff asked for examples): Are you looking for examples from skeptics in general or ones that have specifically been run as ads?

Plus there's a scale difference in offtopicness between "How do I beat this level in this game" vs. any one of the discussions on sex or religion on skeptics.

If I see an ad for another site on the network I think "oh ok, this is a group of site for experts and I can apply these concepts to other things like DIY or making my own beer, cool, oh wait, a question about virginity."

Note: I'm not personally offended or anything, I just know that the Ubuntu community is a diverse place, and from scanning some of the questions on skeptics it's only a matter of time before one of those offends someone.

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    But I've ALWAYS wanted to know! :p – Marco Ceppi Jun 4 '11 at 19:21
  • that question has caused a bit of a stir 'eh :) – Stefano Palazzo Jun 4 '11 at 20:43
  • maybe these ads should be limited to question that are only moderately popular relative to others on the same site. that'd exclude all of the controversial topics – Stefano Palazzo Jun 4 '11 at 21:04
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    Or just no show skeptic.se question ads, and instead a generic skeptics.se ad that says "We have inappropriate content, come on down!" – Marco Ceppi Jun 4 '11 at 21:13
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    @marco And the answer is ... no. – user7182 Jun 4 '11 at 22:40
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    After seeing just the title of your question, I thought the complaint would be about a Windows-related ad. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jun 8 '11 at 19:34
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most of the skeptics ads

This is awfully vague; I don't find the skeptics ads that unrelated. And you're focusing on one example. I'd need to see at least 5 or 6 to be convinced. (I can point to many gaming.se ads that I feel are incredibly irrelevant, for example.)

We're more concerned about German and Japanese questions appearing for people at the moment.

  • Jeff, does adblocking these cross SE-network ads hurt your income stream? Just curious. If it didn't then it would be reasonable for people to make a rule that just blocked those if they found them distracting. – boehj Jun 6 '11 at 2:10
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    @boehj maybe, but I'd prefer to hear about which ads specifically are an issue. I fully understand why the above one in the question is .. questionable .. but I am not convinced that is more than a weird outlier. – Jeff Atwood Jun 6 '11 at 3:43
  • OK, that's clear. – boehj Jun 6 '11 at 8:37
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I don't think this problem is specific to Skeptics. For example, I personally don't have any interest in the Math questions, most of those titles are completely incomprehensible to a large part of the audience here. I don't think you'll find an easy rule to decide which questions are interesting to the audience here, and which are not. With the wide variety of subjects now on Stack Exchange, a large part of the ads will be irrelevant to the viewer.

The idea behind the ads is to show the users some SE sites they might never have visited otherwise. Skeptics gets a lot of views though questions in the Supercollider, many of our questions have a pretty wide appeal.

As for offensive titles, if the title is unnecessarily inflammatory or offensive, please flag the question on our site and we will intervene. In this specific case though the title is not the problem, but the subject itself. In this case the title is not offensive itself, although I certainly see how some people could be offended.

I don't think Skeptics ads should be removed entirely from the ad rotation for any site, but of course I'm biased as I am a moderator on Skeptics. I could see something like a blacklist for the tag for the ad rotation to keep the more technical sites safe for work. I'm not a big fan of that, but I would understand if such a filter would be implemented.

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