The main page contains a listing of recent blog posts and podcasts from Stack Overflow. Many of these are utterly unsuited to a site devoted to Sci-fi and Fantasy, often relating to features that are unavailable to SFF:SE, jobs listings and other irrelevancies spilling over from Stack Overflow. Heck, the latest one isn't even in English.

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Can we just opt out of them entirely? I'm sure if anyone wants to listen to the latest blogpost

"brought to you by Stack Overflow Jobs"

they can go over to the appropriate page on Stack Overflow and click.

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    @amaranth - I don't mean just for me, I mean for everyone. – Valorum Mar 14 '17 at 22:40
  • @amaranth - I've suggested something similar in the past; meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/q/6857/20774 – Valorum Mar 14 '17 at 22:42
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    @amaranth - That was also a concern. While I don't mind SE management spewing their liberal agenda all over SO, I'd hate for us to be drawn into that. – Valorum Mar 14 '17 at 22:46
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    I'm pretty sure the answer is no. Like it or not, this site is part of the wider SE network, run by the company Stack Overflow, which means they have the right to advertise their blog posts at us. To paraphrase Shog9, "We can't advertise our latest personal project in the sidebar of the site. They can, have, and will." Having to see the occasional irrelevant blog post from Spolsky et al is the price of being part of the SE network. – Rand al'Thor Mar 14 '17 at 23:11
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    While I agree with the sentiment, I doubt company interests would favour such an approach. ;-) – TARS says Reinstate Monica Mar 14 '17 at 23:14
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    They have a blog? – Kevin Mar 18 '17 at 2:25

The post for Stack Overflow en Español should not be in the community bulletin except on that site. That bug is getting fixed as I write.

As for other blog posts, including the excellent interview with Jenn Schiffer, there are no plans to change the community bulletin feed. For one thing, we occasionally use the blog to publish information specifically of interest to the network as a whole. For another, many sites that are not Stack Overflow are still geared toward the topics we include on the blog. Finally, even sites that are focused on less programmery topics still include many users who are nonetheless interested in the blog.

Advertising (and to be clear, using the sidebar for the blog is advertising) is a necessary evil. Our ad sales department doesn't run paid advertising on this site which leaves that space for community promotion ads. This could change in the future if we have clients interested in buying ads appropriate for Science Fiction and Fantasy. It doesn't make sense either for users or advertisers to run ads that don't pique the interest of readers of this site.

Stack Overflow blog posts in the sidebar remind me a little of spots promoting other shows on a TV network. While it can be a bit strange to see a serious news program being pitched between sitcom episodes, I recognize that some people truly are interested in both types of programming. Sometimes I've even seen ads for the parent company. NBC, owned by GE, is particularly strange with spots for power generators, jet engines and medical devices. While they sometimes fail to be ideally targeted, I do hope they entertain and amuse. And unlike GE ads, at least you know they will only stick around for a few days.

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    99% of them are utterly irrelevant though. – Valorum Mar 14 '17 at 23:54
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    @Valorum Irrelevant to sci-fi and fantasy? Yes. Irrelevant to the users of SFF.SE? Well, I expect a majority of them are programmers and/or SO users. People like you and me are in the minority; there are probably lots of users, even here on SFF, who find those posts interesting. Anyway, as I said up above, the company has the right to advertise at us in this way. We, the community, have no real say in the matter. Think of it as their fee for letting us use their network for our Q&A. – Rand al'Thor Mar 15 '17 at 0:07
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    @Valorum: It's funny how often I read a SFF question title in the sidebar on another site, get all excited about the question and discover it was about the movie and not the book. ;-) Relevancy is tricky. – Jon Ericson Mar 15 '17 at 0:11
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    @Jon This site does have way too much focus on movies over books :-( – Rand al'Thor Mar 15 '17 at 0:13
  • @Randal'Thor - User14111 wants us to be a "book-only" site. – Valorum Mar 15 '17 at 0:16
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    @Valorum He also wants it to be an ID-only site, though, so there's that. ;-) – TARS says Reinstate Monica Mar 15 '17 at 0:54
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    @Randal'Thor I imagine people who go to SE for this kind of stuff also visit more "relevant" sites - Super User, SO, AskUbuntu. They can read it there. If it is utterly impossible to get rid of that, I'd suggest that block is expanded a bit to fit all the posts that are featured here, and SO blog posts be flushed to the bottom of the block – Gallifreyan Mar 15 '17 at 12:14
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    @Gallifreyan Eh, even the techy ones can affect non-techy users (like one of the current ones, network-wide https) – Izkata Mar 17 '17 at 2:57
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    "For one thing, we occasionally use the blog to publish information specifically of interest to the network as a whole." So why not only occasionally put it on every site's sidebar? – David Richerby Mar 19 '17 at 0:44
  • I don't know if they could be shared, or exist, but I would be interested in click-thru rate comparisons, by stack, to see which stacks are actually are benefiting from or utilizing the sidebar (and if there's general trends or if it changes every post). – user31178 Mar 20 '17 at 5:59
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    @Randal'Thor - I'm a programmer. if I want to see programmer related content, i'll go over to SO (and/or, have the bloody blog RSS in my RSS feed, as I AM a programmer and tech savvy chest thump). I utterly do NOT care to see anything SO related on SFF. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 20 '17 at 15:06

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