Last year I announced a "site sponsorship" program aimed at industry and project-team leaders to help drive more support to these sites. You can read more about how Site Sponsorships work below:
Today, I am excited to announce that Stack Overflow for Teams has become an official sponsor for the Software Engineering site. Typically, "sponsorships" are built from 3rd-party partnerships intended to work alongside the community to help drive resources to the site and provide solutions in that space.
But this sponsorship is going to be a bit different.
This sponsorship was set up to showcase how organizations can help support the community and highlight their role in that subject space. For the Teams role, it's a bit of dogfooding to learn how sponsorships work from the sponsor's point-of-view and to hopefully inspire more active development in our Q&A sites.
Stack Overflow for Teams selected Software Engineering because it is a successful community and a good demographic fit. Software Engineers often work in projects teams with institutional knowledge of their own, and we're looking for ways to increase awareness in the Teams Q&A product.
On a personal note, I'm hoping this first-hand experience will help inspire our developers to invest more resources in the Stack Exchange Q&A. Appealing to industry partnerships more broadly is just one way to create more value in what you have built here… for project teams AND the community.
How would a sponsorship affect this site?
Site sponsorships are administered much like the "tag sponsorships" you may have seen on other sites. Apart from the visual updates and site links, you should not see any significant changes in the scope or the operation of this site. Site sponsorship is essentially "strategic philanthropy" where industry partners can give back to developer communities by having a presence on the site and provide a place to help ask and answer questions.
Let's get a few immediate concerns out of the way
First — a sponsor would not "own" the Q&A site. Sponsors work alongside our communities who ultimately build these sites. Communities ask the questions; communities conduct elections; communities moderate their own content as they do now. Any ads a sponsor might submit still have to go through our crazy-strict editorial process… as it has always been. Companies do not have access to personal data, and all Q&A content remains irrevocably licensed under Creative Commons for sharing and attribution.
I am energized about the potential for working with companies in this space to expand our sites' growth and to help bring in new communities and maybe even build out some new features for Q&A sites like this. Every site will ultimately benefit.
I continue to be impressed by just how attuned our marketing team and partners have been to the concerns of our Q&A sites. We will work hard to find organizations who are willing to cede so much control back to the community. It can be difficult to anticipate all the hiccups we might encounter along the way, but we remain steadfast in the guiding principle that these ideas should NOT interfere with the main experience of the Q&A, and the companies we have worked with to date seem to fit that relationship and expectation to a T.