There are a few community promoted ads that have commercial purchase options.


The question open for discussion - should we allow ads to be posted for products that have free versions but are still commercial?

  • Hmm, I'm ambivalent to this.
    – Sathyajith Bhat Mod
    Commented Apr 24, 2011 at 16:29
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    I don't personally have a problem with it as long as the tools being recommended are useful, the free version doesn't contain adware or other annoyances, and it's easy to find the free version on the site. More importantly, I think it should only be acceptable if recommended and supported by members of the community - not by the developer coming to SU and submitting an ad, as happened in one case.
    – nhinkle
    Commented Apr 24, 2011 at 20:43
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    No issues here, good software is good software, I don't care if it's free/commercial/open source etc.. Commented Apr 24, 2011 at 21:12
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    Minitube is open-source software.
    – Lincity
    Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 9:40
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    @Alaukik: That doesn't mean that the entire community understands how to compile it without instructions. Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 23:26
  • I do mind as 1) somehow I thought it was non-commercial but clicking the minitube ad indeed proved me wrong (and made me search for the rules, hence this post); 2) Jeff has a good point about selling ads for commercial products. So: good question, -1 for not wanting it.
    – Arjan
    Commented Nov 12, 2011 at 10:14
  • Alaukik, even knowing it was open source after reading @Tom's comment, I somehow could not easily find a reference to the source code at the linked product page. (Yes, it is in plain sight, but somehow I was focused on OS.) That aside, I agree with Tom about many not being able to compile it. And it's not some 99 cent app, but €8.99.
    – Arjan
    Commented Nov 12, 2011 at 10:22

1 Answer 1


I don't have any problem with commercial software being promoted.

For example Camtasia is simply the most user friendly software for making screencasts and for example Snagit (also from Techsmith) is a great tool for making screenshots.

While Open Office is a great initiative, I found myself a lot less productive without Microsoft Office.

However, when browsing through our very own Must have Windows programs- question, these were the only two I could come up with from the highest voted results. So what's my point? There's not that much great software out there, that doesn't have a better free alternative!

Furthermore, because there's being voted on the ads, users will decide whether or not they want to promote a product. This also means its futile to make a (spammy) ad for your own product, because the users will vote it down with a vengeance.

So I'd say: let the community take care of it, unless something very bad happens.

  • 3
    while this is noble, you realize we sell ads for commercial software, yes? And this is used to pay our salaries and fund the development and growth of the network. Therefore, allowing commercial things to get "free" advertising is.. highly questionable. Commented Apr 29, 2011 at 6:01
  • Then why ask the question in the first place? @Jeff
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Apr 29, 2011 at 9:24
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    I thought maybe the community would connect the dots between "free advertising" and "open source / community projects only". I guess we need to connect those dots for you, then? Commented Apr 29, 2011 at 9:28

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