Stack Exchange has a budget for holding site promotional events, whether it's a sponsorship on a related site/with a related business, contests for users of the site or just about anything else that fits within a vaguely reasonable budget.

I think we should come up with some ideas to propose to get some more exposure. Since it's September and the college students are back in attendance, grabbing some of that attention could be great.

If you have an idea, flesh it out as much as you can and post it as an answer.

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    I remember that the SE team once ran a University Ambassador program I would love to hear from some chaos team members on if it was a useful initiative. – Artem Kaznatcheev Sep 14 '12 at 13:15
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    @ArtemKaznatcheev We found that the ambassador program works best on sites that have current college students who are both already pretty active on the SE site in question and are pretty involved in their academic department on campus. Students will trust someone who actually uses the site much more than someone who logged in once. The most successful ambassadors had study groups who could utilize the site when studying/doing homework; it never drove a huge influx of new users though. – Laura Sep 14 '12 at 14:20
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    Getting college students on board is a great goal; I'd encourage you to focus on getting a smaller number of people who will become regular users over a larger number of people who will only visit for a day. Good luck! :) – Laura Sep 14 '12 at 14:20
  • @Laura any pro-tips on how to encourage these regular users? I have advertised in my lab and to my friends and colleagues, but the retention has been minimal. – Artem Kaznatcheev Sep 14 '12 at 14:22
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    @ArtemKaznatcheev Because we do have a lot of rules that are unlike other online communities, try to give them a really basic overview of how the site works before they visit - let them know other people can/will edit their posts, encourage them to search for dupes before posting, etc. If you refer people, try to pay closer attention to new questions asked on the site and answer your colleagues'/friends' questions quickly if you can. If you think it appeals to them, tell them to check out the badge page and see if earning badges can be a motivating factor. – Laura Sep 14 '12 at 15:12
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    @ArtemKaznatcheev You can also let them know that it's okay (and encouraged) to ask or answer their own question. They might not be browsing the internet the whole time they're doing research, but sometimes it's really satisfying to encounter a problem, work to find the solution, and then be able to share both the problem and solution you found with a broader group of like-minded people. – Laura Sep 14 '12 at 15:13
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    Use the community to design an attractive flyer for people to print and post locally at their colleges, invite people from particular subreddits at reddit.com – Keegan Keplinger Sep 18 '12 at 18:06

If Stack Exchange have some budget to spend on promotion, I think the best would be to fund an award for students. The criterium of granting that award would be the best question/answer or the best overall score on cogsci.se. The criteria to be suitable for the award is to write the Bachelor's or Master's in one of the disciplines covered by our site and that the questions/answers are connected with the topic of the student's thesis.

My idea behind is that the best promotion of the site is the great content. And the best way to get great content is to convince experts to activly use our site. I think most of the participants will quickly find out, that it's not only an award, that the SE itself is the great help for them in writing their thesis.


Perhaps a "guerrilla" style advertising campaign at this years Society for Neuroscience Conference? Even though its a neuroscience conference there are many people from related fields. Its a huge conference! Things like stickers, flyers witch catchy slogans, etc could go a long way.

This is of course only a "to first approximation" suggestion since the conference is already almost here and perhaps paying for a booth is beyond the budget/scope. But in the future, perhaps having a small event where attendants participate in a question answer session where the best answer wins a prize? This could apply to any conference,

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