As I prepare to ship v1.1 of Six to Eight, I'm curious as to what ideas other people might have for Stack Exchange app marketing. How do we reach Stack Exchange users without either annoying them with spammy messages or spending a fortune (or, indeed, anything beyond time).

Six to Eight has been about as successful as I'd hoped so far. I've shipped around 1000 copies: around 450 on the day it first hit the App Store and Jeff tweeted it, 150 when it came 3rd in the SE API competition, then a steady trickle at about 50 new downloads a week. I'm happy, but I think there're more users out there who might like it.

My only real ideas so far are posting on the meta sites, which I've rejected as being too spam like. I guess I could buy Stack Exchange ad space, but I've got no marketing budget for a free app. I like to encourage users to spread the word, especially to the audience on the new Stack Exchanges, but I don't know how.

How are other developers promoting their work, and what can I do to encourage more adoption?

4 Answers 4


Well, there's always StackList. I intended it to fill the role you just described.

  • Ah, but how does one advertise StackList? :) Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 6:55
  • @George @Adam, what about an advertisement contest for out apps on meta? Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 22:22
  • @system: Sure - sounds like a good idea. Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 23:45
  • @George Ah, I thought you would write an answer to share your opinion. You know all the things about advertising contest (you have an apps for the purpose) and you could say if it would be good for our apps or not. Commented Oct 20, 2010 at 6:29
  • @system: Ya, I think it would be a great idea... I just didn't give an answer to your question because there was already one there that I agreed with 100% and upvoted it. Commented Oct 20, 2010 at 18:50

I would break down and buy ad space, and just put an ad or two in your app. But, from experience, DO NOT USE MOBCLIX!!!!! [rant] When I first signed up, they would send you you're money every quarter (regardless of balance, which is why I decided to use them). Then, WITHOUT NOTICE they changed it so you had to have over $100 before they payed you. It took me nearly 6 weeks to fight it, telling them that I never accepted the new terms, but even then, they only gave me what I earned from when I started using them to when they changed the rules, so I only got about $10 instead of the $30. [/rant]

  • Nothing wrong with ranting - saves us some trouble down the road. Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 1:26
  • Ugh, I hate in-app advertising. I'd rather pay $.99, or even $2. That said, I'm not sure how this applies in any way to what Adam was asking... Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 2:58
  • It's a good idea in principle, but I'm keen to keep the free version of Six to Eight entirely free - no cost, no ads. It won the competition in the state it's in, and I feel it would be sleazy to suddenly make it ad laden or pricy. I do plan a Six to Eight "Enthusiast" edition in the future with more features that would have a small cost, but that won't cover any real ad buys. Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 6:54

The first thing you should do is to update your SO|SE profile linking and describing Six to eight; learn to sponsor yourself.
Then try to became the new Jon Skeet (Jon has 156106 views on his profile), ok just kidding here.

I think we can't market our apps here on StackApps, we don't have enough audience and this engine, with limited appysh features, can't be our Apps-place (Check my answers here)
In brief:

  • StackApp should be improved introducing a well organized stackapp-store section, splitting technical stuff from Apps.

  • StackApp should be advertised: the first noob to the oldest guru should know the existence of StackApps. Imho StackApps is currently used by a small small niche of Meta aficionados users that is a small niche of the 200K users of just Stack Overflow. Add a Tools tab to the header, place a big banner..whatever you want. I think a small link on the footer and blog posts are just not enough.

I believe that SOFI has not enough resources, time and interests to build an app-store for our apps.

That said, I have two proposals:

  1. Improve the great StackList with full blown domain, sexy layout and massive ads
  2. Propose on meta an advertisement bar contest for our Apps

For what it's worth, I've asked a permission for a StackApps sidebar contest on meta:

  • 1
    Great idea about adding the app to my SO profile. I agree with the need for some kind of "App hub" site for end users. I rather think that SOF Inc. need to have a better end user master for the whole network, that could include apps that offer other ways of accessing the network or using the data. Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 10:46
  • 1
    @Adam It would be cool but I don't think they will invest time in developing an out-of-standard infrastructure just for our apps.At the moment they have a lot of work on other more important things . Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 12:39
  • I suspect you're right, but they really need to focus more on their power users/enthusiasts. It's what builds communities. Alienating them or making them feel abandoned is a sure fire way to let them drift off, and if I do say so myself, we're hard to replace. Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 13:28
  • @Adam I know, but we are a lot of people here on SO|SE (500K?) and it's really difficult for them to satisfy everyone. Anyway we could ask to Jeff|Robert what is the future of StackApps. Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 13:38

I think a banner like the "You have one new response" banner at the top of each site to "advertise" Stacklist as place to find apps would be best. Even if only for 1 day or 2.

I don't see how that is spam, especially as it's not advertising a specific app. In fact I think stacklist should become part of stackexchange in that its got some presence on it.

StackList could be improved by reducing the size of the text as it is you can't see much on screen at once.

Libraries should be in a seperate section, and really more geeky things (i think like StackGuru) should have different section to apps like Six to Eight that are for the end user.

I'm not sure exactly but the checkered dark background just makes the text a little hard to read. Also reducing the size of the header as it serves no real purpose at that size.

The front page should have a recently added list, and a box for the most popular app of a certain time frame.

Also you should be able to select your device/platform and then gets apps based on that, so like Have some columns, Web Browsers and then below that indented Chrome, Firefox etc, Mobile Devices, again below that and indented WebOS, iPhone (iOS) etc.

Also not sure if you can already do this as I haven't submitted anything (yet hopefully) but be able to have users submit bugs/feedback that will show to the developer

Also i think that if you list your app on StackList you should have a link somewhere relatively visible in your app linking back to StackList, hopefully something not size 2 font right at the bottom of the about page.

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