Michael A. Peters wrote:
If <aside> is not proper to use for this purpose, what would be?

<sidebar> suggests a particular type of layout.
<section> suggests content.
<nav> is appropriate for some items in a side bar, but not all, and is often a child of how <aside> is being used.
<div> give no semantics.

I would like to see a <toc> tag for nav that serves as a table of contents of sorts (what I often have at the top of a side bar) but I suspect <nav> is considered sufficient.

Maybe <sidebar> would be best, and the reference to column type layout can just be understood that isn't necessarily on the side?

Reading up on it, I saw some suggest <figure> for what some of you want <aside> used for, but a <figure> is often important content and has its own meaning so that's not exactly appropriate.

I would lean towards <div> if there is no appropriate semantic tag to markup the information. But in the case of ads, there really should be a n <ad> tag :)

The problem though with semantic tags like <ad> is that it wouldn't be used in practice by most commercial sites, because then the browser would know exactly what to rip out (or at least plugins like adblock) *lol*.

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