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Community Bulletin was redesigned on June 23, 2014

More info on Redesigned community bulletin.

Look! Look at the wonderful yellowness of it all!

As some of you may have noticed, there's a new feature on Stack Exchange:

The Community Bulletin box is a tool for the community to promote events and initiatives that are important to them. On-site activities like tag cleanup events, chat events, and weekly topic contests are some examples of things to promote in the community bulletin.

The origins of this yellow grab bag of information are a suggestion by iKnowKungFoo: Should SO/SE have a Community Calendar? and another from Isaac Moses: Provide a non-system-message channel for moderators to contact all users. Both of these ended up approaching very similar problems from very different directions...

Every community needs some public area to post notices of general interest. Meta works to a certain extent, but not everyone visits meta. We needed a fixed, visible place to display this stuff that would be easy to find but wouldn't intrude upon the normal content of the site (in the way that system messages do).

So after a considerable amount of internal discussion, we came up with some fairly simple rules for displaying moderator elections, current events, blog posts, meta posts and hot meta discussions.

(For the specific details, see: How are the contents of the Community Bulletin determined?)

Note that this replaces the "Visit Meta" sidebar block, which had very similar rules for what got displayed... But didn't consistently show up anywhere itself!

This makes it pretty easy for everyone to have at least some say in what gets shown there. Anyone can start a meta discussion. Moderators can feature them if they need some extra attention, and they can schedule events to promote chat discussion, contests, conferences, etc.

The create new event UI

There are two missing pieces though:

  1. It's not particularly functional for Stack Overflow, because there's no way to create per-tag events. Apart from things like Meetups and major cleanup efforts, there aren't a lot of events that are worth intruding on every single reader's view.

  2. The best part - scheduled events - is moderator-only.

The reason for omitting both of these initially is to give y'all a chance to play with it a bit without getting too crazy. With no gatekeepers in place, a bulletin board quickly starts to look a bit... messy.

A photograph of a messy bulletin board

So for now, when you have something you'd like to announce, create a meta post describing the event and tag it - you can then use this post to describe, discuss, and collect votes (for and against) the proposed event. If it gets sufficient activity, a moderator should then step in and add it to the site's calendar.

Use it! Together with community promotion ads, this is your space to talk about yourselves, share important news and keep each other informed of what's going on. We're excited to see what you can come up with...

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3  
Oh, it is coMMunity bulletin after all... ;) –  Yannis May 1 '12 at 2:32
2  
Who uses nails on a bulletin board? Push pins seem more viable. –  animuson May 1 '12 at 2:45
    
Was that CC footer on the Flickr photo autogenerated for you? –  random May 1 '12 at 2:53
4  
Hell no. I drew it by hand. With SOFTWARE. Because I care about copyright and attribution and being able to put "Bisbee Bulletin Board" in an image. –  Shog9 May 1 '12 at 2:54
    
So can I use this to tell users to stop flagging or commenting on questions in a certain manner and annoying the hell out of us? –  BoltClock's a Unicorn May 1 '12 at 3:09
    
@Bolt: No, that's what the "delete" and "decline" buttons are for. –  Cody Gray May 1 '12 at 3:20
    
@The Establishment: If only people read decline reasons. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn May 1 '12 at 3:29
    
Well, now that we actually have a place to promote contests, we should probably come up with a few. And no, being the next great programmer to kick the bucket isn't a contest. –  Tim Post May 1 '12 at 5:58
    
When is this feature going to be rolled out to all sites? I still don't see it in Linguistics... –  Alenanno May 7 '12 at 9:46
    
@Alenanno - we're waiting on some design changes, but it should be enabled on most of the beta sites within the next day. The rest of the graduated sites will take a bit longer, since it has to be integrated into their designs. –  Shog9 May 8 '12 at 4:35
    
@Shog9 Thanks. :) I was waiting for this feature! –  Alenanno May 8 '12 at 9:26
    
Is it possible to add recurring events, like a weekly chat? –  Neil Fein May 8 '12 at 21:28
    
@Neil: not yet; you'd need to add each occurrence manually. –  Shog9 May 8 '12 at 21:30
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