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Add a "site maintenance" category to blog.stackoverflow.com, and post a quick note to it prior to doing updates. It wouldn't have to be anything more than "site down for 1hr while we upgrade the OS to support more RAM", and even that is more than is necessary.

It would also be useful when doing significant batch retagging (especially if the feature were updated to post the note automatically) and for notes about unplanned outages/slowdowns.

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This would be very helpful indeed when the site outages are actually expected.

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This presupposes that the outages are ever expected. –  Hilarious Comedy Pesto Jul 14 '09 at 13:31
    
@Pesto: Well, in the case of an unexpected outage, I can only ask them to hurry up and get running again so we don't have to watch 500 people post the same "Is stackoverflow down?" question as soon as it comes back. I don't want them to waste any time with notices at that point. –  GEOCHET Jul 14 '09 at 14:09

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