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On Drupal Answers, the number of meta posts shown on the Community Bulletin is, at moment I am writing this question, 2. Previously, there was just a single meta post linked from that block, and it was a post; the total number of links was the same, as there was a link to a blog post more.

screenshot

What are the criteria used to show the links in that block? Do the links to blog posts or event posts have the priority?

For instance, there were new posts on https://drupal.meta.stackexchange.com/, and the second question linked from the block is actually the 41st question shown on the front page.

screenshot

Now that the event expired, this is what the block shows, in different moments of the same day. (The screenshots have been taken at a distance of not more than 2 hours.)

screenshot screenshot

screenshot screenshot

  • (As an aside: more general info about it in New Community Bulletin box in side area, but you being a moderator on Drupal I guess its answers about some "Mod Links menu" are not about what you're asking now? And the old "featured" thingy was explained by Jeff in a comment to another post.) – Arjan Apr 28 '12 at 18:58
  • I am interested in how the automatically added links are added/handled. I see moderators are able to add new events (and in this case, there is just an event added from a Stack Exchange's employee). In this case there is a link about a blog post, and two links about meta posts; it is not clear to me in which way those two links are selected, and what the criteria for showing blog/meta post links is. – kiamlaluno Apr 28 '12 at 19:11
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    The name "Community Bulletin" is no longer used, but the box is still referred to by that name. Those keywords were there so that people searching for any of those newer terms would find this question. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Jul 25 at 6:57
  • @Sonic Which keywords? The question has already a very specific tag. I have not seen "keywords" added to questions about old features not implemented nowadays. – kiamlaluno Jul 25 at 10:05
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The rules are as follows:

  • If there is a community moderator election, a link to it appears in the bulletin.

  • Events can be created with a start date and time, an end date and time, a simple title, and a link to something somewhere on the network. Current or upcoming events are listed, with those starting or ending nearest to the current time shown first.

  • If there are fewer than four events, blog posts from the Stack Exchange blog are added to the list. A maximum of two posts will be shown, and only those posted in the past n days, where n is currently 10 on International versions of Stack Overflow, and 5 everywhere else. International sites have their own feeds on the company blog and do not list posts from the main English feed.

  • If there are still fewer than four items listed, then meta posts are shown.

  • On sites other than Stack Overflow, if there are still under 4 items, the rest of the space is filled with hot questions not marked , scoring at least 3 and posted within the past two weeks. These are picked semi-randomly. (Note that the timing, score and tags can be adjusted per-site to suit the needs of each community).

If there are any featured or hot meta posts, at least two will always be added to the list, even if it pushes the length over 4.

Additionally, up to two posts from Meta Stack Exchange will appear in the community bulletins of all main sites (but no child meta sites). These are also labeled "meta". Note that these will appear in addition to all of the other stuff listed above, so the list of community bulletin posts might appear longer than usual, depending on the individual site circumstances.

The URLs are checked at each stage to prevent duplicate items from being displayed (so that, for instance, a hot discussion post with the tag linked to a scheduled event won't ever fill 3 of the 4 slots). Items are considered identical if the URL and Title match or if they both point to the same question or answer on any Stack Exchange site (so that changing the title of a hot meta post linked from a scheduled event won't inadvertently result in it appearing twice).

  • Thank you for the answer. Is there an explanation about why the Community Bulletin passes from showing only the featured post, to showing more posts, and then back to showing only the featured post? I noticed that in the past days, and I don't understand why it happens, if there are already posts matching the required criteria. – kiamlaluno May 1 '12 at 11:50
  • @kiamlaluno: is this still happening? It could be a factor of how the hot algorithm works, or it could be a bug in the logic that picks questions from that list. – Shog9 May 22 '12 at 22:33
  • I noticed it also recently. I should check again when blog entries are not shown. Should I ask a question just for that, if I see that happening again? – kiamlaluno May 22 '12 at 22:41
  • @kiam: this should be fixed now. – Shog9 May 24 '12 at 0:25
  • Is this still how it works? The CB on Board and Card Games only seems to have one item at present, an ordinary meta post... – ire_and_curses Jan 4 '13 at 18:51
  • @ire_and_curses: yup. B&CG doesn't have a very active meta - only two recent questions, only one meeting this criteria. – Shog9 Jan 4 '13 at 19:06
  • Ah, I didn't read the algorithm carefully enough. Got it, thanks! – ire_and_curses Jan 4 '13 at 19:10
  • Does closed Q's apply into the algorithm? – Braiam Mar 16 '14 at 4:55
  • Added a parenthetical, @Aziz - thanks! – Shog9 Jul 29 '15 at 16:39
  • So, now we would not have a warranty that there would be at least 1 hot meta post? – Braiam Nov 16 '17 at 12:10
  • I'm not sure there was ever a warranty of that, @Braiam; these rules were originally the spec for the implementation, but I recently revised them to match the actual implementation - I don't know off-hand when the implementation diverged from the original spec, but the actual behavior for quite some time has been "always link at least one hot or featured meta post" without regard to which source. – Shog9 Nov 16 '17 at 17:34
  • Exactly, but now the specs read as "there will not be hot meta post if featured and or blogs use the 4 available spots", which diverge from the historic behavior that you describe ("there will be at least 1 hot meta post even if we have to go over 4 items") as it was reported a couple times as a not fulfilled promise. – Braiam Nov 16 '17 at 17:46
  • You misunderstand me, @Braiam. I'm saying it hasn't worked that way for a long time; I'm not entirely sure it ever worked that way [Edit: I looked up the revision history of the code in question - it never worked that way]. This post exists to document the behavior of the bulletin - originally, that information was drawn from the spec, but given that wasn't accurate I updated it to reflect the actual implementation. – Shog9 Nov 16 '17 at 17:51

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