Stack Overflow is turning 10 soon, and we're going to be throwing some shindigs here and there to help celebrate it. While some of it will be exclusively on MSO, quite a bit of it will be asking all of our friends to join in. I don't want to spoil it, but it's mostly going to involve us giving you stuff.

What's really, really cool is, right after these festivities, we'll soon be heading into another installment of Winter Bash! So the fun days start a little sooner this year, neat! Hence, we've gotta get a better feel on what we need to stock up on in general, so I'm asking here.

We could use some inspiration.

We're good with T-shirts and stickers, but we'd like to do some special stuff for the anniversary. When's the last time you said HAPPY TENTH BIRTHDAY HERE, HAVE A CHEESY PEN! -- I know, right? And while I'll argue that an abacus could be a thought that counts, we're hoping to get a little more original.

We'd like to get a feel - would folks like wearable stuff more than, say, stuff that would look nifty on a desk or a shelf? Would you be up for consumables like, say, gourmet jelly beans (totally Vegan) or chocolates, or perhaps more utility-oriented stuff like bluetooth speakers, messenger bags, etc? (Well, I guess bags are wearable, but hopefully you get what I'm after)

We can't promise anything, but we're going to be ordering the minimum of quite a few things in preparation for having a bunch of smaller events.

I reiterate, we'll have plenty of shirts and stickers.

Don't worry about the usual stuff, we're more interested in some limited edition just to celebrate Stack Overflow turning 10, and one heck of a year in general.

Any ideas or inspiration? We're going to be sending final ideas to our printer in about a week, and ordering quantities based on demand from the events we throw, so speak up soon if there's something in particular that strikes your fancy.

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    Didn't Stack Overflow already turn 10 on July 31? – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Aug 31 at 17:27
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    Is cannabis legal in NY state? Cannabis is legal, right? Or, at least you can get it somewhere, I think. – Won't Aug 31 at 19:58
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    (note to busybodies: no, I'm not a pothead--I giggle like an idiot on the stuff. I'm already enough of an idiot without it, thankyouverymuchbuymeashotyoucheapbastards) – Won't Aug 31 at 19:59
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    Who is the printer referred to in the last paragraph? Can they print on curved surfaces, such as might be found on, oh, I don't know, let me think of something at random.... a rubber duck? – Andrew Morton Aug 31 at 21:22
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    I don't know, I've always wanted to own an abacus . . . – Jason Bassford Aug 31 at 21:36
  • @AndrewMorton Printex, I do believe – ArtOfCode Aug 31 at 21:39
  • What do I have to do to earn some of this swag? – ChrisF Aug 31 at 21:40
  • @ArtOfCode Ha ha. Which one of the thousand Printex companies would that be then? :) (Although if it's the one in Walthamstow, I could visit them.) – Andrew Morton Aug 31 at 21:42
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    @AndrewMorton Good question... though I'll guarantee you it's not in Walthamstow, or I'd be in possession of rather more swag :) It's a US company. One of them. – ArtOfCode Aug 31 at 22:18
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    While the question mentions Stack Overflow explicitly I assume the whole network is going to be involved in the celebrations. There is no need to close this for only being applicable to a single site. Remember to be all inclusive .... – rene Sep 1 at 11:57
  • The GDP Pocket 2 (the 8GB model) (hexus.net/tech/news/laptop/…) is both wear-ables and desk-ables. – VonC Sep 4 at 7:39
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    If this'd be SE's birthday I'd vote for SE-themed waffle irons... For both the flair and the waffles :) – Seth Sep 4 at 8:24
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    The choice is obvious. As we all know, a programmer is an organism that turns caffeine into software. A coffee mug is therefore a very important programming tool, to the point where questions about coffee mugs should be perfectly on-topic on SO (as long as they aren't asking about coffee mug recommendations). – Lundin Sep 28 at 11:43
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    Tesla has flame thrower. May we have a SO super soaker? – Drag and Drop Sep 28 at 12:13
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    @Prune And it should say "Welcome to <name>! I can't answer right now. It would be helpful if you could provide more details and describe what you have attempted so far, in the form of a minimal, complete and verifiable example." – Lundin Oct 4 at 9:51

41 Answers 41

Plush unicorns! People on meta have asked for the Stackicorn in the past, have even expressed willingness to pay for it if only you'd make them. Bonus: in the future you might be able to print different "shirts" (say, for different sites) or add other decorations.

picture of stackicorn

  • 6
    RIP the traveling unicorn – Tim Stone Aug 31 at 21:38
  • @TimStone what in the world happened!?! – Braiam Sep 11 at 21:23
  • @Braiam she missed a connection in her world tour. (Translation: lost in the mail. So sad! She and all the mementos she was traveling with!) – Monica Cellio Sep 12 at 0:35
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    also know as "she is now part of the personal collection of some Stack memorabilia hunter." – Derpy Sep 27 at 15:33
  • What a beautiful unicorn! – Black Thunder Oct 2 at 7:44
  • I want this badly – Mr. Alien Oct 4 at 8:03

I'm a big fan of things I can wear or use in front of other people, to get both the utility and the chance to prompt questions that can start a conversation. I make a point of wearing my various SE shirts when traveling, for example (airports are full of random people, after all). Shirts aren't the only thing in this category, though.

I'd love an SO-branded backpack, small enough to fit under the seat in front of me and large enough to hold all the usual stuff one wants to have at hand -- a tablet or two, battery packs, power cords, even a laptop. I've gotten a couple of these at conferences, but I'd much rather promote Stack Overflow than some conference that was two years ago, y'know?

  • As a reference: Case Logic was tapped to make a lovely UberConf 2018 backpack, which is functional and stylish (if not annoyingly orange). Having one of those would almost be better than a hoodie. At least, it's easier to acquiesce to. – Makoto Aug 31 at 21:09
  • @Makoto I can use the backpack year-round, but the hoodie only during certain certain times of year. (Hoodies are nice, mind; there's just less impact.) – Monica Cellio Aug 31 at 21:27
  • I'm a person who wears a hoodie as a default form of clothing year round - but I do agree with your sentiment. – Makoto Aug 31 at 21:35
  • Its worth noting that SE's had terrible luck with hoodies so far - I might be able to recommend the company my old employers used if that's an option cause they've held up fantastically over the years. I'd love a backpack though but that's cause I swear I never have enough of em. – Journeyman Geek Sep 1 at 13:35
  • I think it’d be grand to have an SO question—one of several, perhaps—printed on the backpack. So not only would there be a logo, but also a sample of what the site is about. – Rethunk Sep 2 at 14:25
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    A backpack would be great, you can carry it each day without your colleagues looking funny and making sniffing noises as they certainly would with a t-shirt :-) – nvoigt Sep 4 at 14:05
  • Backpack with velcro strips so we can add our velcro Stack Exchange patches and any others we have! – Rory Alsop Sep 27 at 16:11
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    And those mesh holders on the sides (on the outside) for the SO water bottles we might have. – Monica Cellio Sep 27 at 16:12
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    @RoryAlsop funny thing is my backpack has those. And a HAD (from adafruit) and SE patch – Journeyman Geek Sep 28 at 5:10
  • @Journeyman - my camelbak has those, and some mesh holders, and my Goon patch, but it is nearing EoL :-( – Rory Alsop Sep 28 at 17:58
  • This is the best answer. – gsamaras Oct 4 at 13:51

A Stack Overflow-branded rubber duck would be nice, preferably a fully-functioning one (i.e. it floats on water).

(The Quack Overflow feature was presented on all sites in this calendar year.)

By gaetanlee (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gaetanlee/298160434/) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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    The problem with rubber ducks is that they are totally irrelevant and meaningless to members of the other 130 SE sites. If the swag is meant only for SO users it should be clearly stated. – Mari-Lou A Aug 31 at 20:20
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    @Mari-LouA Are you suggesting that members of the other 130 SE sites do not bathe? – Andrew Morton Aug 31 at 20:26
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    @Mari-LouA the rubber-duck story originates with programming, but the concept of explaining your problem before asking the Internet for help applies everywhere. That's why the rubber duck on April 1 wasn't just on SO. – Monica Cellio Aug 31 at 20:37
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    @Mari-LouA You are massively underestimating the "duckness" of other sites! see e.g. tex.stackexchange.com/q/346695/36296 – samcarter Sep 3 at 17:20
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    We have rubber ducks for Code Review, FYI :) – JNat Sep 5 at 17:43

Hoodie or Jacket

I know a lot of people have asked for hoodies and jackets in the past.

If those are available again, I think they would be very popular.

  • Alexander for President :D Hoodies and Jackets are best thing that one can get. – The Dictator Oct 1 at 8:29

A list of 'freebies' I have been given over the years, that were actually useful:

  • A lunchbox. Makes for a great conversation starter during lunch, and helps maintain a healthy lifestyle. You want your userbase to be healthy, right?
  • An insulated travel mug/bottle. Those are great on cold winter days in public transport, and you can fill them up at work with loads of coffee/tea and keep your productivity levels on par. Decals are suggested here, but I prefer the lazy way of already having them put on when they arrive.
  • A laptop/tablet sleeve. If for whatever reason you're not going with the laptop bag/backpack suggested by Monica, a sleeve works well too. I use them regularly to keep my tablet/laptop safe while travelling.
  • Sticky notes. I prefer to stick small to-do lists and notes on my laptop/pc, instead of entering them into a mobile phone or JIRA.
  • A (3d printed) desk organizer. You know, those things that hold your pens, scissors, crochet hooks, magnets, sticky notes, safety pins, pencil sharpener, and whatever other small loose items might be found roaming a desk.
  • Those little umbrellas. The ones that fold up, fit in every backpack/purse, and break during the first real winter storm. I promise I will only use an SE one for gentle spring showers!
  • Beach towels. If we're talking rain and cold weather, we should also have something for sunny days too!

I do like getting food stuff (chocolate, mints, whatever) at conferences, but I feel it's a little bit too 'perishable' for a 10th birthday celebration. I'm not going to frame and hang a chocolate bar wrapper as a memento.

So, mostly, I like the idea of wearables, or stuff I can actually use, that doesn't break by looking at it. As far as I'm concerned, there's not really enough room on either my desk or shelves to put something that just 'looks neat'. It needs to be useful.

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    +1 for towels ! – Bergi Sep 27 at 17:07

Playing cards.

I would love to see Stack Overflow or Stack Exchange-branded playing cards. It would be even better if we could choose a site that the cards would be branded as, but I understand that that may be asking for too much, since it is SO's birthday after all.

It would also be nice to have a nice tin to store the cards in when not playing.

  • I'd want two so I could play Pinochle with 'em. (Or just a Pinochle deck.) – 1201ProgramAlarm Sep 1 at 2:26
  • Nice idea. Figuring out what designs go on the cards (aces, face cards, backs, etc.) could be an intractable problem, though. – SOLO Sep 28 at 20:54

Keychains

I'd love a keychain (not to be confused with a lanyard) - to add to my key ring or hang from a loop on my bag. Enamel keychains look especially nice, but there's a lot of options. They're small and not too expensive, and we all know someone who could use help keeping track of their keys ;)

Hats

I think hats would be a great addition to an (eventual) totally SO-branded outfit - we already have a t-shirt after all :).

The designs for those you can (probably) steal from a previous question (but with updated logos of course): Hats are too awesome for Stack Exchange not to have!

  • To the best of my knowledge, the only (physical) hats SE has ever made are the diamond moderator ballcaps. Usually, I like a good hat, but adding additional types of SE hats would dilute the awesomeness of the diamond hats in my eyes. – SOLO Sep 28 at 20:57
  • ​I​ ​c​on​c​u​r​​​ – The Guy with The Hat Oct 2 at 19:51

Mugs and coasters are timeless classics. Cheap and "inclusive", you don't need to be a nerd to use either.

How about shot glasses - with the logo of each site you have over X rep (or are a mod on). Gotta collect em all!

I'd love a set of glasses matching my flair

Lanyards

I don't know if it's something that's been created before for SO/SE, but I'm a big fan of collecting lanyards. They're cheap, easy, and with a badge at work I find myself always needing one.

  • I posted that as well: meta.stackexchange.com/a/314955/295232 Never knew that those things were called lanyards in English ... – Glorfindel Sep 1 at 11:09
  • @Glorfindel ahh I saw your post too! I just had no idea what a keycord was. Should I delete this as a duplicate answer then? – scohe001 Sep 1 at 14:28
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    I wouldn't. Unlike me, you can use the reputation... – Glorfindel Sep 1 at 14:31

I propose

Stack Exchange lanyards / keycords

so that one never loses their keys anymore. Pros: they're visible (i.e. good for marketing), hard to break and easy to ship.

  • It's a good idea and I too thought this.. – Sathiya Kumar Aug 31 at 18:49
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    With a slight spelling change, that could be Stack Exchange keyboards. TKL. Illuminated. Cherry Red switches (other types are available). The killer feature: the meta key is the SE logo! – Andrew Morton Aug 31 at 21:46
  • @AndrewMorton Would those keyboards come with the control key by the a key, where it belongs? (I use the ctrl and alt keys way more than caps lock.) – 1201ProgramAlarm Sep 1 at 2:09
  • For readers - these are also commonly called lanyards (In the US - never heard them called keycords before so had to google what exactly this was). (Edit - just now saw the answer below that calls them lanyards) – TylerH Sep 27 at 14:33
  • I guess it's a continental Europe term that sounds so English that I didn't bother to look it up... – Glorfindel Sep 28 at 6:40
  • Stack Exchange keyboard could even have a special "close as duplicate" key. – wim Sep 28 at 22:47
  • The Optimus Popularis is probably out of the price range for this event, but one or two Sonder keyboards might not be... – SOLO 1 hour ago

Useful things are always better.
You can never have enough USB flash drives.

  • Eternal debate: which kind of USB flash drive - one that connects to a flat USB connector, or USB-C types? (Don't want to leave the Mac people out, as much as we try to...) – Makoto Aug 31 at 21:06
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    @Makoto How about one of those fancy double-sided ones? – Pavel Aug 31 at 21:09
  • @Pavel: That's fine but now I can't plug that into my tower. :( (I could in the back but I seldom go back there anymore) – Makoto Aug 31 at 21:10
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    Don't tell security.stackexchange.com – Bryan Krause Aug 31 at 21:44

Mousemat

Yes, I know.... a good developer's hands never leave the keyboard, and hence there's technically no need for a mouse/mousemat, but we still all have one anyway :)

As well as being highly practical, mousemats are lightweight (easy to ship) and easily brandable (making your marketing department happy). Sounds perfect for swag!

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    Meh, I found that the advent of optical mouses made these things pretty much a relic of the 90s. – Christian Rau Sep 4 at 8:31
  • @ChristianRau I used to think that way, then I noticed the wear pattern from my optical mouse on my grandmother's writing desk.... Now I've got a fancy-schmantzy mousepad to protect the desk =) – nitsua60 Oct 19 at 0:28

Site patches or pins. There's already a SE patch and it's simple to ship, you guys already have a supplier and you can use it to customize anything.

Pins have many of the same advantages but are also shiny.

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    Actually I would like a patch for each one of my gold badges so that I can make a Stack Exchange sash like my girl scout sash (well that one isn't mine but mine looks similar) Why should my flair be entirely virtual? ;) – ColleenV Sep 1 at 11:52
  • Oh man, I have a jacket that I have been covering in patches, an SE themed one would go perfectly. – Ash Sep 1 at 13:43

Fridge Magnets

Yeah bi...big magnets (if you got the reference ;-P) which we can stick on our fridges and almirahs with Stack Overflow and Unicorns on them. They are also decorative materials in your household. [Idea by Ankit Sharma and Memor-X].

I would really, really, like Stack Exchange branded chocolate bars!

Yummy. :)

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    Yay, +one googolplex for this (Please note, this comment is not superfluous, I just want to be friendly and nice) – MEE Sep 4 at 18:18
  • I doubt that sticking a blue logo on chocolate pieces is feasible, it would be terribly fiddly to remove too. And in these days of more healthy eating, it would be even less practical to use edible artificial coloring to make the design (but it looks cool). The logo would have to go on the wrapper. Maybe the chocolate could have the letters SE "engraved". – Mari-Lou A Sep 5 at 18:14
  • @Mari-LouA instructables.com/id/… – Shadow Wizard Sep 5 at 18:20
  • How about a Stack of chocolate bars? ;-) – Matt Sep 28 at 13:50
  • And waffles! – Peter Mortensen Oct 1 at 21:54

As several users already proposed utility based swag, I am proposing

Wind Chimes

I really like if some gift or a token I get is a decorative material and adds beauty to my place. Wind Chimes can be used at many places (house, garden, office etc.,) in interior designing. It will be utility based too. They have a history and importance in different fields from music to Mathematics. So, it will also symbolize a network of diversified sites :). If you are looking for some Techie touch in this, you may use some e waste and make them too.

  • I like fridge magnets but am not keen on wind chimes. You might want to split magnets into their own answer. – Monica Cellio Sep 12 at 1:14
  • @MonicaCellio I did. I moved Magnets to other answer. – Nog Shine Sep 12 at 3:04

Branded webcam covers, for the security-minded.

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    I think this is a great idea - the last company I worked for gave us a sheet of branded stickers (that could be cleanly removed and repositioned) of various sizes designed to cover laptop cameras. – ColleenV Oct 5 at 19:52
  • This should be a thing on Sec.SE anyway! – Rory Alsop Oct 30 at 8:46

Clothing related:

Socks, ties, hats and scarves would all be good, especially on the run up to winter.

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    I think a scarf would be especially great! – thesecretmaster Aug 31 at 23:04
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    You forgot kilts. – AviD Sep 2 at 8:06

I would like a decal for my Yeti tumbler instead of yet another mug I won’t use because it keeps my beverages neither hot nor cold.

I currently have a SE sticker on there so I can distinguish it from everyone else’s but it’s not really designed to look good on a tumbler.

  • And I really wish there was an easy way to display images at a reasonable size without cropping them. – ColleenV Aug 31 at 18:19
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    Would an .stl file be enough? Then you could get get it laser-etched on the tumbler. – Andrew Morton Aug 31 at 19:40
  • @AndrewMorton I think I’d like something less permanent so I can upgrade when new designs come out :) – ColleenV Aug 31 at 20:05
  • You could have more than one design on the tumbler. That would look really cool (on the outside, still hot on the inside of course) with a few of them. – Andrew Morton Aug 31 at 20:45
  • @Federico Thank you for the image fix-up. I meant to do it when I got back to my desk and got distracted. Stupid work always interrupting my slacking off :/ – ColleenV Sep 1 at 12:33
  • no problem at all :) – Federico Sep 1 at 12:49

A Jon Skeet Bobblehead figure.

Much like this kind of thing but with more rep, SE logos and more unicorns:

enter image description here

This would definitely start conversations at my desk.

I might be really, really late, but I'd love to see a wiping cloth for phones and laptops. I've done my very best with this photoshopping stuff, I hope it works out!

Preferably do some with different Jon Skeet facts on them ;)

Jon Skeet cloth

  • I love it, we should call it The Jon Skeet Skeet Rag. – Evan Carroll 2 hours ago

Way late, but... Another fun stress toy would be the polyurethane brick.

enter image description here

(Add a logo and all, of course)

Pros:

  • It can be safely thrown at your computer monitor or coworkers in times of stress.

  • Crush a brick with bare hands.

  • Can be used in place of a rubber duck, when you're a little too frustrated and need to use language unsuitable for rubber duckies.

  • Satisfying bricky goodness.

  • Is just a brick.

Cons:

  • Is just a brick.

  • You may face workplace consequences for throwing it at coworkers.

Cellphone ID card holder

The one which you stick behind the phone case and add in your cards (like credit card, ID card, etc). It looks like this. (Taken from here)

(Personal Opinion: I'd prefer the entire name "Stack Exchange" or "Stack Overflow" on the card holder. Many people know the name Stack Overflow rather than the logo)

I am sure many of us are Otakus. So in that case, it would be nice to have an SE branded Ninja Band. Something like this:

Sorry for the bad editing; I am not a good editor. ^^

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    I will officially belong to StackOverflowGakure after I get this. +1 – DroidDev Sep 28 at 5:50
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    oddly anime.se specific ;) – Journeyman Geek Sep 28 at 6:44
  • @JourneymanGeek Ha Ha! Not really every one on SE are SE Ninja in some way because of their involvement and contributions! ;-) – TheLittleNaruto Sep 28 at 6:54

Stack Rattleback

enter image description here

Clearly this is a blue Stack Exchange StackRattlebackExchange Stack Rattleback, rather than an orange StackOverflow StackRattlebackOverflow Stack Rattleback. (Logo oddly missing.)

Mysterious paradoxical dynamic embodiment of the Yin & Yang of Searching & Finding, of Asking & Answering--of Question & Answer. Literally a Conundrum & Turnaround. And did I mention it stops turning & changes direction all by itself?

(Animation derived from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/Rattleback_in_action.ogv
"This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.")

Socks can be good too! Npm have some cool ones.

Beyond that, I'd also vote for a hoodie, but a pull over one without a zip... I have a personal vendetta against hoodies with zips, but that's a story for another day.

  • But don't make any sockpuppets from them... – MEE Oct 4 at 16:49

Planning poker cards

The sort typically used for planning poker (with the Fibbonaci sequence on them)

I would literally love anything with the SO logo on it:

  • t-shirts
  • coasters
  • hoodies
  • rubber duck
  • sash and crown..ok only joking on that last one (or am I ??)

But what I think would be a great idea would be a desktop calendar. Perhaps with a question of the month for each month. 'Famous' questions or indeed answers with high upvotes or views, it would be a nice memento to have of some of the great Q&A's we have in the past from the SO repository .

How to pick only 12 though ..hmmm now that would be hard!

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