Winter Bash 2018 is over now, and no one has opened this recurring question for the next round, so I'll just do it.

Please post your suggestions regarding how to make Winter Bash 2019 even more fun than the previous Winter Bashes.

  • New suggestions for hats and hat triggers (either regular or secret ones)
  • Which hats should be kept?
  • Which hats should be retired?
  • Do we want more secret hats?
  • Do we want more secret hats that don't get triggered until long after the start of Winter Bash?

Let's keep the traditional format of one suggestion per answer, so people can vote on individual suggestions.

  • 20
    As an aside, I would love to hear suggestions from people that have nothing to do with hats. This was the 8th year we've done the same thing with different triggers and to be honest, I turned them off this year because I've gotten kind of bored with the idea. There's got to be something else fun and interesting we can do at the end of the year that isn't just repeating the same thing over and over. Be creative and don't be tied to the idea of "we must do hats again next year" - maybe if we have something really cool we don't have to... – animuson Jan 3 at 18:38
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    @animuson Sweaters. – Catija Jan 3 at 18:47
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    @Catija ugly ones! Something where you can earn 'design elements' for your own ugly sweater? :P – Tinkeringbell Jan 3 at 18:50
  • @animuson something I could imagine is some winter adaptation of the “StackEgg” April joke balpha did a few years ago... – MEE was the missing bracket Jan 3 at 21:27
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    A surfboard would be nice to go with the hat. – Rich Jan 4 at 6:05
  • A competition with who can knit the best sweater on the knitting tool, people place votes, winner gets it made into a real one – Eleeza Jan 4 at 19:09
  • Also, SE memes had surfaced. Looking at you, chicken, rubber ducky and SO unicorn – Eleeza Jan 4 at 19:11
  • Seriously though, that knitting thing had so many people going up and beyond in creativity. I am a proud user. We must do SOMETHING to get people's creativity up and running. – Eleeza Jan 4 at 19:13
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    More colours on the knitting tool. Pleeeeeeeeeeeease it's really hard having a small palette – Eleeza Jan 4 at 19:28
  • @animuson well, each year there are hundreds (thousands?) of new users who never hunted for hats, or did it only once, so they find it very fresh and fun. But agree that for us "old timers", it does get boring. – ShaWiz Jan 6 at 9:09
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    @animuson: Can we turn that into a full question in its own right? I think it deserves to be one. It would be much easier to answer a focused question. – hat Jan 7 at 13:47
  • As mentioned over on this question, it might be nice to spice it up a bit by introducing some badges for participation. – Mark Meyer Jan 7 at 16:08

33 Answers 33


Hat for launching a beta version of a site during WB

Suprisingly, we don't have hats somehow connected with Area 51. Let's have one:

The Alien Hat

Launch a beta
version of a site

It may seem very hard to get, but during WB a lot of people will be on Area 51 trying to get this hat, so they will join other proposals, too.

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    It has been more than 6 months since the last beta launch there may never be another. Additionally, people who come and push a site through to beta to get a hat are not going to support the site. This is exactly the type of launch Robert has been trying to avoid. – James Jenkins Jan 4 at 13:45
  • @JamesJenkins That doesn't mean we can't have this hat. This hat just would be harder to get. – Ver Nick Jan 4 at 13:52
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    I think you are missing the last point. The goal of Area51 is not to launch sites on a lark, it is launch sites that are sustainable. The Idea of a hat to encourage launching non-sustainable sites is counter to the goals of Area51. – James Jenkins Jan 4 at 14:11
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    We do not launch new beta sites during most of the holidays (too many people are not around), so this wouldn't be possible due to that simple fact. – animuson Jan 4 at 15:05
  • @VerNick I don't support this idea, since lots of users aren't on Area 51. – U10-Forward Jan 6 at 7:12
  • @U9-Forward They will be, if this hat will. – Ver Nick Jan 6 at 7:37
  • @VerNick I don't even know how to join that site... – U10-Forward Jan 6 at 7:38
  • @U9-Forward There is a "sign up" link on the right side of panel. – Ver Nick Jan 6 at 7:39
  • @VerNick Just done it. – U10-Forward Jan 6 at 7:40
  • There's no site you can earn this hat on. Area 51 doesn't have hats, and private betas never participate in Winter Bash. – Glorfindel Jan 8 at 13:32
  • @Glorfindel It can be changed. – Ver Nick Jan 8 at 13:54

In the spirit of animusons post I propose a new form of Winterbash:

Instead of users competing in one community, we let the communities compete. Every user could only participate in one community (they have to decide this before the real event begins) and every community has two elected “team leaders”.

Hats would be replaced by gifts that can be earned by actions from the whole community (HDE’s bountapalooza suggestion could be one trigger). The team leaders can choose what gift is shown in the site header bar.

To prevent animusons problem with “fixed amount” one could use an algorithm similar to review badges: you get a badge after XXX points but in the end all points count (not just binary earned/not earned)

A bonus could be a decoratable Christmas tree

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    The communities in the competition have hugely different sizes and strengths; any idea how to make it a real contest? – jknappen Jan 3 at 21:53
  • What coud be made so that it's a fair competition between the Trinity (SO/Super User/Server Fault) and, say, History of Science and Mathematics? – Jenayah Jan 3 at 21:54
  • BTW, the burden of the team leaders will be high, probably too high for Christmas/Chanukka/Winter Solstice time. And team leader elections are a huge amount of preparation, too. It should work without team leaders. – jknappen Jan 3 at 21:55
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    @jknappen yes that could be a problem. A few years ago balpha made an April joke called “StackEgg” where also communities competed. And it was not StackOverflow who won. So it should be doable with the right triggers. They might even scale based on the size of the community (so 10 bounties for a smaller site and 150 for SO...) – MEE was the missing bracket Jan 3 at 21:57
  • @jknappen No the team leaders are mostly formal. The only power they have is to choose which gift to show on the banner. – MEE was the missing bracket Jan 3 at 21:58
  • So the only vote process might be asking in the sites main Chatroom who wants to do this. – MEE was the missing bracket Jan 3 at 21:59
  • This is not casual enough for WB. – Pika the Wizard of the Whales Jan 3 at 22:01
  • @pizzastaticvoidmain what do you mean? – MEE was the missing bracket Jan 3 at 22:02
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    Winter Bash is kinda a casual thing. I don't think there should be elected leaders or big community organizations. – Pika the Wizard of the Whales Jan 3 at 22:04
  • @pizzastaticvoidmain Go to balphas site please and read about StackEgg. I imagine something like this. (Sorry currently on Smartphone and no ability to point to link) And team leaders were just my solution to the problem that somebody needs to decide which gift to show. Propose an alternative and I will change it. – MEE was the missing bracket Jan 3 at 22:16

Hat for earning a bounty

I like the idea of awarding a hat for earning a bounty. It would encourage good behavior and make WB more interesting.

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    Personally, I've seen questions with a bounty attract horrible answers just because someone wanted the rep. If there's also a hat for it, I'd imagine it would attract more than usual. But don't get me wrong, I'm sure this could attract more good posts too. But proportionally is a separate concern – Olivia Jan 4 at 8:27

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