On a lighter note for meta, I was wondering if there was any heads up on a start date. From past years it looks like we're about a month out.

I'm a huge fan of any hat targets that focus on answering unanswered questions (I mean, isn't that the point), especially old questions (> 6 months, for example). Or for offering bounties - it's the season of giving!

(stops short of suggesting a Monica hat)

Some others have suggested hats for 2019


3 Answers 3


Yes. It is. πŸ™‚

Tick Tock

  • 21
    That was ... unexpected.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Dec 3, 2019 at 21:17
  • 11
    I guess it's... time Commented Dec 3, 2019 at 21:20
  • 8
    Best of luck, guys. The other answers still stand -- you know what I think about this. Commented Dec 3, 2019 at 21:48
  • So we will get exactly what we had in 2018, with the knitting tool and same hats? 🧒 Commented Dec 3, 2019 at 23:59
  • 1
    Based on the counter, it would start in 5 days - 12/9. That's very early. If it lasts the usual 3 weeks it won't cover the new year. I hope it's not going to be an exact rerun of last year (as the exact same countdown might suggest).
    – Eran
    Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 3:13
  • 16
    It is the same theme as 2018 (and yes, you can knit once more). Sorry, not enough bandwidth here to make a brand new theme this time around. And the knitting is pretty cool. (Mostly) different hats and missions. And even though it is starting on the 9th, it will run through the end of Jan 1 (as usual) Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 6:27
  • 1
    @YaakovEllis Thanks for your reply. I'm looking forward to it!
    – Eran
    Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 6:31
  • 4
    Yeah this is definitely what SO should spend its resources on. Lets all sit down and knit while the house is still on fire.
    – Lundin
    Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 8:06
  • 3
    @Lundin consider this as letting the innocent people who are still in the house have some fun. Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 8:36
  • @Sha, shouldn't we be thinking about evacuating them instead? Knitting is not exactly fireproof. Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 8:39
  • 1
    @FrédéricHamidi find a safe place with the same life style and we can begin. :-) Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 8:45
  • 1
    YaakovEllis there were many requests to slightly increase the resolution and significantly improve the palette of the Knitting Machine - I hope it wasn't too much trouble to change a few numbers and that this year's knitting can be even better.
    – Rob
    Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 9:02
  • 3
    Thanks for the suggestions Rob. No promises, but we'll see... Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 9:05
  • 1
    I find it interesting that my comment expressing my lack of excitement got deleted.
    – MechMK1
    Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 19:26
  • 1
    @Rob try again now please. Also, please note the new brush that I made for you. Sorry, but there just wasn't enough time to change anything about the header. Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 8:25

If it does, I'm not excited for it.

To me, that would paint the picture like everything is fine, the community is happy and we can all enjoy the winter festivities. It's like pretending that nobody got hurt, as if no harm was done, and as if the biggest problem Stack Exchange, Inc. and the community has right now is picking which hats to add.

That would be a bold-faced lie.

Things are not okay, and pretending like they are wouldn't make it better. I sincerely hope that there will not be a Winterbash 2019.

  • 29
    These are my sentiments as well. There is only one way I'd be interested in participating in SE's traditional winter festivities: if Monica's moderator status was reinstated first, and she had donated her GoFundMe legal fees to charity. In that case, I'd be all in. Barring that, though – Winter Hats? Hand me a barf bag, please. Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 12:44
  • 24
    @J.R.means'JustReinstate' As far as I am aware, it's not just about the reinstatement, but more about the continuous slander and personal attacks from SE, Inc.
    – MechMK1
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 13:07
  • 12
    I hate to break it to you, but in a lot of SE 'corners' everything is fine, the sub-community is happy and nobody has even noticed recent events. In fact, there isn't and never has been a single 'community' but always many, whose only connections points are the use of the same Q&A platform. Commented Dec 2, 2019 at 9:26
  • 2
    @ColeValleyGirl Yes, I am completely aware that this entire "event", so to speak, is mostly limited to meta. The reason simply being that meta is the place to discuss this. Other sites will likely not debate this topic there (as it would be off-topic anyways), so users who exclusively stick to a main site will not have come in contact with it. However, many sites suffered as a direct result of these actions (e.g. the Workplace) due to moderator resignation.
    – MechMK1
    Commented Dec 2, 2019 at 9:47
  • 2
    "The reason simply being that meta is the place to discuss this" And also that a lot of users (even regular users) simply do not care about so-called community issues -- you have to be passionate about them to bother coming to Meta. And also have a high degree of tolerance for continued drama. Commented Dec 2, 2019 at 9:49
  • 3
    @ColeValleyGirl Undoubtedly true. Most users don't care that something is wrong until it directly affects them. However, I would consider the fact that many highly-active users are unhappy with the platform to be a threat to this status quo. If highly active experts leave, then answer quality will drastically be reduced.
    – MechMK1
    Commented Dec 2, 2019 at 9:51
  • @ColeValleyGirl While "most users" may not know much about this, a much larger portion of big contributors and long-time users do know about it. You can't compare someone with 200 rep who joined a year ago with someone with 90k rep who has been here since the beginning. Commented Dec 8, 2019 at 3:17
  • @TheforestofReinstateMonica And that's another thing that's wrong with a single 'community' concept -- I can't speak about SO which is a beast sui generis, but on the smaller sites, we care as much about the opinions and feelings of somebody with 200 rep who joined a year ago as we do about the people who have been on the site from the beginning and have (for that site) high rep. More so -- the newcomers are why we exist in the first place. Commented Dec 8, 2019 at 7:46
  • 1
    @ColeValleyGirl The idea that long-term users are replacable as long as you keep pushing enough fresh meat into the grinder is what put us into this mess in the first place.
    – MechMK1
    Commented Dec 8, 2019 at 9:53
  • @MechMK1 Did I say long term users were replaceable? I didn't. I said new users were as important a part of the so-called community as the long term users -- if the new users don't stick around the old guard are just shouting in an echo chamber, and if the old guard doesn't stick around the new users might have to answer each other's questions. Commented Dec 8, 2019 at 9:56
  • Hehe just got my first hat πŸ˜‚ - this company is obsessed 😭 Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 13:31

I wouldn't hold my breath.

Back in January, months before the current sequence of train wrecks started landing on us, there were signs that hats had overstayed their welcome, so to speak. We basically have been rehashing the same thing every year for a while now, the concept is growing old, and ideas for new, interesting hats have grown scarce.

In addition, traditionally the whole hats challenge has implied increasing participation on the sites, particularly in moderation activities. I think I'm not spoiling anyone when I say that many users are currently in quite the opposite mood here.

And last, but not least, Stack Exchange going festive again as if nothing was happening would not strike me as the right move to make. At best, it could appear as them handwaving the current situation and trying to get back to business as usual. At worst, it could appear as them taking us for dumb goldfish that will happily line up to contribute to the sites again as soon as they add a little gamification.

I think that ship has sailed. Really.

  • 47
    it could appear as them handwaving the current situation and trying to get back to business as usual They've been doing that already. All I've seen in the last couple of weeks is a bunch of blog entries trying to make it look like business as usual. Some good, some kind of ridiculous IMHO. And some I haven't bothered to read past the first paragraph. But nothing about the problems of the last several weeks. Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 4:41
  • 25
    @manassehkatz, I'm afraid the blog's intended audience is not us. It appears to target the new, massive, enthusiast community Stack Exchange believes will replace us. Of course, they would not speak on that venue about the crisis with the existing community. Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 4:48
  • 39
    I'm not privy to what's going on with Winter Bash (literally heard nothing about it myself, but maybe I missed something), but a major factor to keep in mind is our chief architect of fun things no longer works for us.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 5:35
  • 3
    @animuson, dang, I wasn't aware of that. Well, that settles things, then. Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 5:37
  • 20
    Fun has a bus factor of 1? :/ Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 7:54
  • 1
    @Journeyman, probably not, but IIRC in the past "fun" events have required some "push" from the inside of the dev team, as well as considerable dedication of one or more of them for a few days / weeks. balpha being out (and others being quite busy) does not bode well for that to happen right now. Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 7:58
  • 8
    @animuson tbf balpha has not personally done winterbash for years (e.g. Oded and I did one)
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 12:29
  • 5
    @Sklivvz That was the year when I was a PM -- after going back to dev, I did work on WB.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 17:49
  • 8
    @animuson I did however spend a lot of time during my last weeks at the company documenting the implementation on SO Internal πŸ˜€
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 17:50
  • 6
    @balpha did a crazy amount of documentation. I would be so lost right now without it. And he also helped me out in a pinch last week as well. Much thanks! Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 6:28
  • 1
    For 10K users only....meta.stackexchange.com/a/337641/223820 Commented Dec 6, 2019 at 12:28

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