Winter Bash is approaching and the general sentiment is meh. I tend to agree, nobody is in mood for festive activities... besides that after having a few bashes, it gets less interesting.
On the other hand, all kind of crazy ideas are going around about making sites more friendly, more approachable, more easy going, more fun.
Well, if there is one thing fun around here it is Winter Bash.
I joined Stack Overflow in November. Winter Bash came soon after. And for a new user it was fun. But more importantly it was also an opportunity to learn about the site and its inner working without having to read boring walls of text.
So, do we really need Winter Bash?
And not only Winter Bash, but the Summer Bash, Spring Bash... basically
All Year Bash for New Users
This is the perfect activity for new users. Give them a more relaxing experience of the site, nudge them to participate more and to learn through fun, without changing (breaking) already established rules and the reputation system.
Besides the usual Winter Bash, we could also have an additional fixed period Summer Bash around the summer solstice.
But more importantly, we could have some hats that promote good actions and learning for new users all year round.
Instead of hiding down votes, or giving more reputation to questions, they could earn limited time hats (valid for a month or two) in addition to actions that reward badges.
For instance: reading the tour, visiting the help center, asking a good question...
Badges are nice but they are just dots on your profile. Hats are more fun and through learning about hats new users could become valuable members faster.
What do you think?