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Would it be possible for Stack Exchange to reserve top bar announcements for things that are actually important to the network, and not use them to advertise things like the podcast? We've got the blog headlines showing up on the right anyway, so replicating one in the top bar isn't all that helpful, and I at least find it annoying.

At the least, please rig it so that once I close it on one site, I don't see it on every other site I visit.

Server Fault top bar with podcast announcement

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    Or maybe an option in user settings to disable it completely? – user623267 Nov 20 '19 at 19:34
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    @Zymus - I actually think that the top bar announcement spot can be valuable, as long as it's reserved for things that every user actually needs to know (for instance: impending downtime for the site). And I know that adding user settings is a lot of effort, so I'm advocating instead for limited use of the feature. – Michael Kohne Nov 20 '19 at 19:36
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    I'd trade this banner with the possibility to upvote this twice. – Laf Nov 20 '19 at 19:44
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    I mean, it's easy to adblock it, but that's not really what we're asking for. – user400654 Nov 20 '19 at 20:33
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    dismissing it doesn't stop it from showing up again next week with the next issue of the podcast. – user400654 Nov 20 '19 at 20:55
  • MSE never has the podcast banner. Clicking the X once dismisses it for all *.stackexchange.com sites. Server Fault and other unique-domain sites will require another X click, as discussed here. BTW I agree with this Request; just adding context from the last time the podcast was released. – pkamb Nov 20 '19 at 21:01
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    Every banner that people don't believe to be useful only contributes further to their Banner Blindness and makes your banners less likely to be read in the future. Please please please heed this FR. – scohe001 Nov 20 '19 at 21:18
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    These have been especially irksome of late. I'm growing tired of the "Let's talk about anything except Monica" podcast and blog announcements. – J.R. means 'Just Reinstate' Nov 21 '19 at 5:31
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    I was especially surprised to see this announcement on math.SE. A podcast about React and Git isn't likely to interest people on the math stackexchange. – Jack M Nov 21 '19 at 9:56
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    The pattern seems to be to use the banner for trivial crap but not for anything important. Related. – Peter Taylor Nov 21 '19 at 12:00
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    This is the exact reason why I and some others initially missed the question score adjustment announcement banner because the banner has also been showcasing a bunch of podcasts. – Troyen Nov 22 '19 at 22:10
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    From what I noticed, the last 2 podcasts did not receive banners. But #128 today did. – pkamb Dec 17 '19 at 22:12
  • How about using some kind of colour-coding on the banner? Give serious announcements a formal look, eg a solid black border, but use a coloured border (and maybe even a different font) for advertising podcasts, etc? – PM 2Ring May 1 at 10:03
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+250

The whole point of podcasts is that you can subscribe to them. Please, SE, assume that everyone who wants to listen to your podcast has already subscribed, and stop advertising it with banners.

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    What about new users? Do they know that the company issues podcasts? Where do they see that information on Stack Overflow? (Just playing advocate) – Mari-Lou A Dec 18 '19 at 7:49
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    @Mari-LouA Once we figure out the intended audience for the podcast we can figure out how best to promote it. Pretty sure it's not for regular SE users though. From what I can tell it's basically ads for other companies. – curiousdannii Dec 18 '19 at 8:23
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    Another one today. On each site. Independently. Arghareghargharghargharghargha – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 7 at 16:29
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+50

I think a good solution for this would be adding a checkbox in the user profile settings to disable podcast notifications:

mockup

It could also be a separate section allowing users to select which notifications they deem "non-essential".

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    I'm very suspicious of making things a preference. Given that the podcast is also announced in the Blog sidebar, AND that I could see the topbar being used for legitimate announcements ('Impending downtime!'), I'd much rather see the bar simply restricted to real uses, rather than letting people turn it off. – Michael Kohne Nov 22 '19 at 17:48
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    @MichaelKohne True, but the idea is that users can restrict anything that they believe irrelevant. For other examples, the holiday hat thing and the yearly survey and results generally get notifications, and I'm sure some users would rather not be bothered by one or all of those. To avoid lots of specific options, you could also force notifications to have a category and allow disabling by that. – David Starkey Nov 22 '19 at 18:22
  • That's fine as far as it goes, but I'd argue that the hats are one more thing that should just be in the blog feed, and NOT put into the notifications. I'm arguing that notifications shouldn't need to be turned off because they should ONLY be used for stuff that's actually important. Everything else should go on the blog. – Michael Kohne Nov 22 '19 at 19:41
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    @MichaelKohne That's the problem, who gets to decide what is "actually important"? Some users might think the annual survey is a nuisance while others think it's important. If you want to say only impending downtime should get a banner that's fine, but others might think topics outside the availability of the site are also important. – David Starkey Nov 22 '19 at 21:03
  • This would take precious development time, whereas instituting a policy of not misusing the announcement banner does not, and it covers more than just the podcast too. – curiousdannii Dec 18 '19 at 2:04
  • @curiousdannii If you trust the powers that be to make the decision on what is and is not relevant to the user-base, then sure. – David Starkey Dec 18 '19 at 14:46
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    IMO there is an error in this answer: it says "disable" where it should say "enable". – Peter Taylor Dec 18 '19 at 15:26
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    This implies that receiving podcast notifications should be the default. It shouldn't. – user142148 Jan 8 at 8:52
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    @PeterTaylor Fixed – David Starkey Jan 8 at 16:56

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