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One of the things we enjoy doing at Stack Overflow is celebrating with you when you reach momentous events in our communities. Traditionally, we’ve celebrated by sending swag your way when you’ve reached a high reputation score or when you’ve been elected as a moderator to one of our great network communities. It’s been some time since we've been able to do this and I’m here to announce that we are actively restarting the sending of the swags!

There are 3 categories of folks that will be getting swag. Since shipping costs can be pretty significant, we’re going to do this in batches. We’re planning to retroactively award swag to everyone who would have received it since we stopped shipping, primarily to new high reputation users, new moderators, and contest winners. Then, once we are caught up, we will begin to once again send out swag to new first-time moderators and high rep users as they achieve these milestones.

I want to call out that some countries are very difficult for us to send items to and if yours is one of those, we will let you know. The list of countries can change so rather than putting them here, we’ll address it when we get your shipping information. Regardless, we’re going to make our best effort to send you your swag... we don’t want these items gathering dust on a shelf!

And now, the categories.

High Reputation Members

There are two levels to this tier, one for reaching 100K and another for 250K in reputation points. Those who earned these levels starting from March 2019 will be eligible to receive their package of swag.

Those who earned 100K will receive:

  • Branded T-shirt (SE or SO)
  • Branded socks (SE or SO) - two styles available, you’ll get one selected randomly

Those who earned 250K will receive:

  • Branded T-shirt (SE or SO)
  • Branded socks (SE or SO) - two styles available, you’ll get one selected randomly
  • Webcam cover
  • Water bottle or tumbler (SE or SO)
  • SE pop socket

Moderators

For our distinguished and elected moderators, we also have some goodies we want to send you. We will start with those moderators who were elected starting from January 2019 to now and once we’ve completed sending those folks their swag, we will then continue with the entire moderator team and refresh each one of you with shiny and new goodies!

All moderators will receive:

  • Moderator diamond hat
  • T-shirt (SO or SE)
  • Water bottle or tumbler

Past Contest Winners

Back in 2018 we held a "Stuff-a-way!" contest and asked folks to share accounts of goodwill where items were given to people to make someone's life better. We were able to send most of the participants their box of swag but there were some whom we still owe some goodies. We have a list of those folks and we're ready to send you the following items:

  • SE socks - two styles available, you’ll get one selected randomly
  • SE T-shirt
  • Branded webcam cover
  • SE pop socket
  • Branded pen

A Few Items

We were unable to get good photos of every item we’re planning on shipping mainly because these were created offsite. But, I did want to include some so you can get an idea of what we’re talking about. We’re really excited to be able to do this again and we hope you’ll be just as excited when you get your swag! We’d also appreciate it if you posted an answer with photos of the swag you receive for others to see.

Stack Overflow tshirt SO-tshirt

Stack Exchange tshirt SE-tshirt

Stack Exchange pop socket SE-popsocket

Stack Overflow Socks SO-Socks

Stack Exchange Socks SE-socks

FAQs

How will you know where to ship my goodies to?

Everyone who is eligible to receive swag will receive an email from us giving details on how they can submit their address information and t-shirt size (in a GDPR-compliant fashion). These emails will be sent out over batches over the next few months and they will come from the communityswag@stackoverflowsolutions.com address. Once we are all caught up on the backlog, we will start once again sending swag to moderators and high rep users as they reach these milestones. We will update here as each new batch is sent out (if you think that you should have been included in a batch that was already sent, then reach out to us and we will try to make it right).

Who will be doing the shipping?

We are using a third-party vendor called Proforma to actually handle the shipping. Your shipping address will be shared with them for the sole purpose of sending you your swag.

Is there a way for users to purchase swag?

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer swag for purchase at this time. If this changes, we will let you know.


Update May 2021

Our first wave of emails have gone out and they're coming from our communityswag@stackoverflowsolutions.com address. We're using this address because we don't have third-party emailing tools tied to the stackoverflow.com domain. So, if you get one, know that it's from us!


Update June 2021

The first of the shipments has been made and we wanted to give you a head's up on some changes we've had to make in what we're able to send out.

I’ve spent the past several weeks planning the packages for our swag shipments and I discovered that some items were bundled for shipments in groups of 5 and up. This meant that if we requested something to be sent to you, you’d get 5 or 10 of them (depending on the item and the design). This was beneficial for our marketing team since they normally send large orders of items to conferences and events. However, for us, there’s no use in sending you 12 mugs at a time. Not only is this unreasonable, it’s also very expensive!

I was able, however, to reorder most swag items and inventory them individually but having to reorder these items cut into our overall budget. In order to stick with our timeline and our desire to send you swag, we’ve opted to remove only the stickers from the packages to reduce production times and save enough to include even more people in this. I've made corrections to package lists above and removed the stickers for now. Everything else will stay!

Also, the second wave of emails will be sent out in a few weeks!

84
  • 59
    Anything for past moderators? SE is awesome by the way! I'm not just saying that to get free swag.
    – Snow
    Dec 17 '20 at 17:32
  • 24
    I want to send swag to every single moderator once we send it to the "newest" additions to the team. I'll have more on that after we get the initial queues taken care of!
    – Juan M StaffMod
    Dec 17 '20 at 17:41
  • 194
    you’ll get one selected randomly ... I hope that is not per sock ...
    – rene
    Dec 17 '20 at 17:55
  • 19
    SO has historically been abysmal at managing swag deliveries and the last we heard it was discontinuing it because of the cost and the persistent failure to manage it properly. Has something changed internally?
    – Richard
    Dec 17 '20 at 18:02
  • 10
    Aww. My main account hit 300k in May 2019 so it's unlikely I hit 250k after March 2019. Definitely never got swag for it though. Guess I miss out :( Dec 17 '20 at 18:13
  • 12
    @AsteroidsWithWings Anyone who hit the milestone at that time should have gotten swag via the previous process. This process is meant to cover everyone who became eligible after we stopped sending it out. If you never got any emails about it before, you probably had emails for Community Milestones turned off.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 17 '20 at 18:17
  • 15
    First decision of the company for looong time with which I 1000% agree. Thumbs up. Dec 17 '20 at 18:27
  • 72
    @rene You get the second sock at 200k. Incentive!
    – Machavity
    Dec 17 '20 at 20:15
  • 9
    Do we need to activate "Community Milestones" email notifications now to get this email?
    – wimi
    Dec 18 '20 at 9:41
  • 10
    Been contributing to Stack Overflow for over 10 years now and still only at 32K rep 😩 How do people find the time to get 100K, 250K, plus reps with a full-time job…? Dec 18 '20 at 11:10
  • 7
    @MartinBean Just post ten complete answers a day, including the highest possible quality answer on every single bountied question.
    – wizzwizz4
    Dec 18 '20 at 12:13
  • 12
    If it were available for sale, I would lose all interest in it.
    – Beta
    Dec 18 '20 at 14:28
  • 13
    @AsteroidsWithWings I believe simply turning on that email bucket again will trigger the Congrats email to be sent the next time the script checks for eligible candidates, which should drop you into the bucket of "people sent the email while we weren't sending swag." The script only checks that you are above the threshold and haven't received the email before not that you just recently passed the threshold.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 18 '20 at 15:43
  • 18
    The swag is great, and I am glad it can't be purchased. Its scarcity makes it feel more valuable.
    – stevec
    Dec 19 '20 at 12:01
  • 6
    Do moderators of Beta sites also get swag?
    – ouflak
    Dec 20 '20 at 20:03

15 Answers 15

127

Great news, thanks a lot!

Since the discontinuation of swag, we have had a few users reach a new milestone, 1 million reputation. Are there any plans to extend the swag packages for exceptional users like them?

And (I'm not sure how deep your pockets are) it's perhaps time to award users who are not so much into collecting reputation but doing a lot of dirty work in the review queues?

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  • 45
    I dunno. Jon Skeet still has the greatest swag ever
    – Machavity
    Dec 17 '20 at 18:26
  • 22
    I know there are several users who give away many bounties, like three of 500 rep at the same time and almost always a few running. Those users will not reach new milestones but should feel appreciation.
    – Willeke
    Dec 17 '20 at 20:24
  • 9
    One way to address these active users that spend reputatioin is to add the rep spent on bounties (and possibly other voluntary rep costs, like downvoting answers) to the total rep and check that against the swag threshold. Dec 17 '20 at 22:12
  • 3
    can we have the option of foregoing the normal swag tiers if we're promised a portrait of a unicorn at 1 mill? :D Dec 18 '20 at 0:22
  • 3
    @Willeke I always thought it would be nice to have a badge for 10 bounties or something like that
    – stevec
    Dec 29 '20 at 12:11
  • 2
    Plans for swag can always be updated and we'd love to be able to provide more in the future. For now, we'll focus on the folks mentioned in the post and once we can fulfill those, we can start discussions on additional categories.
    – Juan M StaffMod
    Jan 12 at 15:59
  • Yes, there are plans in the works for the 1M milestone. More to come soon!
    – Juan M StaffMod
    Sep 8 at 16:19
44

Please help us choose T-shirt sizes

I got a SO T-shirt in the past. I chose XL size, and it turned out to be too large for me, so I never could wear it.

I don't want to make a similar mistake again. So I'm asking:

  • What is the manufacturer now? If it is the same as with my old T-shirt I can safely assume I want size L.
  • Preferably, can you provide T-shirt width and length measurements (cm or inches) for each size name (L, XL, ...)? Actual sizes vary a lot across countries and manufacturers, so it's hard to choose just based on the size name.
6
  • The exact brand tended to vary with the old black shirts. White shirts were seriously less popular so I think they had one brand as far as I can remember.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Dec 20 '20 at 19:56
  • @JourneymanGeek Thanks. I have edited my post according to that
    – Luis Mendo
    Dec 20 '20 at 21:17
  • i got one too, too large (m) and i am not getting one again, even pasting 300k this year and 250k too early this year ... Dec 24 '20 at 14:48
  • 3
    @NinaScholz We should organize some sort of T-shirt exchange among users with the wrong size :-)
    – Luis Mendo
    Dec 24 '20 at 16:10
  • 2
    Yeah, I have this problem a lot, too - M is great sometimes, but other times it's horribly small. Jan 1 at 2:17
  • 4
    As someone who handled swag in the past, this was always a huge struggle. New shirts would often get printed on whatever was the cheapest option available at the time, which meant that pretty much every shirt we had before was slightly different in size from others. I have multiple different shirts from SO and other sites, and none of them fit the same as another. So it's not as much the need for publishing shirt sizes, but finding one shirt manufacturer you like and sticking with it. Changing between them freely only leads to these odd problems.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jan 8 at 16:50
38

Much appreciated

This feels like another very important step in the right direction of rebuilding trust. We get that swag is a pain in the arse to manage, logistically. But such an important gesture of goodwill.

What does "or" mean?

Branded t-shirt (SE or SO)

Does this mean:

  • recipient chooses which t-shirt they want
  • you get an SO t-shirt if you hit a rep milestone on SO, otherwise SE?
  • chosen randomly?
2
  • 11
    Good question - I think we will likely default to the second one but I don't know if there's a reason we couldn't go with the first one. If someone wants an SO shirt but got their rep elsewhere, it seems reasonable to let them choose... and if someone already has an SO shirt when they get to 250k, maybe they'd rather an SE shirt. Thanks for asking!
    – Catija StaffMod
    Dec 18 '20 at 3:43
  • 30
    "But such an import gesture of goodwill." Don't forget that it's also very good for the company. People out there wearing t-shirts, having mugs sitting on their desk, etc., are all marketing for the product.
    – Cody Gray
    Dec 18 '20 at 6:30
31

Are there any per-site swag items (such as t-shirts), or just network and SO?

A lot of the previous swag was branded for that specific site; for instance, I have a t-shirt with the Science Fiction & Fantasy logo, some Movies & TV stickers, and a Super User pen. Is there anything like this with the new swag provider, or just the SE and SO generic branded swag?

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  • 15
    At this point in time, it's just going to be SE and SO. We love the SE sites and their vibrant designs and swag but the overhead of printing and storing the swag for all of the sites really caught up with us and it gets pretty expensive. I proudly wear my M&TV shirt on a regular basis and have various SE stickers all over my laptop but... sad to say, that's not something we can bring back.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Dec 17 '20 at 22:16
  • 14
    Alas, I guess that makes my SU T shirts a collector's item. Though they're probably going to get worn to the point they get fall apart :(
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Dec 18 '20 at 3:16
23

This is very good to hear! particularly given that this promise

turns out to have been hollow for the better part of two years.


Seriously, though.

I passed the total-100k threshold quite some time ago, but I chose to approach the formal 100k-rep threshold more slowly through giving away substantial rep in bounties. However, this intentional approach was hijacked, and I crossed 100k in November 2019 as a result of the re-setting of the question upvote value from 5 to 10 rep. Regardless of the merits of that decision, it was an arbitrary change to the basics of the Q&A engine which was done with utterly no community consultation, coming at a time when things were not going well and this kind of unilateral action was obviously a problem.

So the company takes away my choice for the moment, and, on top of that, instead of the swag that was promised, all I get is a canned email? I'm sorry to say that this felt distinctly like getting spat at in the face.

Thank you for taking steps to mend this. I'm not sure that my trust in SE, and your handling of the platform, is back up at levels where I would feel comfortable wearing the t-shirt in public (and indeed my t-shirt from this glorious artwork* is currently languishing in a shelf), but I'll think about it.


*speaking of which -- our site is still a hat, and we still don't have our site-hat hat. Just sayin'.

18

Those who earned these levels starting from March 2019

How do you measure when a reputation threshold was reached?

I ask because of the big reputation recalculation in November 2019, when question upvotes were changed from 5 to 10 reputation. Since the change was retroactive, it means that some users actually passed the 100k threshold on that day but everything in the reputation tracking system shows that they passed it many months earlier.

Here's an example of such a user. On his reputation graph it looks like he broke the 100k barrier in February 2019 (before the March watershed), but in reality he broke it suddenly from the rep recalc in November 2019, along with a few other users.

I hope you've already thought of this and will calculate the "time of earning" in a way that doesn't accidentally disenfranchise users such as this one. But I wanted to mention it explicitly just in case by some oversight you're using e.g. the reputation graph to check when the 100k and 250k thresholds were passed.

5
  • 9
    Time of reaching the threshold is calculated based on when the congratulations email is sent and has nothing really to do with when they perceivably passed the threshold. That email is sent in batches to all users who meet the criteria: 1) Currently above the threshold (100k or 250k); 2) Has the Community Milestones bucket enabled in their email settings; 3) Hasn't received the email for that milestone in the past. We are just looking at the date the email was generated and recorded to their user history. Anything else would be too complicated.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 22 '20 at 15:42
  • 1
    @animuson Thanks. I thought so, just wanted to confirm. Dec 22 '20 at 15:43
  • @animuson - sorry, you have now confused me even more. I got the email after March 2019, but no swag. Does that mean I won't be getting swag because I got hte email?
    – DVK
    Dec 22 '20 at 20:13
  • 1
    @DVK Everyone's still getting the email, even without swag. AIUI, if you got the email after March 2019, then you're eligible. Dec 22 '20 at 20:20
  • 2
    @DVK We removed mentions of swag from the email in March 2019 because we weren't sending it, so we used that date as a timeline for... we're going to pull everyone who received the email since we stopped swag stuff and re-contact them about swag.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 22 '20 at 20:21
16

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer swag for purchase at this time. If this changes, we will let you know.

I would very much prefer that the same items are never for sale.
Don't take away what's special about them.
You can always create separate merchandise if people want some of that.

BTW, 100k, 250k ... What about 500k, 1000k?

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  • 13
    Not to burst your bubble, but these items are already not specific to these milestones. They are the same items that are taken to conventions and events and given away to whomever stops by the booths to get one.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 29 '20 at 4:04
  • 11
    There goes my bubble. Dec 29 '20 at 4:09
  • 5
    What animuson says is true for the SO swag but the SE swag is for this only at this point - we don't generally take SE swag to conventions and events. That's not to say that will always be the case but, for now, it is.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jan 5 at 16:31
  • 7
    When one bubble bursts, another bubble opens! Or so they say. :) Jan 5 at 21:56
14

What a great update, and I hope to be eligible one day as well.

One question comes to mind:

Are (former) employees exempt from receiving swag?

Some have gathered tremendous amounts of reputation during their time working at Stack Overflow inc., but disallowing them swag feels wrong, especially seeing the tremendous time some spent on these sites daily. That probably was far more than their contractual 6-8 hours.

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  • 23
    It's worth being aware that, as employees, we get a lot of swag as it is.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Dec 17 '20 at 19:58
  • 5
    Congratulations I guess @Catija ;)
    – Luuklag
    Dec 17 '20 at 20:08
  • 19
    Don't get me wrong... I'll be making doe eyes at whoever holds the keys to give me a new mod hat. ;)
    – Catija StaffMod
    Dec 17 '20 at 20:09
11

I reached the 100k target on Music-Practice and Theory a couple of years ago, but never claimed my swag, for several reasons. Is that still available?

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  • 6
    This comment from animuson indicates that, if you turn the notification option on, you will receive the email and be eligible. If you already received the email but ignored it, you might need to reach out to staff separately.
    – Cody Gray
    Dec 19 '20 at 10:13
  • @CodyGray where is that notification option? Jan 5 at 5:47
  • @AnkitSharma It's one of the email settings, on your profile: stackoverflow.com/users/email/settings/1311977 ("Community Milestones: Notifications about bounties, reputation and more. Hint: sometimes involves swag.")
    – Cody Gray
    Jan 5 at 22:42
9

As an owner of a previous generation Server Fault T-shirt, I am a bit disappointed not to see SF or SU represented here. Please consider bringing them back.

Additionally I would like to be able to choose between SO and SE swag, rather than have that choice made for me.

0
7

This is welcome news! Question

Does this include beta sites?

@filbranden and I were elected to the Vi & Vim moderator team, and I haven't received any mail (perhaps my timeline is wrong?). I did see some comments about having community emails enabled, which I do.

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  • 1
    IIUC the mails for newly elected moderators have not gone out just yet. From what I can tell you should be getting swag Dec 29 '20 at 13:34
7

I just received a swag email and have responded to it. I have a couple of things I'd like to point out:

  • The email came from stackoverflowsolutions, which is unfamiliar and raised a red flag for me. Lots of false domains have prefixes or suffixes added to legitimate domain names. Upon investigation, it's legit and appears to be associated with Teams and possibly others. Edit: While I was typing this the question itself was edited to address this point.

  • In the approximately twelve and a half years I've been active on SO, etc., I have been offered swag bundles at least twice before (and well before the ~2019 swag "pause") and have submitted my shipping address and then never received anything. In contrast, I have received the odd individual tshirt or sticker pack a few times. If I receive a bundle this time I will be surprised and pleased. But if it never arrives I will just ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ and move on.

Update: Swag received 2021-06-07. Nice items (I received the 250K package minus the stickers and socks)! Thanks!

5

To be honest, I'd prefer that recipients would have the opportunity to donate the value of any swag to some charitable organization. My preference would be something related to say world health or hunger.

The honor is nice, but times are desperate.

Perhaps a few organizations could be chosen and recipients could choose one.

1
  • 1
    Exactly right. The world does not need more pointless nerd swag as we sleep-walk into this global environmental crisis. Hacktoberfest offered the option to plant a tree instead of receiving a t-shirt. Recognition is welcome but please find a more ethically and environmentally responsible approach.
    – Aidan
    Feb 5 at 17:44
4

Are the reputation thresholds per-site or network-wide?

Some people specialize in one thing, while others participate on a variety of different sites. Ideally, it'd be nice to reward both.

Are these jacks of all trades eligible for swag if they cross the threshold across all sites (perhaps excluding association bonuses), or must the threshold be crossed on a single site?

2
0

Any news on the design launch Top User Swag for pending sites?

There used to be swag for the design launch of graduate sites in past. But it seems to be not in place lately. Is there any news for that too?

2
  • As far as I'm aware, there's no plan to create any site-specific swag other than for SO.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jan 5 at 14:08
  • 1
    @Catija is correct. We're only able to offer SE and SO specific swag at the moment. I'm hopeful this can change in the future and I'll be happy to update if it does!
    – Juan M StaffMod
    May 5 at 17:12

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