I noticed that there is an end-of-year celebration going on in some SE websites called "winter bash". It consists of collecting hats which are granted if certain actions are undertaken. There is an image with a link that appears beside the StackExchange link on the top left-hand side of the screen. I noticed it on both the Stack Overflow website and the English Language & Usage page.

Why are we not participating? Or are we, we just don't have the link on our page?

It looks like it would be fun, even though it is summer here in Melbourne...

  • 2
    Hey, some of us are sitting under the rain here.... :P
    – percusse
    Dec 19 '12 at 23:06
  • 1
    @percusse It is not that cold then, otherwise it would be snowing!
    – Vivi
    Dec 19 '12 at 23:10
  • I prefer snow instead of water sprayed on my face.
    – percusse
    Dec 20 '12 at 2:16
  • @percusse Sure, I also hate it when it rains, and I like the snow (though I have never lived in a place where it snows, so I am not sure how I would deal with it for long periods of time)! But I thought it was colder in the Netherlands (where you are?) at this time of the year. 5 days until Christmas! Aren't you supposed to have a white Christmas?
    – Vivi
    Dec 20 '12 at 2:48
  • I'm going for the Santa hat! :) ... and +1
    – Count Zero
    Dec 20 '12 at 8:21
  • 1
    I have one! Dec 20 '12 at 12:13
  • It usually gets worse towards February. So arrange a visit around Feb 15 to walk on the canals and other stupid things to do with snow :)
    – percusse
    Dec 20 '12 at 13:25

I guess all of us like fun. There's a long distance between totally serious and having fun like childs, which is also great. Somewhere on the way is the "hat game".

The moderators, including me, were a bit sceptical or neutral about this. I have the feeling that this activity may be great for the gaming site, maybe for cooking, fantasy and further sites in the whole SE network. A short mention in our chat did not really get much feedback.

Let's have a quick look at it from this point of view: we would like to attract further TeX experts. Does it help if the site is known as a TeX site where you once got funny hats as "achievements", for clicking vote buttons, posting questions or matching the christmas timeslot? Do we better outreach to people who still visit comp.text.tex and mailing lists, but not yet TeX.SE? I have some doubts. I know some experts who already don't like the reputation and badge achievement system, you can read an example in our current blog post.

To quickly see what we speak about, here's a screenshot I made right now from winterba.sh:

enter image description here

The site is great with its quality, and we have already much fun in the chat, in a personal non-automatized way.

Well, the hat game aka winter bash is going on at other sites. This is a very good opportunity to join also those sites and get some hats. Many are easy to get by simply voting or posting questions. Then we would know better how it feels with hats on. Learning from the feedback on other sites we can decide to join such an activity next year.

  • 1
    Great answer, particularly the point that it's all a learning experience for the mods!
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Dec 21 '12 at 8:04
  • I got one on music.se and i don't see the point. Also they are temporary for about a couple of months. So since we have @PauloCereda on our side the hats are indeed useless :)
    – percusse
    Dec 22 '12 at 0:49
  • "personal non-automatized way" .. have you met Psmith yet? That aside, completely agree, and percusse's point is well made: with Paulo, what more do we need? Dec 22 '12 at 13:33

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