As 2014 comes to a close, Stack Exchange is offering Network Engineering a chance to participate in their Winter Hats event to finish out the year with a little bit of fun. Winter Hats are offered for participating in Stack Exchange sites from 15 December 2014 until 4 January 2015.
If you are awarded a hat, you have the option of modifying your gravitar to "wear" the hat (graphically) in your icon during the event. The gravitar modification is not permanent, and can be removed any time you like. You can review the full hat collection ahead of time, if you like.
Users discover hats by using Network Engineering in special ways, such as voting, posting on meta, improving posts with valid edits, and chatting. The promotion includes certain non-hat items such as glasses, headphones, bowties, and masks. Hat progress is trackable at the Winter Bash landing page, which includes definitions and criteria. Several hats are secret and only findable by the most diligent users.
Individual users who don’t want to participate, don’t want to see hats, and/or are generally anti-hat will have an “I hate hats” option available. And just like last time, at the end of the event, all hats will go back into storage.
The only visual change to the Stack Exchange sites themselves will be the presence of the hats and the “I hate hats” button in the footer.
Winter Hats are optional, and Stack Exchange sites are not required to participate. However, Stack Exchange needs to know whether Network Engineering would like Winter Hats. Please vote up the answer which indicates your interest in the hats event. Votes must be registered by 1 December 2014 to count.