When we're going to have the Challenge week, can we have some kind of banner in the main site to let people know about it?
We actually don't like using system messages for announcements much at all. There's two primary reasons for this:
- The message gets presented on every page of the site, to every user of the site for the duration of the display. That's annoying and unwelcome, and our users have repeatedly requested limitations on their use.
- Second, and perhaps more important, overuse of the system message leads to blindness to messages when the message is super important. A good metaphor: if I were to write this post 90% bold and 10% unboldened text, would you be able to actually determine what parts of the post were important? If you highlight in a textbook and 90% of the page is yellow from the marker, have you actually denoted main ideas and important concepts? The them idea is here; overuse of the system message turns it into Just Another Part of the Site. And we need system message banners to remain unique. Generally speaking, we only put them up for things like the site being down for maintenance, etc.
We understand that you're wanting to raise the profile of these contests, but system messages can't be the way you do that. We're working on a solution but there's not a concrete timeline for it yet. Still, the current method isn't sustainable.
Personally, I am deeply sympathetic to how frustrating this is. I wish I had a magical perfect solution for you -- but I don't. I can only offer what I know we have, and those tools are currently exceptionally limited.
Uhm, the other sites don't, so I don't think it's possible. But I don't have the last word, we could ask the CHAOS team or the Stack Exchange Team...
Also, it depends on what you mean by "banner".
The most I can do are the system messages, but actually they are meant for something more important. I'm using them to advertise about the Challenge Week because we need to improve our stats and that's a good way to do it.