Yes, I did think of that but I like to have it up front as a memory jog, so its not hidden by other feeds. Personal preference I suppose. That's why I thought if it could be made smaller by each user in customising their page. Probably system limitiations.
Re whats new. If you don't know its under help you wouldn't go there. It is generally placed on web sites in a prominant position to alert regular/irregular users. I would think most users would use the nav home page and if they saw it there, be reminded and check it once in a while. If you want users to be encouraged to participate in projects like adopting profiles you need to constantly remind them. Particularly given not everyone is an everday user.