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No, not like this:

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Hear me out!

As Stack Overflow grows, it becomes increasingly ridden with extremely newbie and mediocre questions. It's just natural. The team are fighting hard to keep the crap out, but there are many very basic questions that are okay on their own. They don't deserve to be kicked out* - they are just very, very, very basic and/or localized.

Too much basicness tires users who are interested in discussing more advanced topics.

As has been discussed many times over, the voting system is not suited to identify advanced questions due to what is known as the bike shed effect. A group of people will vote on what they understand, which puts truly expert questions at a natural disadvantage that a democratic voting system can't overcome.

Now, there is a small number of users on Stack Overflow who I, as a user, know share my basic values (like, teaching a man to fish rather than fishing for them); I also know they are experts in their fields. It is safe to assume that what these users regard an interesting question worthy of attention, is likely to be interesting to me as well.

The idea is to introduce an opt-in "follow" mechanism that allows followed users to share what they find interesting, with very little fuss and on a purely opt-in basis.

  1. Allow every SO user to follow any other SO user with a certain minimum rep, say 3000.

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  2. To every user who is being followed (or every user), display a new link underneath every question, "Recommend".

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  3. Introduce a new filtered view somewhere, named "Recommended". The view will show me all questions that my followed users are recommending.

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  4. Whenever I browse a list of questions, highlight those questions that have been recommended by my followed users. (I haven't put much thought into how to implement this graphically - you get the drift.)

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I'm not especially fond of social networking, and I think most of it doesn't have a place on SO. But I'm starting to think this specific thing could be the right way to go in order to tell apart expert content from the 10000th dreary "how do I upload a file" question.

This is an entirely opt-in feature - unless I actively follow some users, I will never notice this.

Maybe for a bit of ego-stroking, the profile page can show how many users follow you. Or even who. Everything else would simply be kept under wraps - no publication of follower data in the data dump, no follower leagues or anything like that.


* At least not under current SO rules. Maybe those rules need to be changed - but that is a different discussion.

share|improve this question
13  
This question is going to attract endless discussion about its relative merits. But I like the idea in principle. +1 –  Robert Harvey Sep 19 '11 at 21:57
23  
I don't want to share who I'm following. –  jcolebrand Sep 19 '11 at 21:58
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Reluctantly, +1. I think this is the first "make SO have social network features" suggestion I've liked. –  Jon Skeet Sep 19 '11 at 21:58
3  
@Jon thanks! That's high praise. :) –  Pëkka Sep 19 '11 at 21:59
3  
I'd recommend this. –  Jeremy Banks Sep 19 '11 at 22:03
3  
Yeap +1. But keep the features bounded. –  belisarius Sep 19 '11 at 22:05
10  
Xzibit heard I liked this post so he added a +1 script to my bookmarks so I could +1 while I +1 javascript:(function() { $('<g:plusone annotation="none"></g:plusone>').insertAfter('.favoritecount'); var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = 'text/javascript'; po.async = true; po.src = 'https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })(); –  TCPMAN.EXE Sep 19 '11 at 22:27
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Now that we know you see the world through bobince-coloured glasses, this changes everything. –  Tim Stone Sep 19 '11 at 22:41
6  
don't we already have a recommend button (its called upvote) ? –  waffles Sep 20 '11 at 2:40
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@waffles no. A well-put, well-researched newbie question can still be worthy of an upvote - even though it is not interesting in terms of what an expert would call interesting –  Pëkka Sep 20 '11 at 9:30
9  
@waffles: Did you read the question at all? I sure hope you put more time into reading stuff that you're moderating :/ –  Lightness Races in Orbit Sep 20 '11 at 17:41
19  
Categorically declined within 20 hours, with 32 upvotes, and no comment other than some banal and unpopular answer from Jeff (which appeared to be trying to be funny?). Love it. Why are we here, again? –  Lightness Races in Orbit Sep 20 '11 at 17:52
9  
You're here because SEI has built a system that works. Maybe I'm becoming a resident old crank, but it's getting annoying hearing people deride that FAQ line every time anything happens that over 25 people dislike. "Stack Overflow is run by you" means that you get vote, edit and elect your own moderators. It doesn't mean you can ask Jeff for the keys to the New York office and the passwords to the servers. The team has given you several inches; don't demand a mile. –  Pops Sep 20 '11 at 18:49
3  
@PopularDemand I think the main complaint here is that intelligent, popular, useful ideas like this are rejected by a knee-jerk reaction against anything that has the words "social network" in it. Providing a new tab that has questions Eric Lippert thought were useful would be a great feature. And no, subscribing to his Eric's RSS feed is not the same thing. –  Adam Rackis Sep 20 '11 at 20:01
3  
While I endorse the reluctance to social aspects in the SE universe, I would not describe this request as a social feature. I gently disagree with the very short refusal time-frame. –  NGLN Sep 20 '11 at 23:19

11 Answers 11

up vote 60 down vote accepted

This post is brilliant because it suggests that what respected users think is more important than what they do.

Jon Skeet answers some pretty basic questions sometimes, and there's nothing wrong with that, but it would defeat the purpose of this request to see all of those answers. The beauty of this feature is that it would let us see the posts that made Jon (or bobince, or waffles, or whomever) think "oh, wow, I learned something interesting here" or "this is a great explanation of a difficult topic."

My point is that I'm against moving too much towards relying on automated algorithms like tag badge calculations or favorite counts. A little bit is fine, but I think it's good that users have to be around for a while to find people worth following. This system will work best when people follow users they genuinely respect, rather than blindly following high-rep users.

Other comments:

  • The recommended list will become unwieldy once it gets long; some sort of pruning mechanism will be needed. Perhaps users should be able to remove recommendations from their lists manually. That could be tied into favoriting. Alternatively, recommendations could be set to time out after 90 days or when visited (perhaps whichever comes second).
  • It might be nice to show off some "greatest hit" recommended questions. There are several possible metrics there, including the number of users who recommended a post or the number of followers who saw/liked the recommendation.
  • Perhaps this could somehow tie into the existing "share on twitter/facebook" functionality somehow? I don't have a fully formed idea here, but they are all sharing.
share|improve this answer
4  
Your second paragraph captures exactly why I suggested this! –  Pëkka Sep 20 '11 at 20:45
1  
I think decaying over time would work well for pruning. –  Lance Roberts Oct 17 '11 at 23:21
    
And be able to subscribe to the recommended feed via RSS. This would be a great learning feed. –  Jesse Mar 22 '12 at 17:41
6  
Want to up the odds that your answer is accepted? Lead with, "Your question is BRILLIANT!" ;) –  Jaydles Oct 17 '12 at 19:30
2  
Pops now that you're part of the team you can work from the inside to make this happen if you really think it's brilliant. ;) –  Shadow Wizard Sep 30 '13 at 13:21

It's an attractive idea, but one that will be more useful for subject areas where there are a lot of new users and a lot of basic questions, like or . In a niche area like , where I am active, most of the users are 1000+ reputation and the "easy" questions are actually quite welcome. It might be a basic question, but Mathematica is such a large system that there's bound to be some corner of it that even an advanced user doesn't know well. With that kind of user base, a lot of upvotes means it has been upvoted by the high-rep regular users. Basic questions don't get a lot of votes unless the answer turns out to be more subtle than expected.

The system you propose also assumes that you've noticed who is a user worth following. This takes energy and a long history of watching that tag. An alternative might be to have a preference when you choose to follow a particular tag. You could choose to have questions highlighted to you if they are upvoted by users who have at least a bronze badge in that tag. This would leverage the existing functionality of the system without introducing yet another number - how many followers you have - that people will use to keep score.

Similarly, favoriting questions will also be a good indicator of high-value questions. You could have a preference when following a tag, to see which questions have been highlighted by tag-badged users.


EDIT in response to belisarius' comments

I think what I have in mind (and I only thought of this when I read Pekka's question, so I don't claim any great insights for this) is an interface along the lines of the following, when someone chooses to follow a particular tag.

[checkbox] Highlight questions upvoted by users with this tag badge
[checkbox] Highlight questions favorited by users with this tag badge

  • [radio button] Include only questions tagged [text box - the followed tag would be included by default]
  • [radio button] Exclude questions tagged [text box]

This way you could choose just to follow the implicitly recommended questions in the tag you are following, or expose yourself to some serendipity via the questions upvoted or favorited in other areas, but maybe only a few other tags, if that's what you want.

I really like the idea of having a more filtered recommendation system, but I don't like the idea of high-rep users feeling that they have to both upvote and recommend. And what if you don't currently have any followers, so you don't bother recommending, and then one day you start accumulating followers? Should you then go back and recommend old questions you really liked?

Also, with user-based following, users who want to follow high-quality recommendations would have to keep monitoring to see who the newer experts in their area of interest are. My tag-and-badge based modification of Pekka's proposal would update itself as communities evolve and new experts are revealed, without requiring people to keep doing care-and-feeding of their "Following" list.

share|improve this answer
2  
All very good points. The idea is indeed mainly targeted at the high-traffic tags that are drowning in very basic stuff. The alternative system you propose to find people worth following is a very interesting idea IMO. You're right that favouriting is a similar system already in place, but favourites are also being used to keep questions in mind that one wants to return to for some other reason - which is why I ended up proposing an entirely new system for this. –  Pëkka Sep 19 '11 at 22:18
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@Pekka - it's not the questions you have favorited I am suggesting be highlighted. I am suggesting that the questions the badged-users have highlighted be highlighted to people that are following that tag. This avoids the problem of tracking the recommendations of someone with a high rep in, say, PHP but who is a beginner in, say, Mathematica. My suggestion isolates the recommendations of experts in that tag without you needing to know who they are in advance. –  Verbeia Sep 19 '11 at 22:21
    
Being myself another Mathematica tag follower, I see this feature request (Pekka's) could bring a collateral benefit to low activity tags users: as I know (almost) everyone interests, I could be alerted when an interesting Q was posted in another tag –  belisarius Sep 19 '11 at 22:26
1  
@belisarius (Hi!) My alternative would handle this. I follow the mathematica tag, and you are a badged-user for mathematica. So anything you upvoted or favorited would be highlighted to me, even if it wasn't tagged mathematica. –  Verbeia Sep 19 '11 at 22:35
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@Verbeia But if I am also interested and participating in the mainframe tag (which I am :) ), you'll receive those "alerts" also. When you decide to follow the Mma tag, a lot of unrelated traffic will enter your attention window, and you'll have to filter it tag by tag. If you can decide which users to follow, and you know in advance his/her interests a lot of housekeeping work can be avoided –  belisarius Sep 19 '11 at 22:42
    
@yoda - see my edit - if someone wanted to see your recommended matlab posts, they could, or they could choose not to. But it would only be matlab posts recommended by people with the mathematica tag badge. –  Verbeia Sep 20 '11 at 1:10
    
@Verbeia I think the edit refinement is quite good +1 –  belisarius Sep 20 '11 at 1:17
1  
@Verbeia Although I see your reasoning for equating upvote to a recommendation, I would suggest decoupling the two. If you hover on the upvote, it says "This question shows research effort; it is useful and clear". Indeed, a lot of the times, I upvote questions if they're legible, contain a minimal example, is within the scope of the site and is not a duplicate. That doesn't necessarily mean I would recommend that question to others. I also am a prolific voter (or used to be, since I'm not very active on SO anymore), so that could end up spamming people. –  Lorem Ipsum Sep 20 '11 at 2:19

I still think the solution is just to get rid of all the localised nonsense.

"We" were here first; there's no reason to allow Stack Overflow to become an arbitrary meeting place for every Tom, Dick and Harry who wants free debugging help with their codez over a couple of stupid syntax errors just to be "friendly to newbs". I spend plenty of time on IRC helping newbs out (so I'm not some elitist) but this is not the place for them. Or, at least, it shouldn't be.

I quite like your idea, OP, but it feels like a hack and one that we shouldn't have to resort to in order to actually make SO useful for experts exchanging knowledge (*cough*).

share|improve this answer
1  
Hahaha! Fair enough, fair enough. +1. –  Pëkka Sep 20 '11 at 17:44
1  
I mean, seriously now. This nonsense is driving your experts away, SO. –  Lightness Races in Orbit Sep 20 '11 at 17:53
    
But they sometimes come back after they calm down a little. SO is just addictive. –  Jirka Hanika Sep 30 '13 at 13:41

Given Jeff's comments I would propose a simplification to this: Just make it possible for us to subscribe to the favorites of other users. Favoriting is already pretty much parallel to marking a question as awesome/interesting, but as Pekka notes we can't reasonably troll a bunch of favorite lists. Subscribe-by-email to favorites, or an RSS feed or something, would be great.

share|improve this answer
4  
That would be a reasonable compromise. Maybe only favourites that the user in question has also upvoted? –  Pëkka Sep 20 '11 at 16:01
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@Pekka That would probably eliminate a good proportion of the questions where the user has favorited it in order to follow upvotes on their answer, and so on (as well as the user's own questions that they favorite) rather than actually recommending it. So, sounds good to me. –  Matthew Read Sep 20 '11 at 16:04
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I may favourite a quesion for 101 reasons, only one of witch is that I think it is worth other people reading. –  Ian Ringrose Sep 30 '11 at 15:17
    
I use my favorites list as a way of keeping track of questions where I think I have something to contribute - whether it's an answer, a useful edit, or flagging some crap posts or obsolete comments. There's little correlation between a question being on my favorites list and me considering it worthy. Perhaps others use the feature differently. –  Mark Amery Sep 30 '13 at 13:53

I like the idea, here's some points.

The recommended list will probably get stale quick without some additional filtering. Maybe the recommended posts could just influence the interesting page algorithm. If you really wanted to just look at the recommended posts, that tab could be put in your user profile, so as not to take up front page real estate.

For point 4, you could just put a new line where needed under the views line, that says something as simple as 3 recs.

share|improve this answer
    
I like both points. "3 recs" and a tooltip "Jon Skeet, Bobince, and Lance Roberts recommend this" would work prefectly. It could maybe also be placed next to the tags –  Pëkka Sep 19 '11 at 23:39
    
Or it could just be a highlight in the New Questions tab, as for questions tagged with tags you are following. –  Verbeia Sep 20 '11 at 0:51

Reputation System would become a Popularity Score

A way to favorite or follow track users would only be a way to inadvertently game the reputation system solely based on subconscious human nature.

People with lots of followers would get even more up votes from the acolytes no matter how flippant, trivial, complete and incorrect their answers might be.

People with no followers would most likely get ignored even with better more complete and accurate answers.

This would turn the reputation system into a popularity score, more than it already is.

Social isn't always Positive

The inverse is also just as true, create an enemy and they could more easily follow you and serial down vote everything you answer or ask. That will make the sites better how?

I don't want to have to manage yet another list of people I don't want tracking me, I don't want to manage yet another list of people I have to constantly respond to requests either.

It would just encourage newbies to think that stackexchange sites are FORUMS!

There is already this tendency for new users to treat all the stackexchange sites as discussion forums. Nothing should be done to encourage this behavior and increase the load on the community and moderators especially to police questions that clog up the works.

It would also signal a similar shift in policy to long existing members as well.

Use an existing Social network and leave me out of it

The RSS feeds already do what a favorite would do.

Use an existing 3rd party aggregation site like Delcicous.com to bookmark these feeds and aggregate them and publish and share them. Use Pinterest or Bo.lt as well?

share|improve this answer
4  
Are you sure you posted this in the right question? None of your points really apply to it. This isn't about "tracking" users like other suggestions on Meta are. (Edit: ah, I see now - you just copy & pasted the same answer across a number of feature requests with "Social networking" in it. How about actually reading them first?) –  Pëkka Jul 12 '12 at 7:15
3  
I'd expect from a 17+K user to know not to copy paste answers from one post to another... –  Lix Jul 12 '12 at 7:58
    
I did read them, and my opinion on the are all the same. –  Jarrod Roberson Jul 12 '12 at 8:13

Social Networking is Bad for Stack Exchange Q&A

The problem that I see with the recommend and follow links is that it just seems to me like an alternative form of filtering questions, when the voting system already does that for us.

Most of the traffic on Stack Overflow comes from search engines, and most people who view an existing question and it's answers, who benefit from it, are generally those people coming from Google. Therefore, the only people that would benefit from social networking features would be people on Stack Overflow already who actively, and addictively, participate in Q&A. Most of us who follow users would then only be looking at questions and answers out of curiosity, not to solve real problems, and this could possibly distort the amount of reputation that these users gain.

It's been said before that social networking features would take the focus off the content and incorrectly bias it towards people. In other words, answers wouldn't stand on their own purely on the content.

But What About Social Networking in Chat?

Instead of just being another naysayer, I'm going to propose something a bit different. I recently jumped into the NSChat and C++ Lounge chat rooms to bounce some ideas around about some problems I was facing that I wasn't sure was appropriate as actual SO questions, since they involved a fair amount of discussion and follow up. I was impressed with the community's willingness to help, and noted that these rooms sort of had a feel all of their own, with rules, guidelines, and even room leaders who weren't moderators.

The rooms had a very distinct social feel to them. People knew each other, talked about off-topic stuff, joked around, and also talked about relevant problems. The rules in chat are different than the rules on the Q&A sites.

To clarify, I wouldn't support following users to see what they say in questions or answers, or for the purpose of tracking any activities those users are doing on the main site, but it might be interesting to be able to follow what users are saying in chat rooms they participate in.

The chat rooms already have a starring feature that is a start to this process, but I could see this being expanded so that some of these social networking features exist in the chat rooms themselves.

Again, I wouldn't want Stack Exchange to implement anything that could disrupt the Q&A, but for the most part, it seems that what goes on in chat rooms is mostly removed from what goes on in the actual Q&A, and these are already the closest things we have to social on Stack Exchange today. So the next question is to determine whether or not there are reasons that this could be harmful, then determine how to address those issues. If it's possible to implement such features without being disruptive, then Stack Exchange may be more open to the ideas of implementing such features. Hope this helps!

share|improve this answer
    
I tend to disagree with your second paragraph about the Google users - this suggestion is merely an additional way of finding interesting questions to answer. It would by definition benefit only existing active users, but that would be fine. Still, I like your focus on chat very much. Some chat rooms are already being used as places for socially driven quality control, eg. the PHP chat room with its ongoing "closevote please" and "deletevote please" discussions. Extending that to a place where people make "interesting question" suggestions –  Pëkka Oct 17 '12 at 22:46
    
....isn't that far away, although one would have to think about how exactly to implement this. –  Pëkka Oct 17 '12 at 22:47
    
@Pekka, according to Robert Cartaino, A successful site gets about 60-90% of its traffic from search.. While this is generalized information, I'm almost certain that most of the people visiting SO are coming from search engines. Many of them won't even have accounts on SO. I guess you could implement some SEO type algorithms that make sure posts recommended by Skeet have higher SEO rankings, but then we're just competing with the current voting system. –  jmort253 Oct 17 '12 at 22:55
    
[cont'd] - So I'm not 100% sure that's helpful or not to rank SEO by recommendation, since Skeet probably isn't recommending it because it solved his problem but because he thinks it's cool. I'm almost certain that guy is just living off his publishing royalties and just spending his days on SO, not really running into any actual programming problems. ;) Not saying that's a bad thing -- living the dream -- but I'd rather something be ranked high because it solved people's real problems. Still, the subject of social on Q&A has been beat to death, but social on chat could have a future. :) –  jmort253 Oct 17 '12 at 22:56
    
But why is a feature a bad thing just because it doesn't benefit all users? That part I don't understand. There's a lot of features that benefit only registered users. –  Pëkka Oct 17 '12 at 23:31

Well you're basically asking for a "newsfeed" of their activity. Instead of recommend, what you really want is a list of what they've voted up, which has previously been removed.

I think that's reasonable to ask.

share|improve this answer

I'm not a frequent meta user, so maybe it's an old idea. But...

What if users with some minimal rep would be able to upvote a question twice. To indicate that not only it's a well formed question, but an interesting one as well.

And the list of double-upvoted questions could be public on the voter's user page. Just like favorites. So I could choose to follow it.

I understand the slight difference between favorites and interesting questions. Maybe "uppervoting" could fill the interestingness-gap.

One could think of extending this to three available upvotes for even higher rep users.

Just an idea.

share|improve this answer
    
A vote represents the combination of form, grammar, interest and usefullness, and it simply already is a democratic system. –  NGLN Sep 20 '11 at 23:05
3  
Reminds me of an old novel by Nevile Shute, In the Wet. Premise was that the "right people" (educated, middle-class) got extra votes so those nasty working-class types didn't get a look-in in government. I hated the idea then, and I'm still uncomfortable with variations on it. amazon.com/Wet-Vintage-Classics-ebook/dp/B003F2QNRO/… –  Verbeia Sep 21 '11 at 5:33

This could, to some extent, be automated within the existing systems.

For example, you could take "favourites" as a measure of which questions a given user would recommend to others as being "interesting"*. A simple recommender algorithm (e.g. nearest K neighbours) could then be used to populate a list of recommended posts, based on questions favourited by users whose other favourites are similar to your own.

Adding an explicit "follow" option to another user's profile might be used to adjust the weighting of this algorithm, increasing the weighting of questions favourited by the followed user.

This way, you'll get access to posts that are probably interesting, even if not favourited by someone you're following. Adding the weighting will serve to further refine the results towards posts that are more likely to be interesting.


* Yes, I'm aware favourites are used for more than just "questions I'm interested in". If really necessary, you could (of course) add a separate "recommended" option as described by the OP.

share|improve this answer
    
Not sure that would be good. "Favorites" is called what it is likely because the devs all have an MS background, and used the same terminology used in IE for bookmarking. I use favorites to bookmark things that I plan to come back and contribute to, or if something needs an edit from me, a comment, or downvote but I just don't have time to deal with it right then. In short, things in my favorites aren't necessarily my favorite. ;) –  jmort253 Oct 17 '12 at 23:01
    
@jmort253: like I said in my footnote, I'm aware of this. If it's an issue, a second "recommend" option would of course be necessary. The point of the post was the recommender algorithm idea (rather than just "list of questions recommended by people I'm following"). If it helps, feel free to replace all mentions of "favourite" with "recommendation". –  Mac Oct 17 '12 at 23:04

If you want to "follow" bobince, I suggest starting with...

his posting activity:

http://stackoverflow.com/users/18936/bobince?tab=activity#page_1-filter_posts

his comment activity:

http://stackoverflow.com/users/18936/bobince?tab=activity#page_1-filter_comments

the questions bobince has favorited:

http://stackoverflow.com/users/18936/bobince?tab=favorites

I'm violently opposed to asking users to do extra work just on your behalf -- if the question is interesting then there is IMNSHO a very high probability they have commented on it, answered it, favorited it, or upvoted it.

The only one of those you don't have visibility into at the moment is the upvoting.

share|improve this answer
    
Given my alternative does not require any effort by the "followed" users, and tracks the activities of the aggregation of tag-badged users rather than individuals, would it be appropriate to pose it as an alternative question/proposal? –  Verbeia Sep 20 '11 at 4:57
3  
it's definitely a better idea than what was proposed in the Q, though I am not convinced that simply looking at what people answer and comment on is insufficient for this purpose already... –  Jeff Atwood Sep 20 '11 at 5:03
28  
"commented on it" - 90% of some users' comments are "please add some code" or "please improve this question". I know mine are. "Answered it" - it Jon Skeet has answered a question, chances are I have nothing to contribute to it. "Favourited it" - fair enough, but I can't troll a dozen users' favourite lists to see whether there happens to be good new content. Try wading through the plethora of "I want to rewrite my URLs", "My characters are looking funny", "How to split results into pages" questions that are the PHP and mysql tags and you'll see where the motivation for this comes from. –  Pëkka Sep 20 '11 at 9:17
16  
Oh, and looking at the links you posted above: The last time Bobince favourited a question was on March 11. And I can tell you from experience that commenting somewhere is far from being a good indicator for a good question - you comment when you see something blatantly wrong, for example, but that is not a guarantee that either question or answer are interesting. And re the "extra work" argument - this from the man who introduced flagging, peer editing, and the review pages? Come on. This feature would be entirely optional for both follower and followee –  Pëkka Sep 20 '11 at 9:28
    
Verbeia posted a variation based on automatic factors that looks interesting and might work - although I'm not 100% convinced the factors available can really be used to indicate good questions –  Pëkka Sep 20 '11 at 10:29
3  
Here's one Eric Lippert probably would have "promoted" stackoverflow.com/questions/3271256/… –  jcolebrand Sep 21 '11 at 5:06
3  
Well then Jeff, would you be willing to consider something like this based on voting instead of explicitly recommending stuff? ie. mark questions that a user I'm following has upvoted. Following people's commenting and answering activity is definitely not good enough to find interesting content. –  Pëkka Oct 6 '11 at 13:28
5  
95% of the questions I comment on are bad questions: "hey, can you post some code?", "what results are you expecting?", "have you tried <very simple debugging procedure>?", "have you tried <very simple fix>", "I can't reproduce your problem". I think those make up the vast majority of my comments on questions. –  NullUserException อ_อ Oct 18 '11 at 0:11
16  
I think you didn't really get what this suggestion is about, Jeff. I don't want to specifically follow bobince. I want to see additional hints about what might be interesting when browsing questions. I predict that one day, you will revisit this and implement it in some way. –  Pëkka Nov 3 '11 at 20:05

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