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Is it possible to subscribe other users' favorites feeds?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jan 20 '12 at 14:21

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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Yes, you can.

The users/{id}/favorites API call returns a JSON response with a user's favorites.

You can use this JSON response to be notified (you might have to transform it in some way, but it is a feed like RSS, ATOM, it's just a different format) when a new favorite is added (you'd have to use polling just like an RSS/ATOM feed reader does).

That said, you can see the response for my current favorites on Stack Overflow through this link:

http://api.stackoverflow.com/1.1/users/50776/favorites

Which returns the following response (I've truncated it a bit to make the format of the response clear):

{
 "total": 49,
 "page": 1,
 "pagesize": 30,
 "questions": [
  {
   "tags": [
    "mathematica"
   ],
   "answer_count": 3,
   "favorite_count": 4,
   "closed_date": 1325272367,
   "closed_reason": "not constructive",
   "question_timeline_url": "/questions/8672115/timeline",
   "question_comments_url": "/questions/8672115/comments",
   "question_answers_url": "/questions/8672115/answers",
   "question_id": 8672115,
   "owner": {
    "user_id": 1121705,
    "user_type": "registered",
    "display_name": "Brandon Ogle",
    "reputation": 24,
    "email_hash": "7d4eecba99c6f1c762d5380088a5e412"
   },
   "creation_date": 1325184874,
   "last_edit_date": 1325187462,
   "last_activity_date": 1326811827,
   "up_vote_count": 5,
   "down_vote_count": 1,
   "view_count": 307,
   "score": 4,
   "community_owned": false,
   "title": "Are there good online video tutorials for learning Mathematica?"
  },
  ...
 ]
}

If JSON is good enough for you, then you can stop there.

If you want an RSS feed, then you can use the Stack2RSS app with the same API route/parameters to get an RSS feed. So to get the RSS for the API call above, you would use:

http://stack2rss.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow.com/users/50776/favorites

Which is directly pluggable into any application that can consume RSS.

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So for example the url http://stack2rss.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow.com/users/50776/favoriteslin‌​k would then return what I was asking for. –  Petri Sirkkala Jan 23 '12 at 13:00
    
@PetriSirkkala Yes, and I've updated my answer appropriately. –  casperOne Jan 23 '12 at 17:19

No. Stack Overflow is a Q&A site, not a social networking site, so there is no functionality for "subscribing" to a particular user in any way. There have been requests for similar things in the past, and they have all been shot down.

Marking a question as a favorite doesn't mean that it's any good. In fact, I often use favorites to mark questions that need editing or which are otherwise problematic. Favorites don't necessarily make sense for anyone but the user they belong to.

In the end, it's the content itself that matters. Not who wrote it, who voted for it or who marked it as a favorite.

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2  
It might not be a social networking site, but there is a social aspect to it, as evidenced by a) the existence of chat (and Jeff's blog indicating the need for a social aspect to round out all the Stack Exchange sites) b) the gaming aspects of the site, as they wouldn't exist without interaction between yourself and other users c) the use of comments for socialization (which is an incorrect usage, btw, but it proves the point). I don't think that being able to subscribe to another user's favorites is a bad idea, they are visible anyways, automating that doesn't hurt. –  casperOne Jan 20 '12 at 15:17
    
Even if Stack Overflow is not social I would still like to share a collection of SO-answers with my collegues. Those articles would be important to us. Without any feed or other user managed collection we have to resort to emailing bunch of links between us. It seems such a waste of resources to do so. –  Petri Sirkkala Jan 20 '12 at 17:25

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