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Regarding the implementation of this feature trialling here on meta.

I think the 'in question list notification bar' is a nice feature, however when there are questions with new activity this also prefixes the number of new questions before the title element of the page. I.e.

Meta Stack Overflow

becomes

(1) Meta Stack Overflow

Screengrab of title bar

Perhaps it is just because I am so used to Facebook, but to me it makes more sense to have such indicators in titles only when content is directly related to the user.

The feature announcement says that this feature also includes live updating of notifications that would appear in the inbox - this seems perfect for the numerical count in the title, however having every single updated question appearing in tabs on high activity sites would be distracting and would draw attention away from the benefits of these two requests (A and B) for title notifications to be displayed similarly to how they are on Facebook.

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5  
+1 personally think this should only happen for SuperCollider notifications –  Alex Coplan Mar 9 '12 at 23:51
1  
I think this should never happen at all. Titles should be titles, not titles plus content. –  Toomai Mar 10 '12 at 2:02
    
I have made a feature request to show both inbox updates and questions with new activity in the page title: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/127139/… –  N.N. Mar 28 '12 at 8:17
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2 Answers

Personally, I like the page title change. It's perfect for iPad users because now I don't have to keep switching tabs to see new activity. This is a major benefit because Safari eats a ton of memory on an iPad and sometimes even with 2 tabs open Safari will force refresh a page when you switch to the tab; which sucks when you are half way through answering a question, switch tabs, page refreshes and you lose everything in the answer text box.

Please keep the question activity number in the page title!

I know the SE devs aren't big on providing users with personal settings/options, but it would be nifty if this could be enabled/disabled per user via a toggle button somewhere.

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How does that number prevent you from switching to another tab and then losing your edits? –  Arjan Mar 11 '12 at 8:15
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@Arjan I assume it prevents him from switching unnecessarily often because now he only needs to switch if there's really something new in the other tab. –  sepp2k Mar 11 '12 at 11:56
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@sepp2k, I'd say: that number would only invite one to click even more, expecting it's indeed "really something new", but in the end is just a new post—which will occur a lot once enabled on high traffic sites? –  Arjan Mar 11 '12 at 12:25
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I disagree. Updating the number in the title allows me to check the status of the site without having to change tabs. It's useful in chat:

enter image description here

where the (1) indicates that there's been an additional message posted to the chatroom. If it indicates (1*), I know that there's been a post addressed to me.

It's also useful for email:

enter image description here

I have 7 unread emails in my inbox right now. That will soon be 0, but after I read them I would like to be aware of new messages which come in without tabbing over to an empty inbox a half-dozen times.

Finally, other people want it. This is evidenced by this answer to a request for title notifications, which offers a userscript to do so before this feature existed officially.

Titles with notifications are ubiquitous. On Electrical Engineering, where we get about 60 questions, answers, and edits each day, this would save a lot of time checking when nothing's happened.

However, even after all that has been said, I can see how this could be annoying on a high-activity site like Stack Overflow, where the counter would quickly reach (999) or whatever the maximum value is. Perhaps the counting feature could be implemented only on sites below a certain level of activity?

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2  
Does the (1*) behaviour actually happen? I haven't noticed it but that's much less irritating if it does. Although come to think of it supercollider notifications don't seem to trigger the (1) at all :/ –  Rory Mar 11 '12 at 19:03
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@Rory - I've not noticed it on the main site (when would it do that? After an update to one of your favorites? To a post you've asked, answered, edited, retagged, commented, or voted on?) but it definitely does it in chat. –  Kevin Vermeer Mar 11 '12 at 19:16
    
The feature announcement I linked to mentioned that this would also be the case for global inbox notifications, however it doesn't seem to have been made a reality :( –  Rory Mar 11 '12 at 19:19
    
Fair enough, but how is this useful for new questions/answers of any other user on the regular sites? To me, the examples you're giving are all related to messaging: chat, email, and yes, if you want to be notified of each new post then I consider that messaging too. But on high traffic sites, I would not consider someone else's question or answer to be of any interest. –  Arjan Mar 11 '12 at 19:28
    
@Arjan - Yes, I want to be notified of each new post. They're part of our small community, and as long as I have the tab open I'm interested in them. I understand that this would be impractical on high-traffic sites. –  Kevin Vermeer Mar 12 '12 at 2:10
    
The userscript you link to does exactly what this question proposes: change the title only for new global inbox messages. It does not update the page title when any user asks a new question about anything, which is what the new feature does. –  Kip Mar 20 '12 at 2:16
    
Even with an extra asterisk for personal messages, pinned tabs would still show all notifications, @Rory. Still annoying, I'd say. –  Arjan Feb 17 '13 at 12:44
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