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Why don't I get an inbox message when an answer to a question asked by me is revised/edited?

This is not a duplicate of: Does the OP of a question get a message in the inbox when I update my answer?

I know that we don't get notifications and my question is WHY?

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I think its clear from Jeff's answer and the comment thread that you'd get bored/annoyed with the trivial nature of most edits. –  Some Helpful Commenter May 30 '12 at 17:57
    
@SomeHelpfulCommenter Okay, thanks for the link. –  user221287 May 30 '12 at 18:00
    
Related (possible solution to this): meta.stackexchange.com/questions/83343/… –  Shog9 May 30 '12 at 18:22
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I wonder if it would be worth adding this to the new notifications tab, rather than a full-on inbox message. Since that's for lower priority stuff, it might make sense. –  jadarnel27 May 30 '12 at 18:55

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

With regard to overwhelming the user's in-box.

I created this query that examines the number of messages a user might have seen if this functionality had existed.

avg      | max     |  stdev
-------- +---------+-------
13.07    | 4,711   |  48.44

The average count of 13 doesn't seem to bad and the standard deviation of around 50 doesn't seem that bad either because the majority of users will receive less than 60. Based on my personal experience this would create about a 10% uptick in notifications.

There are some users of course that will receive a lot of notifications but these are people who ask a lot of questions, and given the amount of help they're getting it doesn't bother me a whole lot.

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Consider somebody that has posted thousands of questions on Stack Overflow (the Antiskeet), and he gets an inbox notification every time somebody fixes a typo or updates a link...

If this got implemented, it would definitely have to be opt-in. I see two ways of doing that:

  • Let everybody opt in and out of the notifications:

    I don't see this happening, since SE isn't big in customizing the UI.

    In this case, it's probably a good thing, since the editor wouldn't know whether the OP gets notified or not.

  • Let the editor choose if he wants to notify the OP:

    Just add a check box to the edit interface. If the edit is important, the editor can check it.

    This would also remove a lot of noise in form of I've updated my answer comments.

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Here's Jeff's reasoning for not adding a checkbox Adding a checkbox would be like adding a "free spam" button. If you need to let someone know about important bits of an edit, expend the effort to add a comment elaborating about it –  Some Helpful Commenter May 30 '12 at 18:00
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@SomeHelpfulCommenter: Well, you need 50 rep to comment, so that's not an option for some. But it's hardly free: An edit (that would trigger the notification) has to come from a 2k user or be peer approved. –  Dennis May 30 '12 at 18:05
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hmm I was thinking more about when users edit their own answers. The 50 rep comment restriction doesn't apply there. –  Some Helpful Commenter May 30 '12 at 18:16
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Having thousands of questions is definitely an edge case and a red herring with respect to this problem. Given the current question restrictions of 50/month, you'd need to hit the cap every month for almost 2 years to even hit a thousand. –  user149432 May 30 '12 at 18:34
    
@MarkTrapp: OK, OK. s/thousands/a lot of/ Still true. –  Dennis May 30 '12 at 21:31

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