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A very nice feature for Stack Overflow (and other Stack Exchange sites) would be to indicate the number of notifications (if any) in the browser tab like seen on Facebook:

Facebook notification in browser tab

Of course that would require automatic update if content has changed. Some kind of 'push-notification' which would be a nice feature as well.

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That already happens when on the homepage/new questions lists and new questions come in. Can't see how your request can be accommodated... the one exception is Stack Overflow. – Oded Jul 17 '12 at 19:52
@Oded: For example, (Q|I|N) Stack Overflow, where Q is the number of new questions, I the number of inbox items and N the number of notifications. – Dennis Jul 17 '12 at 19:57
Unless, @Oded, Does the X questions with new activity feature have to change the page title? is implemented first :-) – Arjan Jul 17 '12 at 19:58
@Arjan - You mean un-implemented ? – Oded Jul 17 '12 at 19:59
@Oded, yeah, well, if the feature request is implemented then the notification is un-implemented indeed. – Arjan Jul 17 '12 at 19:59
I've up-voted this, because I agree it would be useful, but I will admit I hesitated. Only because there are so many other more important bugs / features to work on. – Aaron Bertrand Jul 17 '12 at 20:23
This would be great with HTML5 Browser Push notifications – JoePasq Apr 18 '14 at 13:24

You might like the StackAlert extension for Google Chrome, which does this in a little icon off to the edge of your screen:

enter image description here

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Yes it's a good extension but it takes about 5 min before being notified... The SE inbox is instantly updated (using RSS feeds is even slower, at least to my experience). I hope they will make such features, it's really missing – Enora Nedelec Oct 9 '14 at 10:05

Per this question, a user script was created to help draw attention to notifications even when the tab isn't in focus. It changes the page title to include the 'unreadCount' from the StackExchange SuperCollider.

Here you can find the script.

I use tampermonkey to run the script as recommended in this question

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