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How do you find the stuff that interests you on Stack Overflow?

I have set up a list of ignored tags to hide stuff that really isn't relevant to me (.Net mostly), and for some low activity tags (such as Haskell and evolutionary algorithms) I have subscribed to the feeds. Despite this, I still find it frustrating trying to locate the questions that I want to read and avoid the ones that I don't.

I end-up browsing through several individual tags, but this approach is sure to miss interesting content. There is too much new content to read through it all, and if somebody posted something good 12 hours ago while I was asleep, I am unlikely to see it.

I welcome any suggestions on how to become a more effective Stack Overflow user.

Ideally, Stack Overflow would have a more intelligent home page that would make suggestions based on my previous voting patterns. In the absence of this feature, what is the best way to find the interesting content? Does anybody have external tools that they use (e.g. Yahoo! Pipes) to filter questions? Or is there something else that I am missing?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 24 '09 at 18:01

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7 Answers 7

Funny thing i dont like the search that much so I start writing a title in a new question and look at the sugestions

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2  
Yes! Why does that work so much better than the search? –  user27414 Dec 31 '08 at 17:32

It depends on what you consider "interesting" content. After all, how do you know you're missing out? Maybe nobody is posting the things you're interested in.

Currently, though, the tag-based approach (coupled with sorting by newest) seems to work best. Hide the ones you know you aren't interested in, and then dig through ones that you are. You can do an or search for several tags (using brackets) at once in the search box:

[linux or css or perl]

Finds questions tagged with any of those, but not others.

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I do a tag-based search search. If that doesn't work, then I'll start creating a new question and see what similar ones pop up.

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The SO search just doesn't work well. I use Google and filter based on domain by adding "site:stackoverflow.com" to the search line.

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I do the same. Google owns the feeble SQL fulltext search available here. The only reason I would ever use the built-in search would be if I wanted to use tags (ie, [c#]). Even without tags though I can usually google and find the SO post faster. –  Simucal Dec 31 '08 at 18:34

Keep clicking on questions and have them sorted by newest. Then I can scan all of the new questions as they come in.

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Any of the "Hidden Features Of" questions are usually worth a read- often even if you don't use the platform they're asking about.

You can also try sorting questions by votes, and then just click randomly a few pages down.

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When I am on a question I do like I always check the Related section in the sidebar to see if there are any similar questions that seem interesting.

I also scan the new questions daily to see if anything catches my eye.

I prefer to graze rather than go searching.

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