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It would very helpful if new posts were clearly labeled as "new" if they were posted since our last login. A visual indicator would be much easier than remembering when I last logged in and then constantly looking for anything less than "asked 4 hours ago".

Ideally, the new label should apply to new questions, answers, and comments. It should be something unobtrusive:

alt text - The "new" tag from Wikimedia Commons

alt text - A little dot

→ A special character

N - or even just a little "n" or different color to mark new content.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I think the biggest problem here is that most people do not log off. They just stay logged on all the time. I guess you could base it off the last point of user activity, but even then that could throw off results wildly if all you did that day was look at stuff. Then you would have to potentially start tracking everything we look at to make sure that it is actually new.

I like the idea, just not sure of how feasible it is. I guess if most forum software can track this type of "read status" then SO should as well.

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True. I've written forum software and it isn't always completely accurate. But if you keep the profiles "last seen" date after so much time has elapsed, that seems like a pretty good indicator of when I was last online. For users who are always on the site 24/7, then they could quickly log off/on if they wanted to take advantage of the "new" labeling functionality. – Robert Cartaino Sep 16 '09 at 19:41
Oh, and I'm not suggesting that the site track everything we look at to keep track of new-ness. It would definitely be a date/time marker, after which a post is considered "new." – Robert Cartaino Sep 16 '09 at 19:44

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