It would be nice to see what users have recently been active. This is somewhat standard with many forum-style websites, showing how active the site has been in the last n-minutes or so. As a functional advantage, this also serves to let you know when is a good time to get a question in.

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Why are there so many request centered toward "user activity"?

I think stackoverflow (ant its family) is more Q&A centric, with no particular value (other than maybe curiosity) to the user asking or answering (well, in these case the reputation of the answerer may be important, but only in the context of the answer, I don't think it has value to want to follow every answer by one user)

Anyway, it's my opinion

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Humans are social-animals. This is evident by the enormous popularity of twitter, facebook, (sadly) myspace, and more. We blog, we watch eachother, we interact, and more. This, I suspect, is why there will be no shortage to requests on SO to make it more "social." This is already happening, possibly against SO's will, in comments and more. People are discussing, joking, voting up friends, voting down dissenters, sharing jokes, favoriting "questions" and more. Social-interaction is inevitable, it's what we do, and we (people) cannot be stopped from doing it. –  Jonathan Sampson Jul 20 '09 at 19:32
    
@Juan, If that's the case then how about scrapping the concept of reputation in SO? –  user182130 Mar 26 '12 at 18:52
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You could just hard-code Jon Skeet's name on there.

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I'll write up a greasemonkey script later today ;) –  Jonathan Sampson Jul 6 '09 at 14:30
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If right(today.tostring(), 1) = "y" Then Response.Write("Jon Skeet is Active!") End If –  TheTXI Jul 6 '09 at 14:32
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