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If I ask a question, I would like it if I got a notification if someone as commented on any answer to the question I have asked.

So I ask "How do I foo". Joe Answers "One way to Foo is to Baz." Then Ted comments on Joe's Answer "You could also bar". I would like to get a notification about Ted's comment.

The rationale being that sometimes if a question is getting a little old (I tend to watch my recent questions actively), a useful comment will be posted and I might not see it a timely fashion.

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I'm sure this a duplicate, but I can't find it right now. –  ChrisF Feb 17 '10 at 16:51

3 Answers 3

The question asked seems to be very much valid. Here are my points supporting it.

  1. Sometimes the comment is based on the the answer. Consider a case i asked a question 'where is xyz written in some religion book', someone answered 'it is written on page 10'. Now I will be only notified about this answer. but assume that after some days, someone puts a comment on this answer saying that 'Page 10 does not describe what is being asked it describes something else'. Now, how will I know that the answer was not correct or is disputed. But if i get the notification for comment. I would have easily known what was correct.

  2. Many a times both the person who has replied and the person who has commented are in a discussion via comments proving their points and contradicting other's points and final outcome can be decided only after reading all the comments. This is a very common in religious stackexchange sites.

  3. May be the person who has asked the question also knows something about the discussion which can lead the discussion in a different and correct direction. But here the owner of the question is not given any chance by not notifying him. This is a very basic feature that should be there in stackexchange.

So, please understand that without this feature stack exchange is actually providing wrong/incomplete information to the questioner. You must have read the phrase 'Half information is dangerous', it implies perfectly here. Please remove the duplicate tag and think over the feature request again and please consider having it.

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Comments aren't meant to carry significant information - we should instead encourage users to post answers if they have information relevant to the question, or post comments to the question directly if they have comments about the question.

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But sometimes the comment is based on the the answer. Consider a case i asked a question 'where is xyz written in some religion book', someone answered 'it is written on page 10'. Now I will be only notified about this answer. but assume that after some days, someone puts a comment on this answer saying that 'Page 10 doesnot describe what is being asked it describes something else'. Now, how will I know that the answer was not correct or is disputed. But if i get the notification for comment. I would have easily known what was correct. –  Aby Jun 9 at 21:12
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Also many a times both the person who has replied and the person who has commented are in a discussion via comments proving their points and final outcome can be decided only after reading all the comments. May be the person who has asked the question also knows something about the discussion which can lead the discussion in a different and correct direction. But here the owner of the question s not given any chance by not notifying him. This is a very basic feature that should be there in stackexchange –  Aby Jun 9 at 21:16
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Actually I have also asked the same question and it was duplicated by this question. so i have to explain my point here. Please understand that without this feature stack exchange is actually providing wrong/incomplete information to the questioner. You must have read the phrase 'Half information is dangerous', it implies perfectly here. Please think over the feature request again and please consider having it. –  Aby Jun 9 at 21:20
    
True, but note that edits to answers (the preferred behavior) also don't produce notifications. I haven't looked for a feature request for that yet. –  Monica Cellio Jun 11 at 16:24
    
@Aby At that point, you also need to receive notifications for edits that occur to answers to your question. This isn't even offered, so why would comments? The reality is that if you are still having that problem, as a questioner, then you are already monitoring the question. If it's solved (for you) then comments will help future passers-by, but they are no longer relevant for you - you've moved on. Now consider the load - I have 100+ questions on SO, and in the last week there've been dozens of comments, edits, and so forth made to the answers. I've moved on - I don't want them. –  Adam Davis Jun 11 at 16:46
    
@Aby So while a notification can provide some insight while you're in the midst of the problem, a year down the road you aren't needing it, and it'll just clutter your inbox. So we let people monitor their own questions - if you still have an open issue, visit it occasionally. If you have a lot of them, subscribe to an internet service that watches webpages for changes for you - they are readily available. Adding Yet Another Notification(TM) isn't the best solution for the majority of users, and most will be annoyed by the additional notifications from questions years ago. –  Adam Davis Jun 11 at 16:48
    
And yes, in a display of irony I've here submitted as a series of comments a separate, complete response to the feature request which ostensibly has value to the OP that they will not see unless someone else notifies them. I suppose I'll compose it into another answer... –  Adam Davis Jun 11 at 16:50

if a question is getting a little old ... a useful comment will be posted and I might not see it a timely fashion.

This becomes very complicated and very noisy very quickly.

What is the use case?

For those users with very few questions which are never resolved, this might make sense. If you're in the middle of the problem, you're already receiving notifications for new answers, and you're checking the question by hand if there's ongoing discussion about a particular answer.

The vast majority of Stack Exchange use, however, is the following:

  1. I have a problem
  2. I ask for solutions
  3. Problem solved
  4. Move on to next problem

Most people, once the problem is solved, will not be interested in looking at that question again. Sure, you have a few people who like to curate their questions, and change the accepted answer or respond to comments occasionally, but for the vast majority of users, once the problem is solved they don't want to deal with it again.

Noisy

I have over 100 questions, and in the last week about 40 edits and comments have been made to a few of them. I don't want to see those notifications. I want to see them if they are to my answer, to my question directly, or to me using @adamdavis, but otherwise I'm not that interested in those things.

Now imagine the user with a thousand questions over the last few years - they would never see their normal notifications - direct mentions, comments to their questions and answers, etc - in the huge list of notifications not meant for them, but on answers to their questions. Not to mention every answer edit (since there's no reason to add a comment notification without also adding answer edit notifications). It would be too much.

So we'd then need a way to "follow" questions, and "unfollow" questions. This complicates the user interface further, for very little benefit - those few people who curate their questions over a very long period of time would benefit, but most of the users would merely be annoyed.

So just on the face of things it doesn't sound like a great plan. But let's take a step back and consider the ramifications:

What behavior are we encouraging

A notification would be an in-your-face suggestion that you take action. Yes, we have some notifications that user's have requested which don't require action (like rep increases), but for the most part notifications are a, "Please pay attention to this - you should review it and possibly respond or act on it."

So what is it that we're suggesting users do by telling them an answer to their question has a new comment that wasn't addressed to them? Again, those few users who curate their content will find this useful, but most people will look at the notification and go, "ARGH HOW DO I TURN THIS OFF!" They've already solved their problem.

So do we then provide another checkbox on each page to stop receiving notifications? Does it flash a popup giving you granular control over what notifications to receive?

Solution

For those people who want to track everything that changes to their questions, I suggest they employ a browser extension, or use an outside service. A quick search pulls up the following:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/page-monitor/pemhgklkefakciniebenbfclihhmmfcd?hl=en

https://www.changedetection.com/

http://www.watchthatpage.com/

http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/detect-website-change-notification/

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nice extensions! :) –  ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Jun 11 at 17:08

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