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A system such as Stack Overflow thrives on real-time communication. XMPP is to the best of my knowledge most suitable for this and is already commonly used for real-time notification by many sites.

I would like to follow my questions and answers and also any new questions which may be of my interest. It might be also desirable to use instant messaging client to participate in discussion: leave comments, vote.

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Something that might get you one step closer (at least for the public data) is PubSubHubBub: It basically gives you easy-ish push functionality for public info (non-logged in users) and is simpler to integrate with HTTP if you don't already run XMPP. – Adam Goode Oct 28 '09 at 23:02
Somewhat related:… – Flow Dec 16 '12 at 16:42

Visit often. That's about as real-time as it gets :) That, or you can subscribe to some of the RSS feeds. There are services out there that will IM you when you've got RSS updates.

I'll CW my post so others can add their suggestions:

  1. RSS2Twitter
  2. Inezha - Deliver RSS Feeds to your IM and Email in real-time
  3. TwitterFeed - Feed your blog to twitter
  4. IMFeeds
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The RSS feeds take long enough to get to Google Reader, that many of them already have an accepted answer. – Brad Gilbert Jul 13 '09 at 22:47
Here's another one: – denis Feb 17 '10 at 12:36
"Visit often." No, no, no. My problem is that I do visit---too often. Being able to close the tab right after asking, knowing that I will get notified when some nice folk puts an effort yo my Q would be a huge load off my mind. – Alois Mahdal Jun 14 '12 at 18:57
I don't think that OP asked for list of RSS2whatever services. I find this answer quite OT. – Alois Mahdal Jun 15 '12 at 18:30

Jon Skeet has suggested Wave integration a number of times. AFAIK, this is built on top of XMPP, but with additional support for versioning that would seem a better fit for the sort of notifications that i'd want from SO (not just new something posted alerts).

I don't know if this will ever happen... but let's hope!

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It's not quite true that it is based on top of XMPP, just the federation (intra-domain communication) protocols. In other words, Wave uses s2s exclusively, not c2s. – Adam Goode Oct 28 '09 at 22:59

SO is not a social networking site. This kind of functionality would not be useful to many people.

I suggest you try using a combination of RSS feeds and Google Reader. Other than that, you are free to write your own connector from there.

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I disagree. Real-time functionality is certainly not reserved just for social networks. With real time functionality, SO could become more than just a message board on steroids. Just my $0.2 – Aaron Jul 29 '09 at 20:10

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