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In the last few days I've noticed that replies to comments I've made on SO seldom appear in my "inbox" any more. It's become far more likely that I'll discover new replies by revisiting posts I've previously commented on, than by waiting for them to turn up in my inbox.

This feature used to work reliably, at least seemingly. Did anything change here? Is this a known issue?

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Are the users who are replying to your comments using the @name syntax?… – Brandon Dec 21 '10 at 17:29
Don't think so. Your comment there, for example, worked fine... I got the little red "1" overlay which I haven't seen for some time. – Reuben Scratton Dec 21 '10 at 17:32
Check out the rules for the comment notification that I linked above. I'm commenting on a post made by you, so it'll notify you. If I wanted to reply to you on someone elses post, I'd have to use @Reuben. – Brandon Dec 21 '10 at 17:33
Now I understand. I assumed those notifications resulted merely from having made a comment. Certainly that would be a bit more intuitive... I keep finding places where people have asked me questions and don't find out until days later, if at all, cos they didn't tag me. Many thanks @Brandon. – Reuben Scratton Dec 21 '10 at 17:41
No problem. I made my comments into an answer so you can resolve the question if you wish. – Brandon Dec 21 '10 at 17:43
The problem, by virtue of evidence, is that the comments are not database or event driven; the text is crawled by a bot, and if it find a valid @name in the right place, it will post a notification to that person. – PerformanceDBA Dec 21 '10 at 21:19
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The reason you aren't being notified is because the other users are not using the @name syntax which triggers the notification.

See How do comment replies work for the full details.

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As usual the community FAQ is kind of a fail, because it doesn't give you the most pertinent bit of information:

You are always notified of comments on your posts.

The @reply syntax is only relevant on other people's posts.

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Isn't that the first bullet in the community FAQ? – Brandon Dec 21 '10 at 20:47
I guess folks are just too accustomed to Twitter-like commenting without too many rules at all, and hence don't figure they need to read the FAQ? And without reading the FAQ many surely are not aware of "Only the first name mentioned using the @name syntax will be notified". – Arjan Dec 21 '10 at 21:17
@brandon it's buried under another paragraph and is expressed in awkward syntax. meh. – Jeff Atwood Dec 21 '10 at 21:27

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