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Problem:

If you are interesting in following any questions on, say (for instance), 'authentication', you can just open a new tab in your browser.

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/authentication (more than 800 questions)

Then you realize that there are interesting questions as well on ServerFault, or SuperUser (3 questions), even on Meta!

That means opening 3 or 4 tabs (just for one topic).

If you follow actively 2 or 3 tags (in separate tabs, without using 'or' operator, in order to avoid having sorting through each list in order to not miss a question for a particular tag), and if those tags are relevant for 2 or more SO-family sites... you end up with a lot of opened tabs.

Question:

1/ Would it be possible, when asking for questions tagged xxx, to be able to requests results from other SO-family sites? For example:
(and the following is by no mean a 'solution', just a proposition to illustrate how to achieve the end-result)

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/authentication?sites=sf and su

would display questions from SO and SF and SU, in my current SO page.
(Hopefully, color-scheme associated with each questions, or an dedicated icon, could help pinpoint which site they come from, but actually, when you are interested in a topic, you do not really care at first where it has been published)

2/ If that is not possible (too complex, or too confusing for the user), what would be your suggestion for that kind of "question monitoring on multiple sites"? (except opening a gazillion of tabs ;) )


If that issue makes sense, I will add the 'feature-request' tag on it.
I am just looking for some feedbacks first (since there could very well be a much simpler solution to this).


I did some tests with Google:

Regarding RSS, I am not sure the "refresh" rate of those feeds is quick enough for question monitoring (when you want to see at spot if a new question exists): a refresh in a browser directly query SO, but a refresh in an RSS aggregators would only display what has been published, or worse, what has been cached by the aggregator.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

This is now possible through the magic of filters!

Here I have set up an example filter to browse all questions from gaming.SE, Programmers.SE, and AskUbuntu.com.

It can also filter by tags, so it would be trivial to make a filter that displays all (and only!) the questions tagged on MSO, SO, SF, and SU.

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Couldn't you just do a google search, scoped to..

stackoverflow.com/tags/tagname
serverfault.com/tags/tagname
superuser.com/tags/tagname

(note that /tags/ is a synonym for /questions/tagged/ although I had to fight Jarrod on this because he has this thing for URL route 'purity')

edit: alternately, I'm sure there are services out there which will combine RSS feeds -- you could combine the RSS feeds for that tag on all three sites.

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I drank too much of the RESTFUL kool-aid.. I mean, I plead the 5th! – Jarrod Dixon Jul 22 '09 at 8:07
    
I am not sure Google could return the most recent question first (which is what you are after when "monitoring" a tag). I will try some Google search to see if it does solve this problem. – VonC Jul 22 '09 at 8:25

For tag monitoring across sites, I'd just use RSS. You can get RSS feeds of a particular tag, so just use one for each site. (Some aggregators/other things have ways of treating more than one feed as a single feed).

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I believe RSS feeds are not updated "quickly" enough to be effective (correct me if I am wrong). By the time you detect a new question, it is often too late to contribute in a meaningful way. – VonC Jul 22 '09 at 8:26

It is very rare that I want to search the same tag on multiple sites; largely by definition I expect there to be a good difference in the content of each, and I'd only search on the most appropriate site (am I interested in server configuration? programming concerns? or the end-user's experience?). If the same content is on each, something is probably wrong...

Other than that... google ;-p

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I do not believe that a tag present on multiple site means "duplicate content"; that said, your "very rare that I want to search the same tag on multiple sites" could be the definitive answer: if I am the only one having this issue, it is not useful for the community ;) – VonC Jul 22 '09 at 8:29

Google or RSS do not answer my request.

I need a native search able to give me at spot across SO sites and right now, I have no choice but to open n windows for searching n site.

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@John: what other answer do you want me to accept, then? – VonC Aug 24 '09 at 12:30
    
None? No-one is forcing you! – Ladybug Killer Aug 25 '09 at 7:04
    
@John: blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/08/new-question-asker-features : Gotta have those 100% accept rate (and this question is closed, so no new answer to expect). Silly, I know, but if it is the game they want to play, I will play along... – VonC Aug 25 '09 at 7:11
    
You are playing it wrong! – Ladybug Killer Aug 25 '09 at 8:20
    
@John: I agree. But in this instance... who cares? – VonC Aug 25 '09 at 8:44
    
Point taken! – Ladybug Killer Aug 25 '09 at 11:46

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