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When someone asks a question I often don't know the exact answer but have a suggestion for the first thing to try, or sometimes they don't give enough info and I need more details. When I do this, I always keep going back and checking if anything new comes up.

I'm notified in the header if there's a comment on my answer, but not a comment on other people's answers. So this feature is almost useless for me.

What is the best way to keep track of any change at all to questions you're helping find an answer to? Do you bookmark them and keep re-visiting? Should I favourite the question (seems this would be miss-using the reputation system). Or just don't bother going back unless someone comments on your answer?

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6 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'd say favoriting the question is The Way to Go. You will get notified of comments and answers to the question (but not of comments to answers); the only problem: If you have many favorites, then at the moment there's no easy way to find out which favorite question was commented on (as far as I know).

As Rob says, reputation is of no concern for favorites.

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The favourites tab on your profile can be sorted by recent activity. So the questions at the top will be the ones that have have the most recent changes. –  ChrisF May 11 '11 at 11:01
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@ChrisF: Nope, comments don't count as activity. –  Hendrik Vogt May 11 '11 at 11:24
    
It's a shame i can't be notified of comments on answers, but even if I have to manually go in and check for new comments it's still a pretty good solution. –  Abhi Beckert May 11 '11 at 20:18
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Adding a question to favourites doesn't, I believe, increase the reputation of the asker or the person adding the favourite. So by all means, add the question to your favourites as a way of keeping track of questions you want to revisit.

Update: I've just added and removed this question from my favourites and it had no effect on my reputation, or yours.

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If enough people favorite your question you can get silver or gold badge. But given that it starts at 25 favorites, I don't think that would be an issue. –  Brian Reichle May 11 '11 at 9:45
    
@Brian - I think the OPs "ask" would be a good fit for it anyway; to me favouriting a question indicates that I'm interested in the content of the question, therefore it would warrant counting towards the badge =) But yes, at 25 faves, it's not the worlds easiest badge to get! 0.14% of questions on stackoverflow have generated the badge, 0.21% on meta.stackoverflow.com - it's not a significant number by any stretch =) –  Rob May 11 '11 at 10:04
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There is a pretty useful StackApps app called StackStalker (Google Chrome Extension) written by Jason Edleman that does exactly this (Including notification badges). You can check it out here:

StackStalker: Be Notified When Your Question Is Updated (Chrome Extension)

In Action:

Following a Question

After some changes:

Got me a vote!

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From the description, this seems like the sort of thing I've been looking for, and I wish the stackexchange sites had this functionality built-in. –  Ryan Jun 25 '12 at 16:57
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If you subscribe to your own activity feed, then you can easily search and label your activity using the software of your choice.

  • Go to your profile page, lower right corner, click the icon.

  • Or: use a browser that shows feeds that are defined in the HTML. Like Safari shows an RSS icon in the location bar:

    These browsers simply take the URL from the following part of the HTML:

    <link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" 
       title="Feed for user Arjan" href="/feeds/user/84237">
    

Note that it's a feed of the 30 latest questions, answers, and comments from a user, so you might want to configure your local software to keep history. Bonus: whenever things are deleted, your own software still has its local copy too.

Likewise, subscribing to your responses feed might allow for easier searching too. The responses tab used to show a different icon for that feed, but that's no longer the case (and any feed that a browser might show actually refers to the user feed, not to the responses feed). To manually get the feed:

  • Use your regular user feed, and add /responses to the end.

  • Or: use something like http://stackoverflow.com/feeds/user/84237/responses, with the site name of your choice, and replace 84237 with whatever is your id on that site. Some RSS clients might also like the link to start with feed:// rather than http://.

This is a feed of the 30 latest comments, answers, and revisions to a user's content.

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I was thinking about this recently too, it's the comments on other answers mostly, Question askers often engage with first answer posted and you can pick up further details by reading them if they don't actually edit their own question or add to the general comments

some outside tools

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As for the first: looks nice, but its usage instructions state: "1. Select the text you want monitored for updates. 2. Right-Click. On the Check4Change context menu, select the time interval." On SE sites, it might be a bit hard to select the page content without things that change automatically, like "answered 10 minutes ago"? –  Arjan May 11 '11 at 12:01
    
@Arjan, agreed no use for that, both of them would be the same too at least until the post got old enough to display the actual date and time - I was thinking out loud having used them for other things. I'm going to try your idea of using the feed +1 btw ;) –  clairesuzy May 11 '11 at 14:05
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I don't use favorite question for this. I rather use my profile plus answers ordered by most recent, favorite tag ordered by activity or my own activity to track comments I posted. It is not ideal but I simply don't want to favorite every question I answer.

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