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Subscribing to questions and comments that don't belong to you

I know this has been brought up before. I firmly believe there is a difference between a "Favorite" question (the little star) and a "Watch" (maybe some binoculars).

Today I was reading a jquery question that dealt with fading in and out and how document load works, etc etc. I started to answer it AND I even commented on it.. 2 minutes later I went back to the question and re-read it...Shoot I thought I misread the question so I deleted my comment AND I deleted my answer..

This question I do not consider a "Favorite" but I would consider it something interesting... I can't "Watch" this question...and no @Jeff Atwood, I do not want to temporarily add it to my favorites and then remove it, to me it is not a favorite.

Now I wanted to go back and see whatever ended up with this question. For the life of me I can't find it because 1) I deleted my comment and 2) I deleted the actual answer to my question. Hence, now I cannot find it because there are probably 500,000 jquery questions.

Can we please add a feature "Watch" kind of like http://www.quora.com/. I love that site because it has a watch feature. Stackoverflow developers / admins, please do not just close my question without an answer of why you think a watch is the same as a favorite.

  • 1
    is there some reason you can't just bookmark it in your browser, if you are so religiously opposed to marking it as a favorite? I think you're creating a problem that doesn't exist.. Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 23:04
  • @Jeff Atwood - So my browser is responsible for managing thousands of "interesting" stack exchange questions...real nice.
    – JonH
    Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 12:19
  • see stackexchange.com/users/… Commented Sep 16, 2011 at 0:45

1 Answer 1


First, I think you're getting too caught up in the semantics of the word "Favorites." In Web parlance it's just another word for "bookmarked for later," so I do think being able to star a question temporarily as a "Favorite" is a perfectly valid reason not to also add a "Watch" list. We already have one.

In addition to that, you can follow the RSS feed of any question you like in the RSS reader of your choice. The feed link is at the bottom right of the page.

  • 2
    Man, that question feed button needs to be bigger. I can't believe I've never seen it before! Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 18:42
  • @Chris: No! Smaller, and fade the color more! ;) Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 18:43
  • -1 but it is NOT a favorite, I only would like to see if they understood the problem and the possible answers. To me it isn't a favorite. If we don't pay attention to the semantics of the word favorite than it causes all the more confusion. Instead of 10 favorites I could potentially have 10,000. Have you ever scrolled through 10,000 favorites in google chrome / ie?
    – JonH
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 18:43
  • 6
    @JohH: Again, you're too caught up in the word "favorite." Nobody is saying that it's your favorite question in the whole wide world if you star it. We're not even saying that you like it. Just that you're keeping an eye on it. You can just click the star again to undo a favorite. Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 18:46
  • @Bill please see my edit...the point is WE should get caught up in the wording, I don't care if you want to change the word from favorite to bookmark, it still doesn't answer my question. I could have 10,000 bookmarks, but out of those 10k I have 20 favorites.
    – JonH
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 18:47
  • @JonH RSS feed != favorite, and you can use your favorite feed reader to keep tabs on the questions you're interested in. Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 18:47
  • 2
    @JohH: Do you think a Watch list with 10,000 questions would be any different than 10,000 favorites? Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 18:47
  • @Bill the Lizard - You can just click the star again to undo a favorite no really you should read my post, that is exactly opposite of what I want to do. Don't force the user to do more work, it's a horrible UI decision.
    – JonH
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 18:48
  • @Bill the Lizard - Having a list of 10,000 bookmarks is not ok....hence why should a favorite be lumped in with something that is not a favorite. Out of my 10,000 bookmarks, I have 10 favorites, why is it so hard to implement such a thing?
    – JonH
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 18:49
  • Can we get Facebook to add an "Acquaintance" category, too, while we're arguing about semantics?
    – Wooble
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 18:50
  • @Wooble - enter google+, that is exactly my point...if you are making it a joke. Competitors take people out by researching the UI or the mishaps of others. I am not saying this is just as big, but because we assume or "get caught up with the semantics" that is where the issue lies. In your example, because facebook doesn't have these special groups / lists google+. The result of this is people on facebook could and eventually will leave that in the dust and join a more logical more UI appreciative solution.
    – JonH
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 18:51
  • @Wooble - take a gander at quora and see how they handle this. The link is in my original question.
    – JonH
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 18:53
  • @JohH: You can undo the star when you're done watching the question. How else would you make the UI work? It's one click. If you don't make yourself clear then rereading your question doesn't help. Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 18:54
  • @JonH: No, you remove the star whenever you choose to. You never have to lose it at all. If you only have 10 questions that are your "real" favorites, then why haven't you bookmarked them in your browser, or on your Google home page? Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 19:02
  • @JohH: Both IE and Chrome support bookmark folders. I don't know if either one has a limit on the number of pages you can bookmark. Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 19:07

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