Is it possible to get an email when there is any activity on a question I have posted, commented, or answered?

I only see a message on the Stack Overflow site itself. I would like to be notified too.

  • 8
    Please no! If I get automated e-mails from SE I quit and scrub all my accounts. I have enough trouble fighting against work related spam (aka error notifications). – ben is uǝq backwards Sep 22 '12 at 8:29
  • 5
    i wouldn't expect it to be automatic. – chovy Sep 22 '12 at 8:43
  • 1
    @chovy If you're asking if it already exists, the answer is no, if you are suggesting this as a new feature, then please replace [support] with [feature-request]. – yannis Sep 22 '12 at 8:54
  • @ben: this would be an option. Quora has this feature. – Dan Dascalescu Oct 7 '12 at 22:39
  • I was suggesting as a feature. Don't know why people are downvoting it. – chovy Nov 13 '12 at 5:48

I was initially in favour, but have reflected for a while and I think it's a bad idea:

It allows people to post a drive-by question and then suck up the answers without returning.

I got hooked on SO because I simply couldn't find an answer to my question but was sure there was one. Returning to check progress lured me in; I spotted some questions I could answer, and my reputation went up. Now I've given hours and hours to help people on a site which helped me. Email updates wouldn't have drawn me in - I'd have been able to stay away in between notifications, and the excitement of checking would be absent.

Drive-by questions upset established users.

Providing email updates would be handing a syphon to help vampires.

The RSS feed Frédéric mentions is fine, because it's not in the nature of drive-by questioners to invest time setting up a subscription, whereas a tickbox to send updates would be very easy.

  • Wow. I have to say that link was absolutely brilliant. – Mick MacCallum Sep 23 '12 at 21:39
  • A possible compromise is to be able to request that I be emailed when there is activity on a question I have posted. That way I don't have to keep checking. But I do have to return to SO to see the response. – user197378 Oct 2 '12 at 20:21
  • 2
    I think you've missed the point - no email means I have to keep returning to the site - this means I'm half hooked by the time I've got all the help I need. Any email notification lets me monitor from a distance and encourages the classic ask-and-forget behaviour. With zero notification I have to visit. – AndrewC Oct 2 '12 at 22:50
  • I kind of disagree here. I think it could be an option you choose to have or not. Also, email could say you have notification, to make you come back to the site, rather than actually sending you details of the answer. I realise this is an old post, but I've just posted a similar question, which has been flagged as a duplicate – Tracy at 2bactive Mar 25 '14 at 14:58
  • @Tracyat2bactive I think you missed my point - if I were able to wait for email notification I wouldn't have had to come back to the site regularly in between people answering or commenting, and I wouldn't have gotten engaged with the site, noseying around while I waited. – AndrewC Mar 30 '14 at 13:41

There is a question feed at the bottom-right of the page:

Question feed

You can use an RSS-to-email service to generate email updates from that feed.

See this related question on Super User.


Yes. When you post a question, check the box.

Would you like to have responses to your questions sent to you via email?

Remarkable closed mindedness from down voters. 'I wouldn't use this feature, so no-one else should have it!'

  • First I was at a loss when I looked for that check box, then I realized you were referring to the Would you like to have responses to your questions sent to you via email? link. That feature is actually global (basically, your whole inbox gets dumped into your email), so you cannot use it to track activity on a specific question. That's partly why I tried to take advantage of the question feed instead. Now how does that make me close-minded, Colonel? ;p – Frédéric Hamidi Sep 26 '12 at 19:08
  • Ah, I assumed it was question specific. – Colonel Panic Sep 26 '12 at 19:11
  • Not everyone is downvoting due to apathy. I'm in the category of would-have-used-it but believe SO was right not to let me have it. – AndrewC Sep 27 '12 at 23:52
  • You (Frederic) mentioned " then I realized you were referring to the Would you like to have responses to your questions sent to you via email? link" - I can't find this link. Please tell me where it is located. Byt the way, I don't necessarily want the entire response, just the notification that there has been some activity. – user197378 Oct 2 '12 at 20:19

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