If person A writes a post, person B makes a comment asking for a clarification, and somebody (could be person A but could be person C) edits the post, shouldn't person B be given a note that the post was edited?

I see this pattern pretty often where someone asks for a clarification but doesn't show up after the post is edited. Some people proactively send comments that @-message those commentators but I wonder if it should be done automatically.

  • 4
    I quite often want to mark my interest in a question more than the current "favourite" does. Often I recheck a question several times when what I actually want is to notified if anything (other than voting) changes Jun 28, 2013 at 13:28
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    If this gets implemented, I think I'll actually start commenting on the posts I downvote :-) Jun 28, 2013 at 14:01
  • You may be interested in The votes tab in the user profile should track posts.
    – AndrewC
    Jun 28, 2013 at 19:40
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    +1 I found this when coming here to suggest the same thing. This would be especially useful on questions where you've left a comment on the question asking for clarification because you want to come back and answer it once the question is edited (in an ideal world the OP would leave a comment that says "edited", but of course that is rare). I was also going to suggest a "watch" feature as an alternative.
    – Jason C
    Aug 7, 2013 at 17:48

2 Answers 2


In my preferences, favourites is for tracking questions I have a personal interest in, and I don't like putting questions that need work in that list, partly because I want it to be full of interesting and useful stuff, and partly because I don't like to give a star to a question that needs work.

Proposal 1: track this like it's mine

Maybe this could be achieved with a "track this" button, whereby a Q or A you track puts something into your inbox, much as you would get notified if your own question/answer was edited or commented upon.

Advantages: may be straightforward to implement, by editing the code that notifies the poster of changes to look up a list of interested users.

Disadvantages: some people may fill their inbox with noise and start ignoring it or getting grumpy. You'd probably still need a list anyway so you could review and unfollow.

Proposal 2: watch like favourites, but less fondly

Maybe this could be achieved with a "Watched" list similar to but separate from the favourites list, consisting of questions where you have a comment with a questionmark.

If your question is answered, you can delete the comment to stop following the question, thus clearing up the comments in the process.

The list would show a change when a new comment is added or the question is edited (some OPs answer comments in comments rather than edit the question).

There would be no star or visible sign the question/answer was being watched.

Advantages: Re-use of existing favourites code

Disadvantages: People will be confused about why there are two ways to do essentially the same thing

[Feel free to comment with further advantages and disadvantages, or indeed with which you think is best.]

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    I like Proposal 1 better. For one, the post would be less cluttered with comments (since Proposal 2 relies on leaving comment to "activate" tracking); secondly sometimes I downvote without leaving comment (because sometimes there's already an existing comment which describes what I feel). Proposal 1's method would let me track it even without leaving a comment. A possible complication but cool feature would be specifying a period of time for tracking, sort of like I'll wait for 1 week (for example) for the post to be improved, if it's improved, I'll reverse the downvote (second chance) Jun 28, 2013 at 16:14

The most simple and straightforward way is: notify on the edits of the posts you commented on as well as comments.

  • This isn't going to clutter up the inbox since edits are a much rarer event than comments, and you are already being notified on comments in any case
  • Just as with comments, multiple outstanding edits shall be combined into a single inbox item

comment873222_269486 and comment873227_269486 give rough estimated numbers:

  • about 1 notification/day for a 30k user and 0.15 notifications/day for a 6k user.

I can't, as of this writing (2015-11), say how much this is compared to current rates because inbox items aren't accessible via data.SE.

  • Personally (~6.5k @ SO), I've had 506 inbox items from 2014-11-21 to 2015-11-21 which averages to 1.39/day.
  • Here's the problem. Let's say there is an old question with 20 comments by different users. I edit the question (because it has spelling/grammar mistakes or contains "thanks" or whatever else justifies an edit). With your proposal 20 people would get spammed because I edited the question (not because the question has been clarified by the OP). Nov 16, 2015 at 12:14
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    See Notify commenters of question edits for why this just doesn't scale Nov 16, 2015 at 13:29
  • @DavidPostill I'm not giving up just because you think it doesn't scale. I'm seeing for myself if it scales or not. Currently, the figures show it's nowhere as much as you think. Nov 21, 2015 at 20:08
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    <shrug> Good luck with your proposal. I have made my viewpoint clear. Whether it scales or not I'm not interested in such notifications. Nov 21, 2015 at 20:12

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