I have been using Stack Overflow every day for the past 8 years (I mean, actually every single day), and I still feel I know very little about what happened to the questions I contributed to.
The issues described here were reported before, but bear repeating in 2016.
Case in point: "Restrict user access at component level within a stream", and its associated timeline.
That question was closed a day later, but I knew nothing about it.
I stumbled upon that question a year later, belatedly edited it, and the moderator kindly reopen it.
The moderation process has worked as intended... except for that one year hiatus during which IBM RTC users were exposed to a cryptic question I could have made clearer much sooner.
And I do care about the quality of old questions and their answers, as they bring long-lasting value to the site.
More generally, for heavy users of the site, the notifications are few and sparse (and I understand it is not an easy problem to fix, without spamming to death said users).
When you answer a question, you don't know much about its other events like edits or other answers.
You might be a bit more aware of (at least) edits, if you "favorited" the question (which is why I have 17000+ "favorites": is that why "favorites" were set for initially? Apparently so)
But you don't know about a lot of other events needed to manage your own answers:
- You don't know about flag/close votes (as illustrated above, and discussed in 2012 and before that in 2011)
- More generally, you don't know if a question you answered "gets into trouble" (being continually downvoted when an edit would make it clearer: mentioned in 2013)
- You don't know about upvotes/downvotes on other answers (if I answered a year ago and a new answer gets a lot of upvotes, I want to know about it and fast!).
- You are not notified when comments are posted on different answers in the question you participated, as I mentioned in 2009.
This is true as well for questions you would like to follow, as Pekka proposed in 2010 with "Subscribing to questions and comments that don't belong to you" (almost implemented in 2011... but removed since).
- You don't easily know which bounties you are in, and you you know nothing at all about a bounty, which you posted an answer, once it is expired, and your answer was not selected.
It is not just about the reputation points: those bounty questions are actually interesting and challenging. If I did not answer it properly, I am legitimately interested in knowing the actual answer.
- And you don't know about link rot (I have a ton of answers I should update with updated links, I have also lost quite a few pictures because I did not edit quickly enough some old pictures hosted by
imgur.comback in 2012, as illustrated here). Something was tempted in 2012... but since then abandoned.
So how would you improve (in the context of the "Stack Exchange Quality Project"TM 2016) the experience of existing users who want to know what is going on with the questions they are contributing to?