I noticed that on a site where I'm a moderator, there is a small icon below the up-/downvote buttons and favorite icons of every post, which looks like a small clock, and which actually links to the timeline of that post.

Here is a sample of such icon:

                                                   Timeline icon

Some use cases where a timeline benefits my non-diamond moderation activities:

  1. Get a chronological sequence of:
    • answers to a post.
    • edits (revisions) of a post.
    • a bounty that was started, or ended, as in this example.
    • review votes (close, reopen, suggested edits, ...).
    • comments.
  2. Events about a post for which I do not know any other way to discover them:
  3. Notices that get added to, or removed from, a post, such as:
    • posts that get locked / unlocked, as in this example.
    • notices about Historical significance of a post, as in this example.
  4. Track the history of daily vote totals, as in this example.
  5. Lookup the exact hyperlink to a specific comment (e.g. to link to it, as in this example), as an alternative to clicking on the timestamp of the comment, and which results in a shorter URL, eg ending with posts/340118/timeline#comment_1137398.

So as a followup to my answer to "Add a link to the timeline of a post", and since a timeline is only protected by a "you name it, you got it" (1), I suggest to make that timeline icon visible to anybody (not just moderators).

Note: this question in NOT about changing any of the existing timeline privileges, only about improving the existing UI to make an available icon (to mods only for now) visible to anybody. And hence make using it more user friendly, instead of having to know it does exist, and typing in its URL to access it.

(1): click the edit link below a post and then change edit to timeline in the last part of the url.

  • 25
    Note that the moderator timeline includes many events and additional pieces of information that do not appear in the normal user timeline. Aside from that, the timeline is very much an advanced user feature. If it’s going to be part of the UI, I’d recommend it be tied to moderation privileges so new users aren’t burdened with it. – Cody Gray Dec 10 '19 at 21:53
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    There could also be an option in site preferences that shows timeline links, which is off by default. It can also be done with a userscript (which is what I do), but it'd probably be better for it to be a built-in option – CertainPerformance Dec 10 '19 at 22:08
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    @PierreVriens Note I mention using a question's timeline, to determine things like it being added to the HNQ list or a tweet occurring, in my answer to Is there a way to determine how/why when one of my posts on a network site suddenly starts getting unusual traction?. Also, when I saw this question, I edited my answer to link to it. – John Omielan Dec 11 '19 at 4:20
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    Point four is kinda unnecessary. You can get the URL of a comment by right clicking on the timestamp of the comment. Tweeting is in the edit history, as are post notices. – Catija Dec 13 '19 at 20:26
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    @Catija indeed, I rephrased that item to illustrate the difference ... – Pierre.Vriens Dec 13 '19 at 20:38
  • This is even more important now that stackexchange again broke their UI for Firefox ESR users and we no longer see time stamps on comments etc. (meta.stackexchange.com/questions/339756/…) – samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz Dec 27 '19 at 13:19

The public timeline for all questions and answers is now available for all users. More details are available here.

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    This is cooooooooool – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 16 '20 at 12:57
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    This isn't just cooooooooool ... this is formidaaaaaaaaaaaaaable! Merci Yaakov (and Shog9) for accepting and implementing my feature request, +1 and Accept of course ... Are you in for my next timeline feature request? – Pierre.Vriens Jan 16 '20 at 17:53
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    Thanks to both you and Shog for the work on this feature and getting it out! :) – V2Blast Jan 16 '20 at 19:41

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