Currently, the UserVoice entry "Notify comments for comments" has 69 votes and is ranked 14th. It calls for notifying users whenever comments are added to answers they left comments on.

I would like to be able to define the level of notification I get when I answer or leave a comment on a question, on a question-by-question basis. Options should be:

  • any other answer
  • any other comments (to the answer I have left a comment, which is what the UV entry is about)
  • any other comments (even on other answer I have not commented)

Those notifications could be signaled by a new color of notification bubble, listed separately from the current "responses" tab.

The idea remains:
If I have been involved in a question (answer or comment), I want to know as soon as possible about any activity on that question.

a) Is this an insane idea

  • from the user's point of view?
    Maybe very active members would dislike being "notified" every two seconds because of their many answers. But again, that is why I have proposed different levels of notification.
  • from the SO team's point of view?
    Maybe the database requests involved would be too much of a hurdle for the system.

b) Would you rather have a daily e-mail notification system (like you already have when you are posting a question)?
I think that would not be a good solution since:

  • the interesting thing about this kind of notification would be to be able to respond/comment immediately (while the other users are still around and invested in the question).
    That means a 'daily' update is not very useful in this case.
  • I cannot see these e-mails at work (personal e-mails are blocked, sadly)

4 Answers 4


Normally, you only get notified of comments when you own the post.

You will now get notified of any comments that refer to you by @username in a comment, even if you do not own the post.


  1. Only applies to other people in the comments that you are commenting on.

  2. Response must include @username that you are referring to, where "username" is a reasonable match to the user's current display name (as seen in the comments above yours).

  3. There must be a starts-with, case insensitive match of at least THREE characters to the displayname. So @a and @ab will never match anyone or anything.

  4. Spaces cannot be used to match, so if the person's display name is "Peter Smith" then just use @peter to match.

  5. Matching is performed in reverse chronological order, so if there are five people named "John" in the comments, writing "hey @john, have you considered apples?" will match the most recent John to comment.

  • 2
    Thank you for this new feature evolution. I guess this needs to be advertised (briefly) in the FAQ before the casual user has to find out about this nugget in the huge META FAQ database.
    – VonC
    Commented Jan 16, 2010 at 8:06

I would certainly like to be notified if someone posts a comment after a comment I posted, on either a question or an answer. Sometimes some very useful discussions can happen in comments. But often a potentially useful discussion is cut short because an earlier commenter isn't aware of the new comments.

Currently, there isn't even a good way to check manually, is there, apart from manually looking up recent threads that I found interesting?


Another one –– and I can hardly believe that this isn’t already implemented, but I believe that it isn’t: Notify me if a bounty is set on a question that I posted answer(s) to or left comment(s) on.

  • Agreed. I would also like to be notified on any flag/close events.
    – VonC
    Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 21:37

I just added an answer to a different question on this, but I think that in general this is a good idea.

Allow an edit to notify downvoters

I think if you could add a checkbox that says "Alert me if there are new comments on this post" then you could simply check the box if you wanted to know, and uncheck it when you didn't.

  • > just added an answer to a different question on this: interesting, could you post the link of that question, please?
    – VonC
    Commented Jul 2, 2009 at 12:14
  • Sorry! I totally meant to, then I forgot.
    – devinb
    Commented Jul 2, 2009 at 12:21

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