How can I code a program in C# that can check for replies to my Stack Exchange questions and send me instant e-mail alerts when new replies are posted?

It'd be great if all users' activity here went directly to their e-mail.

  • instant email, that sounds like an oxymoron
    – Sam Hasler
    Commented Apr 22, 2009 at 16:40
  • better than mail-over-sneakernet ;) Commented Apr 22, 2009 at 16:43
  • @Sam Hasler - yes, but it's important to differentiate what he's asking for from, for example, a daily digest of activity. SO, I doubt, will ever implement a 'instant alert' for each activity - that would be thousands of email per hour...
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Apr 22, 2009 at 16:51
  • Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6557/…
    – Pops
    Commented Sep 23, 2011 at 20:26

7 Answers 7


Yes - there's an rss feed on each page - just put the url into something like rssbandit.


You could write a program that monitors the RSS question feed. (Or simply add the feed to your news aggregator - no need for writing a separate program for it if you don't have special requirements).

The question feed URL is (for this question):

  • Might be easier to follow the feed for your own user account's recent activity page. e.g. stackoverflow.com/feeds/user/30155/recent replacing my userID with your own. Commented Apr 22, 2009 at 16:41
  • @Eoin - That page describes activity the user performed on SO, not activity on the user's questions.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Apr 22, 2009 at 16:43
  • @driis the RSS method is nice, but then you have to set up a feed for each question you ask. There's no feed for this yet, but you can scrape the user response page as it monitors responses, including comments, to all the user's questions. See stackoverflow.com/questions/778127/…
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Apr 22, 2009 at 16:44
  • @Adam Davies... hmmm... indeed you are correct... and it appears the responses page (which is what I thought I'd clicked on hasn't been RSS-ified yet... Commented Apr 22, 2009 at 16:47
  • @Eoin - Yeah. Would be nice if someone entered a uservoice issue for that (unless it already exists) and linked it here so others could find it easily and vote for it... (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, hint, hint) ;-D
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Apr 22, 2009 at 16:50
  • @Adam stackoverflow.uservoice.com/pages/general/suggestions/… For some reason, Jeff closed the other ticket with 63 votes citing it as being obsolete Commented Apr 22, 2009 at 16:59
  • So vote on this one stackoverflow.uservoice.com/pages/general/suggestions/… Commented Apr 22, 2009 at 17:00
  • If you look at the bottom of the page, there's an RSS feed called 'question feed'. Commented Apr 22, 2009 at 17:06

An RSS feed is definitely the way to go. Your personal user-specific RSS feed is here:



Yes. Grab the HTTP page https://stackoverflow.com/users/recent/92735/?sort=responses and scrape it.

The advantage to this method is that you don't have to get the RSS address and add it to your monitoring program every time you ask a question - this monitors all your questions.

This page is updated whenever someone adds an answer or comment to any of your questions, as well as comments on any of your answers. You can parse out the type of response (answer to question, comment on question, comment on response) as well.

The other activity pages can be similarly scraped:

Right now SO implements email notification if you haven't visited the site recently, and activity occurs, but if you want SO to do this daily, you'll need to open a suggestion on Link .


It isn't really immediate notification. And you'll get only those items from your global inbox that you haven't already read here.

But in your email settings you have options to get an email about unread messages in your inbox weekly, daily or after 3 hours. See here: Control the types of email you receive via our new Email Settings feature.


I've created a Firefox Microsummary Generator for the recent activity page that can create a bookmark live title like this: 4,402 R:10 A:1 C:2 E:0 B:0

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