I asked this question earlier today, and was informed that the envelope that lights up next to the login name seems now to have nothing to do with replies. Evidently, correct me if I'm wrong, the only things that envelope lights up for nowadays (according to Jarrod Dixon here) is "when [I] have edits on [my] posts or edits on questions [I've] favorited (if [I] haven't disabled favorite notifications in [my] preferences)".

Given that info, why does the envelope say "you have no new replies" when you hover over it? That gives me the wrong impression immediately about what that envelope's function is.

I would suggest that the verbiage be changed to "you have no new activity" when there is nothing of note, and when something you care about occurs, then the message could convey "your post was edited" or "your favorites have new activity", something along those lines. In that case, then the only purpose the envelope would serve would be a quick link to your recent activity.

Perhaps these would better be cataloged in the inbox as edit or activity types of messages (e.g., edit on Unclear Question, and activity on My Favorite Question).

Edit 1: changed "you have no new notifications" to "you have no new activity". This seems to jibe more with the reporting provided when the envelope is clicked.

  • +1, but I also find "no new notifications" misleading. After all, the red circle with the number also notifies me of answers and comments, or how would you call that? Jan 16, 2011 at 20:57
  • @Hendrik I agree, but couldn't come up with anything better at the time. To be specific, the tip should read something like "nobody has edited your stuff, nor have any of your favorites seen any activity," but I thought that was a bit wordy. Frankly, I'm firmly behind moving those types of notifications into the StackExchange inbox like I mention in my last line.
    – arcain
    Jan 16, 2011 at 21:02
  • 1
    Not sure, but how about "no recent edits"? Jan 16, 2011 at 21:04
  • @Hendrik - Now that you say that, I'm thinking "no new activity" sounds about right, and the "activity" is whatever you have configured. Thanks for the feedback.
    – arcain
    Jan 16, 2011 at 21:15

1 Answer 1


Indeed, this is now changed, see:


  • The new functionality is more than I could have wished for. Thanks to the entire team for exceeding my expectations.
    – arcain
    Mar 30, 2011 at 14:48

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