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We all have favorite questions and answers on this wonderful platform. Why can't we have 'favorite' users here? For example, I like J.R.'s, StoneyB's, and a few others' answers and want to get notified.

This can further be extended to showing the number of 'followers' as we have on most of the social media apps and sites.

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  • How do you favorite an answer? There doesn't seem to be a star under every answer. – Eddie Kal May 7 '18 at 3:09
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    I think the fact that this site is purely knowledge-based, namely revolving around questions and answers as opposed to users, really sets it apart from other Q&A sites and makes it tremendously and decidedly successful. I haven't been here very long, but I am here to stay because this ain't yet another social media-esque Quora-wanna-be. – Eddie Kal May 7 '18 at 3:13
  • @EddieKal you favorite a question on which you liked the answer! Indirectly you can do that. But yes, there's no direct way. I had raised this too a year back! – Maulik V May 7 '18 at 3:51
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    meta.stackexchange.com/questions/106717/… on the mother meta asks for a much more refined version of this, but it's been declined, and anything less sophisticated is likely to be declined harder. – Nathan Tuggy May 7 '18 at 5:26
  • @NathanTuggy I don't see why that should be the case. I would imagine if it were simpler and more private facing as opposed to public facing, that would be infinitely cheaper and, in any case, much more attractive to the ptb.. – Araucaria - Not here any more. May 7 '18 at 11:34
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    @Araucaria: By "sophisticated" I mean "tuned to avoid social media inclinations". – Nathan Tuggy May 7 '18 at 15:06
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We can bookmark our favorite user's profiles in our browsers and see their latest answers, questions, or comments. For example, this link is the latest answers from Jon Skeet, sorted by newest first. There is a lot of information about people's activity in their profiles and it can be sorted by newest first, so it's not hard to navigate.

Turning ELL into a social network adds a whole bunch of stuff that is completely irrelevant to the main purpose of Stack Exchange in general and ELL in particular. I appreciate J.R.'s and StoneyB's answers too, but in the end Stack Exchange is about the content and the community, and not individual contributors. Adding a follower system detracts from the content of the site and puts the focus on the people and their relationships instead.

The first section of the tour says "Ask questions, get answers, no distractions" and a follower system that tracks someone's popularity (or lack thereof) is a distraction in my opinion.

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There's already an easy way to "follow" several people at once: RSS feeds. If you go to the very bottom left of the activity tab of each user's profile page, on the activity tab, you'll see a link to the feed that says "user feed" (the URL of the feed is https://ell.stackexchange.com/feeds/user/{id}, where {id} is the user's id on that site).

The RSS feed has that user's questions, answers, and comments.

There's a lot of software out there that can give you notifications for RSS feeds, such as this extension for Chrome.


It's not possible to know how many people are using RSS feeds like this. (I think it's best that way too.)

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