Inbox is where a typical user receives most notifications in Mathoverflow. One also receives moderators' private messages through mail. My question is:

What other notification mechanisms are available in Mathoverflow? For example is it possible to track the questions, comments and answers of a particular user who posts interesting topics in your favorite field? Is there something like a "follow" button for users which exists in most Q&A sites? Is it possible to receive the new questions and answers of a particular user via mail? (It is currently available to receive activities on a particular post via mail).

  • $\begingroup$ As a general SE feature, one can "favor" questions; see here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/53585/…. But no plans for an actual notification system for this are in sight. $\endgroup$
    – Todd Trimble Mod
    Dec 30, 2015 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ @ToddTrimble Yes. I'm aware of both "favorite" and "notification via mail" features in a post. What I'm looking for is a mechanism for following the entire contribution of a particular user in the site who often makes good points, without any need to check the "activity" section in their profile. Something like receiving a mail when they post something that is possibly of your interest. Why there is no "follow" button in one's profile when all other similar Q&A sites have such a feature? Is there any reason behind this? $\endgroup$
    – user82800
    Dec 30, 2015 at 17:47

1 Answer 1


This request comes up frequently but it is "status-declined" on the general meta (then meta SO) A "friends list" on Stack Overflow would be nice

The main reason given then was:

SO is not a social networking site.

Then there were few other sites and no MO yet, but the reason extends. One is not really supposed to follow by user, and for example focusing ones voting on some few users too much could even cause problems. Instead, one can follow by subject, viz. a tag.

There are non-official extensions though that allow some such things see https://stackapps.com/questions/3535/stack-exchange-favorite-users and https://stackapps.com/questions/1863/follow-your-friends-on-stackoverflow-with-friendoverflow for example (I did not try them though)

Also see the "opposite" request on this meta Ignoring certain users' postings

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ "focusing ones voting on some few users too much could even cause problems" Could, and often does. Targeted voting is a frequent nuisance, and unpleasant to have to rectify through vote invalidation. $\endgroup$
    – Todd Trimble Mod
    Dec 31, 2015 at 2:35

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