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Improvements to follow system (Advanced filtering and activity feed)


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I'm feeling the follow feature is currently quite useless, because of the way it's setup as being focused on delivering notifications for example. 

Issue 1: It notifies me of EVERYTHING, no filtering
It notifies me of any comment, reply and content items that these members publish. Which is not what I would really want to see in the follow feature. 

For example, I may want to follow the developers on here. But since I read every bug report and every comment on them, I wouldn't be interested in notifications every time they comment on bug reports. But I would be interested in knowing about their replies to topics or blog entries. For other members I may only be interested in activity in the gallery and so on. 

I may also only be interested in knowing about new content items from them and NOT replies or comments on every existing content item. So I may want to only receive notifications when bfarber started a new topic, a new blog entry or a new bug report. 

Currently I would be swamped in notifications if I used this feature, with no way to filter the incoming solutions. 

Some suggested solutions:

  • Go back to how it was in earlier pre-releases. Then I would just receive a new notification when new content items were started and not on every comment etc. they make
    • Alternatively make that a choice I can do for each individual member I follow (with a default option if no choice is made)
  • Go for a "digest"-option approach. Like: "This is the content bfarber posted the previous day". This would likely the least popular and useful solution
  • Add advanced filtering options. When I follow bfarber I would get the option to also configure to filter away content from the apps I choose. I would also be able to decide whether I would only want new content items or also new comments / replies
  • Make it more clear you receive the notification because you follow them.


Issue 2: The only focus is on notifications, rather than voluntary content discovery
Notifications are cool and I wouldn't want you to take it away from the follow feature, but I would prefer that you improve it by solving issue 1 in some manner. The second issue ties in a bit with issue 1, because this issue becomes apparent by the amount of notifications you would receive if you started to follow a decent amount of relatively active members.

When I follow people on Twitter, I don't get a new notification in my email every time someone posts something, that would obviously swamp it. What Twitter does instead is to provide a feed that only contains tweets from the people you follow and it usually requires your active decision how much you wish to follow along on this feed. Another thing it does is to provide the option to create secondary lists, so you'll be able to just display tweets from the people you've placed in a "Developers"-list and so on.  

The core of the issue is this: There is no feed I can go to in order to get a quick overview of content I'm interested in. Essentially what I want would be for example a tab in the activity feed to only display content posted by the people I follow. Likewise there could be a similar option in "New Content" to only display content items where members I follow have posted in. 


  • Integrate the follow members feature into content discovery areas, like "Activity Feed", "New Content" and "Status Updates".


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